What's The First Thing You Do After Getting Your Car Back In Service?

Illustration for article titled What's The First Thing You Do After Getting Your Car Back In Service?
Photo: Sheryl

Having your car break down can be an anxiety-inducing experience. It may have you wondering if your ride will ever be 100 percent again. After it’s fixed, maybe it’s a good practice to confirm that everything works as it should.

What’s the first thing you do after getting your car back on the road following a breakdown?

For me, it usually comes down to what was broken in the first place. Once the problem is fixed, I try replicating the issue any way I can, usually by driving the car at the absolute limit.

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One of my Smarts experienced a wild alternator failure after getting caked up with mud after a Gambler 500 rally. The speedometer danced, and the car got stuck in certain gears. Each of the car’s computers were failing, as they weren’t receiving the voltage they should have. I feared the worst.

After the alternator was replaced, I decided the best way to tell if the car was properly revived was to just run it hard. I welded the pedal to the floor and redlined every shift. The car drove just as well as it had before. It was as if the problem never happened.

That gets me thinking: What do you do with your car when you get it back on the road? Do you run it hard to test the repair?

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Loves all vehicles! Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, AmTran School Bus, VW Passat W8, Jetta TDI (x2), Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Suzuki Burgman, Yamaha U7E...

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