Cascading Water is Beautiful but Cascading Auto Repair is Not
Cascade is a beautiful sounding word, something that evokes images of a misting waterfall, just the way it sounds as rolls off the tongue when you say it. For some of us, it sparks memories of back packing in the Cascades. I love the memories of summer hiking among the flowers during the alpine spring and sight of remote waterfalls in the mountains. However, there is an automotive related meaning as well, at least one that I have created in the last couple years. Much less beautiful, but perfectly descriptive, that is, the Cascade effect or what I also call the cascading auto repair syndrome.
Cascading Diagnostics and Cascading Repair
The Cascade effect has two primary applicable automotive meanings. The first is that of a cascading diagnosis. This is where multiple codes and conditions are revealed to us during a diagnosis for a drivability problem. The codes and physical characteristics of the problem are multiple and they cascade like a waterfall. The cascade creates a dramatic effect, but not necessarily in any order that will support an immediate repair solution. Much like trying to find the direction of the current of the water at the bottom of a waterfall. There is a lot of noise and churning of the water and a mist that obscures observation. The technician must read into the cascade to find the primary source of the cascade for a repair solution that works. Once he has found the source and flow of the cascade, the Tech has to direct a repair that will calm the waters and get the car up an running. A good Technician does not throw parts at a problem, he identifies the source of the problem and creates a solution. With the car running, the Tech test drives and confirms that the problem is solved.
Another meaning of the Cascade effect is the fashion in which one issue is identified and repaired, only to find one more or several more issues. Often one significant problem will mask other issues and as you solve one, others cascade into view. They become more obvious only after a more significant problem is repaired. As they cascade into discovery, one may not actually be related to the previous problem, very frustrating. This type of cascade effect is common in older vehicles. In fact, I often warn our customers to expect a cascade as we repair issues with their older car. Once a vehicle gets over 10 years, the cascades tend to be…more spectacular.
Stop the Cascade and Commit to Manufacturer Recommended Scheduled of Maintenance with Bryan’s Automotive
Not much you can do about the Cascade effect, other than appreciate the sound and visual beauty of your car, when it is running perfectly after a trip to Bryan’s Automotive. One of the best preventative things you can do is maintain your vehicle as recommended by the manufacturer. Every manufacturer has a recommended maintenance schedule and Bryan’s is up to date on those requirements, recalls and maintenance bulletins. Regular scheduled maintenance will be the best insurance you can get against the automotive cascade effect. Keep the memories of waterfalls and mountain experiences pleasant and not associated with automotive repair.