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What to Expect from your Inspection

Vehicle inspections are very much like the physical your doctor recommends you get annually.  The thought process is also the same:  if you can catch the little problems before they turn into big problems, you’re much better off.  

When thinking about your vehicle; this annual check up is like an “inspection”, and the items that are needed for a clean bill of health are the “maintenance.”

Similarly, when a sudden illness occurs, you call your doctor for an appointment to fix the problem.  Consider this “fix” as a “repair”.

Proper auto maintenance is very much like your own health and wellness. It is as simple as following the manufacturer’s recommended schedule for service and making needed repairs as - or even BEFORE - they become necessary.

We spoke with Trent Pickering of Pickering’s Auto Service in Lakewood – Arvada - Westminster, Colorado about the “annual physical” for your auto and learned a lot about how these inspections can differ. Pickering said, “There really isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” inspection.  Although any inspection is better than no inspection!” 

He goes on to say, “If you’re planning on a long road trip, it’s wise to let an experienced, qualified mechanic take a look at things like fluids, tires, hoses and belts. Since you know your car, you can also help direct the inspection towards anything you’ve seen, felt or heard that might be causing concern. But if you are buying a used vehicle that you know nothing about, then you’ll want a more diligent search for all types of potential problems. You’ll need a thorough inspection of all the major systems including the electrical, cooling, emissions, etc. In fact, this is a good inspection to get at least once a year. We call it a Full Vehicle Health Inspection. In the case of purchasing a used vehicle, make sure to always have a pre-purchase inspection performed though”.

And while we were speaking of emissions inspections, Pickering pointed out something we were not aware of, “Used vehicles that are for sale are required to have a new emissions inspection, even if the current inspection report still has time on it. It is the seller's responsibility to obtain this inspection. This is a consumer protection for the buyer. The seller must provide the emissions inspection paperwork to the buyer for vehicle registration purposes. The buyer must then use this paperwork to register the vehicle within one year.”

“If you’re buying a used car from a dealer, the dealer may offer customers a voucher to obtain an emissions inspection for free. If the vehicle fails the emission test, take the vehicle and the test results back to the dealership for instructions. They have 3-options to cure the problem.” See AirCareColorado.com for more information on how this inspection works. If the vehicle fails emissions, we can help repair the vehicle to get it to pass.

Just like your doctor, it is always best for both you and your mechanic to know exactly what is going on so that you can discuss what needs immediate attention and what can be addressed over time.

“When you come in for service at Pickering’s, a Full Vehicle Health Inspection is recommended the first time we work on your car or truck and then annually thereafter. Our experts will check, measure and document, all major systems of the vehicle and anything we see that may need to be addressed. This “baseline inspection” includes removing all four wheels, inspecting your vehicle's brake system and rotating your tires, as needed. We will digitally report, estimate and prioritize all maintenance and repair needs, so you are fully aware of the condition of your vehicle and can see our recommendations. This thorough digital inspection is designed to identify potential problems early to help avoid safety concerns or costly repairs. The results are then reported to you, in some cases including images to document what we’ve seen, and are added to your vehicle's digital service record for easy future reference. Once we have all the information, we can then work together to make the best decision for both you, your budget and your vehicle.”

Call Pickering’s Auto today or make an appointment for an inspection today online!

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