percussive maintenance

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Percussive maintenance may be used as a temporary fix.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /pəˈkʌsɪv ˈmeɪnt(ə)nəns/, /-tɪ-/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /pɚˈkʌsɪv ˈmeɪnt(ə)nəns/, /-tɪ-/
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  • Hyphenation: per‧cuss‧ive main‧ten‧ance


percussive maintenance (uncountable)

  1. (humorous) The use of physical concussion, such as a knock or a tap, in an attempt to make a malfunctioning device work.
    His technical skills were limited to performing percussive maintenance: hitting malfunctioning equipment in the hope that it would then work.
    • 1986, Neil J. Rubenking, PC Magazine: The Independent Guide to IBM-standard Personal Computing, volume 19, New York, N.Y.: PC Communications Corp., →ISSN, →OCLC, page 229, column 2:
      If percussive maintenance and other home remedies have failed, you should try running a general diagnostic utility. Better yet, run several.
    • 1996, Alex Law, “Benz touts hydrogen-based fuel cell”, in Toronto Star:
      Early trips reported trouble that seemed to be fixed by using a wrench to apply repeated doses of percussive maintenance.
    • 2002 July 30, Adam Turner, “Multi-function devices ‘present untapped opportunities’”, in The Sydney Morning Herald[1], archived from the original on 25 July 2014:
      There was a time when all that was required to use the office copier, printer or fax machine was the ability to fish out paper jams and a knack for percussive maintenance – known in layman's terms as a good hard thump.
    • 2011, Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined, New York, N.Y.: Viking Books, →ISBN:
      Babies react with rage when their arms are suddenly pinned at their sides, and adults may lash out by swearing or breaking things when they hit their thumb with a hammer or are surprised by not getting what they expect (as in the technique of computer repair called percussive maintenance).
    • 2022, Strack, Defèr et al., “Development of a Learning Game for the Implementation of Maintenance & Reliability Systems for Onshore Wind Parks”, in CPSL Proceedings, page 341:
      An example for such can be ""percussive maintenance"", which is the art of utilizing physical measures (typically physical blows, hence the name) for an item to re-function.