A recent front office experience got me thinking.
A customer was picking up her vehicle and in typical fashion I was explaining the maintenance and repair procedures we had performed. Maintenance at our shop always includes a level of inspection. The last part of my explanation always includes any work the vehicle still needs or may need in the future. The customer replied after I finished the needs list with “those needs are foreshadowing”.
According to Wikipedia foreshadowing is a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story. Foreshadowing often appears at the beginning of a story, or a chapter, and it helps the reader develop expectations about the upcoming events.
The dictionary definition from vocabulary.com says foreshadowing is an advance sign or warning of what is to come in the future.
I remember the literary device from high school English but my job concurs with vocabulary.com. I hope your service provider is providing good foreshadowing for your vehicles.
Unless you really feel confident about vehicles technically I believe you should use a professional for your vehicle’s foreshadowing. When your vehicle only goes in for service once or twice a year, as many modern vehicles do, I would suggest using a maintenance provider that can provide a professional inspection of your vehicle.
Sure, a thorough inspection costs money; but I can assure you a thorough inspection will save you money in the long run. This type of inspection is just as important on a new vehicle as it is on an old vehicle.
Your new vehicle has a new vehicle warranty. “If anything breaks it gets fixed for free.” I would suggest catching the beginning of an engine oil leak during an inspection and scheduling an appointment to have it fixed under warranty is much easier on your wallet and your heart than having a catastrophic failure on the long weekend in the middle of the Hope Princeton. Sure, you get free roadside assistance but most likely not a free hotel room or extra holiday time from your boss.
On your old vehicle the same theories apply. The repairs may not be covered under warranty but being able to schedule the repair instead of reacting to an inconvenient break down is again the less expensive way to go.
Good inspections or foreshadowing can help you budget for future repairs or maybe even help with determining when it is time to give up on the old beast and shop for an upgrade. Your trade in is definitely worth more when it is still running than when it is broken on the side of the road.
Believe me your mechanic does not have a crystal ball. There is no magic. Sometimes crap happens and in no way can it be predicted.
A thorough road test, a ride up on the hoist, a trained professionals eyes, ears and tools go a long ways to foreshadowing your motoring future.
Trail’s Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician and graduate of mechanical engineering from UBC. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org