Vehicle Inspections; The Difference Between “Courtesy” and “Bumper-to-Bumper”

4 08 2010

Dale BertramYour vehicle’s car care provider take the safety of your vehicle very seriously. You have chosen your car care professional because you trust them and look on them as the experts in their chosen career.  These professionals know you can get your oil changed in about ten minutes at a local quickie lube. The difference is the young person working there is not a technician.  The majority is working their way through college and the automotive field is not their chosen major. When you choose a shop with certified technicians and certified master technicians you get experts.  These dedicated professionals are educated in the field of vehicle service and repair.  They spend money each year on continuing education so they are always up to date on the latest in vehicle service and repair.

Their vehicle inspections reflect this.  They usually come in two varieties…the Courtesy Inspection and the Bumper-to-Bumper Inspection.  They may have different titles depending on the shop, but whatever they call it, here is the difference!  I think you will get the idea.

The Courtesy Inspection is a “visual” inspection and takes a few minutes to perform.  The technician will look for obvious problems such as tires that look low in air, leaks, frayed wiper blades, corroded battery terminals, a dirty air filter and a few more items.  If something is obviously wrong they will of course tell you about it so you can make an informed decision on fixing it now or later.

The Bumper to Bumper Inspection is “hands on” and takes about an hour to perform.   This is a very thorough inspection.  An inspection every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on your vehicle and your driving habits, keeps your car reliable. 

Your car is the patient of an automotive shop.  It is treated much like your doctor or dentist treats you and your health needs or the vet treats your pet’s needs. A good shop will always let you know what can wait, what should be done but isn’t critical to your vehicle’s operation at this time and which item(s) should be serviced or repaired right now. 

Hopefully this helps you understand more fully the difference between a courtesy and a bumper-to-bumper inspection. 

Happy Motoring,




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