What is a Car Service Checklist?
A car service checklist aids professional car technicians in keeping track of items that they have inspected. It also records their assessments of each individual car feature and part. If one part or feature has a problem, the technician will note it down on the checklist along with the recommended repairs or service work needed to fix the problem. Without it, technicians will have difficulty determining whether they missed something.
This checklist is needed when a vehicle undergoes its annual full car service schedule. This inspection is a combination of car maintenance and auto repair. It is a necessity to ensure that the car’s life and performance are at their optimum capacity.
In this article, the following points are explained:
1. The types of car service checkups
2. Common concerns of car technicians
3. A helpful mobile app for your car service checks
Types of Car Service Checkups
Some parts of the car need checking on a regular basis. Some should be checked every year. Others should be checked every time the season changes, especially in winter and summer.
To better understand what type of checkup your car needs and when should you have it, here are the different kinds of car service checkups:
1. Interim Car Checkup
Also called short-term car service checkup, an interim car service checkup happens every six months or when the car reaches the 6000-mark mileage. During this time, the technician will check the:
- Air Filter
The air filter regulates the airflow to the engine and shields it from any debris. A well-maintained air filter increases fuel efficiency and decreases emissions. Although you can have it checked by a professional, you can do it yourself. Check your car manual to find out how often it needs changing.
- Oil Filter
The oil filter functions similarly as the air filter by blocking any debris from your motor oil. Aside from that, it helps cool the engine, prevents engine corrosion, and reduces wear and tear. To ensure its efficiency, you need to clean it regularly.
- Oil and Coolant Levels
Low oil and coolant levels can cause you a headache and a hefty price for car repair if left unchecked for a long time. So make sure to check your oil and coolant levels from time to time and before you go on a long trip.
- Headlights and Signal Lights
Your headlights and signal lights need to be checked at least once a month to ensure that they are functioning correctly. To check them, turn the lights while parked on an even surface. Do a visual inspection by walking around the car to check whether they are functioning or not.
- Tire Pressure and Tread Depth
Well-maintained tires are essential to a fuel-efficient and safe ride. Check the tire pressure at least once a month and before going on a long trip. Use a tire pressure gauge to check whether there’s enough pressure or not. Also, check the car manual how much air pressure the tire needs.
2. Full Car Checkup
Professional automotive technicians do a full car service checkup. It is conducted annually or if your mileage reaches 12,000 miles. Some of the parts and features that will be checked are:
- Shocks and Struts
The shocks and struts control the impacts and rebounds of the car when it passes over bumps. It should be inspected after your mileage reaches 50,000 miles. You can also have it checked if you feel your car lost smoothness of control when driving.
- Transmission Fluid
The transmission fluid also acts as a lubricant that makes all the moving parts of your vehicle function properly and efficiently. Make sure that you have it regularly checked and changed to avoid costly repairs.
- Transfer Case Fluid
The transfer case shifts power from the transmission to the axles. Low fluid levels or leaks can damage the gears or loosen the chains. A professional technician will have to go under the vehicle to check this part.
- Coolant Fluid Exchange
The coolant liquid keeps your engine cool and functioning efficiently. Make sure to flush it regularly to avoid contaminants from building up. Also, check if your radiator has enough coolant level.
3. Extensive Car Checkup
An extensive or major car service checkup is done every two years or when your mileage reaches 24,000 miles. It is also done to vehicles that haven’t received regular maintenance for a long time.
4. Seasonal Car Checkup
As the season changes, so do the needs of your vehicle. Some parts need to be inspected and maintained before winter or summer sets in. For example, you need to change your tires or get them fitted with snow socks or snow chains in the winter to keep them from skidding on ice.
Common Concerns of Car Technicians
No matter how skilled or how long an automotive technician has been on his job, they are still subject to making mistakes. They might have become too confident because of their experience. Because of that, they might overlook or miss some problems.
While some mistakes can be minor, some can incur a lot of headaches and financial costs. That is why an auto car service checklist is a must.
Here are the most common problems a car service technician often experiences:
- Unfinished Work
Failure to check and double-check any repairs or maintenance tasks done to the vehicle can be very costly. Worse, it can be deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5 percent of vehicular accidents are caused by mechanical failures, while 22 percent are caused by brakes malfunctioning. By using a car service checklist, these types of errors can be avoided.
- Safety Hazards
Being an automotive technician is not a walk in the park. Some tasks can be risky and, if they are not careful, can cost them their lives. So they have to be thoroughly knowledgeable about these safety risks to avoid them.
Automotive technicians are usually paid for every job they finish. That’s why most take more jobs they can handle because it means more money. Add to that the bonuses they receive from every satisfied customer. So it comes as no surprise that a lot of them are tired and exhausted.
Use a mobile app for your car service checklists
Performing a car service inspection is a job where it is important to work very precisely and not miss any check. The use of digital checklists helps technicians in car service to control their inspections and immediately create a report from obtained data. With Lumiform's mobile app, they can easily use the checklists on-site and access their data at any time.
Switching to a digital tool offers car service companies and their employees many more benefits that they can take advantage of in their daily work. Here are some of them:
- Get access to an extensive selection of templates in the template library and use them immediately.
- Easily create car service checklists with the form builder and customize them at any time with drag-and-drop ease.
- Select answer types such as multiple choice, checkbox, yes/no, or long and short text answers in your checklist to ensure you get the data you need.
- Add photos and annotations during an inspection to make your results more descriptive.
- Assign corrective actions with priority levels from the app so incidents are addressed and fixed in order of urgency.
- Automatically generate reports so you can immediately share information with your team and clients.