So, you’re on the quest for the perfect vehicle inspection checklist? In order to find the right vehicle inspection forms for your shop, there are several factors that you may want to consider. For example, do you really need several carbon copy checklists? Or would your shop benefit by having one shop management system with a built-in inspection feature?
The purpose of vehicle inspections is to make sure your team is being thorough. Drivers place their trust in your shop’s trained and certified technicians to inspect their mode of transportation—what gets them to-and-from work, to-and-from their kid’s schools, and across the country to visit family. As they’re going about their daily ventures, your customers want to make sure they don’t encounter any hiccups that an inspection could otherwise shed light on.
Essentially, customers rely on you and your team to keep their car in safe, working order, so it’s important for your shop’s technicians to carefully inspect each vehicle that enters the garage. By carefully selecting your shop’s vehicle inspection checklists, you’re prioritizing your customer’s safety.
Vehicle inspections are vital to your shop and to your customers. An in depth, reliable, and efficient inspection process will help your team uncover any underlying vehicle malfunctions. And for your shop’s customers, they’ll have comfort knowing exactly what is wrong with their vehicle and why.
Although most drivers dread paying for repairs, a clear, transparent inspection gives them the answers they need to move forward and approve the work so that you and your team can get them back on the road safely.
Build Trust With Digital Vehicle Inspection Checklists
Trust plays an enormous role in getting customers to approve work, come back to the shop, and refer your shop to their friends and family. Unfortunately, your run-of-the-mill vehicle inspection forms don’t do much to build trust because they don’t allow for transparency into exactly what the technicians find wrong with the vehicle. Sure, techs can circle parts of a car graphic, check off that something is wrong, and scribble some notes, but that’s not the same as showing customers exactly what they found when they looked deeper into the issue.
You could build trust with customers by installing a glass window between your lobby and your bays, but that’s a pricey renovation that still leaves some distance between tech findings and how they translate to customers. Another option is to invest in tools that allow for a more transparent process.
All repair orders begin with the estimates and the inspections. But rather than finding a transparency vehicle inspection checklist, consider focusing on everything surrounding the vehicle inspection checklist.
Building trust goes beyond the checklist itself. A modern vehicle inspection system should include features that facilitate shop transparency, like being able to attach photos and videos of the technician’s findings so that the customer can better understand what’s going on. And when you can email or text those findings, your customers will feel more at ease that their vehicle is in the right hands.
Bringing visibility into your vehicle inspection operations will result in customer’s approving repairs with higher certitude. According to a survey by Consumer Reports, car owners put a lot of faith in their chosen repair shops. In fact, 73% of car owners agree that they authorize whatever work their preferred shop recommends.
However, almost the same amount—68%—agree that they research recommendations before they approve the work. One reason why the majority of car owners want to do extra research during this stage is because they likely don’t have enough information on what exactly is going on with their vehicle, and in turn, don’t fully trust the shop’s word.
The fact that customer’s take extra time to do their own research or confirm the technician’s findings shows that many shops aren’t doing enough to build trust and be transparent between inspections and estimates. Customers crave more information in order to make a smart decision.
How Many Vehicle Inspection Checklists Does My Shop Need?
Vehicle inspection checklists guide your technician’s through each aspect of a given inspection so that no problem areas go unaddressed. Having a set list of points to check for each inspection will ensure they remember to look into each item listed. But before your shop gets started on inspections, you have to get down to the nitty-gritty of inspections: there’s not just one inspection that solves all situations.
So how many vehicle inspection checklists do you need? As many checklists as there are common reasons for vehicle owners to bring their cars to your shop. Some of the most common reasons drivers visit a repair shop include:
- Check engine light is on
- State inspection needs to be renewed
- They notice a noise, vibration, or smell
- Leaking fluids
- Change in vehicle performance
- Malfunction (AC not working, alignment off, etc.)
- Electrical Issue
The problem with going with just one vehicle inspection checklist is that it either will be too narrow in scope, not accounting for all the above situations, or it’s so robust that your technician has to spend half a day checking every single facet of the car. Instead, it’s best to focus your inspection checklists to address specific customer concerns and what prompted them to bring their car into the shop in the first place.
Common Vehicle Inspection Checklists
Every shop has their own variations of inspections depending on the services they provide. For example, an auto body repair shop may check for scratches, dents, and cracks where a general repair shop will mostly inspect the belts, filters, fluids and everything else going on under the hood.
Vehicle inspection checklists can be divided into four categories: interior, under vehicle, under hood, and exterior. But keep in mind that if your shop does a multi-point inspection, it’s likely that your tech will tackle each of those categories.