20 Things to check while performing a Vehicle Inspection
December 19, 2022
20 Things to check while performing a Vehicle Inspection

Keep your commercial vehicles running smoothly with this step-by-step guide. Here’s a pre-trip inspection list for daily, monthly, and annual vehicle inspections. Do thorough vehicle checkups with this convenient list – learn what can get inspected from brakes and tire inspection to suspension, headlights, mirrors, seatbelt, clutch, steering, defrosters and heating, horns, windshield and wipers, airbags, and fluid levels! You can also download free daily, monthly and annual vehicle inspection checklists from our Fleet maintenance software for small business, Simply Fleet.

Any company using a fleet of vehicles needs to do regular vehicle inspections in order to ensure the smooth running of their business. Vehicle inspections are important for many reasons. They allow us to check if there are any problems with our vehicles. We can also use them to keep track of maintenance schedules and ensure that the trucks are safe and reliable.

1. Brakes 

 A squishy brake pedal could mean you need to check your brake fluid levels before getting behind the wheel. Checking your brake fluid levels before starting your car is one way to ensure it’s working properly. The brakes won't work correctly if there’s no air in the lines.

Brakes are one of the most common causes of accidents. If you notice anything unusual about your brake system, such as excessive wear, corrosion, or sticking, bring your truck to a reputable shop for repair.

2. Leaking fluids 

 Fluid leaks can occur anywhere in your vehicle. Check your oil level regularly, and keep track of how much fluid you use. If you see any signs of leakage, take your truck to a mechanic immediately.

3. Loose parts 

 Parts like hoses and belts can break without warning. Make sure everything is tight and secure before hitting the road.

4. Tires 

 The tires on your car are one of the most essential parts of your vehicle. They keep you safe while driving on the road. Tires are another area that can cause problems. Look for cracks, bulges, cuts, or uneven tread. If you find something out of place, contact a tire specialist immediately.

5. Poor alignment 

 Alignment issues can cause steering problems and poor handling. Have your alignment checked before driving long distances.

6. Lights

Vehicle lights should be checked regularly to make sure they're working properly. Check your headlights, taillights, turn signals, fog lights, backup lights, and emergency flashers. Headlights help you see better during night driving. Replace bulbs if necessary.

7. Under the Hood

Before you open up your truck, check it over carefully. There could be problems under the hood that you don't even know about. Here are some things to check:

Oil Level - If there isn't enough oil in the crankcase, the engine won't start. You'll see a dipstick sticking out of the filler neck.

Coolant Temperature - A coolant leak could cause serious damage to your engine. Look for a puddle of water near the radiator cap.

8. Steering

Change the level of power steering fluids regularly (every three months) and replace them every 2 years or based on usage.  Besides, check the belt of the power-steering system. Once the steering box has covered 100,000 km or more, it might eventually require replacement. Check it regularly. 

9. Clutch

Make sure the clutch engages and disengages correctly. Keep the accelerator pressed down and move the car into drive. The gears should smoothly shift without any noise.

Check the fluid levels in hydraulic clutches and check the condition of the cables in cable-operated clutches. The clutch should not be slipping and should not have any unpleasant smell or sound.

10. Mirrors

Without your side and rearview mirror, you are driving blind. Your side and rearview mirror should be clean and clear. Mirrors are mandatory for parking the vehicle, changing lanes, and being aware of other vehicles around us on the road.

Download Icon

Free Fleet Management Checklists and Templates

11. Emergency equipment 

Make sure all the emergency equipment like a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, flashlight, etc are available in the vehicle in case of any contingency. 

12. Seat Belts

Seat Belts provide the required security to the truck driver, especially in case of any accidents. You need to make sure the seat belts get secured well so can don't get stuck.

13. Horns

With the ever-increasing traffic on highways, the role of horns is critical. Make sure the horn is loud enough and you blow the horn a few times to check if it’s working well.

14. Defrosters and Heating

Defrosters and heaters are the basic requirements during the cold winter months. The heater keeps the driver warm and shielded from the harsh cold weather outside. The fog or frost on the windshield makes it difficult for the truck driver to have a clear view of the road ahead. To ensure the safety of all the defrosters have to be analyzed to check if hot air blows from them. 

15. Check windshield wiper blades

Wipers clean off dirt and debris from your windshield. Blades must be replaced regularly.

Check your windshield wipers regularly. Look at them while driving down a highway. If there are streaks on your windshield, your windshield wiper blades might need replacing.

16. Check battery voltage.

Your battery is responsible for starting your vehicle. If it doesn't hold a charge, you're likely to experience trouble getting your engine running. A low battery can cause problems such as stalling, overheating, or even fire.

17. Check turn signals.

 Turn signals alert drivers behind you about your intentions. They work best when they are working correctly.

18. Suspension

A suspension system consists of four main components: springs, shocks/struts, bushings, and control arms. Springs are used to absorbing road bumps and vibrations. Shocks help dampen the impact of hard landings. Bushings connect the spring and shock together. And control arms to keep everything aligned properly.

Your vehicle's suspension system should be checked periodically to make sure it works correctly. If you notice anything unusual about your suspension, such as excessive noise, leaking fluids, or shaking, contact your local mechanic immediately.

19. Bumpers

Check if the front and rear bumpers are secured. There should not be any kind of damage on the bumpers.


There are many benefits associated with performing vehicle inspections. For instance, we can save time and money by regularly checking our vehicles. These inspections may prevent us from having to spend hours repairing expensive parts. Also, we can avoid accidents caused by mechanical issues. Finally, we can reduce the risk of theft and vandalism.

Some critical items to be checked have been mentioned above. You can download a comprehensive vehicle inspection checklist from our website. Click the links given below to download the checklists.

Daily Vehicle Inspection Checklist

Monthly Vehicle Inspection checklist

Do you want our help to manage your fleet?

Unlock the Benefits of a Fleet Management System

Simply Fleet is free to try. No Credit card required. Why wait? Start Now.