Very nice diagnosis, and it's true, as Dave says, you have to check all the parts connected with the problem. Often, like in medicine, the failure point is a symptom, not the cause. This reminds me of the stuff the guys in Gold Rush on Discovery have to deal with all the time with their second-hand back loaders.
This story is a good example of the fact that often the part that breaks is not the real problem. Sometimes, it's just an innocent bystander. This is important to remember in failure analysis. The impulse is always to focus on the part which broke, and try to find something wrong with it. But it's important to look at the entire mechanical system, rather than just one component in isolation.
I had the same thing happen to my 1985 Toyota Camry (albeit much more expensive). Luckily I was just pulling out from in front of my hour when the car stalled and refused to restart. I had the AAA tow to the local garage where they said the timing belt slipped. They replaced the belt and everything was find for a few months. Then the same thing happened again, this time I was two blocks from home. This time I had it towed to my brother-in-law's garage. The replaced the belt but also replaced both idlers. Never had a problem with the timing belt again. And I never went back to the other garage, either...
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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