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Automotive Inspection Sheets

An automotive inspection sheet is a comprehensive checklist automotive technicians use to assess a vehicle's condition. For states that do not have mandatory state inspections, what a shop chooses to include on its automotive inspection sheet will vary slightly. Additionally, there are different standard inspection sheets for different purposes. For example, a routine checkup inspection sheet will have fewer topics than a pre-purchase inspection. 

Components of an Effective Automotive Inspection Sheet

A comprehensive automotive inspection sheet should encompass several key areas to ensure a thorough examination. Here are the essential elements to include:

1. Vehicle Information

Start with basic details like make, model, year, VIN, and mileage. It is also important to note their last service date and past services.

2. Engine and Transmission

Check for leaks, the condition of belts and hoses, fluid levels, and the battery. Ensuring the engine and transmission are in good working order is fundamental for vehicle safety and performance.

3. Brakes and Suspension

Examine brake pads, rotors, and fluid levels. Inspect the suspension system for wear or damage. These components are vital for the vehicle's safe handling.

4. Tires and Wheels

Evaluate tire tread depth, wear patterns, and pressure. Check the condition of the wheels and alignment. Properly maintained tires are crucial for safety and fuel efficiency.

5. Lights and Electrical Systems

Test all lights, including headlights, brake lights, and turn signals. Check the condition of the wiring and battery.

6. Interior and Exterior Inspection

Assess the condition of the vehicle's body for any damage or rust. Check the interior for functionality of gauges, air conditioning, and other comfort features.

7. Safety Features

Ensure that safety features like seatbelts, airbags, and emergency brakes function correctly. 

View our list of 26 items to include on your inspection sheet here.

Digital Automotive Inspection Sheet

While traditional automotive inspection sheets are paper-based, there is a growing trend towards digital formats, providing several advantages. The key benefits of using a digital automotive inspection sheet are:

Enhanced Accuracy: 

Auto shop owners can configure digital inspection sheets to include mandatory fields, ensuring technicians inspect all critical topics. Mandatory fields prevent the common pitfall of incomplete and inconsistent paper checklists.

Consistency is crucial in automotive inspections. An inconsistent approach can lead to overlooked issues, resulting in potential safety hazards or costly repairs down the line. A digital automotive inspection sheet ensures all technicians follow a standardized process every time. Inspection consistency is beneficial for maintaining vehicle health and compliance with safety regulations and standards.

Increased Transparency: 

Digital inspection sheets can incorporate photos or videos, offering a more detailed and precise depiction of the vehicle's condition. These digital inspection reports can be sent directly to a customer's smartphone or email, enabling them to see exactly what the technician sees on their vehicle. Photographic proof of their vehicle's condition, when coupled with educational content, eliminates any doubt on the necessity of repairs. Here is an example of AutoVitals' digital vehicle inspection reports: 

Brake Fluid DVI

Improved Data Storage and Retrieval: 

Digital inspection sheets allow for efficient storage and retrieval of historical vehicle records. Moreover, digital storage reduces the risk of losing or damaging physical sheets, ensuring important data is safely archived. 


DVI - inspection sheet-ipad

Above is an example of a digital inspection sheet from AutoVitals



Automotive inspection sheets are imperative to ensure technicians thoroughly inspect every vehicle. The shift from paper to digital automotive inspection sheets represents a significant advancement in vehicle maintenance. The benefits of consistency, accuracy, transparency, and efficient data management contribute to a more thorough and reliable inspection process. Consistency in inspection is critical for vehicle safety, performance, and longevity, and a well-structured inspection sheet is a key component in achieving this. By including all necessary elements in an automotive inspection sheet, technicians can ensure comprehensive vehicle care, safeguarding both the driver and the vehicle. As we continue to embrace technological advancements in the automotive industry, the importance of digital tools like automotive inspection sheets in enhancing vehicle maintenance and safety cannot be overstated.

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