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When To Consider a Vehicle Inspection

In some Canadian provinces, regular vehicle inspections are mandatory. Which is great when you don’t want to worry about when to actually have one done. In Alberta, however, inspections are not required on a yearly or semi-yearly basis.

This may lead many Albertans to wonder: When should I get my vehicle inspected? Apart from when you’re required to, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle regularly inspected. The earlier you can catch a potential issue, the less it will cost to carry out the repair.

Not sure when to consider a vehicle inspection? Here are five instances where you should definitely have one booked:

At Least Every Two Years (Or When An Inspection is Required)

In some Canadian provinces, by law vehicle owners must have an inspection carried out at specified intervals. For the most part this interval is every two years, except in Prince Edward Island, where it is required annually.

In Alberta, however, an inspection is only required when registering a vehicle from outside of the province (except for vehicles from British Columbia and Saskatchewan – they are exempt). Just because you aren’t required to have regular inspections doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one done.

The general recommendation is that you have your vehicle inspected every two years. This will ensure that any potential problems are caught before they become expensive issues to repair.

When You’re Buying a Used Vehicle

Having an inspection done is highly recommended when you are looking at buying a used vehicle and taking ownership from a third party. No matter who you are buying the vehicle from, whether it is a friend, family member, or total stranger, you should always have the vehicle looked over thoroughly. Otherwise, once the purchase is made and the deal is sealed, the previous owner is no longer liable for any issues that may arise with the vehicle.

Buying used is a great way to get bang for your buck but, if the car does not live up to the condition it was advertised in, you could end up paying more than you bargained for. Meet the current owner at an agreed-upon garage to have the inspection carried out. Sellers may not be keen to pay for an inspection, so you may have to cover this cost. The small price of a vehicle inspection is worth the money you’ll save in repairs down the road.

When You’re About to Take a Long Trip

Happy young couple with a map in the car.

When you’re hitting the road for a long drive, the last thing you need is to have your car break down in the middle of nowhere.

To make sure you reach your destination issue-free, you should have an inspection done on your vehicle at least three weeks before embarking on your journey.

Not only will this bring to light any potential issues that could cause trouble but you can also take this opportunity to have all of your fluids topped-up as well.

To better safeguard your trip, make sure you have a spare tire and emergency kit stored in your vehicle. It’s also not a bad idea to join a roadside assistance program just in case.

Before and After the Wintertime

When you live in an area with a frigid climate – which we all do here in Alberta – you want to make sure your vehicle prepared to take on the snow and ice.

The key components you want to have inspected before wintertime are;

  • Tires: You want to make sure your tire tread depth and pressure are both up-to-par. Depending on where you live and the weather conditions, you may want to consider getting winter tires
  • Battery: Your car’s battery does not like the cold, so have your mechanic ensure it is secured, protected and charged before the temperatures drop
  • Brakes: When your vehicle hits a slippery patch, you want to make sure your brakes on working in top condition
  • Fluids: Adequate anti-freeze levels are important in keeping your radiator from freezing (hence the name). You’ll also want to make sure your oil levels are good as well

It is also important to have your car inspected after the rough conditions of winter have passed by. A spring inspection can catch any damage or wear caused by the colder months.

As Soon as You Suspect an Issue With Your Vehicle

While your dashboard has many wonderful lights and indicators that will tell you what’s wrong with your vehicle, there are some issues that are not that easy to diagnose. A thumping here, a weird smell there… If you know something is wrong with your vehicle, but can’t quite figure out what it is, it’s time for an inspection.

Most times, your mechanic may able to figure out the issue quickly based on their knowledge and expertise. However, one problem can lead to another, so it’s best to have the whole vehicle checked out.

What Do Mechanics Look for During an Inspection?

When mechanics perform an inspection on your vehicle, they aren’t going to get into every nook and cranny of your car.

Instead, they will take a very close look at important components to make sure they are operating properly and safely, such as:

  • Windshield
  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Steering and alignment
  • Seatbelts
  • Fluids

However, if you have been having any issues with your vehicle, an inspection is a good time to bring it up so your mechanic can have a closer look.

Ready for an Inspection?

Whether you are bringing a vehicle out of province, or need an inspection for insurance purposes, our certified technicians have years of experience providing inspections to the residents of Edmonton.

During the inspection, we are careful to take note of any previous repair work or structural damage and repairs required to bring the vehicle up to read-worthy condition. Not only is our team ready to do your inspection, but we are also fully equipped to carry out any necessary repairs!

If you are in need of an inspection, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!


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  • Serving Sherwood Park, Edmonton, and area since 1979
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