What To Include In A Car Tune-Up Checklist

Last Updated: January 11, 2024
An automotive technician performing car diagnostics‚Äč

If you are managing a fleet of cars, you know that a breakdown means more than an inconvenience ‚ÄĒ it is a disruption that impacts the entire operation of your business.

Performing regular maintenance with a tune-up checklist will help you inspect every area of your vehicle, maintain your fleet’s reliability and minimize unexpected downtime.

We’ll share what to include in your car tune-up checklist, explain the benefits of switching to digital checklists and present our mobile forms solution, doForms.

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What Is A Car Tune-Up Checklist?

A car tune-up checklist is a structured document that outlines the findings of a systematic inspection and maintenance routine for a vehicle.

Its purpose is to optimize performance, prevent breakdowns and prolong your car’s longevity.

A car tune-up checklist is used by businesses with vehicle fleets, such as car rental agencies, shuttle and delivery services, taxi companies and emergency services.

The checklist includes points for inspecting and servicing essential items, such as fluid levels, engine components, ignition system, brakes, suspension, steering, tires and battery.

Benefits Of A Digital Car Tune-Up Checklist

From transitioning seamlessly between tasks to ensuring accurate and paperless record-keeping, digital tune-up checklists offer multiple advantages.

Benefits of digital checklists include:

  • Efficiency and time savings: Digital car tune-up checklists are beneficial in garage and busy workshop settings where paper documentation can become cumbersome and messy. Digital checklists enable swift data entry and real-time updates. Automotive technicians or mechanics can complete inspections on electronic devices, minimizing data entry errors and saving valuable time compared to manual processes.
  • Remote accessibility: Digital checklists can be accessed remotely, allowing maintenance teams to collaborate effectively on the go. Supervisors or managers can review and monitor the inspection progress, address issues and provide guidance without being physically present at the inspection site.
  • Automated data analysis: Digital tune-up checklists can be used to process and analyze inspection data, providing actionable insights into potential issues.
  • Enhanced accountability and documentation: Digital checklists offer a high level of accountability because each entry is timestamped and assigned to responsible technicians or mechanics. This fosters a culture of responsibility and serves as documentation for compliance purposes and historical reference.

doForms is a modern mobile forms solution used across various industries, from hospitality and healthcare to manufacturing and construction.

It allows you to boost productivity by creating a rich collection of mobile forms, including checklists, reports, work orders, team schedules, payroll sheets and waivers.

A mechanic servicing a vehicle‚Äč

Using a digital car tune-up checklist will make your operation more efficient, allowing easy data entry and minimizing the risk of missing important inspection areas‚Äč

Which Businesses Need Tune Up Checklists?

Various businesses and industries can benefit from implementing car tune-up checklists to ensure the proper maintenance and functionality of their vehicles.

Examples include:

  • Taxi companies: Using tune-up checklists helps transportation companies maintain the reliability of their fleet, ensure passenger safety and reduce unexpected disruptions.
  • Delivery services: Companies involved in delivery services, such as courier services or online retailers, can benefit from tune-up checklists to keep their delivery vehicles in optimal condition and ensure timely deliveries.
  • Emergency services: Police, fire departments and ambulance services rely on well-maintained vehicles for rapid response. Regular tune-ups backed up by detailed checklists are crucial to keep emergency vehicles in peak operating condition.
  • Car rental agencies: Implementing tune-up checklists helps rental agencies maintain a consistent standard of vehicle performance and safety for various drivers and road conditions.
  • Shuttle services: Detailed tune-up checklists help shuttle services prevent breakdowns and ensure a reliable service for passengers.
  • Car dealerships: Car dealerships can use tune-up checklists to ensure that the vehicles on their lots are well-maintained, to enhance the customer experience during test drives and increase potential purchases.
  • Corporate fleets: Large corporations that use company vehicles for employee transportation or business purposes can benefit from tune-up checklists to manage maintenance and reduce operating costs.

What To Include In Your Car Tune-Up Checklist

Following a comprehensive car tune-up checklist will help you maintain the overall health and performance of your vehicles.

Below, we have listed the main points to include when inspecting your vehicles.

1. Engine Components

Spark Plugs

  • Check for wear, deposits or damage
  • Replace if electrodes are worn or there are signs of fouling

Air Filter

  • Inspect for dirt and debris
  • Replace if visibly dirty

Fuel Filter

  • Check for clogs or blockages
  • Replace if there are signs of restriction

PCV Valve

  • Check for signs of clogging

Belts & Hoses

  • Inspect for cracks, wear or signs of damage
  • Replace if necessary

2. Fluid Levels

Engine Oil

  • Check oil level
  • Replace oil and oil filter if needed

Transmission Fluid

  • Inspect fluid level and color
  • Replace or top up if necessary

Brake Fluid

  • Check fluid level
  • Top or replace if needed

Power Steering Fluid

  • Make sure the fluid in the reservoir is between the MAX and MIN levels
  • Replace the fluid if it appears muddy


  • Inspect coolant level and concentration
  • Add coolant or replace if necessary

3. Ignition System

Ignition Timing

  • Check and adjust if needed
  • Inspect distributor cap and rotor for wear


  • Test battery voltage
  • Clean terminals

4. Brakes

Brake Pads And Rotors

  • Inspect brake pad thickness and rotor condition
  • Replace pads or rotors if needed

Brake Lines And Hoses

  • Inspect for leaks or signs of damage

5. Suspension & Steering

Shock Absorbers And Struts

  • Check for leaks and wear

Steering Components

  • Check for stiffness
  • Lubricate or replace components

6. Tires

Tire Pressure

  • Check and adjust tire pressure

Tread Depth

  • Measure tire tread depth
  • Replace tires if worn beyond recommended depth

7. Exhaust System

Muffler And Exhaust Pipes

  • Inspect for rust, holes or damage

8. Miscellaneous

Lights And Signals

  • Check all exterior lights and signals
  • Replace bulbs if necessary

Wipers Washer Fluid

  • Inspect wiper blades and replace if streaking
  • Make sure washer fluid is topped up

9. Diagnostic Scans

OBD-II System

  • Perform a diagnostic scan to check for stored trouble codes
  • Address and resolve identified issues

10. Road Test

Drive Test

  • Take the vehicle for a test drive to assess performance
  • Watch for any unusual noises, vibrations or handling issues

Base the frequency of your tune-up inspections on the manufacturer’s recommendations and vehicle needs.

A technician checking a car engine‚Äč

Your car tune-up checklist should include an inspection of the engine components, fuel levels, ignition system and brakes‚Äč

Create A Digital Car Tune-Up Checklist With doForms

doForms allows you to create and customize various tune-up checklists and reports.

You can choose a template from our diverse form library or design your own custom forms with an intuitive interface and drag-and-drop features, then save and distribute forms to drivers or mechanics as needed.

Your team can collect data from tune-up inspections on smartphones or tablets, even without an internet connection. In addition, both you and your team can access and edit your checklists in the office and on the go.

doForms allows you to tailor your car tune-up checklists to the needs of your fleet, using features like electronic signature capture, along with photo and video uploads.

You can sync the collected data with other software systems you are using, consolidating all of your information into a centralized database.

If your fleet includes commercial vehicles, check out our tips on creating a detailed commercial vehicle maintenance checklist.

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FAQs About Digital Tune-Up Checklists

If you want to know more about mobile tune-up checklists, check out our section with the most frequently asked questions below.

Can I customize my tune-up checklist for specific vehicle models or fleets?

Yes, doForms allows you to customize your tune-up checklists based on specific makes, models or fleet requirements.

Can multiple team members collaborate on the same checklist simultaneously?

Yes, doForms supports concurrent access by multiple team members, allowing for real-time collaboration. This feature is particularly beneficial for large teams or organizations.

Are digital tune-up checklists secure?

doForms prioritizes data security with encryption protocols and secure access controls, to make sure all sensitive information is protected.

Are digital tune-up checklists compatible with mobile devices?

Yes, doForms is a mobile-friendly solution, which allows automotive technicians and mechanics to perform inspections using smartphones or tablets.

How do digital checklists handle multi-location or large fleet operations?

As a scalable solution, doForms allows you to adapt your checklists to easily handle the complexities of multi-location or large fleet operations by adding new fields, customizing inspection criteria or providing the ability for integration with other fleet management systems.

Can digital checklists help in preventive maintenance planning?

Yes, doForms includes data analysis tools that can help you identify trends and potential issues. This helps preventive maintenance planning by allowing your teams to address concerns before they escalate. For more insights on preventive maintenance checklists, check out our extensive guide.

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How can digital checklists help me handle recurring inspections and scheduled maintenance?

doForms allows you to set up recurring inspections and scheduled maintenance tasks, sending reminders to technicians or fleet managers to ensure timely and consistent follow-ups.



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