1040 Winston Churchill Blvd, Oakville, ON l6J 7Y4


ontario vehicle safety inspections important tips

Some Basics on Purchasing a Vehicle or Selling from Sils Complete Auto Care, your  Mississauga and Oakville Auto Service Facility.

  1. Ensure to purchase a safety inspected vehicle from an OMVIC-certified dealer within Ontario. https://www.omvic.on.ca/portal/Consumers/ConsumerProtection/KnowYourRights.aspxMany are also members of the Used Car Dealers Association, which has a list of car-buying tips at ucda.ca, along with ways to identify ‘curbsiders,’ unregistered dealers masquerading as private sellers.
  2. Ensure to review the car during daylight hours in clear weather preferably.  At night it’s hard to see issues or concerns with the car. If it isn’t available for a second look on a dry day, walk away.
  3. Fresh undercoating or rust protection sprays. It can hide a multitude of sins. Sellers may state they just had it undercoated for my new buyer, meaning I just had my issues covered up, so you can’t tell. You might be purchasing problems beneath it. Common vehicle safety inspection coverups are heavy rust on brake lines, gas lines and general body. As well, spray foam filled holes in the body and then covered with black rubberized spray.
  4. Bumpers and panels that don’t line up. These can indicate a car that’s been in a collision. Look for possible signs of repair, including areas that are a different colour, trim pieces that look newer than the rest, paint overspray, or ripples in the body.
    Just because Carfax, Carproof shows no accidents on file that does not mean that an owner could have paid out of pocket cash for accident damage repairs. I have seen repairs upwards of $20,000.00 paid to avoid insurance claims in my auto repair ownership time.
  5. No road test. No buy.  You need to feel the vehicle and listen for issues. Handling and braking should be felt. Manufacturer features, functions, and accessories. Take time on the road test and try them out. Ask the seller about all the features.  See if they start commenting, “well this doesn’t work, and that doesn’t work”. Items like: heated seat(s), cooling seat(s), rear seat belts, fold-down seating, layaway seating, all positions movement of seats, All interior lighting, radio and all radio features, navigation system and blue tooth pairing system, fuel door, trunk and hood release functions. Auto sliding doors side and rear, remote control key fobs and all features work with fobs on the car. See if they are equipped with Wheel lock keys and have the owner show them to you and verify they fit. A government vehicle safety inspection does not cover many of these “accessory” features inside a vehicle.
  6. Puddles and smells.  Any leaks dripping during an Ontario Vehicle Safety Inspection fail on a vehicle. However, many people wash and clean engines of leaks before having a safety inspection performed. European cars have large under-vehicle covers that capture leaks and are not necessarily seen on the ground. A Technician should inspect this with the cover removed. A vehicle buyer should even pay extra to ensure these covers are removed if necessary; you need to see what’s under there.
  7. Missing or incorrect paperwork. If you’re buying the vehicle certified, examine the safety certificate. It cannot have any blank areas, and the vehicle information number (VIN) must match that of the car. TIP: request a copy of the actual inspection checklist from the auto repair facility from the seller.  By law, an auto service facility must document the inspection and provide a copy to the seller, or the shop must keep them on file.- Check the date of the safety. It expires after 36 days, weekends and holidays included. An unscrupulous seller might date it so it runs out shortly after you deliver the vehicle.
    – If it’s a private sale, the seller needs to provide a Used Vehicle Information Package obtained from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, which you keep when you buy the car.
    – Make sure the seller’s name matches that in the package. If not, you may be dealing with a curbsider. See this link to https://www.omvic.on.ca/portal/Consumers/AvoidCurbsiders.aspx OMVIC for curbside.
    – The package will also tell you if the car was ever written off, if there are any outstanding liens against it, and if there is any reason why it can’t be licensed. An ownership branded “rebuilt” means it was written off, and after significant repairs and proper certification, it was approved on the road again.  In my personal opinion, walk away fast from these vehicles sales.
    – Check the mileage on the package with the car’s odometer to be sure it lines up.
    – Beware if the seller can’t provide the vehicle’s service records, including maintenance and repairs.
  8. The ‘death rattle.’ That’s any rapping, tapping or banging sound coming out of the engine when it’s running, especially when it’s cold. Check the tailpipe; the exhaust shouldn’t be blue or black, or smell of antifreeze. Pull out the oil dipstick, and pass on the car if the oil looks creamy-white, which can indicate an internal coolant leak.
  9. A vehicle with a  “Too” clean interior.  Either you have a person who is dedicated to having a spotless vehicle, or it just went to a detailing facility for the full makeover.  Beware of too-heavy air freshener smells that could be masking cigarette smoke or mildew from water leaks. Tip: remove the spare tire area covers and panels, get in there, and see if any water is pooling. Cars can leak inside and people never realize it.  Sunroof drains and door seals leak, causing water to enter the vehicle, hence the musty smell in the car.Here at our Oakville Auto Repair facility, we’ve seen floors wet from plugged sunroof drains and the constant wet, smelly sock smell in the car. This is much harder to notice in the wintertime.
  10. A rush job. Beware the car that you have to buy right away, whether it’s a private seller with a deadline such as moving away or selling it for a relative, or a dealer who says it’s ‘on special today’ or ‘it will be gone tomorrow.’ There could be issues like mechanical repairs needed and wants to unload fast, a dealer unloading a lemon they cant sell for a fair market price.
  11. Should I get a car inspected before I buy it? YES, Get a Pre purchase vehicle inspection.  It’s not a perfect guarantee. A certified technician in an automotive facility can assess the vehicle pre purchase and warn you against pending issues or provide advice on the condition of the vehicle.  Find a facility that is up to date with safety guidelines. Many shops have no manual, and perform safety from memory.  The guidelines have recently changed and allow for many more items to be inspected. As well inspecting non-safety items like maintenance issues is important.CAA Website  https://www.caasco.com/auto/caa-approved-auto-repair-services  We are CAA Oakville Auto Repair facility. We have been with the CAA for over 20 years.
  12. Air conditioning. This is a hard area. In winter, you can’t tell if it’s working. Add to the complexity that when many older cars have a failure, they are likely to find the cheapest solution to solve the problem. The automotive market is flooded with flammable-based refrigerant alternatives you can buy off the auto store shelf.  So once it fails, the seller fills it with this flammable based chemical, and voila, cold air again, ready for the sale.   The only way to avoid this is to fully test the a/c system pre-purchase or at least verification of a non-flammable refrigerant in the system. There will be a cost to do this in many cases, but it could save you a bad purchase deal if not hundreds in a/c repairs down the road.

You can’t expect to keep a seller waiting too long for your decision, but you should be able to give it some thought before you buy.

A safety inspection is NOT a warranty on the car. Effective the inspection date, a licensed government technician stated it passed all criteria to transfer the ownership; the certificate is valid for 36 calendar days.  If You fail the inspection you have 10 days to have it fixed to standards and re inspected by the original facility. The facility may have a fee to Re Inspect the vehicle as they need to verify those repairs were done properly and to specifications.

If you wish, you can sell a vehicle “ as is, “which means exactly that – you get what you buy, and the buyer assumes the risk of the safety inspection concerns.

Q: What do you inspect, Ontario Vehicle Safety Inspection?

A: It’s a long list

Here is the attached 2015 updated manual a certified, licensed technician will follow for an Ontario safety inspection checklist.


Common areas of dispute we see in our Oakville auto repair facility.

Rust: The amount of rust on brake lines and gas lines. If you can “flake” the rust off with your finger, it fails. Not scrubbing it with a tool and picking at it. Take your finger and flake the rust off means you fail a safety inspection

Warning lights: In 2015, we started failing vehicle safety inspections on ABS and SRS lights. Other lights like stability control, TPMS, and battery warning all need to be documented.

Serpentine belts, axle shafts, and fluid leaks dripping are all new issues neglected during safety inspection as they are part of the newer inspection process.

Have any issues or need an Ontario Safety Inspection for transfer, sale, or coming into the province we can help.

Sils Auto Care Centre, serving Mississauga and Oakville for car repair and maintenance services since 1976.

Carlo Sabucco

Owner – Sil’s Complete Auto Care Centre


Our Google Reviews

Sue at Sil’s is amazing! And the whole team is wonderful, knowledgeable and transparent and I once again received excellent service from their team. I never hesitate to give them a call for any of my car concerns.

Manon Boyle May 5, 2023

Every aspect of my first visit there was so professional. My questions were answered so that I understood. I was listened to and respected I was offered a shuttle, a place to wait, all provincial guidelines being followed. I felt safe and like I had finally found a trustworthy shop. I can’t believe this gem was here the whole time right under my nose. No wonder you have been in business all this time you gain the trust of your customers. Great Job.

Michelle Giacometti Feb 2, 2021

Quality work friendly, honest and great workmanship

Dolores Soca Jul 7, 2021

Always good communication and updates on issues and great service overall!!!!

f v - t.o Nov 11, 2023

Sil's ACC is my go to now. They are incredibly professional and knowledgeable. They provide a web based summary report that you can view and decide what work you want to proceed with and which you want to hold off on for a later time, which i find very helpful.

Dave Degrassi Dec 12, 2020

As usual great Customer Service, always keeping me informed of work to be completed and a great job with the repair. Great staff and ownership

Robert Oakley Apr 4, 2023

Service does not get any better than at Sil’s! Everyone is exceptionally helpful and the service people do an excellent job! I have recommended many people to go to Sils and now they are recommending others.

Jean Eckhart May 5, 2022

From power steering problems to rodent control these guys are the best.

Heather B Nov 11, 2023

Will definitely use Sil's again. Tommy was very helpful, gave us regular updates, worked with us to have the best value solution for our audi. Our car was ready on time and very clean when returned. Would recommend them to anyone looking for a well run auto shop.

George P Nov 11, 2023

Excellent work as always. Highly recommended.


Great experience at Sil's, as usual. Staff were friendly, efficient and the whole process was smooth, and the work done was perfect.

Malcolm and June Surycz Oct 10, 2023

Sil's Auto Care Centre is the only auto shop you'll ever need to go to. Their staff are not only friendly and professional, but are also extremely knowledgeable and honest. I had my car serviced for a seasonal maintenance inspection and oil and filter changer service. Not only were they thorough with their job, but went beyond my expectations in providing a detailed report, loaner car and an interior and exterior clean. I'll definitely be returning for any auto needs and recommending Sil's to my family and friends. Thanks especially to Susan for her exceptional sevice!

Jeff Oct 10, 2023

I have always been a "bring it to the dealer" guy. After my dealer could not fit me in for immediate service (flat tire fix), I tried "Sil's". Briefly... I would specifically like to commend my mechanic, John... who came up with imaginative fixes for TWO (other) unconventional issues with my car. And the best part, there was a nominal charge on my bill for these. After this visit, Sil's has earned my "repeat business".

Paul Finlay Oct 10, 2023

A very good job for fixing my car thank you

Earle Angelo Valerio Oct 10, 2023

Excellent work, as always by the staff at Sil's.

Charles Muller May 5, 2023

I use the services of Sil's Auto for the upkeep of my car and am always reassured by their thorough and professional service. I like their detailed invoices which also include a Deferred Service section which prepares me for what the next service should be to keep my car roadworthy. I appreciate their friendly shuttle service with Tim and the patient answers I receive to all of my questions. On one occasion I had an emergency problem with a window that would not close and it was fixed with a smile and no charge.

Dolores Wielgus Oct 10, 2022

Excellent timely service , always.

Dave Billyard Feb 2, 2022

Great service and super friendly

Michael Capizzano Sep 9, 2023

This is a truly great Canadian company that you can always rely on and every time feel happy for their service quality, price and attitude.

Kui Wu Sep 9, 2023

Best place to take my truck, they are extremely professional, they make a detail summery of what's going on with my truck, with pictures included. Never felt so safe to take any of my cars like I do here, not only they are professional, but all of them are extremely friendly, from reception with Susan and Tommy, to the mechanics and the owner. 100% hands down, best garage out there.

Cynthia Insua Sep 9, 2023

best mechanics in Oakville

Blake Day Music Aug 8, 2023

Sil's is the best place I've found for my car needs. The staff and mechanics are amazing and always greet you with a smile. You will not be disappointed!!!

Natasha Marcoux Sep 9, 2023

Sil's Auto Care Centre came to my assistance when needed most!! While traveling in Mississauga, I needed my brakes replaced. The exceptional team at Sil's was there! All work was complete and competitively priced. Technologically updated with the latest equipment and access to information, my car details were available to the team to ensure best in quality repairs! I am profoundly appreciative for a job well done. Thanks to Susan for incredible scheduling and to Carlos, for keeping up the quality of work, established by his father, all those years ago. It is nice to return to the old neighbourhood and still be able to rely on quality services that we had when we lived here! Way to go!!

Pam Sep 9, 2023

Honest, transparent and they stand behind their work. Price may be higher than other places though they can work with you based on your budget.

R Mendes Nov 11, 2017

I want to express my sincere thanks to Carlo and his professional team at Sil's Auto Care Centre. Affordable diagnostic testing provided a complete and thorough online report along with urgency of each item and cost of repairs to make an informed decision. I was finally able to make the right decision about my car after speaking with Carlo. Carlo and his teams technical expertise and exceptional customer service makes Sil's Auto Care Centre a business I would recommend to my colleagues. Five star automotive service centre for the Toronto GTA. Thank you Carlo and team.

Susan H Sep 9, 2023

Great personal service.

Houston Hacienda Sep 9, 2023

I absolutely LOVE Sil's Auto. Carlo, Susan, Tommy and their great team of mechanics take the cake for me. Their work is a 10/10 and the trust factor is reinforced over time. I would recommend anyone to Sil's without hesitation.

Melinda Prain Sep 9, 2021

I am very impressed with quality and promptness in service provided here at this auto care centre. This was my first visit to this place and I am glad the tow truck guy introduced me to this CAA approved place. Susan was very courteous, knowledgeable. Auto repairs are generally expensive but to find a place where you can trust that the job will be well taken care of … not easy to find.

Preeta Mishra Aug 8, 2023

Excellent service. Sil's is remarkably thorough and checks for all possible issues when a vehicle goes in for seasonal maintenance. This is a trustworthy premium operation, associated with CAA.

Richard B. Day Aug 8, 2023

My recent experience with Carlo and his team at Sil's Auto Care Centre was exceptional. They expertly explained and fixed my car issues while offering a clear cost breakdown. What's also remarkable is their modern web platform providing detailed vehicle reports online. Their shuttle service adds convenience, ensuring a seamless experience. This mechanic and garage excel in both expertise and innovation, making them my top recommendation for automotive needs.

Gift Tshuma Aug 8, 2023

Amazing experience. Quick service, more than adequate diagnostic testing on my car, clearly writenn out with pictures attached to an email. Affordable diagnostic testing. Susan is wonderful, she tells you what needs to be done but doesn't try to upsell you on anything. Really listens to customer needs and uses her knowledge and experience to provide the best customer service.

Trinity Duff Aug 8, 2023

Susan was great and helped me with my requirements thus time. She also organised for me to be dropped off and picked up from my residence. Tim was great too. Service to my car was completed on time and was well done.

Andre Leung Apr 4, 2023

The staff and the work here are superior. They are honest and send a complete summary with pics/videos to describe their findings before the work is approved. Shuttle service is great too! I highly recommend these professionals!!!

Alice Kennedy Mar 3, 2023

I could not have asked for a better experience going to a new mechanic. My family has taken their cars to the same auto shop since my mother was a teenager, but after moving to Mississauga and having my car break down, I knew it wasn’t going to be able to make the drive to our regular mechanic in another city. Sil’s was the closest to me, so I chose them on a whim but it was well worth it - I’ve found my new regular shop! They were open and honest with me about every single thing that could be fixed, as well as advising what actually *needs* to be fixed to keep it on the road. Ultimately I decided that the car isn’t worth fixing, but I didn’t feel pressured at all into doing anything, and the inspection price was incredibly reasonable. Thank you so much to the team!!

Carly Preiss Aug 8, 2023

They were fantastic, quick and so lovely!!!

Olenka Karetnik Aug 8, 2023

Absolutely phenomenal service!!! Carlo welcomed me to the shop as if it was my own home and treated me like family.

Mehdy Mesh Aug 8, 2023

While I was out the brakes started to grind. I immediatey brought it to Sil's. Talk about great service Carlo gave me a loaner car and promised to update me on their progress. He delivered. I have always brought my vehicles there and they are always professional, and thorough. Highly-qualified team.

Linda McCutcheon Aug 8, 2023

Sil's is very detailed, does excellent work and is very honest and fair. Carlo, Tommy and Susan in the front are always thorough and helpful. I would recommend them to anyone in the area!

Dave K Aug 8, 2023

Great service -very thorough and honest -highly recommend this place - they keep you informed and deliver what they promise

Margo stuart Aug 8, 2023

I have been driving many years and this is the best place i have taken my car to. Professional, friendly, and detailed in their work. They let me know what needs to be done, what will need to be done, and what was still in good order. Sent me pictures of what they were doing. My car was cleaned on the inside, which was a bonus. Price wise, they were fair... no hidden surprises. I will be going to Sil's Auto Care for all of my car needs. I would rate 10/10.

Luisa Ellis Aug 8, 2023

Excellent customer service, great expertise, and professional report, helping customer reduce cost without compromise quality.

Camilla Li Aug 8, 2023

I've been having my vehicles serviced at Sil's Auto Care Center for over 20 years. I have never been disappointed or had any concerns with the quality of work completed on my vehicles. Sil's is customer focused business and their friendly and knowledgeable staff are always available to answer any questions and discuss any repairs needed for your vehicle. I would highly recommend having your vehicle serviced at Sil's Auto Care Center.

Graeme Hotchkiss Dec 12, 2019

Excellent quick honest service, very professional

Ghazale Restaur Aug 8, 2023

In my 50 years of car ownership Sil’s Auto Service is one of the best businesses of that kind that I’ve dealt with. Every aspect of the service shows professional excellence, from booking the appointment to getting the car back to me. Absolutely highly recommended!

JUDY Gane Jul 7, 2023
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