Do I believe in miracles? Of course I do! I am a scientist first though, and so should you be.
When delving into one of those intermittent problems that are vexing me prayers and miracles are definitely on my mind. Most times though perseverance and logical science are the two best things going.
As a vehicle owner ignoring that problem (once in a while the car just won’t start) and hoping that it will miraculously disappear is not the best solution. Ignored problems become much bigger problems. Believe me, I know. I make the bills!
Being proactive when it comes to automotive repairs and maintenance only saves money. On first noticing a problem consulting a professional mechanic is probably a smart move.
Unlike our medical system you don’t need a referral to go straight to the top.
Many times an onset intermittent problem is indicative that some basic maintenance procedure has been missed. Missed maintenance procedures are more common now that emission control systems have made vehicles run better all the time. Recognizing worn out systems or parts is not as easy as it used to be.
The slightest misstep in how your vehicle runs should get the owner thinking. Time to book a physical. A physical (tune up) may be all it takes to solve that little hiccup. A weak battery, worn spark plugs, dirty mass air flow sensor, pending trouble code (just about turning the check engine light on) can generally be found quickly and cost effectively.
Even though the symptom is intermittent waiting for it to miraculously disappear or leaving it to become a constant problem in hopes that it is easier (cheaper in the owner’s mind) to find could likely make the solution more expensive.
Spark plugs whose replacement is overdue will manifest themselves in various symptoms. Intermittent no start cold and slight hesitation on acceleration would be two common ones.
Waiting until, “It won’t start unless I plug in the block heater” or “I have trouble accelerating up to highway speed” will result in much greater expense.
Instead of just a fresh set of plugs the solution will be much more costly. Likely there may be a chain of repairs all related. Running with worn spark plugs means wasting more fuel.
That wasted fuel has overworked the catalytic converter. That unburned fuel has washed the cylinder walls and now they are worn.
Let’s see now. Time for spark plugs today, catalytic converter a month from now, and a cylinder hone and a set of rings 6 months down the line.
Please do not wait for the miracle.