Breakdown Maintenance


Wait until the machine completely fails, then you repair it to working order. Usually assigned to machines with backups in place, or machines which are of low importance to production

Common Place Breakdown Maintenance:

  • Your cars battery; you wait until it actually has an issue, perhaps not having enough power to turn your car’s engine over.  There are back-up procedures in place; you can simply get a boost and drive that same care to the hardware store where you can purchase a new battery.  This is breakdown maintenance


  • The replaceable blade on your razor. You don’t use preventative maintenance on it periodically by sharpening it and trying to get the longest life out of it, when it is so easily replaced. You simply wait until it seizes to function properly, and replace it with a new disposable blade. This is break down maintenance.

Examples of where breakdown maintenance is avoided:


  • An air plane - Preventive, and periodic maintenance is applied throughout, never in an airplane do they allow a system to simply breakdown before they decide to replace, or maintain it.


  • Vehicle Tires – Usually, in the name of safety, a person applies periodic maintenance to such an object. You do not want to apply breakdown maintenance, as driving until your tire blows, and fails could put your life in jeopardy.  It is much more appropriate to assess the tire periodically for wear, and replace it when needed, before the point of breaking down.


  • Breakdown maintenance is usually applied on machines which are not the backbone of the project.


  • For example, in a factory, if a machine is of little importance to whether production carries on, or there are backup procedures in place for said machine, it may be cheaper and more efficient for the company to send a maintenance worker to the machine when it actually breaks, as opposed to assigning a work order periodically on the machine as it is still performing up to par.


  • This cuts back in labour hours for the company, as well as cost of operation.