My New Favorite Mechanic's Tool - Procrastination

I’m not talking about putting somethings off forever, but there is something to be said for waiting and monitoring (observing) a mechanical failure.

I’ve got two recent examples that employed this tool successfully. I usually get right on anything that fails mechanically, but recent extreme cold (and no heated garage) have caused me to procrastinate and monitor and I think it’s a good thing.

I wrote recently about our old, high miles Intrepid throwing codes for cat, EGR, and O2 sensor, systems. I even went the salvage yard and wrestled an EGR valve and plumbing out of a cadaver. When cold weather kept me from working on the car, I monitored the random recurrence of the same codes, turning them off and logging them each week.

About this time, my snowblower starter started to fail to engage (it would spin when the key was turned), like the solenoid / bendix went bad or the battery was weak. Again, I wanted to tear into it before the next storm, but cold weather made a repair wait.

Then suddenly, Voil?! - Both problems took care of themselves ! No more Check Engine Light and resulting codes on the Intrepid (no, CEL’s not burned out) and the snow blower starts every time !

Have you got any examples when procrastination was your best tool ?


I had a Toyota that needed a bunch of repairs to pass a Swiss safety inspection. The car got rear-ended and totaled. I had just rescheduled a portion of the needed repairs, then the accident came. The accident made it so I did not repair a car that was soon to be totaled.Procrastination saved me in this case but praying for an accident to total your car probably will not always work out this well.

I have a push lawnmower that is hard to start when the engine is hot, but starts fine after the engine cools off. I have procrastinated trying to repair the engine. When I have to stop for gasoline, I just go drink a cold beer before refilling the tank and restarting the engine. Why mess with a good thing?

I’ll Drink To That !


Unfortunately I’ve never had the ability to procrastinate a problem away.

I can’t think of specifics but
procrastination usually allows the previously unknown answer to magically appear.

Can’t quite figure it out ? Sleep on it.

When stupid mistakes abound, STOP.
Take a break, do something else, then come back to it later with a clear head.
( Not just automotive, but a great idea I use in woodworking and home repairs. )

That has proven to be a very worthwhile method to retain some sanity and achieve more success with fewer catastrophic mistakes in my life Ken Green.

I’ve had something happen with me a number of times which I’ve never quite understood.

At times while wrestling an electrical fault the headache takes over, the eyes blur from a schematic, and I’ve put the problem on hold.
Sometimes while sound asleep the answer comes to me in a dream, or nightmare if one wants to look at it that way.

All of a sudden I snap wide awake and the answer is right there, color coded wire(s) and all. Sometimes I’ve gotten up and jotted down a foggy note for reference later and other times I’m so tired I just conk right back out while hoping I’ll remember the details the next morning.

These nighttime revelations have always turned out to be about 90% right as weird as that is.

OK, I Hear Ya. Been There, Done That.

I thought I was some kind of mutant freak there for a while! :slight_smile:

I’ve Also Come Up With Some Of My Best Brainstorms While In Bed, Unable To Fall Asleep. Come To Think Of It That’s Probably Why I Can’t Sleep. I Hate Wasting Time On Sleep, Anyhow.