The objective of this procedure is to show you how to inspect all under body components. This is a systematic visual inspection of all major vehicle systems. Be prepared to note down any faults to discuss later with your supervisor.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
- Inspect all under body components.
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:
- Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
- Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
- Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
- Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
- Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators
If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
- Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure of what these are, ask your supervisor.
Points to note
- This is a systematic visual inspection of all major vehicle systems. Be prepared to note down any faults to discuss later with your supervisor.
- The steering area inspection includes tie-rods, tire and wheel assembly, suspension bushes, shock absorbers and brake hoses.
- In the transmission area, you'll be looking for fluid leaks, tightening mounting bolts, and inspecting the clutch mechanism or shift linkage.
- Clamps and bolts may need tightening on the exhaust system and manifold pipe. You'll also be looking for signs of exhaust leaks, corrosion or deterioration.
- You'll be checking for any excess movement in driveline shafts.
- Look for leaks around the differential and check the rear shock absorbers or leaf springs.
- The fuel tank must be secure and fuel lines inspected for damage or abrasion.
Part 2: Step-by-step instruction
- Begin under vehicle visual inspection
Safely raise the vehicle to a comfortable working height. Be ready to record any faults you find, and begin your inspection at either end of the vehicle. Whichever end you choose, work systematically in one direction. Note any problems you find and discuss them with your supervisor. Pay particular attention to any fluid leaks, which will probably be the easiest problems to spot.
- Check steering area
Locate the tie-rods and move them through their operating arc. The action should be smooth without binding. The tire and wheel assembly should also move in a forward and backward direction to detect lateral movement in the tie-rod end. Look carefully for missing or torn rubber boots around tie rod ends or the steering shaft. At the same time, check the security of the steering box mountings. Inspect any rubber suspension bush for swelling or damage, and check shock absorbers for signs of damage or leaks. Inspect any wiring harness that is accessible for any obvious damage. Check the brake hoses, looking for signs of cracking or abrasions
- Check transmission area
Check the transmission mounting bolts for tightness. Trace and record the source of fluid leaks if you find any. With a manual transmission, check the clutch operating mechanism for looseness or binding. For an automatic transmission, check the shift linkage for smoothness of operation. If the transmission is electronically controlled, check any wiring for obvious damage.
- Check exhaust system
Check the tightness of the flange bolts on the engine manifold pipe. It’s also important to make sure all the clamps on the exhaust system are tight. If there is an exhaust leak, it’s usually identified by a blackish soot deposit at the source of the leak. Examine the catalytic converter, muffler and resonator for any signs of corrosion or deterioration. Check the tail pipe for any corrosion, and looseness in the mounting brackets or hangers.
- Check hand brake cables
Inspect the hand brake cable to make sure it’s not frayed, damaged or binding.
- Check driveline shafts
On any rear wheel drive vehicles, including pick-ups and SUV’s, inspect the drive shaft universal joints for signs of excess movement or rust. Rusty powder marks near the front, and rear universal joints could indicate a rusted and/or seized universal joint. To check for wear, rotate the shaft and flange in opposite directions. There should be no movement in the joint. On four-wheel drive vehicles, repeat this procedure on the front drive shaft universals
- Check differential and rear suspension area
On rear- wheel drive vehicles the rear axle housing supports the differential unit. On front-wheel drives, the differential is usually located in the transaxle housing. Inspect the pinion shaft oil seal for any obvious signs of leakage. Next, check the rear shock absorbers for any signs of physical damage or fluid leaks. Tighten all the suspension mounting bolts, noting any bolt that ‘s loose. Inspect the suspension mounting bushes for any signs of deterioration or damage. This will include any control arms or struts. If the vehicle is fitted with leaf springs, inspect the leafs for any cracks or misalignment. On a front wheel drive vehicle, inspect the rear strut assembly for any physical damage or signs of fluid leaks. Inspect the brake hoses for any obvious signs of cracking or abrasion.
- Check fuel tank area
Tighten the fuel tank mounting bolts or retaining clamp bolts, noting any bolt that’s loose. Carefully check all the fuel lines for any signs of damage or abrasions that may cause a leak.
- Discuss problems with your supervisor
After completing the inspection, discuss your list of problems with your supervisor to see what action can be taken to fix the problems