Regular inspections are an essential part of auto maintenance. When professionals give your car a checkup, you’ll have the opportunity to spot issues before they become significant problems. If you’re not sure how often to get car inspected, keep these tips in mind.
Is Your Transmission Working?
Your vehicle needs a functioning transmission to run, so you should ensure you know the early signs of transmission problems. Getting transmission service as soon as needed can help you avoid expensive repairs and may even keep your vehicle from breaking down when you’re on the road. Usually, you’ll see some warning signs before serious issues occur.
One common sign of transmission problems is unusual odors. You may notice a burning smell when you drive your vehicle, especially when you switch gears. In addition to smells, you might notice some odd noises, such as grinding when your car is in neutral.
Take your car in for servicing immediately if you notice that your vehicle is switching gears on its own. You should also seek assistance if you struggle to shift from one gear to another. A dragging clutch or fluid leak could also indicate transmission problems, as could seeing your check engine light come on.
Many signs of transmission problems seem minor at first, so people don’t have their vehicles inspected immediately. If you’re trying to decide how often to get car inspected, it’s usually best to err on the side of caution. Have a professional assess your car if you notice any indicators of transmission issues.
Have You Been in an Accident Lately?
It’s always a good idea to have your vehicle looked at after an accident, even if the collision is just a minor fender bender. While your vehicle may not have external damage, there could be internal damage that you can’t see. An auto repair shop can examine your vehicle from top to bottom.
Not only can taking your car to an auto shop help you catch issues caused by the accident, but it could also help you as you prepare to file an insurance claim. An inspection can be a way to document accident damage. If you’re working with a personal injury or DUI lawyer, tell them you’re taking your car in.
There’s no hard rule regarding how often to get car inspected. The number of inspections your vehicle needs will vary based on your experiences. If you’ve been through something that may have damaged your car, like an auto accident, having the vehicle looked at is always your best option.
What Has Your Car Been Through?
An auto accident isn’t the only thing that could harm your vehicle. Many other things could stress your car, including stormy weather, towing, and carrying too much weight. If your vehicle has been through a lot lately, it may be time for you to look into auto repair services.
If possible, take your vehicle to a shop specializing in the issues that could impact your car. For example, if your car was parked outdoors during a recent hailstorm, bring the vehicle to a local auto hail repair shop. Professionals that specialize in certain types of repairs may be able to catch issues that would otherwise go unnoticed.
You might be able to get away with a yearly inspection if there haven’t been any issues with your car. However, if your vehicle may be damaged, it’s best to play it safe. When you’re determining how often to get car inspected, you should remember that the number of inspections your vehicle needs will ultimately depend on your car.
Does Anyone Else Drive Your Car?
If you’re the sole driver of your car, you probably have a more accurate picture of your vehicle’s performance than anyone else. However, if you share your vehicle with others, they may have noticed problems you’re unaware of. For example, it’s possible that your check engine light switched on and then turned off again.
Make sure you’re communicating with everyone that spends time in your vehicle. Check in with them occasionally to see if they’ve had any problems with the car. Even if you haven’t seen anything concerning, they may have spotted some issues that must be checked out.
When a car has problems, those problems tend to worsen sometimes. In the early stages, however, those problems can be infrequent, which makes them easy to miss. Everyone that drives your car should be on the same page regarding maintenance. Whether you’re sharing your vehicle with your spouse or kids, you should ensure you’re all on the same page.
Everyone who drives your vehicle should be part of the discussion if you’re figuring out how often to get car inspected. Ask people to report the issues they notice to you, even if the problem doesn’t seem like a big deal. That way, you’ll know when you should take your car in.
Can You Get Cheap Spare Parts?
Sometimes, handling issues at the right time can help you save on car repairs. If you’ve been putting off repairs or an auto inspection because of concerns about cost, you should see if there are ways to get the work you need for less. Replacing car parts can be expensive, but you can cut costs if you can get those parts for less.
Check to see if there’s a used auto part business in your area. Many used parts are still in excellent condition, and buying those parts for a fraction of what you would pay for a brand-new part is possible. You can even work with an auto shop that will allow you to provide your own parts!
In the long run, it’s always best to deal with car problems early on, even if you don’t have a lot of room in your budget to cover the cost of repairs. If you don’t replace a damaged part, it could damage other parts of your vehicle. Don’t focus on costs when deciding how often to get car inspected. Instead, look for ways you can save.
Are There Key Maintenance Tasks That You’ve Overlooked?
All vehicles require regular maintenance throughout the year. For example, cars should have oil changes every few months. Air filters should be replaced or cleaned periodically to prevent clogs. If you’ve been putting off this maintenance, it’s more likely that your vehicle has problems, which makes inspections all the more important.
When you provide your vehicle with ongoing maintenance, you can monitor its condition. These basic maintenance tasks can also prevent many common car problems. If you haven’t been giving your car proper maintenance, you’ll want to have it looked at to see if that lack of maintenance has caused any problems.
You should look at the big picture when you decide how often to get car inspected. If you just had your radiator checked, you may not need a full auto inspection right now. However, if your car has been neglected, an inspection could give it the fresh start it needs. Have someone look at your car and follow a consistent maintenance schedule afterward.
Could This Have Been Prevented?
Car repairs are a major unplanned expense. If you’ve had your car unexpectedly break down, you know how costly it can be. While repairs are frustrating, you should remember that many car issues are preventable. Routine auto maintenance, like car inspections, will allow you to catch and fix car problems early on.
Although there’s no way to alter the past, you can change what you do going forward. If you were recently hit with expensive car repairs, think carefully about how to keep this from happening again. Pay closer attention to your vehicle and make sure you schedule inspections whenever they’re needed.
When figuring out how often to get a car inspected, you may feel like you’re doing more than needed. Remind yourself that investing in your car will save you money in the long run. If you have your car checked out regularly, you can avoid the major repairs that have been a source of stress.
How Often Do You Drive?
You’re more likely to have issues when your vehicle when the mileage is high. While vehicle maintenance is always important, it’s especially crucial if you drive a lot. If you have a long commute or regularly take road trips, you’ll likely want to schedule more car inspections than the average person would.
It’s also a good idea to schedule more frequent inspections if the mileage on your vehicle is already high. A newer vehicle with lower mileage is unlikely to have problems, but the same isn’t true for older cars with high mileage. Older cars need more repairs, so they also require more inspections.
Pay close attention to your mileage to see how much you’ve driven your vehicle since your last inspection. It’s often recommended that you have an inspection for every 10,000 miles. If you’ve driven more than 10,000 over the last few months, your vehicle is likely overdue for a checkup.
When you’re asking yourself how often to get car inspected, you’ll want to think about how you typically use the car. If you do a lot of driving or have an older car that already has very high mileage, it will likely need more care than the average vehicle would. Try to be aware of what your car needs so that you can schedule inspections when they’re needed.
What Areas Could Use Inspection?
While having your entire car inspected is possible, you may find it more helpful to focus on specific parts of your car. For example, if your brakes feel softer or spongier than usual or you notice loud noises when breaking, you might want to take your vehicle in for a brake inspection. If you’ve noticed indicators that you need exhaust repairs, like a banging sound coming from your vehicle’s hood, ask a mechanic to check your exhaust.
In some cases, focusing on one part of your car could give you better results. An auto wheel repair service could be a big help if you’re dealing with a wheel alignment issue or another issue, like low tire pressure. It’s still wise to have a complete annual inspection, but if you have a specific concern, you should ask professionals to focus on that area.
When determining how often to get car inspected, you should try to get in the habit of paying closer attention to your vehicle. Make sure you’re aware of your car’s performance and make a point of reacting when you see an issue. Try to figure out which parts of your car should be looked at and get your vehicle the attention it needs.
Do You Have a Spare Key?
Part of caring for your car is ensuring you’re prepared when something goes wrong. That’s why it’s a good idea to be familiar with common issues many people encounter, like lockouts. If you lose your car keys or lock them in your car, will you have to call for a car lockout service to get back on the road?
The next time you visit an auto shop, ask them to make you a spare key. You can even have a new key programmed for your vehicle. Having a spare key will give you a way to get inside your car in an emergency. You could keep the key safely or hand it to a trusted family member or friend.
Everyone sometimes makes mistakes, and there’s a good chance you’ll leave your keys in your car at one point or another. Perfection is an impossible pursuit, but you can make sure you’re ready for mistakes when they occur. If you don’t have a spare key, or if your current spare isn’t readily accessible, you should think about having a new key made.
Don’t wait for your car to break down to have it looked at. You’ll have a better experience if you address these issues proactively. Follow this advice if you’re wondering how often to get car inspected and ensure your vehicle gets the level of care it needs.