A vehicle inspection, either for a new-to-you BMW, or to find any problems before your vehicle comes off of warranty, is a very detailed procedure. The technician follows a 3 page check list, grading each component and performing many individual tests. This document is designed to inform you of exactly what is performed as well as answer any questions you may have on the procedures followed.
The test drive is the first portion of that test, gauging vehicle performance, ability to start the engine, and general feel of the engine as far as sound and smoothness. Transmission operation and general functionality of your instruments, blinkers, washers, stereo and other items are tested on the test drive. Any odd sounds or vibrations are first detected on the test drive, which helps confirm if any suspension, drive train, or steering components are found defective during the visual inspection portion.
Before the mostly visual portion of the inspection is a check of fluids. Each fluid is checked for proper level, condition, and any leaks, but in certain cases it is impossible to tell exactly where the fluids are leaking from; at this point the technician might recommend introducing DYE to the system which we could later scan for. The coolant system is pressurized to 15lbs per square inch of pressure, which helps make any leaks in the system detectable. Hoses are also checked for any visible cracks or wear, which might indicate upcoming failures. The battery’s load capacity is tested, as well as the coolant’s capabilities to protect your car in the colder weather. Dark brake fluid or power steering fluid can indicate a vehicle which may need more service than previously believed.
The visual inspection portion is next, where the brakes, suspension components, steering components, drive train components, exhaust system, and tires are checked. Belts are inspected for cracks, and easily accessible filters are checked for cleanliness. Body and paint work is inspected for possible repair, corrosion on the under carriage, all mounts and wear items are rated for condition. Any notes the technician has on the vehicle are added, things which might need attention but do not have a specific location on the inspection form, and an overall grading of the vehicle is given.
Once the inspection is completed, the service advisor will compose an estimate for recommended repairs on the vehicle. If you have any questions with regards to this process, please contact your service advisor.