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Mechanical Failures

Why did that brand-new part recently installed fail so soon? – Mechanical failures, a question that is always asked when this occurs, and rightly so.   

In essence, nearly all mechanical components fail in their lifetime. Whether that life is a few kilometres or a few hundred thousand kilometres, it will eventually fail.  

I have had the pleasure of working with some very clever Mechanical Engineers in my time, particularly during my tenure in the mining industry. These engineers gave me an insight into Condition Monitoring, and the benefits of looking at oil samples, filtergrams, vibration analysis, and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) reports. 

The consideration in particular which caught my attention is the life of the machine components and how the planners work out when to change them before failure. 

The way it was explained to me was straightforward; it’s ‘The Bathtub Principal.’ 

The life of any component can be very long or very short. It is measured by expecting a new or reconditioned part to fail very early (infant mortality) or at the end of its life (worn out). The probability is relatively high at the start and then becomes very low as the part moves past the infant mortality period and into service life. It then becomes quite high again at the end of life when it becomes worn out. 

When it comes to using quality parts on your vehicle, it is always sound advice to understand the warranty that comes with the components and what the manufacturer will cover when it is time to lodge a claim against a faulty part. Buying your parts from the world wide web is becoming popular, driven by a desire to save on costs. We see a large number of mechanical failures from parts bought this way. My advice is to buy from a reputable company with a warranty that is comprehensive and easily accessible, ensuring the business can be contacted when you need them.  

As the saying goes… poor man pays twice.