Innovators in the field of public health and safety often struggle to overcome stubbornness when they publish their findings. The Austrian surgeon who first discovered that unwashed surgeons were killing their patients with infection rather than healing them with their surgical skill was mostly ignored when he proposed hand-washing protocols for hospital staff. Likewise, the London researcher who discovered the connection between cholera outbreaks and sewage in the drinking water was also ignored at first.
Before DVR’s and streaming television and DVD box sets of an entire series, we used to watch television programs when they were broadcast. Viewers of a certain age can recall “appointment” television programs of the 1980’s, so called because loyal viewers would avoid scheduling conflicting events on the nights their favorite shows aired. One of the first of these iconic programs was Hill Street Blues, airing at 10:00 PM on Thursday nights. Hill Street Blues used an ensemble cast to track several different story lines all centered around one police station, and loyal viewers drew comfort from the familiar opening every week. Each show began with a morning briefing of officers led by gruff but lovable Sgt. Esterhaus, who finished every meeting the same way: “Remember, let’s be careful out there.”
Distracted driving accounts for most of the rear-end collisions we see in our day. The default conclusion now when you see a vehicle pile-up is that the guy in the back was texting or focused on something else instead of the road. However, sometimes faulty brakes are indeed the cause (although certainly not as often as Mr. Texter claims). Brakes are like dental care in that an ounce of prevention is worth well over a pound in cure. If you get your brake pads and fluid checked and replaced routinely, then you will seldom need to worry about more serious brake repairs. On the other hand, neglecting your squeaky brakes can often lead to more serious and expensive repairs, and even to an unsafe vehicle that is more likely to involve you in an accident.
Ogden Nash’s doggerel delighted a generation of schoolboys in the middle of the 20th century who were delighted to discover that a subversive version of poetry existed. It was not revolutionary in any political or social way, but his poetry was decidedly non-literary, breaking rules in a silly and unapologetic way. For example, Nash wrote, “A funny bird is the pelican. His beak can hold more than his belly can.”
In Nash’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Prematurely Old Man,” he contrasts sins of omission with sins of commission and concludes that sins of commission are highly preferable. His logic is beyond dispute: Sins of commission “must at least be fun or else you wouldn’t be committing them.” On the other hand, “you never get any fun out of the things you haven’t done.” His theory is based upon the logic that both types of sins bring painful consequences, but only one gives you any fun in return. His examples are comically silly, but beyond the scope of this post. They do, however, apply to car care.
Applying Nash’s logic to your vehicle use, he would recommend driving at high speeds over neglecting to get your oil changed. Both might be expensive, but with speeding you can at least experience the thrill of the open road before you pay the expensive speeding ticket and inflated insurance premiums. Neglecting to get your oil changed, on the other hand, can have bitterly expensive consequences without offering you any fun in return.
Here at Cassels Garage, we cannot advocate violating traffic safety laws, but we can certainly affirm the value of getting your oil changed regularly. Regular oil changes will prolong the life of your engine, and the associated fluid checks that occur at the same time can help you avoid a host of unpleasant problems. Conversely, neglecting to get your oil changed at proper intervals can destroy your engine, and that is a very costly part to replace.
At Cassels Garage in West Melbourne, we are ready to help keep your cars in good working condition. We are a family-owned shop well equipped to provide routine maintenance or do major repairs on your car. We have been serving Brevard County since 1966.