Vehicles Pre-Purchase Inspection & 10 Essential Skills Automobile Technicians need to function optimally


By: Kevin Emesiobi

This article was prepared in response to cases of vehicles bought with either fixed, improperly fixed or unfixed issues that are hidden to the eyes of the buyer but sold as clean title.

Every vehicle buyer has the right by law to know the status of the vehicle as at the time it’s being paid for.

Clean titled vehicle is a vehicle without any history of damage.

Salvage titled vehicle is a vehicle that has a history of damage. The damage could be mechanical, accidental, undercarriage, theft, repossessed and or vandalized; just to mention a few.

My definition of pre-purchase inspection is simple, ‘it’s the act of knowing what you are buying before you pay for it’.

In the developed countries there are systems put in place that enables the buyer check the status of the vehicle he intends to buy, this can only be done with the Vehicle Identification Number.

The VIN is a 17 digit alphanumeric always written by the driver’s door, inside the hood or by the driver’s side of the windshield looking from outside.

Pre-purchase inspection is done by a trained technician that has a good understanding of diagnostic (using a diagnostic tool to confirm if the vehicle’s PIDs are still within its functional thresholds) and can carry out standard impact analysis just in case the vehicle has been involved in an accident.


It also involves physical inspection of components and body parts for wear and tear.

Carrying out a pre-purchase inspection will reduce after purchase repair costs; it gives a good understanding of the vehicle status thereby increasing your negotiation power.

The importance of pre-purchase inspection can never be over emphasized.

As an automobile service technician, the need for strategic development can never be over emphasized. In view of this, we will be considering skill sets that will increase effectiveness and boost interpersonal relationship in the workplace.

These skills provide the foundation for developing other skills that is required to help an individual to evolve and adapt to changes in the workplace. No individual can work in isolation irrespective of how well the person is on the job.


The skills are interrelated, essential in every occupation and can be applicable in different ways even as an automobile technician.

Below are the essential skills:
Effective listening
Document use
Oral communication (speaking)
Thinking (perspective)
Working with others (Team Work)
Digital technology
Numeracy (Mathematical Competence)
Continuous learning

What does an automobile service technician (a handy man) have to do with these skills you might ask?


Every profession has its occupational hazards as long as you would deal with people and your environment.

An Automobile Service Technician must possess the ability to read and comprehend.


During carrying out his/her duties, he/she will have to read a lot of automobile resource materials such as safety manual, user manual, workshop service manual, technical service bulletins and other automobile resources/materials.

An Automobile Service Technician must possess the ability of listening effectively.


He would have to listen to the client’s complaints, symptoms and irregular noise from the engine and other systems of the automobile.

Writing skill is also a very important skill required to be a good automobile service technician.


Every observation made on the automobile must be documented in writing to avoid complications during repairs.

An Automobile Service Technician should be able to effectively communicate with clients and colleagues in the workplace.


The need to explain to the client and your colleagues what is wrong with the vehicle and how you intend to fix it can never be over emphasized.

Proper interpretation of fault codes, flowcharts, technical schematic diagrams, complaints and symptoms; etc. is a standard means of problem solving in the automobile industry.


An Automobile Service Technician must be able to collate all these information in providing solutions.

Thought process is key to solving automobile related issues.


Our thinking pattern forms our perspective while providing solutions. As an Automobile Service Technician, you must be able to ask: ‘Why’, ‘How’ and ‘When’ and have answers to them before any repair is carried out.

Successful automobile repair is achievable by effective team work.


Some Automobile Service Technician work independently, but collaborate with colleagues within their specific area of expertise to resolve concerns.

Automobile service repair jobs became digital since the introduction of the micro chip (Brain-box) in the automobile.


The effective use of computerized scanning equipment is very important.

Information sharing amongst technicians, service managers, colleagues in other locations and manufactures support specialists are all done via digital technology.

Keyboarding and basic computer skills are an asset.

NUMERCY (Mathematical Competence:

This involves the ability to understand how numbers are used.


As a 21st Century Automobile Service Technician, due to the need to use multi-meters, oscilloscopes, freeze frame date and live data from your scan tool, the understanding of numeracy play a very important role while carrying out diagnostics for proper comparative analysis.

Continuous technological changes and advancements in the industry requires an Automobile Service Technician to constantly be abreast with these technological changes.


Certification and recertification are extremely important to keep up to date with technological advancements.

Fixing today’s automobile requires high level automobile resource material processing before embarking on a repair job.

Who is your Automobile Service Technician?


Kevin Emesiobi (Chief Technical Officer, Automation on Wheels)

Tel: +2348036750820 (WhatsApp)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here