Simple question, simple answer: an end-of-warranty inspection will tell you everything that’s not 100% right with your vehicle. You can then have all necessary repairs done before the warranty expires—i.e., at the manufacturer’s expense and in your dealership’s repair shop. Great deal, right?

Obviously, the whole question of safety is important as well: some mechanical failures can lead to accidents or even cause serious injuries. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention…

 

What’s involved in the inspection?

Having an end-of-warranty inspection done is like giving your car a full-body x-ray: you’ll get a comprehensive report on the vehicle’s condition. The multi-point checks include:

  • bodywork;
  • brakes (includes wheel disassembly);
  • suspension;
  • exhaust system;
  • cooling system;
  • engine performance (includes computer analysis); and
  • performance during a road test.

A good inspection, obviously, includes a clear report specifying what repair work is required, whether urgent or not, as well as recommended preventive repairs.

 

Two vehicles, two worrisome sets of findings!

Here are two very instructive examples of consumers who weren’t sure having their vehicle inspected before the warranty expiration date was worth it, but realized how wrong they were. The findings speak for themselves!

 

2011 Kia Forte 2010 Subaru Forester
  • Problem No. 1: Brake line perforated by rust, with fluid leaking
  • Possible consequence: loss of braking power, potentially leading to an accident and serious injuries
  • Normal cost of the repair: approximately $500
  • Problem: Leaking head gasket
  • Possible consequence: worsening oil leak, which can lead to an engine defect
  • Normal cost of the repair: approximately $1,500

  • Problem No. 2: Detached suspension bushings
  • Possible consequences: change in road handling, misaligned wheels and premature tire wear
  • Normal cost of the repair: approximately $300
      
Savings thanks to the inspection: $800, plus potentially disastrous consequences averted! Savings thanks to the inspection: $1,500

 

That should convince you! If you don’t know the details of your vehicle warranty, you can find them in your owner’s manual (you know, that booklet tucked away in your glove compartment…!).

You can also take a look at the results of CAA-Quebec's 2016 study of new-vehicle warranties to check the length of each element of your vehicle warranty. Be sure to have the mechanics inspected before the end of coverage to avoid potential expenses, which could be in the hundreds of dollars.

 

Also, read our Car repair and maintenance precautions..

Find a Vehicle Inspection Centre.