Inactive troubleshooting

While I doubt that this technique actually works on fouled spark plugs (although it might be worth a try, haha), sometimes problems actually do solve themselves when you do nothing. That approach works particularly well with other peoples’ problems that they want your help with. About 80% of the time, when you tell them “I’m busy right now, but I’ll help you tomorrow,” the problem will already be solved by the time you call them on the next day.

As with all things in life, the trick is to distinguish the situations where the wait-and-see approach is appropriate from those where it’s actually detrimental, such as e.g. medical problems or when your engine is on fire.

Does anybody have a great story or example of a self-solving problem?


Tagged with: , , , , ,
3 comments on “Inactive troubleshooting
  1. Quill says:

    One of my friends once called this “passive maintenance.” In contrast to the other primary form of fixing things, “percussive maintenance.” And it actually does sometimes work. Sometimes the problem actually will resolve itself on its own – fouled spark plugs are a good example in fact. Run it lean and hot, the fouling might burn off, I’ve heard of some pilots using this trick when the engine runs rough or fails a mag check. In some other cases, usually an odd noise, the pilot (or driver) will just stop noticing it after a while, consider it “normal.” It is also true that any leaking fluid (oil, brake fluid, air from a tire, coolant, etc), if not addressed by fixing the leak or adding more fluid to replace what leaked out, is guaranteed to stop leaking eventually. However this usually comes with ramifications, in most cases whatever machine or system the leak is coming from not working anymore. And likewise all fires will eventually go out on their own when they run out of fuel or flammable substances, though often there’s not much left of whatever was on fire by then.

  2. Pete says:

    74 Plymouth that would start to miss, buy a set of spark plugs and the would sit in the front seat for months, and the engine would run great…

  3. Frank E Merrill says:

    My doctor told me “All smokers quit” and when I pressed him a bit he added “All bleeding stops” and then I understood his wisdom. I have since added my own: “All lights left on in the parking lot go out.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *