Proactive, preventing car problems. Reactive, waiting until you’re stranded. You do know the old saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” never was a genius idea — don’t you? Waiting until things fail is dangerous and expensive. Complicating things is high-tech engineering and computer controls now hide many problems until they’re critical.

In the old days failing parts usually gave a warning so being reactive was mostly okay. Back then there was nothing automatic in a car; adjustments were solely from human hands physically turning nuts, bolts and screws. Now many adjustments are made by computers and sophisticated parts made of materials with a memory.

Today’s vehicles are really good at covering up wear and poor maintenance and if that sounds too good to be true, believe me, it is! When a sophisticated high-tech component reaches the limit of its ability to compensate something bad instantly happens.

No subtle warning, no gentle onset, nothing, except an abrupt switch from no issue to full-blown issue. Perhaps your engine suddenly runs poorly, stalls, refuses to start, your transmission quits shifting, your air conditioner stops or maybe your electronic suspension or computer controlled steering system goes goofy. The complete list of possibilities would fill a hefty book.

Which problem isn’t important as they’re all excellent reasons why you need a thorough checkup on your car twice a year or every 12,000 miles. Routine checks can reveal pending issues that might otherwise go unnoticed until the car suddenly becomes unreliable, undriveable or even dangerous.

There are lots of plusses to being proactive including bad things rarely happen and better resale value. Plus proactive is so easy. You simply have the car checked regularly rather than waiting until something breaks. Today, being reactive rather than proactive almost guarantees inconvenient, expensive surprises.

Although routine checkups won’t prevent all your car problems they’ll sure help. When a technician physically checks and measures key parts it significantly reduces the probability of unexpected breakdowns. Techs can measure voltages, observe electrical waveforms, scan computers, measure wear on brake, steering and suspension parts plus look for early signs of leaks, and hundreds more.

Humans keep cars reliable which makes periodic maintenance inspections an invaluable tool available to everyone. Inspections regularly disclose problems before they become hazardous to you or your vehicle. Periodic exams also save money because driving parts to failure usually damages companion parts making the repair more expensive. But more important than cost is the added safety and peace of mind that once or twice yearly visits to a quality shop provide.

The best times to have your car checked are before winter sets in and before you begin those spring and summer trips. Checkups also help maintain best gas mileage making them cost effective! Besides, sitting, hoping to be first in line for a tow truck on a holiday weekend tends to dampen the fun.

© Copyright 04/09/11 Pat Goss all rights reserved


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