Corrective Maintenance – Concept, advantages and disadvantages

We explain what corrective maintenance is, examples, advantages and disadvantages. In addition, preventive and predictive maintenance.

Corrective maintenance
Corrective maintenance is the simple repair of something broken.

What is corrective maintenance?

Corrective maintenance It is one that seeks to repair errors, flaws or breakdowns that an equipment or tool may present, regardless of whether it continues to work or not.

This is the oldest known type of maintenance and the only one that applied until the days of World War I, since at that time the machines and tools were simple enough to just wait for a failure to manifest itself.

Corrective maintenance can be understood as the simple repair of something damaged. Given its nature, its need is impossible to predict and plan over time, so it is usually implemented in emergency or even catastrophic scenarios, and it usually involves the change of parts and spare parts of the equipment, as well as the assistance of specialized personnel.

Corrective maintenance can occur even when equipment continues to function, that is, it should not always be expected to total collapse, and taking this into account it is usually possible to distinguish between:

  • Urgent or unplanned corrective maintenance, which is carried out under a state of urgency or emergency, that is, in response to damage or damage that occurs unexpectedly and requires immediate solution.
  • Non-urgent or planned corrective maintenance, which involves only those cases in which the fault or malfunction is discovered, but the equipment or tool can continue to work (generally with less effectiveness or with higher risk margins), so that the repair can be carried out later.

Advantages and disadvantages of corrective maintenance

Generally speaking, corrective maintenance has the following set of advantages and disadvantages:


  • Let the equipment or machine continues to operate without the need to replace it with a new one.
  • They almost always have a concrete solution (if any) that lies in the replacement of the appropriate part or its repair.
  • Does not imply extra costs as long as the failure does not occur.
  • It is usually the most common of maintenance.


  • It responds to a fault that occurs without prior notice margin, and therefore may be needed at a difficult time.
  • In some cases, the equipment will be useless until corrective maintenance is carried out.
  • Does not protect or care for equipment, so it has no impact on its useful life.
  • Your costs in time and money can be unpredictable, and are usually always greater in the long term.
  • I almost always know requires the intervention of a specialist.

Examples of corrective maintenance

Some examples of corrective maintenance can be:

  • The replacement of the pedal chain of a bicycle.
  • The replacement of starting motor for a new one in a car.
  • The change of a screen broken cell phone.
  • Welding a pipe of gas in a refrigerator.
  • The reinstallation of the OS on a laptop.

Preventive Maintenance

preventive corrective maintenance
Preventive maintenance does not prevent equipment from being used for too long.

Unlike corrective maintenance, preventive, as the name implies, seeks to prevent the appearance of damages before they happen, and therefore extend the normal useful life of the equipment.

That is, it is the form of maintenance that postpones the need for corrective maintenance, and generally consists of cleaning, tune-up, greasing, balancing or replacement of worn-out spare parts on the devices. It has the virtue of being able to plan and that it generally does not prevent the use of equipment or tools for long.

Examples of this type of maintenance are:

  • Changing the oil and filters of a car.
  • The routine uncovering of the gas ducts of a heater.
  • Defragmentation of a computer’s hard drive.

Predictive Maintenance

Often associated with preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance, as its name suggests, is based on the prediction of breakdowns, that is, on assessing the current state of equipment to determine how likely a failure is to occur or how necessary a routine preventive maintenance would be. It is, therefore, an exercise in diagnosis, evaluation or control.

Examples of this type of maintenance are:

  • The inspection of a car in the workshop before embarking on a land trip.
  • Running diagnostic or antivirus programs on a computer.
  • Thermographic analysis of electronic or electrical equipment and installations.