percussive maintenance
n. Attempting to solve a mechanical or electrical problem by hitting or kicking the failed device.
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.
—Adam Turner, “Multi-function Devices 'present Untapped Opportunities',” Sydney Morning Herald, July 30, 2002
Technical things on a small scale can be just as capricious. I heard a good one the other day — an expression for a phenomenon which had previously been unnamed, as far as I know. It's "percussive maintenance", which happens when your piece of electronic wizardry — television, computer, etc — won't work, and you give it a sharp unscientific whack to revive it — it often works, too.
—“The method and the madness Boost for WRVS,” The Gloucester Citizen, March 13, 1998
1996 (earliest)
The plan had been to let the media and various hangers-on go out for a ride in the big white six-seater, but technical woes kept the number of five-minute tours down to five out of more than 40 that were scheduled.

Early trips reported trouble that seemed to be fixed by using a wrench to apply repeated doses of percussive maintenance.
—Alex Law, “Benz touts hydrogen-based fuel cell,” The Toronto Star, May 18, 1996
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