There are a number of different reasons why a preventative maintenance program might make sense for an individual or an organization that deals with any type of structure, equipment or other item that is subject to periodic maintenance and repair. For example, changing the oil regularly in your own car is a preventative maintenance program, as is the government rebuilding the jet engines in a fighter plane after a number of hours of use. Most all organizations and people have some kind of preventative maintenance program, whether they call it that or not. There are a number of goals behind a preventative maintenance program that are common to everything from the weekend mechanic to a major multi-national corporation.

Improved Reliability

One goal of preventative maintenance is to improve the overall reliability of a system or piece of equipment or machinery. If your car broke down all of the time, you would want to find a way to make it more reliable, and major corporations and businesses all want to do the same things with their equipment, trucks and facilities. This is one main objective of a preventative maintenance program.

Decreased Cost

Another reason to engage in a preventative maintenance program is to decrease the cost of replacement or repair. To use the car analogy, let's say you never changed your oil and the engine locked up. You might spend several thousand dollars replacing the engine. Now, if you had a preventative maintenance program, you might only have to replace a part of the engine, or you might not have to replace it at all.

Longer Replacement Intervals

Since machinery that is operated and maintained preventatively is more likely to go a longer period of time before requiring replacement or service, the overall lifespan of items that are subject to a preventative maintenance program is increased, leading to less frequent intervals of repair or replacement in general.

Fixing Problems Before They Occur

A good preventative maintenance program can help to discover and repair problems before they occur. For example, noticing that there are metallic flakes in a hydraulic fluid replacement might tell the mechanic that there is something further about to go wrong, so that catastrophic failure can be avoided. In this way, a good preventative maintenance program meets all of its objectives.