2005 Ford F450 6 Liter Diesel IPR Valve Replacement

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, serving Vancouver for almost 30 years, number one rated auto repair facility in Vancouver. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Do well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about an old favourite, a Ford 6 litre diesel, this was in a 2005 Ford F450, what was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: This vehicle would intermittently die while the client was driving the vehicle, all of a sudden it would just stop running and he eventually had it towed into our shop. Interestingly enough, prior to this happening, about two weeks ago he had the vehicle towed in because it wouldn’t start, we had a look at it, diagnosed it and found there was no oil sitting in the oil filter housing which will certainly cause the engine not to start because the vehicle requires oil pressure, high pressure oil to fire the fuel injectors. And what we found with that issue and this could be a separate post, but I’ll be very brief here, the oil filter had been replaced with an aftermarket oil filter which can from time to time cause, for some reason, it caused the oil to drain out of the oil filter housing and no oil pressure. So we replaced it with a Ford oil filter and the proper oil filter cap and no problem. So we were surprised actually to hear a couple weeks later that the vehicle’s doing what seemed to be a similar kind of thing. We did a diagnosis on it, scanned it and we found a trouble code that was stored for an IPR valve circuit issue. So we preformed some diagnostic tests around that and found some issues with the IPR valve.

Mark: Ok, what’s an IPR valve?

Bernie: So the IPR valve stands for injection pressure regulator and what that valve does is it sits on top of the high pressure oil pump housing. It adjusts the oil pressure based on computer inputs to just get the oil pressure just right to fire the full injectors at a proper rate, and this valve can open and close the flow of the oil.

Mark: Ok, complicated. So what kind of diagnosis did you have to do to find what was going on?

Bernie: Well what we have to do, so you know, once we started diagnosing it, the engine was cool, it fixed up right away which can be kind of annoying but it’s, I guess, it’s good. So we ran it, warmed it up, we can do tests with our scan tool to operate the IPR valve, all things seemed to be fine, warmed it up, seemed to be fine. So our technician took it off for a road test and out on the road it died which is kind of embarrassing right in the middle of Marine Drive, sitting there and it would start. But nonetheless, we got some good information. The IPR valve was commanding 85% which is allowing full oil flow and yet it was only developing 200 psi of pressure, so there was clearly a problem with the valve at the circuit and, fortunately once we called the tow truck, before the tow truck arrived the engine cooled down enough for some reason it seemed like when it was cooler it would work but it was an electrical problem with the valve itself.

Mark: What kind of pressure would it normally be operating at?

Bernie: Well you need at least around 500 psi for the engine to even fire so, at idle you need that but, I should know this stuff like exactly, but it’s up to around 2500 psi of oil pressure so there is a lot of pressure in this system. So it’ll vary depending on the engine speed, when you’re revving it up that’s when the pressures highest, but it needs at least 500 to get it running. So if it doesn’t develop that it just cranks over.

Mark: So did you find anything else, I guess you had to replace the valve?

Bernie: Yeah we replaced the valve, and this valve is located rather buried under the turbocharger area of the engine, so there’s a lot of heat in this area and there’s also an electrical connector, obviously it’s an electrical valve that can be problematic as well, so we replaced the pigtail end which is a wire, and I’ll show you some photos in a minute, about six inches long plus the connector and when we took that apart we also found the wiring part was starting to flake apart. So this could again been part of the problem. So it’s always good when you do a repair to make sure you do things thoroughly and if it’s not a whole lot of extra work to change the wiring harness, the little wiring end while you’re at it. So we did that. I’ll just share a couple photos here while we’re at it. This is the IPR valve, there’s the unit right there, it screws into the housing on the high pressure oil pump, the oil basically is forced into this area and comes out here and depending on which way the valve commands it to flow, it’ll flow at different spots on the valve. There’s the electrical connector area and this is the actual wiring pigtail we replaced. Now you’ll notice here that this wire is bare, it wasn’t completely bare when we exposed it but in the process of taking it off, the insulation started flaking apart. So it was actually cracked when we went to do, when we actually starting taking it apart so that is a sure sign that there’s a problem there and if it wasn’t causing a problem now, it certainly would have down the road. So always best to do repairs thoroughly.

Mark: So IPR valves, are they a common failure on 6 litres?

Bernie: They are. We actually replace these quite frequently. It’s one of those items that as a whole list of parts on one of these vehicles, if someone said ”Hey should I buy one, what can go wrong with it?” that IPR valve is one of those items I’d list as a pretty common failure part. We don’t do tons of them but enough that it’s a pretty common failure item.

Mark: So is there anything else that you’d look for when you’re replacing this part?

Bernie: Well it’s funny that you should ask, yes there is and I’ll share one more photo here, there’s a screen at the end of the IPR valve. This is looking down the top of the valve and you’ll see there’s, this is a screen here, this is where the the oil gets forced into the oil pump. Looking for debris on the screen is a critical issue because these can plug up, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong with the oil system on these vehicles. Things can wear out, this filter screens down the, further down the flow closer to the oil pump where the screens can break apart and they can plug the oil pumps up and do all sorts of things. So we checked this screen pretty thoroughly, and fortunately there wasn’t much, there was a little tiny little metal bit, I mean it’s a tiny little particle but other than that there’s really nothing else wrong with it but that’s certainly something that we look at when we do this. I mean, if the screen was plugged that would indicated we’d have to take the high pressure oil pump off and the oil filter housing and really inspect things and look at it. So a lot of things can fail on these engines and can cause some problems.

Mark: 2,500 psi means a lot of potential issues I think over time, is that correct?

Bernie: Yeah it is, I mean, that’s what makes these engines a bit problematic is that the oil pressure system, it’s an extra level of complexity in where the 6.4 litre which it just uses as a high pressure fuel pump and they eliminated that high pressure oil system, you know it just adds an extra level of complexity. I mean it’s a neat idea and they used it for a long time in the 7.3 litre and then into the 6 litre but you know, as I say it does add that complexity that’s eliminated when you just have high pressure fuel.

Mark: So there you go, these guys are experts in 6 litre diesels as we’ve talked about many times before, if you need any kind of service on your Ford diesel these are the guys to see in Vancouver, Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com, many videos on diesels in there. Thanks a lot Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2004 Lexus ES330 Accelerator Pedal Replacement

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: So we’re talking about a 2004 Lexus, what was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: This vehicle came to our shop with a check engine light on and the vehicle going into a limp mode, so it had very little power from time to time.

Mark: Is that a typical thing? What did you find?

Bernie: Well obviously it’s not something that you want to happen because when you accelerate, you want to accelerate but anyways, yes what we found, we plugged in our scan tool, did a diagnostic and found a trouble code stored for an accelerator pedal sensor.

Mark: Ok that sounds kind of rare, what did you find? What was involved with that kind of a repair?

Bernie: So the diagnosis wasn’t too complex for this kind of issue. Usually these codes, when they occur, are usually caused by the sensor themselves. It can a wiring issue but there’s usually nothing, the wiring is all under the dash and very protected. It’s also a fairly common failure part. So what we found was the actual accelerator pedal sensor itself was bad and needed to be replaced.

Mark: So what was involved with actually doing that?

Bernie: Well that was a pretty complex repair. The actual complete pedal assembly which includes the accelerator pedal, the brake pedal, all the mechanism, all needed to be replaced all at the same time. That’s the only way they sold the part which is kind of strange. I’ll just share a photo here, it’s interesting looking at this pedal assembly. So this is the pedal assembly. This is the accelerator pedal right here which you can probably recognize if you look at it and this is the rest of the assembly, this bolts up to the firewall of the vehicle. You cans see the brake pedal here, the return spring, this is a wiring connector for the accelerator pedal sensor, so this is the actual sensor right in this area here and so this, so essentially this part actually unbolts from the rest of the pedal assembly but for some reason on this particular car, you have to buy this whole thing which is kind of crazy, surprisingly though the part is not that expensive. Now I’ll just share another couple photos while we’re looking here, we can see some of the complexity, you can see this electric motor here, there’s a cable here, you might wonder what the heck’s that doing there. Well that actually, this vehicle has an adjustable pedal height so you can adjust he height of the pedals, you know if you, which is a great feature because a lot of people have short legs but without adjustable pedals you have to push your seat forward which puts you right into the steering wheel and I always cringe when I see people who are short, who have their car seat set like that because I think what if you got into an accident, I mean you’re sitting right in front of the steering wheel especially if the airbag goes off, which it would, you’re right in the firing line, a lot more risk. So with adjustable pedals you can have your steering wheel further away and you can pull the pedals forward so it’s a neat feature but again it adds complexity all included with this part which is kind of surprising. Here’s just a close up view, this is the accelerator pedal sensor itself and the kind of mechanism you can see it’s a big spring here and it’s a little more complicated than just a sensor, there’s a lot more to this, we’ll talk that in a minute.

Mark: Ok that looks like it was a pretty expensive part even though you said it wasn’t that expensive.

Bernie: You know surprisingly the whole assembly was under five hundred dollars which really shocked me because you know considering Lexus parts are not cheap, they’re up there, they usually cost quite a lot of money. When we ordered the part initially, we gave the VIN number to the dealer, it’s a dealer only part, they sent over just the accelerator pedal piece and for some reason it was wrong which is strange when you give them the VIN number, the actual accelerator pedal, the wrong one was $900 just for the accelerator pedal but the whole assembly was under five hundred dollars which is a real surprise. Now it’s a lot of labour to put this thing in, you can see, the part is, it’s under the dash, the steering column has to come out, brake booster needs to be, there’s a lot of work involved in changing.

Mark: So with that electric motor is it still, is that what’s actuating the brakes in the hydraulic system or is that or do you have to lead the brakes and do all that stuff too?

Bernie: No actually that motor actually only adjusts the pedal travel so when you push a button on the dash it’ll pull your pedals closer or farther away from the dash. So if you have say, if you have shorter legs, to do that. That’s the only function with that. The brakes are pretty straight forward, they just clip up to that brake pedal, there’s nothing much to do with the brakes on that vehicle. It’s basically kind of plug and play once you get it all in there.

Mark: Right and so how often do accelerator pedal sensors fail?

Bernie: Well they do from time to time and they will on any car but they’re for the most part, pretty reliable. I mean this car is an 04 so it makes it what 13 years old. Just why you have a sensor, just a little bit of background, it used to be that cars would have a cable that attached from the accelerator pedal to the throttle and when you pushed the, it was a mechanical connection. Well for quite a few years since the early 2000’s, and sometimes a little earlier, cars have gone to an electronic throttle. So there’s a sensor and the actual pedal kind of feels like you’re pushing on a cable but it doesn’t, so thats why if you looked at those pictures you can see a couple of double springs and it’s a, there’s a lot of engineering that goes into just having the pedal feel right when you’re pushing it. But the, what happens as you push the pedal, a sensor picks up your foot movement that sends a signal to the engine computer and that then the computer can open the throttle or close the throttle when it chooses to or it can make other adjustments to the transmission or the engine to accelerate the vehicle, it doesn’t just have to be the throttle. So there’s a huge advantage in terms of performance, exhaust emissions, fuel economy that can be done by doing things this way. Now of course, when it’s electronic and it’s disconnected there’s going to be a lot of safety features built in, so that actual sensor has two or three swipers inside so they verify with each other that everything’s moving in the right direction. So if it picks up a glitch of any sort, it will put the vehicle into limp mode, you know the last thing you want is a car that’s going to take off on it’s own or not take off when it’s supposed to. so if there’s a problem, goes into limp mode you’ve got to fix it.

Mark: So there you go if you have a Lexus in Vancouver that you’re needing service for, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book ahead, they’re busy, you’ve got to book ahead or else check out their website pawlikautomotive.com, we’ve got almost six years of videos on there. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2009 Land Rover LR2 Serpentine Belt and Water Pump Replacement

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Land Rover, 2009 LR2 what’s going on with this Land Rover?

Bernie: Well the vehicle was brought to us for a maintenance service. The client just bought the vehicle and it was due for I think it was about a 100,000 kilometre maintenance service and one of the items on the maintenance service is actually to replace the serpentine belt. There’s wasn’t too much on this service, but the belt was one of the replacement items.

Mark: So a belt can sound pretty straight forward but I know they can be a pretty complicated procedure. How was this one?

Bernie: Well this one is really complicated, as a matter of fact, I think as far as in the world of serpentine belt replacement, this is the worst one possible. Now there’s a Volvo model, a vehicle, I hate to say it’s an XC60 or 90, they share the same platform as the LR2 and they have exactly, so it’s the same engine. So they’re in the same category of replacement but yeah, this is the, I think quite possibly the worst drive belt to replace on any vehicle we’ve ever seen. The reason why is that the belt is located, instead of being not the front of the engine at say at the side of the, fender side, it’s a transverse mounted engine, so the engine from the right, the passenger side fender is where the crankshaft pulley is, that’s where the belt would normally be situated so you can get in there. Sometimes it’s a bit of a pain but you know, but you can always access it but this belt is located in between the transmission and the engine and so it’s a lot of work to replace, there’s a the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, all these accessories are all run on that side of the engine under the air box, under the battery. It’s a lot of work to get at it and replace it.

Mark: Ok, did you find anything else when you replaced?

Bernie: Yeah, we did actually. We found that the water pump was leaking and that was not at all visible. It wasn’t leaking to the point of it dripping on the ground but there was a bit of a nice puddle of coolant forming under the water pump so we found that was leaking, we replaced that while we did the work. I’ll just get into sharing some photos right now because there’s some neat stuff to see with this vehicle. There’s our 09 Land Rover LR2, nice looking vehicle, in good shape about 110,000 kilometres. So this is a view of the side of the engine, there’s our new belt installed, now this is the engine itself and it’s hidden under covers, this is the front of the car, the radiator here, the hood, the bumper would be up in this area. So we’re looking at the side of the engine, none of this is visible. This part here is where the air cleaner box attaches. So this is all, everything in this area where I’m just going with the mouse, is all hidden with covers and air filter boxes and that sort of thing. So all this stuff needs to, it’s not a matter of simply, if you look at it it’s not a matter of simply just pulling a tension off and the belt sliding out. This is the power steering pump, it has to be removed, same with the air conditioning compressor, has to be unbolted to access the pump and the water pump is located in behind here. So our next photo we’ll look at is, this is what the power steering pump and belt removed and that’s the water pump there, this is a sort of drive coupler which is a really usual item. It actually clips onto the power steering pump and it’s driven by the power steering pump through this unusual coupler but kind of smart design. This is antifreeze down here, it’s an orange coloured antifreeze in this vehicle and you can see it’s been spraying out in this area here. So it’s only a matte of time before it becomes a very large leak. Here’s a view of the water pump after it was removed, again you can see this odd, strange drive coupler that is like a little blade that spins the water, basically pushes in water through the engine located underneath here and here’s another strange thing is it says FoMoCo, so that’s Ford Motor Company. So this is an actual Ford Motor Company water pump

Mark: I was going to say I smelled Ford from that kind of complicated setup

Bernie: Yeah, yeah it’s interesting. There’s a, it’s interesting that Ford owned Land Rover Jaguar during this era, the 09, they also owned Mazda which is interesting because we’ve worked on both these cars yesterday and we had two Ford trucks in the shop and we’re kind of joking amongst ourselves, hey we’re working on all Ford vehicles today even though they don’t all say Ford on them. They have some unquinesses, each of them have uniquenesses but they’re, there’s a lot of Ford, it’s kind of actually impressive that Ford’s actually spread their wings so wide in the world of cars and they’ve since retracted since they don’t own Volvo anymore, they don’t own Land Rover Jaguar but they’ve been pretty successful.

Mark: So it’s a pretty amazing where Ford parts show up

Bernie: Yeah, it is, it is amazing. We find them all over the place. I don’t know if it’s a good thing actually, maybe it’s a good thing they’re all Ford vehicles in this shop, it doesn’t maybe say so much good about them and their quality, but they’re pretty good vehicles overall.

Mark: So how are LR2s actually for reliability?

Bernie: Well of course we just talked about how complex their belt design is and you know if anything goes wrong with a lot of these parts it’s going to be a lot more work to change and repair and I mean, overall the LR2s are pretty good. Other than, we’ve had a few and we’ve talked about these in previous blog posts and hangouts, the differential bearings fail on these, especially in the rear, and it’s almost a guaranteed failure on every one of them, so that is definitely I’d say the biggest flaw of the vehicle, other than that they’re pretty good, they’re a nice size vehicle but complex in the way they’re built but they drive great.

Mark: So there you go. If you’re looking for service for your Land Rover in Vancouver, they guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, they’re busy fixing all the Ford’s in Vancouver, or you can check, so you’ve got to book ahead or you can check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks a lot Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2007 Chevy Monte Carlo Automatic Transmission

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive, Vancouver’s best auto service experience. How’re you doing this morning Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a 2007 Monte Carlo that had an automatic transmission problem. What was going on with this Monte Carlo?

Bernie: Well, first step of course is always for us to road test the vehicle, the client was experiencing some shifting problems, I drove the vehicle and definitely noted there’s some shifting issues. At first it seemed to be fine and then there was the odd, a sort of three four, third to fourth gear type shift there was a kind of a weird feel to it and then I noticed after a while of driving, I’d stop and go to start and it would jump out of gear and then jump back in again. So that was clearly a pretty significant problem.

Mark: So what kind of diagnostic steps did you do to narrow down what the problem was?

Bernie: Well first thing of course is a road test to verify the concern, which we did, second plug a scan tool into the vehicle, I mean this is an 07 there’s lots of computer controls in the transmission, plugged the scan tool in, see if there are any trouble codes, that gives us an area to look and there was actually none. And my kind of initial, my gut feeling from driving it is maybe there’s a fluid problem, maybe the fluid level was low and sure enough, the next step was the check the fluid level. This vehicle has a dipstick which surprised me because a lot of GM’s of this vintage don’t have dipsticks and you can still check the level, it’s just a lot more work. Put the dipstick in, pulled it out and the fluid wasn’t even reading on the stick. It took two litres of fluid to actually get the reading close to normal. From there we road tested the vehicle to see how it works and it shifted fine which I kind of suspected it would.

Mark: So what else did you do?

Bernie: Ok so from there, basically the next step was to, we could of let the vehicle go at that point because it was working but the fluid was discoloured and it makes send to look inside the pan and see if there’s any damage. Also of course, why’s the fluid level low? So we looked underneath, did an inspection and found the leak was coming from the transmission pan gasket and you know, that’s a pretty common spot for a leak. So we pulled the transmission pan down, inspected inside, fortunately there was absolutely no filings, materials like particles of any sort which is really good news for the owner of the vehicle. Yeah, so that’s basically what we did from there.

Mark: So how did if work after the service?

Bernie: Oh it was awesome. So what I should add is in addition to changing the pan gasket and filter, we also did a transmission fluid flush because the fluid was old and discoloured. So yeah it was great, road tested the vehicle, worked absolutely fabulously and I want to share a few photos while we’re at it because it’s interesting, so where were we here, so here’s our Monte Carlo, good vehicle. I know for quite a few years they built this car looking at the same type of design of vehicle so it actually surprised me it was when they got it it was actually new as it was, I thought it was a lot older. Anyway so here’s the transmission pan that we took out. Now I’m going to share a couple photos of this pan. So this is the pan, and this area here, someone has used a cork gasket and put some silicone or some Right Stuff Gasket Sealer on there, probably nothing really wrong with it, it’s not exactly the right gasket, but they tightened it way too tight and this area here, it’s actually the middle of the pan they tightened it so tight that the cork is squished right out and that was one of the causes of the leak. And now I’ll share the other photo, this is the proper pan gasket that’s supposed to be in there, you can see it’s a very elegant, thin gasket. This is like a metal cored gasket with molded rubber and it’s actually supposedly a reusable gasket, we normally change them but you can take them off and reuse them. They’re meant for multi purpose use. So again, we put the proper gasket on with the filter and it works fine.

Mark: So we don’t see a lot of these Monte Carlos, how are they?

Bernie: Pretty good cars, as I say, yeah we don’t really see many of these cars, I don’t think they made a lot of them but when you open the hood, it’s a typical GM vehicle of that vintage, I’m trying to think of others but there’s other Chevy’s, there’s Pontiac’s and Buick’s that if you look under the hood they have the same engine configuration, same transmission, generally a pretty reliable vehicle. A few problems here and there but overall pretty good car.

Mark: Alright if you’re looking for service for your GM vehicle, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2009 Mazda Cx9 Power Window Motor Replacement

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive, Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well this morning

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Mazda CX9 that you had to do a power window replacement in, what was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well, it was a driver’s window, I guess it’s no surprise as that’s usually the window that fails most commonly, it’s used the most. The window would go down, then when you went to put it up, sometimes it will only go up part way, the motor would make this weird kind of sound and it just wouldn’t move up. You could grab the window and kind of assist it up but these was a failure in the window motor and the regulator as well.

Mark: so I guess that necessitated taking the door apart. What did you find that was wrong?

Bernie: Exactly, yeah so, basically took the door panel off and then accessed the window motor and regulator, both of them are actually serviced somewhat separately, well sort of together sort of separately. It’s a pretty neat design. I was actually extremely impressed. I did this job myself which is kind of unusual because these days I don’t touch cars all that much but I did this one myself. I was just so impressed with the way Mazda designed this, the motor really easy to remove and then the window regulator, there’s access points and holes where you can access the bolts to unbolt the regulator from the glass, the gear and mechanism and everything on the regulator just comes out really easily. It’s just so well thought out, it’s a nice treat. Some window regulators are just a complete pain, we had a Porsche Panamera with a bad window, it was just a nightmare to change, hours of work and not really necessary and the Mazda works great. Yeah, so that was a nice refreshing thing to see. I’m going to share a couple photos while we’re here. So our 09 Mazda CX9. Nice looking, probably call it a sport utility, a large station wagon sport utility the of vehicle. Power window motor. What impressed me about this window motor as well, it’s just how small it is. Now I don’t have an older window motor to show you but this is the actual motor itself and this is only about two inches from here to here and in the past, a power window motor would of been four times that size for the actual motor part itself. It’s amazing how on modern cars they can make things powerful and effective and so small and compact that they use very little electrical energy. Now of course, this vehicle is eight years old and the window motor is worn out but you know, that’s still a fair good kick at the can for a lot of cars, it’s, some of them last longer but just because it has a bigger motor doesn’t mean it’s going to last longer. But anyways, I just wanted to share a couple of those things there with you.

Mark: So I guess the replacement was pretty easy then, straightforward easy to get to?

Bernie: Yeah, not very labour intensive and as I mentioned, very nice the way everything came apart, really nice, even taking the glass out of the window, once it’s unbolted, a lot of times you can’t get the glass out, there’s a lot to remove, the glass just lifts out through the hole, the opening where it slides up and down. So everything is engineered really well to do this job.

Mark: And how are Mazda CX9’s?

Bernie: Overall pretty good. We’ve actually serviced this particular vehicle since it was brand new and it’s had very few problems. I think the owner had an issue with the transfer case, it was replaced under warranty but really very few problems. Pretty good vehicle, probably not quite as good as say an equivalent Toyota, but generally a lot better priced, and really nice interior features, drives really well. It’s a good vehicle.

Mark: So there you go, if you’re looking for service on your Mazda products in Vancouver the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book an appointment, they’re busy you’ve got to book ahead or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. We’ve got five years plus worth of videos on there, tons of information. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

How Reliable Are Nissan Muranos?

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m awesome, thank you

Mark: So we’re talking cars again and we’re going to talk about a fairly obscure vehicle in some ways maybe, Nissan Murano. How reliable are Nissan Muranos?

Bernie: They’re fairly reliable but not without their issues. Overall as far as this light crossover SUV, they’re a pretty decent vehicle but there are definitely some issue with them.

Mark: Is this a vehicle that I would consider if I was looking for something in this class of SUV?

Bernie: Well you might. It’s certainly a nice car. I would say that there are definitely some things that will go wrong with it, now I’m not, we haven’t worked on too many of the newer, say after 2010 models just yet. The first generation we’re pretty well acquainted with. There’s a lot of them on the road so we kind of know what’s going with them. There’s the newer models, I think are probably a little more reliable but you know, it’s probably a vehicle to consider for sure if you’re looking for a sort of midsize, I’d call them a midsize SUV.

Mark: So what are some of the common problems with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well probably the most common issue and I’ll just talk on the first generation models, is transmission issues. These vehicles us CVT transmissions, Nissan was a very early adopter of CVT transmissions, they used them on all the models on Muranos and many of them failed. Fortunately for the owners, Nissan extended the warranty to 10 years so a lot of people got their transmissions taken care of under that warranty, but if it’s over that of course, then it’s a very expensive repair.

Mark: So just refresh us on what a CVT transmission is

Bernie: So CVT transmission is a continuously variable transmission and what it is, instead of having a set of say four or five gear sets where is actually clicks from one gear to the other, the CVT transmission can vary the gear ratio of the transmission to any infinite amount, well I guess whatever is available inside the transmission. So instead of using like in a lot of cars, the engine will accelerate to a certain level then the transmission will shift gears then it will accelerate again to a certain level, the vehicle, the powertrain management computer can actually use the transmission to vary the speed of the vehicle with the transmission or the speed of the engine. So you don’t have to change the engine speed you can change the transmission. It’s actually really useful in terms of getting power in the right band of the engine or fuel economy or exhaust emissions. It’s a pretty good tool from that point of view but there are a lot of problems with them, there have been a lot of problems with them.

Mark: So is this a big source of like, because transmission problems are pretty common across other kinds of vehicles as well, is the CVT a part of that issue?

Bernie: It can be for some but it seems like transmission problems are one of those large issues when you look at reliability of cars, and there are certain lines of cars that have transmission problems and I’m sort of thinking like Dodge Caravans have been notorious for having transmission issues and they really stick out because that’s a big ticket item. I mean next to an engine the transmission is probably the single most, it is the single next most expensive item on a car. So that’s a big thing if you have a vehicle with an unreliable transmission that can stand out in a reliability report on a vehicle. But I’d say maybe 20 to 30% of cars on the road have transmission issues but I mean, I own several different, I’ve got a Mercedes, I’ve got a Suburban, I’ve got a Subaru, knock on wood, some of these vehicles have really high mileage, the transmissions are perfect and I knock on wood, because you never know when they’re going to wear out. But they’re all really high mileage and they’ve done well and had no transmission issues but there are other cars like Murano’s, you could almost count on having a transmission problem if it hasn’t been fixed under warranty.

Mark: So what else happens to Murano’s?

Bernie: Well overall they’re pretty reliable and they do develop a few oil and fluid leaks here and there. One other very common problem of these vehicles and we’ve actually seen on similar Infiniti models, is that the seat, the driver seat breaks. A car seat has a, the base of it has a metal frame and the metal frames are a little weak on these vehicles and they a certain point where they snap. So we’ve actually very successfully been able to repair a few of them, where we take a seat apart and we re-weld the seat back together and put some reinforcement brackets in it. I’m happy to say, I’ve got a couple of clients, these are pretty large guys, years later the seats are still holding together just fine. So it is something that is common on Murano’s. If you’re really light, small person you may never brake the drivers seat but if you’re a medium to large sized man, you’ll probably take it down. Other than that, I mean it is an all-wheel drive vehicle so there are a few issues that occur with the all-wheel drive system from time to time. There’s a coupling unit in the rear, we’ve replaced those, other than that, brakes sort of last average 50-70,000 kilometres on brakes, tires, you know have a pretty decent lifespan too.

Mark: So if you have some images…

Bernie: Yeah, let’s look at a couple of different generations of Murano. This is a first generation Murano, it’s a 2006-07 I believe is the age of this model and the have have a sorry, we’re looking at the wrong thing here, this is the 2016 Murano so you can see it’s a similar shape but a lot, it’s a lot sportier looking than the older version but still I mean, these are still a pretty good looking vehicle for their time. They still, even at 10 years old, they still look pretty decent.

Mark: So what sort of maintenance is required on these vehicles?

Bernie: Well, they’re pretty, I’d call this a pretty low maintenance vehicle, I mean, definitely regular oil changes, most of these, I’m not certain on the newest models but certainly first generation into the second generation, they just use regular motor oil so the oil changes are not very expensive but you should do them every 5 or 6,000 kilometres. It’s a time chain engine, there’s not timing belt, so that’s one less thing to worry about but again, as I said many times, change your oil regularly because if you damage your timing chain it’s really expensive. But they are extremely reliable engines, spark plugs are in the mid hundred thousand ranges for replacement. Other than that it’s really just change the oil one service, do a full inspection next service and just see how things go. But they’re, it’s a pretty minimal maintenance vehicle.

Mark: So final impression

Bernie: You know, it’s a nice vehicle for its size and I mean, compared to, it’s a Japanese vehicle, it’s more reliable than a lot the European models, given time. As I say there are a few things if you’re going to buy a used one, especially a first generation make sure the transmission’s been done or have it priced accordingly if it’s never been done because it’s a very expensive repair. Other that that you know, a good inspection should show whether the vehicle is good or not but it is a nice vehicle, nicely appointed features and good to drive too.

Mark: Alright, so if you have a, looking for a Nissan Murano, there’s a maybe a solid B on the grade from Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s best auto service experience. You can book an appointment at 604-327-7112, they’re busy, you’ve got to book ahead or check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2006 Nissan Murano; Power Window Motor Replacement

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: So, we’re talking about a Nissan Murano that had a power window problem, what was going on with this Nissan?

Bernie: Well, there was a couple interesting things. First of all, sometimes the window would stick and wouldn’t go up. We tested it and what we found is the window would go up and then it would immediately drop down about halfway, it wasn’t physically dropping because it was broken, the motor would actually go all the way up and then pull it back down and it did that a few times and then eventually it stopped and wouldn’t move. Interestingly enough, that partial down movement happens on a lot of vehicles with power windows due to like programming issues with the windows but in this case, because the window wouldn’t actually move, there was a problem with the window motor or regulator system.

Mark: So what sort of tests did you need to do to find out what was going on with this?

Bernie: Well first test generally with any power window concern, we take off the door panel, we get right to the window and we test the powers and grounds to the motor and see what signals are being commanded by the switch. In this case, when we tested it, all the signals were good from the switch, the powers and grounds to the motor were good, so it basically confirmed the motor itself was bad.

Mark: So is that then a motor replacement or did you have to complete a bunch of other changes, control modules or anything like that?

Bernie: Well, there’s a couple ways you can go about it and on modern cars, windows are a little different than they used to be. In the olden days, the window regulator used to be this big, large arm with an enormous gear and then the window motor had a gear that attached to that, it would wind the window up and down but most newer cars use a system of cables, I’m going to show you a photo in a minute, cables and pulleys and the motor operates it that way. So the thing about the cables and pulleys is they actually do tend to break over time so with this particular repair, we were actually able, for the same price as a motor, get a complete assembly with the regulator and that makes a lot of sense because they tend to break on a lot of cars or stick and cause problems. So we ended up doing a complete repair. I’ll share a photo here, the regulator, so this is the power window motor right here, this is the regulator mechanism, it’s all sort of bits and several pieces but there’s cables that run from the motor and then this part here, these two parts attach to the window, so that’s what goes up and down when you move the motor. What I found really interesting about this piece when I took it apart is how small these wires are. You can’t really get a sense of it so much looking at this picture, but in years past, power windows would be at least a 14 or 12 gauge wire, there’s a lot of power drawn, these are like an 18 gauge, very, very thin wire. Amazing how a lot of modern vehicle electrical items use very thin wires and so they’re very efficient items.

Mark: So just explaining why, those silver pieces were, are sort of sit on the top and the bottom of the window or how does that or I guess just they’re on the bottom?

Bernie: Those little pieces bolt to the bottom of the window. There’s a bracket on the window and that’s where they attach.

Mark: And that’s what pulls the window up and down

Bernie: Yeah, and sometimes you’ll get a window that’s kind of sticky or it makes a lot of noise and it’s because of the cables or inside those long solve tubes, there’s usually a roller at the end and there’s a cable that goes up and down and they’ll break on some vehicles and cause all sorts of noises or the motor to strain. It seems like actually the quality of the window regulator on this Murano is fairly good quality compared to some cars they’re not that durable but the one of the Murano seems to be pretty good.

Mark: So is this a common problem on Muranos?

Bernie: Not any more than any other vehicle. The driver’s window of course gets the most strain of any car window so it’ll go more frequently but I don’t say, I wouldn’t say the power window are more problematic on Muranos than any other vehicle.

Mark: So there you go. If you have some issues with your power windows, doesn’t even matter what kind of vehicle it is, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2012 BMW X1, Turbo Air Duct Pipe

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 17 time winners, almost unbelievable, 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing this morning Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re talking BMW’s. We’ve got a BMW X1, what was going on with this mini SUV

Bernie: Well this vehicle came to our shop, pretty low mileage vehicle in great shape but had a oil leak coming from the turbo area and the owner had taken it another shop to get this maintenance service done and they didn’t want to repair or look at the turbo issue. They figured the turbocharger itself was leaking oil and it was a big job and beyond what they wanted to take on. So they brought it to us to have a look at it.

Mark: And what did you find?

Bernie: Well what we found was actually the turbo itself wasn’t leaking which I figured would be kind of a long shot with a low mileage BMW. What we found was there was oil seeping out of the turbo duct, the air intake turbo duct right at the turbocharger so it looked like it was coming from the turbo, but in fact wasn’t.

Mark: So maybe explain, how that air duct hose leaks oil.

Bernie: Excellent question. So inside, so the turbo, with a turbocharged engine there’s a lot of air ducting pipes that go from the turbocharger to the intake manifold, from the air cleaner and these are all hooked up to the crankcase breathing system and there’s a small amount of oil vapour that goes, leaks out of the crankcase ventilation system and it gets into the air ducts. So over time, some oil will build up and if the seal is leaking slightly, it’ll cause the oil to drip out. This especially happens in a low part of the system which is where this particular pipe was. So that’s basically how the oil gets in. Usually it take a lot more mileage to develop a leak, but we see it a lot on VW’s on those seals and ducts, but that’s basically how it works.

Mark: Did you just replace the seal?

Bernie: Well not in this case, this particular seal, you have to buy the whole pipe which is unfortunately an expensive repair. I’ll share some photos here, you can actually see the seal’s a rather special type of seal, not that they shouldn’t sell it separately, but for some reason they don’t. So let’s look at the pictures, so there’s our 2012 X1, basically an X Series platform just built into a little SUV, nice little small vehicle, compact, good fuel economy. This is our oil leak. So you can, this is basically the bottom of the turbo, now it doesn’t look like a lot but you can see a sort of oily film around this area here and this is the duct hose and the seal is inside that area. So this pipe, it was the piece we replaced.

Mark: And up at the top left, that’s the turbo housing?

Bernie: This is the actual turbocharger itself, this is the intake side and this is the exhaust side of the turbo, just right up here which is way out of focus, but yeah this is looking underneath the vehicle. Now where’s our other photo, yeah, so this is basically the seal inside the pipe, you can see it’s a kind of a special, double lipped type of seal. They also use nice easy to replace clip clamps so everything snaps together in a rather easy fashion once you remove all the covers and remove things as necessary to access it. It’s a fairly straight forward job and again it’s just removing everything to get there.

Mark: Alright we’re back to you

Bernie: Back to me

Mark: So is replacement of these air duct pipes pretty common on turbocharged vehicles?

Bernie: Well we do some and there’s a lot of turbocharged vehicles out there. These ducts, I mean things like oil leaks from ducts will happen from time to time, there’s also air leaks that can occur and that’ll affect engine performance. Sometimes you hear like a hissing noise, check engine light maybe on for low turbo performance and that happens from a variety of vehicle. We see a lot of older VW TDI’s that have leaks from ducts, intercoolers especially, they’re located very low down in the front right corner of the vehicle and if there’s oil that drips out, that’ll often be the intercooler or the actual seals on the turbo duct. So that’s not an uncommon thing we see, not too common for BMW’s with this low mileage but you know, anything happens on any car, at any time. So you’ve got to be prepared for it but usually they’re reliable.

Mark: How are these X1’s for reliability?

Bernie: Yeah, they’re pretty good, fairly decent vehicle, don’t see a lot of problems with them so far.

Mark: So there you go, if you’re looking for service for your BMW X1 in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2000 BMW 323i, Water Pump

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik from Pawlik Automotive. We’re talking cars this morning. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a BMW 2000 323i that had a water pump problem. What was going on with this BMW?

Bernie: Well the vehicle, the owner was driving the vehicle and pulled into a job site and it was making a horrendous racket and they wisely decided to shut it off and have the vehicle towed to our shop to be repaired.

Mark: And you found?

Bernie: We found the water pump severely worn, I mean the sound coming from the engine was just horrendous and the water pump bearing was completely fried, was fried like broken apart causing the belt to flop around, the pulleys, the fan was way out of place and tapping things. So there was a lot of noises going on, a lot of racket. We’ll just get right into sharing a little video of the bearing because it’s really interesting to look at. So here is the water pump bearing.

Mark: That’s just not good.

Bernie: Yeah, it’s just insanely worn.

Mark: Basically that should not have any play in it whatsoever.

Bernie: That should not have any play, yeah no that should, I could grab that bearing, that flange and move it and there should be absolutely no movement at all whatsoever.

Mark: So what sort of other issues would be caused by the water pump failure like that?

Bernie: Well, there’s a lot of things that can happen and interestedly enough there was really no pre warning, although I suspect if the owner had listened a little more, there was probably some growling bearing noise coming from the engine but I mean, a lot of things could happen like when a water pump fails the engine can overheat. That’s a very typical issue, also old coolant loss is another common issue and surprisingly the coolant level was full in this car which was good because the engine never overheated and that’s a good thing. But usually when a bearing fails like that there’s a seal inside and the seal will leak of course, because things are just moving and an angle that they’re not supposed to. I think something with the design of this water pump, it’s very, it’s got a very long housing and bearings at each end and I think somehow the way the seal is situated just allows it to not leak. But again there was a real surprise because with a bearing that loose at least 99% of the time, the coolant just gushes out all over the ground. So fortunately in the case of this vehicle, that wasn’t, the water pump was the main thing that was bad.

Mark: So you replaced the water pump, any other parts need to be replaced?

Bernie: Well there was a few other things. So fortunately the fan itself wasn’t damaged even though it was whacking against the fan shroud and I guess in some cases to if this thing could of worn worse, it could of have just wrecked the radiator too because they often sit very close, the fan and radiator can sit close to each other but there’s no damage in that area. So what other items did need to be replaced, so when we took it apart, the fan clutch which is basically a mechanism that allow the fan to slip and improve, it makes the engine efficiency and fuel economy, but that piece was worn just from age so we replaced that, also the belts obviously got replaced. They were showing signs of cracking, and the tensioners and the pulleys were starting to wear so we replaced those too. So a few preventative items to prevent other failures down the road, but that was it.

Mark: So how are BMW’s for reliability? I have mixed experience, mixed results with them.

Bernie: They’re actually, these cars are actually I find are pretty reliable. They’re a little simpler, these older, like a 2000 BMW, it’s a little simpler of a car than some of the newer ones with direct fuel injection. They seem to have less problems. I mean, there’s a lot of plastic pieces that wear out but this car is 20 years old. We do regular service on it and it doesn’t really come in for a whole lot that more than you’d expect on a car that’s this age. So pretty good reliable car and a nice driving vehicle.

Mark: So there you go. If you’re looking for service in Vancouver for your BMW 3-Series, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, they’re busy you’ve got to book ahead or check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. We have almost 5 years of videos on there, hundreds and hundreds of them for you to peruse through, tons of information. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2008 Ford F350, 6.4 Diesel, Exhaust Manifold Gaskets

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, talking cars this morning. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well

Mark: So actually, we’re talking trucks, I lied a little bit, we’re talking again about a 2008 Ford 350 diesel 6.4 litre diesel that had some exhaust manifold gasket issues. What was going on with this truck?

Bernie: Well this truck came to us with a couple of issues, one was a lack of pawer but not related to what we’re talking about today, that was one issue, the other is a very loud noise under the hood, a tic tic tic tic type of noise. So we had a look at it and found there’s an extremely bad exhaust leak at the rear of the next exhaust manifold, right where the manifold bolts onto the head, so assuming the gasket was blown out was our initial assumption.

Mark: So, we’ve gone over these vehicles, other vehicles in this line before, so I know this is a pretty extensive and complicated repair, was it?

Bernie: Yes, of course, it’s a Ford diesel. You know these well from our conversations too. There’s not much simple on a Ford diesel, actually for most diesels for that matter but definitely nothing simple on this vehicle. It was a cab off repair. I suppose we could of struggled and done it with the cab on, but I really really can’t imagine it would have been a lot of fun and really the amount of extra time it takes to take the cab off, makes the job well worthwhile, we can inspect a lot of other components at the same time and because we have to take the turbo charger off too, it just made sense to do everything all at the same time with the cab off. Once the cab is off, it’s still a complex repair. There’s still a lot to do to get to the manifolds off, they’re buried in there and really it’s still not easy.

Mark: So did you have to replace the manifolds?

Bernie: We did in this case. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t but what we found of course they, actually both of them had leaks and both had broken bolts at the back of the head. But yes, we did have to replace the manifolds. It just made sense financially to do them as opposed to having a machine shop do them, replace the studs on the manifolds, by the time you add all that up it’s just cheaper to replace the manifolds. Same cost to replace the manifold and you get brand new ones. I’ll share some photos while we’re at it here. Ok there’s the, this is the right hand exhaust manifold bolted up to the head and you can see this isa bolt, this is one of the bolts that bolts the manifold to the cylinder head, you can see no bolt head here, this one was gone, same with the other one down below. So those were both missing, broken off. What have we got here, this is our, you can see the evidence of the leak, this is on the left side this is where the leak was really bad and this black soot is all exhaust soot, it’s a diesel, very sooty and the gasket, there’s the manifold, this is the gasket right here, that’s what was blown out and a further view, this is with the manifold off and you can see the severe leak out the back here. This is all diesel soot and bolt holes here but no bolt hole here because the bolts have basically broken right off, and a final view, the gasket and this is the gasket at the rear as you can see, it’s missing a complete chunk, it’s just burned away. So there are the photos, the pictures tells it all.

Mark: So you didn’t have any shots of the cab off which would of been kind of cool, but what parts did you end up replacing with this service?

Bernie: So as I mentioned, we did do the manifolds, we inspected the Y-pipes, the pipes at the back because these are things we’ve replaced before. There were in good shape on this vehicle so we didn’t do those but all the bolts for the manifold, we replaced all of them because they get stretched and there’s no sense in using the other bolts. There’s a risk, there’s also a risk when we assemble it when a bolt looks good and it’ll snap so all those bolts are replaced, all the gaskets and that kind of takes care of it.

Mark: Any other parts or pipes that you replaced while you were at it?

Bernie: No actually just what I mentioned before, the manifolds and the bolts.

Mark: So this is a second kind of encounter with a 6.4 diesel recently. Are you seeing a lot more of these?

Bernie: We are. I really noticed a lot more of these are coming to our shop, I guess they’re getting older now, we used to see nothing but 6 litres and we still see a lot of them but diesels last a long time, so even though the 6 litre is a lot of work and can be an expensive vehicle to fix, it’s still a diesel, still got a lot of value so I imagine we’ll be seeing those for years and years to come. Yeah, there’s a lot more 6.4’s come into our shop, they’re getting older, things are happening to them, fortunately not blowing head gaskets with the frequency of a 6 litre but there’s still lots of the expensive repairs that they need and anything on a diesel tends to be expensive. The parts are high priced and the labour is very intensive. They pack a lot of stuff into the engine compartment.

Mark: Well isn’t that part of that, isn’t part of that where the pressures that diesel generates and that’s super high temperatures and stuff too as well from that fuel?

Bernie: Absolutely and I was thinking to myself as we are doing this hangout, why should these bolts break at the back of the manifold, like why would these be the ones? Well these are on a, on these vehicles with the regeneration system. They inject extra fuel into the rear cylinders so it creates all that extra heat to burn the soot out in the back, so there’s a lot more going on in the rear cylinders of these engines than there is in the front three on each bank. So bolts can snap anywhere, but it kind of makes sense when you think about all that extra heat, there’s just a lot more strain in that area. And really I mean diesels used to be extremely dirty and they’ve cleaned them up really well but all the problems with diesels are really 99% of them seem to be happening because of the emission equipment on them that’s where all the cost comes. So you know, having a clean diesel comes at a price. It’s amazing, quiet, very little pollutants coming out the back except for Volkswagens and a bunch of other liars now out on the market, but you know, compared to what they used to be with that black smoke and the stench, it’s pretty amazing what’s been accomplished, at a price.

Mark: Yes, so there you go. If you’re looking for service for your 6.4 litre diesel or any diesel that you might have in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. They’re experts in it as I can attest, they looked after my TDI which I’m happily returning to Volkswagen on Monday, you can call them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

Let's Discuss Your Vehicle...

In order to provide an estimate, a diagnosis is the next step!

1 2 3 45