Sheri’s Rants #18 – Guest Ranter Graham goes off…

Posted on June 28, 2009 by


Repair Vs. Maintenance

Graham, ASE certified technician and lifelong Gear Head

Graham, ASE certified technician and lifelong Gear Head

Mechanics don’t think about maintenance because their entire job is based on replacing parts.  Day after day all they see is broken car after broken car and that’s where their brain is at.  Fix the broken car.  They don’t have time to think about what parts are working now, because they don’t see that.  Their job is to focus on what is broken.  So they don’t replace fluids and do those maintenance things, because it’s not what they are trained to observe.  When those parts fail, it’s job security and not intentionally – it’s just their training.

Whereas a lube tech goes in and tests fluids and components – they are trained to search for imminent failure.  So a mechanic standing next to a lube tech both have very different ideas of where money needs to be spent.  A mechanic can tell you ‘everything is fine’ and a lube tech will tell you about all the services and schedules to PREVENT the necessity of a mechanic.

What we see in the general public of car owners is a split line or confusion between maintenance and repair.  Some folks think that continued operation indicates proper functioning. In other words, as long as the car is running, all it needs is gas.  Then your brake fluid, power steering fluid and other necessary points of maintenance are overlooked.  So what you see in the long term is people spending four to five hundred dollars on the mechanic, never realizing that a fifty dollar flush spaced every 30,000 miles would prevent that.

Then there are the folks who drive what appear to be beat down, decrepit vehicles driving two to three hundred THOUSAND miles on nothing but basic maintenance and the inevitable replacement of non-serviceable parts.  The mechanic does not become familiar with these folks – it’s an alternator or a fan belt that can be handled by lube techs.  Timing belts, water pumps go to the mechanics but are also necessary maintenance that prevent catastrophic failure, out of fairness to the mechanics.

Lately with this economic fear going on, we see those familiar with the mechanics unable to buy a brand new vehicle like they are  used to doing when their car ‘fails’.  Those who normally would replace a vehicle now find themselves with considerable repair bills due to lack of maintenance.  What we try to impress on these people is the importance and the DIFFERENCE of maintenance vs. repair. For mere moments at the end of an oil change we can attend to these issues and prevent the need for you to leave your vehicle for sometimes days at a time at considerable expense.

I’m finding this is the nature of fitness vs. physician.  A fitness coach will help you maintain your body to prevent the necessity of a physician – who is trained to see failure much as the mechanics with your car.  It’s less expensive in the long run to just maintain your body and keep the fluids and fuel topped off with high quality substances that promote health and longevity.

And please, please keep in mind that all vehicles – bicycles, motorcycles, riding lawnmowers, four wheelers, even skateboards

Graham expounds car maintenance

Graham expounds car maintenance

require maintenance.  So if you’ve got it in your head that you’ve never ‘had’ to do flushes or fan belts or air filters it’s not because it’s not required.  It’s because you simply haven’t done them. It is not a statement of quality or longevity, but of oversight.  Read the owners manual.

Yea, your body doesn’t come with one of those – and you’re running off of faith based hopefully on a strong constitution.  Good luck with that!  Consider a schedule of maintenance with a qualified coach.

Graham McGlasson lives in Newcastle, Colorado and is a certified ASE technician and mechanic.  He owns 6 motorized vehicles, including a 1975 (built-to-the-hilt with a 383 stroker) El Camino.  He is Sheri Lynn’s son.

Posted in: Sheri's Rants