A lot of great cars out there on the road are energizer bunnies; they just drive and drive and drive. You might drive the same car for years at a time without taking it in for maintenance. After all, why should you? Nothing’s wrong with it!
Until your timing belt snaps and your engine goes “Kablooey” – now you’re in the market for a new engine, or more likely a new car.
To avoid engine implosion, you should have a mechanic take a look at your vehicle on a pretty regular basis. You take yourself in for a check-up with the doc every year, so why wouldn’t you treat your car the same way?
I have an auto-maintenance chart to help you know when your car needs servicing (oil changes, wheel rotations – that sort of thing).
At the very least, I recommend bringing your car in for an inspection at least once a year. It only takes about an hour (less with newer cars), and you can save even more time if you bundle it in with your regular oil change. (I’m going to put my dad hat on for a moment: you do change your oil regularly, right?)
BCAA-Type Vehicle Inspections
BCAA offers a vehicle inspection service where they look at 143 distinct points on your car, and I do an extremely similar inspection here in my shop.
I really run it through its paces – taking it on road tests, visually inspecting the car for rust or damage, and most importantly getting it up on jacks in the shop to look at its underbelly and innards. It’s also a good time to check out any error lights popping up on your console – I can use my fancy scanner to talk to your car’s computer and really have a heart to heart.
These regular check-ups keep you on top of routine maintenance, and can catch serious problems before they do too much damage. After all, if you nip something in the butt early on, it can save you a bundle in the future.
I’m not much a tailor, but a stitch in time saves nine!
Although I am not affiliated with BCAA, I offer the exact same inspection a certified dealership would. The benefit to you is that you can get an honest inspection for a lower cost, and I won’t exaggerate problems with your car in order to sell you unnecessary repairs.
When purchasing a car, this type of inspection is a great way to keep the seller honest (and avoid buying a lemon!).
If you have a notice-of-order to get your car inspected, I won’t be able to fulfill those requirements for you. Many customers who are in that position come to me for a “pre” inspection before they go to a certified shop – they can get repairs done from someone they trust, and at a lower cost.
Evaluating The Damage
And sometimes it’s just good to step back and evaluate the relationship you have with your car:
- How long do you see yourself driving it?
- How much time and money are you willing to put into it?
After all, if a vehicle is going to cost you a couple thousand bucks in the next few years, maybe you want to look at replacing it. But that’s a conversation that starts with an inspection; you don’t want to rush the decision of buying a new vehicle just because the old one up and died, leaving you in the lurch!
You would be far better off to make that decision BEFORE your car dies, in anticipation of future repairs.
On the note of a new vehicle – a pre-purchase inspection is an excellent way to get the feel for a car before you put your money into it.
Stay in tune with your vehicle and it’ll stay in tune with you!
The Price Of An Inspection
For a typical vehicle, my complete BCAA-type safety inspection is $97.50. Every oil change you do with me also gets a minor inspection, but it’s not as comprehensive as the BCAA-type inspection.If need a mechanic for repairs or maintenance on your car, contact me here.