Retail Service

Service bay inspection: 27 points of profitability

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If you compare what car dealerships do to prepare a pre-owned vehicle for sale to your free inspection checklist, you might find your list is incomplete.

Here are the relevant points of inspection that Mercedes-Benz dealers of Southern California include in their pre-owned vehicle program.

Engine compartment and pre-road test checks

  1. Engine oil;

  2. Transmission oil;

  3. Rear axle oil;

  4. Transfer case and front axle oils;

  5. Engine compartment/antifreeze protection;

  6. Power steering fluid;

  7. Brake fluid and clutch fluid;

  8. Windshield washer fluid;

  9. Level control oil;

10. Engine component/system -- condition check & verification;

11. Air cleaner/filter;

12. V-belts, Poly-V-belt.


13. Drive shaft flex discs, couplings and center support bearings;

14. Exhaust system/connections/supports;

15. Parking brake and cables;

16. Brake lines;

17. Tire wear (including spare); depth = 50% above tread wear indicator;

18. Brake rotors/pads (minimum of 50% pad material);

19. Shock absorbers/spring-struts;

20. Suspension inspection, self-leveling suspension;

21. Front/rear axle rubber mounts/bushings;

22. Steering play;

23. Tighten steering gear bolts;

24. Front axle ball joints;

25. Steering shock.

Post-road test inspection

26. Fluid leaks visible inspection;

27. All fluid levels (under hood).

When certifying a pre-owned vehicle at least 15 months old and with more than 18,000 miles on the odometer, the Mecedes-Benz dealers go through a 155 inspection point process.

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