What is included in a Multi-Point Inspection?
Vehicles these days are more durable and reliable than ever before. Evolving technology and improved materials and processes sometimes make us feel as though our vehicles are invincible! They’re not, though – and they require regular checks to make sure that important systems and components don’t fail us at a crucial time.
Plenty of car owners, truck owners, and SUV owners are capable of doing basic inspection and maintenance of their vehicle. Some things are harder to check though – not everyone has a vehicle lift in their garage to get a good look under their car, or can recognize when a component is on the verge of failure. That’s why taking your vehicle to a trained technician for a multi-point inspection is a big part of your vehicle maintenance program!
What is a Multi-Point Inspection?
A multi-point inspection – sometimes referred to as an MPI – is a comprehensive, front to back inspection of a vehicle. The mechanic who is looking at your vehicle will check out the critical parts of your vehicle and recommend if repairs and maintenance may be needed. How many points is dependent on the service center – it can range from as few as 20 to dozens of points. Commonly, it will include (but isn’t limited to):
- Chassis components
- Seat belts and restraints
- Battery health and electrical components
- Exhaust components
- Steering components
- Air filters and cabin filter
- Belts and hoses
- Shocks and struts
- Engine cooling systems
- Drive axle, transmission, and engine
- Fuel system
- Fluids – Windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, engine oil
Generally, the technician will report on these as being in the red, in the yellow, or in the green. Red indicates that attention is needed immediately or in the very near future. Yellow indicates that it is not an emergency, but repair and maintenance should be conducted soon. Green indicates that the components are fine at the present and do not need any action taken.
Why Would My Car Need One?
If you’re getting your car in for service at a dealership, they’ll likely do one as a courtesy. If they don’t offer one outright, make sure to inquire about one. If your car or truck is in for a yearly inspection, well, it’s being done anyways. But if it’s been 2 or 3 oil changes since your last inspection and you’re in for service? It’s a good time to make sure a thorough inspection is performed.
Another good time to get a multi-point inspection is if you are purchasing a vehicle from a private owner. If you’re buying a used vehicle from a dealership, they regularly perform these before putting a car or truck out on the lot. However, with a private sale, you have no guarantee of this having been done. Before you agree to any terms of the sale, having an independent mechanic or automotive technician perform an MPI is a prudent idea. They may catch something that the seller has not disclosed, or doesn’t even know about. Likewise, if you’re the seller, take the initiative and have one done before putting your vehicle up for sale.
Finally, your car may need one prior to a lengthy road trip. If you’re planning on doing a cross-country tour, you should get your vehicle checked out to prevent any breakdowns or problems that could ruin a vacation. Avoid costly and annoying breakdowns on the road!
Why Should I Get One If My Car Seems Fine?
Just because your car feels fine and drives fine doesn’t mean everything is fine underneath. Excessive wear and tear and deterioration sometimes doesn’t show itself until it’s too late.
Getting a multi-point inspection every 10,000 miles helps to give you an idea of what routine maintenance or repairs may be needed on your vehicle. Your vehicle can be punished by changes in season, changes in driving conditions, and changes in driving habits. Technicians can spot these changes that you can’t.
But the key reason you should get one regularly even if the vehicle seems fine is to make sure that your life isn’t interrupted by a detectable and avoidable problem. We all have busy lives – don’t let an issue that a trained technician could easily catch ruin your plans.
The Next Step After a Multi-Point Inspection
After you get the results of an inspection, the next step is up to you. Remember, these are recommendations and observations on the part of the technician. Consider comparing these against your owner’s manual and your recommended service intervals. Check up online and see if these are common issues, or something different. You could even go and get a second opinion! The MPI is often dependent on the technicians and shop. Some may spot problems others won’t, and some may see the same issue as having different levels of importance.
A multi-point inspection is a great maintenance tool for your vehicle.
If you have questions about our multi-point inspections, you can contact us or schedule one at Halterman’s Toyota in East Stroudsburg, PA today!