A maintenance inspection is a routine inspection of a motor vehicle which is conducted to make sure that it is in good working order. This type of inspection can be performed by the vehicle's owner or by a mechanic. It is a good idea to have regular inspections so that any problems can be identified at an early stage, allowing people to intervene promptly to correct them.
A number of things are checked during a maintenance inspection. Many people like to use checklists so that they can be sure that they have gone over everything and sample checklists are often available through organizations which promote vehicle safety. When an inspection is conducted by a mechanic, people should ask to see the checklist so that they know what was inspected.
Part of the inspection is visual. Taking the time to look a car over visually for things which seem out of place or amiss is important. People can check the tires to make sure that the tread is still good and there are no signs of uneven wear or punctures, and they can also check the body of the car for signs of damage such as rusts, dings, and so forth. Other things to check visually include the condition of the windshield wipers, the windshield itself, the battery for signs of corrosion, the hoses and belts under the hood, and so on.
Maintenance inspections also usually include checks of all the fluids in the vehicle, and a check to make sure that all of the directional signals are working. The inspection includes checking the headlights, brake lights, and so forth to make sure that all of the lights are functioning. Tire pressure is usually checked during an inspection, and a note of the mileage may be made as well.
If problems are identified during the inspection, they may be corrected then, or a note may be made to fix them later. For example, if the coolant is low, it can be topped off. If the tires need to be rotated, however, it will usually be necessary to make an appointment for the tire rotation. The maintenance inspection will also identify any error lights or warnings, with a recommendation to run a vehicle diagnostic to find out why the lights are illuminated so that they can be addressed.
In some regions of the world, drivers are required to submit their cars for maintenance inspection by government officials for safety reasons. Officials check the basics, and also look for signs that a vehicle has unusually high emissions. The goal is to intervene before cars become dangerous to drive.