Edmonton Vehicle Inspections

Thousands of inspections are conducted annually at Access Automotive. We all know what an inspection is (some of us know this better than others). But...do you know what’s involved in each of the three different inspection levels that we do at our shop? Find out!

Vehicle inspections verify if a vehicle is safe to drive. They also determine the overall value and condition of a used vehicle when you’re buying, selling, or purchasing insurance. What’s discovered during an inspection can save you from expensive and potentially unsafe problems later.

Why we don’t separate our inspections by the number of “points”


Regardless of what inspection we are conducting, if there is anything obvious that our technicians are concerned might impact the safety of your vehicle, they will always make a note of it in our report as “items of severe safety concern”


Examples of these could include:

  • Corrosion concerns in the floorboard or frame of the vehicle
  • Severely low or no oil showing on engine level indicatorEmpty Engine Oil
  • Inoperable windows
  • Broken Engine Motor Mounts



If there are an excessive number of these concerns, we are likely to recommend a comprehensive inspection for your safety.

Types of Vehicle Inspections

When having your vehicle inspected, a technician will check it thoroughly, take it for a test drive, and report any defects, potential problems, and the overall condition of the vehicle. Below are the most common vehicle inspections in Alberta.

Insurance Inspection

Our insurance inspection has a 30 item checklist, however the exact number depends a lot on the specific car


Most insurance companies require a safety inspection on vehicles 12 years old or older to assess any risks with your vehicle being on the road before the vehicle can be insured. This basic inspection just covers the Brakes, Steering, Suspension, Exhaust, Wiper Blades, Seat Belts, General Body, Windshield, and lights. This inspection generally takes less than 1 hour.



  1. TireCondition of Tiress: tire tread depth
  2. Suspension System
  3. Steering System
  4. Brakes System
  5. Windshield
  6. Head, Tail, Signal and Brake Lights
  7. Wiper Blades
  8. Exhaust System
  9. Seat Belts
  10. Body Condition


Safety / Maintenance Inspection

This level of inspection covers the basic insurance inspection plus inspection of the vehicles’ fluids, engine drive-belt system, all Filters, Charging System, Catch-up maintenance, Drivetrain, and short road test. This inspection generally takes 1.5 hours.

Technically this inspection has a 106 item checklist, however the exact number depends a lot on the specific car


  1. What’s included in the safety inspection:
    1. Horn SystemExterior: body condition, windshield/glass, wipers, lights (head, brake, turn), 
    2. Windshield Washer System
    3. Fluids: engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, transfer case fluids, differential fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid.
    4. Instrument Warning Lights
    5. Underhood: fluid leaks, oil and coolant hoses, power steering and transmission lines, drive belts (serpentine belt), air filter, battery and charging system test, radiator condition, water pump exterior condition, coolant tank condition
    6. Under vehicle: brake pads and brake shoes if applicable, brake rotors and drums, parking brake visual inspection if accessible, tie rods, rack and pinion and other drive system components, shocks & struts, driveline (axles/CV shaft), exhaust system, fuel lines & fuel tank
    7. Tires: tire tread depth, tire wear pattern, air pressure
    8. Spare Tire



Comprehensive / Pre-Purchase Inspections

Technically this inspection has a 150 item checklist, however the exact number depends a lot on the specific car


A pre-purchase inspection covers the above inspections and added everything else the above inspections do not cover. The additional components are Heating-Ventilation system, Engine Management system, recording of any fault Codes, Air Conditioning system, Frame- Body condition, vehicle’s collision avoidance system, cosmetic, all interior electrical systems, Recalls, and much more with no-tear down involved except removing of the wheels. Longer road test. This inspection generally takes 2 hours.

  1. Engine Operation
  2. Transmission Operation
  3. Air Conditioning Operation
  4. Cruise Control
  5. Hood,Trunk, Fuel Release Cables
  6. Door Operations
  7. Fuel Tanks and Straps
  8. Wiring / Trailer Connections / Harness
  9. Engine / Transmission Mounts
  10. Interior Lights
  11. Frost Plugs
  12. Connect Scanner and read any fault codes













Vehicle Safety Inspection

The Safety Inspection is a multi-point inspection focusing on lighting, suspension, brake operation, exhaust condition and much more. Typically, this inspection lasts at least an hour and must be conducted by a licensed automotive technician.

Insurance Inspection

Most insurance companies require a safety inspection on vehicles 12 years old or older before the vehicle can be insured. This report must be completed by a Certified Automotive Technician. This inspection would cover anything pertaining to the safety components of a vehicle. Lights, Steering and Suspension …etc. 

Pre-purchase Inspection / Comprehensive Inspection

A pre-purchase inspection is an independent, third-party professional service that evaluates a vehicle’s condition before a purchase offer is made. The prospective buyer hires a qualified automotive technician who examines the target vehicle for defects, hidden damage, maintenance history, and safety, then typically provides a written evaluation report. The service results in information that the prospective buyer uses as decision support for the vehicle purchase. The focus of a pre-purchase inspection is to gather information on the vehicle's current condition.  A short road test is usually included. Inspections are performed with the permission of the seller. The buyer can be present or not present during the inspection.

The inspected areas include structural integrity, safety features, electrical and electronic systems, powertrain, suspension, fuel system, emissions, steering, comfort system (heat/air), security system, exhaust, interior, wheels and rims, and apparent state of general maintenance. Hidden damage from crashes, flood, or rough use are inspected. Important for newer vehicles is an inspection of the onboard computer system, including recently cleared computer codes. The inspector also investigates for vehicle identification alteration, salvage title, and odometer fraud.

Out Of Province Inspection

The purpose of an Out of Province Inspection ensures your vehicle meets the safety and vehicle equipment standards of Alberta. The inspection must be conducted in a licensed facility, by a journeyperson technician, licensed by the Vehicle Inspection Program to perform Out of Province Inspections. The inspection can take up to 2 hours on average to perform but may vary based on the type of vehicle.

Comprehensive Inspection

At Access Automotive, the comprehensive inspection is the same as a Pre-Purchase inspection.