2PurposeEvery vehicle that enters the shop must have a completed Courtesy Inspection ReportThe Courtesy Inspection Report identifies any problems or damage to the vehicle that was present when the vehicle arrived at PCIThe report also provides the owner of the vehicle with written documentation of any safety or service concerns that were observed by the technician prior to any service on the vehicle.
3VIN numberEvery vehicle manufactured since 1981 has a unique 17 character Vehicle Identification Number [VIN]The VIN number may be needed to find service procedures and specifications in AllData, Identifix and for ordering partsThe VIN number is also needed when setting up a scan tool to interface with the vehicles computer networkThe VIN number is found on the left side of the windshield [drivers side] and also on the drivers door pillar
4Model YearThe model year is the 10th digit of the VIN
6Model YearThe model year can also be found on the emissions placard normally located under the hood on top of the radiator support panelThis placard is often called the VECI lable [Vehicle Emission Control Information]
7Parking brakePrior to driving the car into the shop apply the parking brake when the vehicle stopped in an area where there is room for the vehicle to move safely if the parking brake does not holdPut the transmission into drive and release the foot brakeThe vehicle should not move when there is no pressure applied to the gas pedal
8Parking brakeIt should take about 5 clicks in the parking brake ratchet for the brake to be tight enough to prevent the vehicle from moving.
9Parking brake – manual transmission Find a place in the parking lot where it will be safe to test the parking brakeApply the parking brakeWith the engine running put the transmission into 1st gearWithout depressing the gas pedal slowly engage the clutchThe engine should stall and the vehicle should not moveIf the vehicle moves the parking brake is not working properly
10Parking brakeAfter testing the it’s holding ability release the parking brake and check to see if the vehicle rolls freelyVehicles with automatic transmissions should creep normally when the foot brake is releasedVehicles with manual transmissions should coast when the vehicles is moving slowly [ 1 to 2 mph] and the clutch pedal is fully depressed
11Warning lightsAs you are driving the vehicle into the shop check the instrument panel for any unusual warning lights
12Brake warning lightIf the brake warning light remains illuminated when the parking brake is off it is likely that there is a problem with the brake hydraulic systemIf the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir is low enough to trip the warning light there is a leak somewhere in the brake hydraulic system
13Brake warning light Some vehicles have two brake warning lights Parking brake indicatorHydraulic system failure indicatorSome vehicles have two brake warning lightsOne light is used to indicate if the parking brake is setThe other light indicates a brake hydraulic system failure
14Brake pad warning light Some vehicles have wear sensors embedded in brake padsWhen the pads wear down to the minimum thickness the warning light is trippedA separate warning indicator light is used to distinguish pad wear from hydraulic failure
15ABS warning lightIf the ABS warning light is illuminated when the brakes are not applied and the car is not in motion there is a failure in the ABS systemIf the ABS system is deactivated the brakes will work normally but if a wheel were to begin to lock during a stop the ABS system could not prevent the wheel from locking, which could result in a loss of steering controlThe ABS warning light will usually flash when a fault is detected. On some vehicle the ABS light will flash a code indicating what component has failed
16Tire pressure warning indicator All cars built since MY 2007 have a wireless Tire Pressure Monitoring System [TPMS]The TPMS warning light illuminates when the pressure in any tire drops below 80% of the nominal air pressureResetting the tires to the correct pressure should turn the warning light off
17Charging system indicator The charging system indicator illuminates when the charging system voltage drops below 13.5 voltsA broken serpentine belt is the most common cause of a charging system failure but a defective alternator / voltage regulator can also cause the light to come onSince the serpentine belt also drives the water pump and power steering pump the vehicle should never be driven when this light is illuminated
18Oil pressure warning indicator The oil pressure indicator is typically illuminated when oil pressure is below 10 psiWhen oil pressure is between 10 and 15 psi the light may flickerDriving the vehicle with an illuminated oil pressure light could severely damage the engine
19Coolant temperature warning light The coolant temperature warning light normally illuminates when the temperature of the coolant exceeds 230 degrees F.Some vehicles have a coolant level sensor that has a slightly different symbol and normally is labeled ‘low coolant’ or ‘check coolant’Never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot!
20SIR warning lightThe air bag system is called the Supplementary Inflatable Restraint system [SIR]If the SIR light is illuminated the system has failed its power on self test and the SIR system has been disabled by the SIR moduleIn the event of an accident none of the air bags will inflateIn some systems the SIR light flashes when a system failure is detected and is illuminated constantly if the SIR module is disconnected
21Check Engine lightThe ‘Check Engine’ light indicates that the vehicle’s self diagnostics system has detected a failure that will cause the vehicle’s emissions to exceed 150% of the federal emissions limits for that model / yearThe vehicle will not pass a state emissions test if the check engine light is illuminatedIn most cases you can continue to drive the vehicle although performance and fuel economy may be diminished
22Check Engine lightA flashing ‘Check Engine’ light indicates a engine misfire that is severe enough to damage the catalytic converter. The vehicle should not be driven until the misfire has been repairedIf the ‘Check Engine’ light is illuminated connect a scan tool to the vehicle’s OBDII diagnostic connector to read the code
23Service reminder lights Service reminder lights are commonly used for oil change intervals and are driven by the accumulated mileage since the service reminder was resetSome service reminders such as belt wear indicators are driven by sensors that are triggered when a component reaches it’s wear limit
24Warning light prove out mode The instrument control module sends power to all of the warning lights in the instrument cluster for about 3 seconds after the ignition key is turned from off to runThis allows the operator and the service technician to verify that all of the bulbs [LEDs] in the instrument cluster are working properly
25Record any illuminated warning lights If there are any warning lights illuminated in the comments block of the inspection report
26Check the operation of the lights If the bay that you are working in does not have convex mirrors at both ends you will need an assistant to help you check the lightsTurn the headlight switch to the parking light position to check the operation of the front and rear parking lights and side marker lightsMost modern cars have 2 bulbs at each corner – one facing forward or back and the other facing toward the side. Make sure both bulbs are working
27Parking lightsThis vehicle’s headlight control module sends low current to the high beam bulb when the light switch is in the parking light positionWide dispersion forward facing bulbNarrow dispersion high beam bulb projects light up to ½ mileWide dispersion sideways facing bulb
28License plate lightsThe license plate lights are powered by the parking light circuitIf there are two bulbs both must be working
29Brake lightsWith the parking lights turned on have your assistant press the brake pedal and check that all 3 brake lights illuminateIf any of the parking lights go out when the brake lights turn on there is likely a bad ground in the parking/brake light circuit
30Turn signalsWith the key in the run position and the headlights turned on apply the turn signalsThe turn signals should cycle once every two seconds. The cycle rate in a left turn should be the same as in a right turnThe indicator lights in the instrument cluster should flash at the same rate as the bulbsVehicles with side marker lights or lights incorporated in the outside mirrors should flash in unison with the front and rear turn signal lights
31Turn signalsThe functioning of the turn signal lights should be checked with the parking lights on and offA bad ground in the light assembly is often only apparent when the parking lights are onThe intensity of the right side turn signal light should be the same as the left side lightThis may occur if the wrong type of bulb is installedIt can also be caused by a bad groundThe turn signals should also be checked with the brake pedal depressedA bad ground in the brake light wiring can effect the operation of the turn signals
32Backup lightsPut the transmission in reverse [key in run - engine off] and check to see if the reverse lights operateOn a manual transmission vehicle you will normally need to depress the clutch pedal fully to get the gear selector to fully engage reverse gear. If the gear lever is not fully engaged the back up light switch will not turn on
33Headlights low beamTurn the headlight switch on and operate the high/low beam stalkCheck the operation of the high and low beams and check that the intensity of the lights is the same – left and right
34Headlights high beamIdeally the headlights are projected onto the garage door or a uncluttered wall to determine if there are major problems with headlight aiming.Any irregularities in headlight aiming should be noted
35Headlights – instrument lights With the headlights turned on make sure all the instrument lights are working [light bulbs that illuminated analog gauges].Blown bulb in this quadrantTurn the instrument light dimmer to the max and observe the gauges to see that all of them are illuminated
36Headlight coversDull, scratched and yellowed headlight lenses [clear plastic covers over the reflector] should be noted
37Dome lightThe light in the ceiling of the vehicle is called the ‘dome light’Make sure it illuminates when the door is opened and goes out when the door is closedIf the dome light does not operate make sure it has not been turned off manually by operating the manual control switch on the light
38Wipers and washersWith the ignition key in the run position operate the wipers on all speedsMake sure the wiper arms return to the ‘park’ position at the base of the windshield when the wiper switch is turned offOperate the washer pump and make sure the washer nozzles are not plugged up and are properly aimed
39Rear wiper / washerDon’t forget to check the operation of the rear wiper / washer
40Wipers and washersObserve the windshield while operating the washers. Heavy streaks of liquid on the windshield are evidence of worn wiper bladesIf the vehicle is equipped with a rear window wiper/washer check it’s operation as well
41Horn Operate the horn and listen to the tone Most vehicles have dual horns produce two distinct tones that together make a more pleasant soundIf the horn sounds weak or anemic its possible that only one of the horns is working
42Centering the vehicle on the lift ABPCAUTOThe vehicle must be positions as close as possible to the center of the lift
43Setting the vehicle on a lift Have a spotter help guide you onto the liftThe vehicle must be centered on the lift. If the distance between the drivers door and the left lift post is 2’6’’ and the passenger side is 3’6” the vehicle must be backed off the lift and repositioned so that the distance between the doors and post is nearly equal
44Centering the vehicle on the lift ABThe vehicle must not be at an angle to the center line of the lift
45Centering the vehicle on the lift The weight of most passenger vehicles is concentrated toward the front of the vehicleThe vehicle should be placed so that the center of gravity is as close as possible to a line connecting the centers of the two lift postsA tire stop plate is normally bolted to the floor where the left front tire should be positioned to set the vehicles center of gravity between the lift posts.Vehicles with long wheel bases or with a neutral or rearward weigh bias should be place so the left front tire is in front of the tire stopTire stop
46Tire stopMost passenger cars are properly positioned when the left front tire is centered in the tire stop
47Tire stop position Tire stop Wheel base less than 105” Wheel base 105” to 127”Wheel base larger than 127”
48Jacking pointsFor most unibody vehicles the pads for the lift arms should be placed directly under the pinch weld at the bottom of the rocker panel
49Pinch weldRocker panelFloor panelPinch weldThe pinch weld is the point on the car body where the floor connects to the rocker panelsThe rocker panels on a unit body vehicle are made of heavy gauge steel and are the ideal location for the lift pads to support the weight of the vehicle
51Jacking pointsWheel archPinch weldRocker panelThe lift pads should be placed as close as possible to the wheel arch but still underneath the pinch weld
52Jacking points -Full frame vehicles Older domestic rear drive passenger cars, pickup trucks and larger SUVs often have framesThe lift pads must be setup on the frame and not on the rocker panels
53Jacking points -Full frame vehicles Body bushing [mount]Rocker panelFrame railThe rocker panels on vehicles with full frames are made of light gauge metal and will bend if vehicle is raised with the lift pads in contact with themIf the rocker panel extends below the frame rail the lift pads will need to be screwed upward so that the rocker panel does not contact the lift arm
54Jacking points -Full frame vehicles Rocker panelFrame railExtensionPickup trucks and full size vans often have frame rails that are several inches inboard and several inches above the rocker panelsTo prevent damage to the rocker panels when lifting the vehicle lift pad extensions are attached to the lift pad
55Lift pad extensionsNote damage to rocker panel when vehicle was raised without pad extensions
56Lift arm positionFrontFor maximum stability and safety the arms of the lift should be extended as far apart as possible
57Unstable - lift arm position FrontIf the lift arms are too close together the vehicle becomes unstable.There is a possibility of the vehicle could fall off of the lift
58Rear suspension dead axle Other pick up pointsFront sub-frameRear suspension dead axleIn some cases we wont be able to use the pinch weld while still having the lift arms spread as wide as possibleThe front sub-frame is robust enough to allow it to be used as an alternative lifting pointSome parts of the rear suspension can also be used as lifting points. Check with you instructor before raising the vehicle
59The vehicle must be level Do not raise a vehicle in a upward or downward pitch attitudeIn this configuration the vehicle could slide off of the lift pads.This could result in personnel injury and damage to the vehicle
60Test the vehicle setup by shaking Once your satisfied that the vehicle and lift pads are positioned properly raise the vehicle about 18” off the floor and shake it by pressing up and down and side to side on the bumpersIf the vehicle moves or if on of the lift pads is not in contact with the pinch weld or frame lower the vehicle and re-position the lift pads
61Pneumatic safety latch release button Raising the vehiclePump motor switchPneumatic safety latch release buttonDepressing the pneumatic safety latch release while the pump motor is operating will reduce the noise level while the vehicle is raised
62Hydraulic control valve Lowering the vehicleHydraulic control valveThe pneumatic safety release must be depressed while the hydraulic control valve is activated
63DroplightsYou can’t perform a visual inspection of the undercarriage of vehicle in the dark. A droplight is one of the most important tools in the technicians toolboxCorded incandescent droplights are still commonly used in the trade but the heat produced by the bulb can burn skin and can damage plastic vehicle componentsIn incandescent drop light should never be used around flammable liquids [gasoline, motor oil, solvents etc.]
64LED rechargeable work light Rechargeable LED work lights are popular because:They generate very little heatThey can last for several hours on an overnight chargeThey operate at low voltage levels which makes them much safer when working around flammable liquidsCordless design makes them much easier to use in tight places [under the dash etc.]
66Brake inspectionThe condition of the front brake pads can sometimes be seen through the wheel spokes with the aid of a small flashlight.
67Brake InspectionAnchor bracketThe amount of pad wear can also be visually gauged by how far the pad has recessed into the anchor bracketBrake Pad
68Brake inspectionPlastic pad wear gauges can be used to measure pad thickness.
69Brake InspectionThe thickness of the inboard pad can often be seen with the aid of a small flashlight
70Check for brake dragCheck the amount of drag in the brakes as you rotate the wheels by handIf there is a large amount of drag when you try to rotate the wheels there could be a binding caliper or frozen parking brake cables.
71Flexible brake hosesCheck the flexible brake hoses for cracking, blistering and twisting.
72Steel brake linesCheck the steel brake lines for evidence of leakage or excessive rust at the hydraulic connections.
73Check for brake fluid leaks Check the bottom of the backing plate for evidence of brake fluid.Leaking fluids will collect at the bottom of the backing plate
74Rear brake inspectionParking brake lever should contact the stop on the cable bracketCheck for fluid leakage from the shock absorber sealCheck the rear calipers for evidence of fluid leaks, loose caliper mounting bolts and sticking or frozen parking brake cables.You can sometimes get a glimpse of the thickness of the inboard pads without removing the wheels.
75Steering rack bootsThe rubber boots that protect the inner tie rod ends should be inspected for tears and damage.Fluid leaking from the boot on a hydraulic power steering rack indicates leaking rack seals.
76Steering rack fluid leaks Front sub-framePower Steering fluid dripping down the side of the rack housing can usually be traced to the pinion shaft seal.
77Check the upper part of the shock absorber for evidence of leaking fluid. Check the shock bushings [top and bottom] for splitting and cracking.Shock Absorbers
78Shock bushingsRubber bushingInspect the shock absorber bushings [upper and lower ends] for evidence of cracking or other damage
79Strut seal is inside the boot Check for strut leaksStrut bootStrut seal is inside the bootCheck the area near the strut seal for evidence of fluid leaks.Check the strut boot for tears or deterioration.
80Stabilizer link bushings Stabilizer bar linksInspect the stabilizer [sway] bar links and the four link bushings for splitting and cracking.Stabilizer barStabilizer link bushings
81Tie rod inspectionPushPullGrab a hold of the tire at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock and twist back and forth to see if there is play in the tie rods
82Ball joint inspectionPushGrab a hold of the tire at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock and push/pull to see if there is play in the ball jointsSome suspension types need to be tested with the weight of the vehicle supported by the control armsPull
83Tie rod visual inspection Visually inspect the tie rod ends for torn boots and other damage
84Tie rod shake testShake the tie rod up and down and side to side to check for looseness in the tie rod ends
85Damaged tie rod bootsCheck the tie rods and ball joints for split or damaged tie rod boots.
86Ball joint visual inspection Visually inspect the ball joint boots for leaks and tears
87Fluid leaksExamine the oil pan and the sides of the engine block for fluid leaks.
88Fluid leaks from bellhousing Bell housing drain holeMost vehicles have a small drain hole at the bottom of the transmission bellhousing.Engine oil dripping from this hole indicates a leaking rear main [engine] seal.Transmission fluid would indicate a leaking torque converter hub seal and possibly a bad torque converter hub bushing.
89Outboard constant velocity joints Check for rips, tears and grease leaking out of the outboard CV joints.
90Inboard constant velocity joint boots Check for leaking axle sealsCheck for grease leaking out of the rubber boots in the inboard CV joints.
91Checking Universal joints Pinion flangeRust around the trunions indicates the u-joint has failedTwist the drive shaft back and forth while holding the pinion flange to see if there is any play in the u-joint.
92Rubber universal joints Check for signs of cracking hereCheck pinion seal for leakageRubber universal joints should be checked for signs of cracking.
93Catalytic converter rattle test Rap on the bottom of the catalytic converter with your fistIf is a rattling noise is heard the converter may be damagedIf the converter is hot use a rubber mallet
94Exhaust system inspection Grab a hold of the exhaust pipes a several points and shake it side to side and up and downIf a clunking noise is heard there may be broken exhaust hangers
96Tire tread depth gaugeTread depth gauge measure the depth of the tire grooves in 1/32” increments
97Poor man’s tread depth gauge 2/32”A penny can be used as a simple gauge to evaluate tread depth
98Tire inflation pressure The correct tire inflation pressures are listed in the tire placard which is located on the drivers door jamb
99Tire inflation pressure The tire pressure printed on the sidewall should never be used as the basis for the tire pressure setting.The tire pressure setting is determined by the weight of the vehicle and the design of the tire
100Measuring tire pressure To measure tire pressure hold the end of the tire pressure gauge firmly against the tire stem
101Adding pressure Each line on the scale equals 2 psi Read the scale hereEach line on the scale equals 2 psiThe gauge here reads 24 psi
102Adding pressure Air pressure is added to the tire using a ‘tire chuck’ Hold the chuck firmly against the tire stem for a few seconds to raise tire pressure 5 psi
103Setting correct tire pressure Excess pressure can be bled off by depressing the Schrader valve for a few secondsThe pin on the back of the pressure gauge is provided for this purpose
104Abnormal tire wear patterns Under inflationOver inflationThis tire was driven for an extended period with low air pressureThis tire was driven for an long time with too much air pressure
105Toe out wearLeftRightWhen the inside edges of both tires on an axle are excessively worn the vehicle is in need of a wheel alignment.
106Toe in wearLeftRightExcessive wear on the outside edges of both tires on an axle are also caused by alignment problemsIn this case the wheels are towed in
107Edge wear on only one tire If only one tire shoe evidence of edge wear it is likely the result of excessive positive or negative camber on that wheelAn alignment is needed to correct this problem
108Sidewall scuffingCheck the inside sidewalls of the front tires and the inner fender wells for evidence of scuffing between the fender and tireSuspension modifications, incorrect tires or incorrect rims can allow the tires to rub against the fenders during hard cornering
110Engine oil level Not all modern cars have a dipstick for the oil level Some late model cars have an oil level sensor in the oil panIf the oil level drops below a minimum value a warning light [message] will appear on the instrument cluster
111Engine oil levelThe twist in the dipstick keeps the dipstick from contacting the inner surface of the dipstick tube preventing false readingsDots on the dipstick are used to indicate the minimum and maximum levelSome dipsticks have marks for hot and cold levels
112Oil viscosityIf the oil level needs to be topped off the correct oil viscosity is printed on the oil filler cap
113Dipstick o-ringThe dipstick is sealed to the dipstick tube by an o-ringMake sure the dipstick is pushed all the way down into the dipstick tube so that air cannot enter the crankcase through the tubeThis could cause a drivability problem and could trigger the ‘check engine’ light.Also, the PCV [Positive Crankcase Ventilation] system will not function as designed is loose
114Removing radiator capNever remove the radiator cap when the engine is hotSerious personal injury can result if the cap is remove while the engine is still hotWait until the upper radiator hose is warm to the touch before removing the cap
115Checking the level of coolant The coolant in the expansion tank is normally visible from the outsideThe expansion tank provides room for the coolant to expand as the engine heats upFull line
116Radiator should be full The radiator should be full to the topIf it is not and the expansion tank has a normal coolant level the radiator cap is faulty or the filler neck in the radiator is damaged
117Surge tankMany cooling systems use a pressurized tank to allow for coolant expansionThe pressure cap is located on the surge tank and it replaces the radiator capThe surge tank is normally located on the inner fender or firewallThreaded pressure cap
118Topping off antifreeze If coolant needs to be add check AllData for the correct antifreeze typeThere are four common types of antifreeze used in modern cars and although they all chemically compatible it is a best practice to use the same type of antifreeze as the manufacture recommends when topping off the coolant levelThe color of the antifreeze varies among brands and is not a good indicator of the type of antifreeze
119Checking antifreeze concentration A hydrometer, refractometer or antifreeze tester should be used to check if the antifreeze concentration is sufficient to prevent the coolant from freezing in sub zero weatherA freezing point of -40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower is recommended for all vehicles
120Brake fluid levelThe brake fluid reservoir is translucent which allows you to see the fluid level without removing the cap.If the fluid level is between the Min and Max line do not top offThe fluid level drops as the pads wear. If fluid is added to the reservoir the extra fluid will overflow and may leak onto the paintwork when new pads are installedIf the fluid level is below the Min line there is a hydraulic leak that must be repaired before the vehicle is drivenMax line
121Clutch master cylinder If the fluid in the clutch master cylinder is below the Min line there is a leak in the hydraulic clutch system that must be repaired
122Power steering fluid level Most late model cars have a remote power steering reservoir mounted on the inner fenderOlder cars and trucks normally have the PS fluid reservoir mounted directly on the pump
123Windshield washer fluid Sometimes the tank is mounted behind the fender well where the fluid level cannot be seenA dipstick in the cap is used to measure the fluid level
124Automatic transmission fluid Most vehicles require that the ATF [Automatic Transmission Fluid] level be checked with the engine running and the transmission hotThe ATF level is best checked after the vehicle has been driven for about 5 milesMany FWD cars have thermostatic valves that have thermostatic valves the alter the fluid levels in different sections of the transaxle as temperature changes
125Auto trans fluid level, color and smell The fluid level should be at the full / hot mark after 5 miles of drivingThe fluid color should be pink and should not have any bubbles or foamFluid that is black and smells burnt is cause for concern and should be noted on the report
126Radiator hose condition The radiator hoses should be examined for cracking and swellingRadiator hoses deteriorate from the inside outA bad hose can often be detected by squeezing the end of the hose near the radiatorA bad hose is soft and squishy compared to a new hose
127Heater hosesThe heater hoses should be visually inspected for cracks and loose or damaged hose clamps
128Accessory drive beltsOn manually tensioned belts you should not be able to twist the belt with your fingers more than 90 degrees
129Accessory drive beltsDrive belts should be checked for condition and tension [manually tensioned belts]The lower radiator hose will not collapse when squeezed because it has an internal spring
130Battery terminals and hold down Visually inspect the battery terminals for corrosionCheck to see if terminals are tight by twisting them with your fingersMake sure the battery hold down holds the battery firmly on the battery tray
131Complete the reportAnything that you find that is out of the ordinary should be written on the inspection reportIf necessary use the back side of the report for additional comments