Top Vehicle Inspection Checklist Forms

Ensure safety and quality for vehicles with digital vehicle inspection forms and checklist templates.

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Published 14 Sep 2022

What is a Vehicle Inspection Form?

A vehicle inspection form is a document detailing a vehicle’s condition. This document is used both as verification of a vehicle’s roadworthiness and as a guide for drivers, mechanics, and safety officers in performing vehicle inspection. Performing pre-start checks and regular vehicle inspections proactively reduces risks of accidents and operational downtime.

vehicle inspection form

In this article, we will briefly discuss the following: 

What is Included in a Vehicle Inspection Checklist?

A vehicle inspection checklist is used to evaluate a vehicle’s working condition, and sometimes for a  Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR).  It aims to identify mechanical issues or defects to ensure that vehicles are in good working order and safe for use on the road. Federal laws require vehicle owners to conduct daily inspections to limit the occurrence of accidents on the road. The question is, where do you begin?

vehicle inspection checklist form

There are some areas or items in the vehicle that should be inspected daily, below are some areas that should be included in a vehicle inspection checklist

Engine oil

Use an oil dipstick to determine where the level is at, and if you should refill. Ensuring that engine oil is at the right level mitigates the risk of overheating which can result in costly repairs. It’s also one of the effective ways to maintain your engine and keep it engine healthy.

Air pressure of tires

Check tires visually before use and see if they are properly inflated because incorrect tire inflation may cause excessive wear or damage to the part. Also, look out for any signs of damage and unusual wear. Checking these daily does not only ensure safety on the road but also prolongs the life of your vehicle.

Lights

Check if the headlights, tail lights, and signal lights are all in proper working condition. This is crucial as some of these lights ensure the vehicle’s visibility to other drivers and these are especially important in situations with low visibility.

Horn

Confirm if horn works as it helps avoid collisions or other forms of accidents by making other drivers and pedestrians aware that a vehicle is nearby. If the horn isn’t functioning properly, try to investigate further since it can be a case of a bum horn or a poor ground connection.

Windshield & wipers

Ensure that there is enough water in the wiper system and check the blades regularly to keep windshield glass free of obstruction. Wiper blades do wear over time so if blades are cracked, worn, or otherwise damaged they should be repaired or replaced as necessary.

Vehicle documents & license plate

Make sure that vehicle documents are stored safely in the glovebox so they are easily retrievable whenever needed. Ensure that your license plate is clean, not obscured nor obstructed—this is to avoid license plates being deemed illegible and needing to be replaced altogether.

Engine noises

Examine engine noises as these are a great early indicator of potential bigger issues in a vehicle. Some of the common causes of abnormal engine noises include improper timing, incorrect octane, or lean air/fuel ratio. If knocking or tapping is noticed from a cold start then it could be an indicator of a serious defect.

Leaks

Scan the vehicle’s vicinity and check whether there are any leaks in or around it. The color and location of the leak can help diagnose the problem, but leaks can indicate serious problems so if any leaks are spotted then it’s important to ensure the vehicle is checked by a professional.

And other critical areas and items that you should also check regularly are the following:

  • Tires’ tread depth
  • Battery
  • Transmission
  • Steering
  • Engine belts and hoses
  • Brakes

Multi-point Inspection Checklist Vs. Vehicle Inspection Checklist: What’s the Difference?

In general, the intention of both inspection types are similar; identify issues with the vehicle before they turn into bigger, more expensive problems. The real difference lies in the way people typically use each term when referring to vehicle assessments. While a “vehicle inspection” can be both quick and short, as well as extensive and time-consuming, a multi-point inspection exclusively refers to a thorough and comprehensive assessment of a vehicle’s condition.

For example, since a daily vehicle inspection checklist is designed to be used every day, it is perfectly acceptable for it to cover only a few key areas; most of them concerning safety. Multi-point inspections, however, assess the vehicle in its entirety. This can be quite time-consuming which is why they are fewer and farther between.

The recommended frequency in which to conduct multi-point inspections with a vehicle inspection app may vary.  To be safe, it is best to perform multi-point inspections on vehicles that come in for repair or maintenance work to ensure that nothing critical is missed.

 

Vehicle Inspections App

iAuditor is the perfect tool for conducting vehicle inspections. Convert your paper vehicle inspection forms to a digital format. iAuditor allows you to conduct inspections on your mobile or tablet, take photos of vehicle defects, generate PDF reports on your mobile and securely store all data in the cloud. Preview a sample vehicle inspection report generated using the iAuditor mobile app.

To help you get started, we have provided a collection of vehicle inspection templates below for you to download and use for free.

Preview a sample on web and print PDF report.

 

Critical Communications Made Easy

Even after conducting a vehicle inspection, there’s still a possibility of an issue popping up while you’re out on the road. When this happens and the driver is unable to resolve the issue, it’s important to ask for help using Heads Up, iAuditor’s latest feature. No matter where they are, drivers can give a Heads Up to their managers, either requesting for help, letting them know the reason for a delay, or simply updating them on the status of their journey. With Heads Up, you don’t need to worry about your messages not being sent and can focus more on productive tasks as you wait for further instructions from your manager.

FAQ about Vehicle Inspection

A vehicle inspection or car inspection may take at least an hour or so to complete. Vehicle inspections involve document reviews, road test, physical inspection, and mechanical/electrical testing and inspection. It will take additional time if mechanics find major issues on the vehicle but less so if none.

Depending on local regulations, vehicles may be required to do periodic formal vehicle inspections. But as a rule of thumb, it is best to have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic at least once or twice a year. This will help you stay on top of any vehicular issues that may occur.

SafetyCulture staff writer

Carlo Sheen Escano

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.