2008 Ford F350 6.4 Liter Diesel Exhaust Leak Repairs

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local; we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of the award winning Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 16 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Ford F350, your favourite repair vehicle, a 2008, these ones, this is a newer motor, the 6.4 liter diesel but there was an exhaust leak that you need to work on, what was going on this car?

Bernie: Yeah, so our client brought the vehicle to us, with the complaint of an exhaust smell inside the vehicle, very, very noticeable and very, very pungent smell.

Mark: So how did you find the source of the leak?

Bernie: Well we have a few methods; sometimes you can listen for a leak. In this case it wasn’t, there wasn’t really a lot of noise associated with it so we use one of our good methods which is a smoke machine. A smoke machine basically is a device that generates smoke and we use it for a variety of items in the auto repair industry for finding vacuum leaks, exhaust leaks, all sorts of useful things you can do with it. You can even find interior water leaks although we rarely do those sort of services but what we do is we can attach the, with adapters we can attach the smoke machine to the exhaust system and what it does is generates a very thick white smoke and wherever, whenever there’s a leak it’ll actually force the, force the smoke out; so with that we were able to find the leak.

Mark: So where was the leak coming from?

Bernie: The leak was coming from the back of the engine. There are three small exhaust pipes that connect the exhaust manifolds to the turbochargers in the EGR valve and one of pipes was badly broken. It’s common on these engines after a while for this to happen. I’ll just share some photos here.

Mark: So was it really loud?

Bernie: No it wasn’t actually and I’ll just share these photos and I’ll talk about the noises in a sec. Now can you see this?

Mark: Yep

Bernie: O.k. so there’s our F350 truck, it’s a little dirty, hard to get the vehicles washed and clean this time of year around Vancouver especially after our long, icy, snowy weather. This is the back of the engine, so this is a cab off repair job. You don’t have to do it but we opted to do it for the amount of time involved, makes for a much easier neater job. If you look at the left side of the back of the engine, actually I can use the mouse pointer here, you can see this is the pipe that was blown, you can see it’s just covered in black soot, there’s also some leakage present in this area here, it’s the second pipe so with the cab off it makes it a lot easier to replace the pipe and we opted to replace all three pipes, it really wouldn’t make a lot of sense not to do it while you through the effort of taking the cab off. So this the, after the repair all nice and clean, these are the three pipes, this one, so this pipe here comes from the right manifold to the turbo, this one from the left manifold to the turbo and this connects the EGR system.

Mark: Did you just replace it with Ford parts or did you, or is there an aftermarket fix for this?

Bernie: It’s all, sorry Mark, it’s all Ford parts. That’s really where they all seem to be available. I read that they, I mean I didn’t notice any difference but apparently they may have redesigned them to be a little, a little more durable but this truck is, what 2008, it’s you know nine years old, hundred fifty, hundred and eighty thousand kilometers so you know, it’s, if it lasts the same amount of time again, that’s a long time.

Mark: Sure, so I’m guessing this is definitely based as it’s a cab off repair, this is definitely not a simple fix.

Bernie: No, there’s nothing on a Ford diesel that’s simple on any vintage and you know there’re, it’s a lot of work no matter which way you slice it. This is a really, these engines are really complicated and the way they build things, there’s just not a lot of room around anything to get at things. You were asking too whether this was loud or not and the answer is no, it wasn’t but we’ve seen this on another vehicle’s where you’ll get under certain load conditions hissing sounds and noises similarly when these pipes start to go so that’s, that’s often an indication, you know especially at the back of the engine that the pipes are starting to crack even before you get the smell of diesel fumes.

Mark: So other than this, how are these 6.4 engines for reliability?

Bernie: Well there are issues, you know Ford only used these for three model years and I tried to do a little research to figure out why that was because they’re certainly not really not as bad as a 6 Liter engine but and I still don’t have the definitive answer on that other than I think their relationship with Navistar just went south, but. Reliability not, not fantastic I mean there’s a lot of issues with fuel getting into the oil, we can discuss these in further hangouts but fuel getting into the oil, there’s water and fuel issues, turbocharger problems, these exhaust pipes are another one, radiators leaking, so they’re not fantastically reliable compared to the Chevy or the Dodge and a lot of the issues are around the emission system. They get very poor fuel economy and that just bugs a lot of owners of these vehicles but they are a nice running engine, the first generation, that nice quiet diesel engine we don’t hear a lot of, lot of noise when the engine’s running and so I mean they are good in many respects but just not as reliable.

Mark: So, and they were replaced with the 6.7?

Bernie: They did, yeah. Yeah I haven’t seen any issues with that so far, so I think that’s been so far good, I mean like any engine, I know there are some issues out there but they’re not at all like their predecessors so I think Ford made a good move there.

Mark: So there you go, if you need some service for your Ford diesel vehicle and you want to keep it running, want to keep it running right it’s a big investment, these are the guys to call in Vancouver, Pawlik Automotive, they’re experts, they’ve dealt with dozens and dozens of these vehicle and fixed them every time. These are the guys to call 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com; tons of information on there about all kinds of diesels and other vehicles. Thanks a lot Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2008 Ford Explorer 4.6 L V8 Spark Plug Replacement

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver; our weekly hangout, talking about vehicles today. We’re going to talk about a 2008 Ford Explorer, 4.6 litre V8, it had some spark plug problems. What was going on with this vehicle Bernie?

Bernie: The vehicle was brought to us for an engine misfire and we actually, I just as another side note a couple weeks previously we did some repairs on the engine, there was a ticking noise in the engine, we did some repairs on that so we, anyways two weeks later the engine came back, it had a misfire.

Mark: So what sort of testing did you do on the vehicle?

Bernie: Well at this point the first thing we do whenever a vehicles been in for service and then something happens and the owner’s thinking well, maybe you did something that wasn’t quite right or its related to the repair we just did, the first test we do is to verify did was what we repaired fixed and so the answer was yes. The initial issue was a ticking noise in the right rear side of the engine there was a worn-out rocker arm that we replaced and that works fine, it worked great, running fine, the issue we had with this one is there was a misfire on the left cylinder banks, the opposite side of the engine, so basically not related to what we’ve done. So from this point we need to do some tests and what it came down to after testing the fuel system, the ignition it looked like it was either a spark plug problem or possibly an engine compression problem.

Mark: So that sounds kind of straightforward, remove the spark plugs, check them, do a compression test, is that what you did?

Bernie: Well, yes, however on one of these engines it’s not quite so straightforward. This is the Ford V8 engine that for about five or six model years, they had, they had the spark plugs would break off inside the cylinder so it’s not a simple matter lets pull the spark plugs out, let’s put a compression gauge in, it requires a commitment from the customer before you take these out because even we might find the plugs are all good but half of them might break off resulting in numerous hours of labour to extract them, so to his knowledge he never had them replaced so we thought it’s probably a good chance the spark plugs are bad and the compression test would be a good thing to do. So let me just share some photos here, so here’s the spark plugs removed from the engine, actually I’m not sharing these, hold on, just give it a second here. Get back with the technology or screen share, ok, now let’s, sorry give me a second here to figure out the technology, where are our pictures, they’re hidden away on me, give me half a second here, ok

Mark: We have done this before

Bernie: We’re you looking at the spark plugs?

Mark: Yeah

Bernie: Now?

Mark: Now we can see them, yeah

Bernie: O.K. so this is a new spark plug on the left, the old spark plug on the right, first thing you notice and unfortunately I was not able to put any arrows here but can you see my mouse pointer?

Mark: Yeah

Bernie: Okay so this is the old spark plug, you can see there’s a gap in this spot and there’s a gap here. You’ll notice that on the old spark plug the gap is enormous so this is an indication spark plugs are extremely worn, also the reason these spark plugs break, it’s the design of the spark plugs, you notice this big long barrel here, this is not cast as part of the threaded section of the spark plug which is unique to this engine and unique and creates a problem in that you get a lot of carbon deposits which you can see on this spark plug. They build up and they seize the spark plug, this section of spark plug into the bore, you untwist the spark plug, boom it breaks and I’m just stopping the sharing here and there should be back. Yeah, so the spark plug breaks off inside the engine.

Mark: So is there any way to prevent these spark plugs from breaking?

Bernie: Well as the owner of the vehicle, no there isn’t but it’s just simply a design of the spark plugs, not much you can do to prevent it but in removing them there are ways that we can mitigate the breakage. There’s a couple techniques, one of them; warm the engine up, shut it off and then you just crack the spark plugs a little bit, you know it’s just a minute turn to just release some of the pressure in the spark plug, maybe, yeah like a 64th of a turn kind of minute amount, spray penetrating oil and let it soak overnight. Fortunately for this vehicle it was actually a Friday night that we did that and came in Monday morning, removed them and only one spark plug broke so whether that penetrating oil you know caused all the other ones to come loose, it’s hard to know. We’ve never had all 8 break, I’m sure it’s happened to somebody but not to us.

Mark: So how often do these plugs need replacement?

Bernie: Well the Ford, the interval from Ford is and I just looked this up is 144,000 kilometers is the normal service interval on spark plugs and a severe interval is 96,000 kilometers which gets me to talking about service intervals. Most people think all I just use my car for normal use but actually most of us use our car for severe use; severe use is excessive, is long idling which is like sitting at city lights, its frequent stops and starts, it’s cold starts. I mean that depends where you live but for the most part, most of us are actually driving severe service. You know, non-severe service like normal service would be starting the car up, you got on the highway and you drive for about 30 kilometers and there may be a tiny bit of city driving and you pull over and then back again, that would be non-severe use, so most of us are in severe schedule and incidentally this vehicle had about 128,000 kilometers and I’d show you the pictures of the spark plug wear so you can see, that this was sort of halfway in between those intervals and already the spark plug were pretty badly worn.

Mark: So you said that Ford redesigned the plugs so they won’t break?

Bernie: Yeah, they did actually and just shortly after this was vehicle was built, you know that there’s’ a production date on each vehicle, during this model year of this vehicle they actually changed the design of the spark plugs and actually so they don’t break, so they don’t have that sleeve that I showed you, that cylinder, it’s more of a normal type of spark plug. Now you can’t just take those plugs and put them in this engine, it’s actually an engine redesign but finally after years of the first generation these engines the spark plugs would blow out under some conditions, these don’t blow out, they just break when you remove them. Now Ford’s finally made them so they come out when you want them to, not before and when you want them out they come out.

Mark: Handy

Bernie: Yeah like it should be.

Mark: You mentioned that this issue happened after you guys had done some work on the vehicle but they were two unrelated issues; is that something that happens fairly often?

Bernie: From time to time. It’s always a difficult conversation with a customer when you fix something and then something happens and you know, I mean most people don’t know much about cars, they’re complicated and you know, you think well you fixed one thing, now it’s doing this, maybe you did something wrong and you know the truth is sometimes we do and I mean the way we approach it is, you know, first thing we’ll do is look at what did we do and make sure that wasn’t something related to what we did, after that, then it’s o.k. this is what we did and let’s start fresh, this is what we need to figure out and this is you know, this kind of stuff happens with cars and it’s why you need to find a trusting relationship with whoever you do business with in terms of car repair, I mean find the trust and have the conversations with the person, if it seems a little dodgy see, just be honest with them and say it seems like it was this, why is that and just get an answer, anyone good in this trade, in this industry will explain that to you and give you a good answer and if they can’t, well then maybe they’re, maybe they’re full of it, there not many people are, most people are the same, this industry is pretty honest.

Mark: So there you go, if you’re looking for an honest mechanic in Vancouver, the guys to go talk to and get repairs and maintenance on your vehicles are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website, we’ve got literally hundreds of videos on there now. 604-327-7112 or pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

Chevy And GM Trucks, How Reliable Are They?

Mark: Good morning, it’s Mark at Top Local we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 16 time winners of Best in Vancouver, 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 Chevy and GM trucks, how reliable are they?

Bernie: In a nutshell, they are very reliable.

Mark: So, ok, straight and to the point, thank you so much for showing up everybody! Let’s dig in a little bit more, how about, let’s just start with pick up trucks, there’s a lot of different brands of or line of vehicles. Let’s start with pickups, how are they?

Bernie: I’d say they’re very good, I mean so I’d say in a nutshell they’re very reliable, nothing is foolproof or bullet proof and in our industry that’s always a good thing, you don’t want a car built that needs no repairs. But anyways besides that, trucks are awesome, engine-wise, I like Chevy trucks a lot so let’s talk like between say the years of 2000 and newer. Excellent engines in all their trucks, we’re talking about full size pick up trucks here, good V8 engines, very reliable, durable and simpler than say Ford and some Dodges use pushrod engines, but a lot of them use overhead cam engines. GM stuck with the pushrod engines which are not so sophisticated but they are very reliable and they generate good horsepower. So I really like the engines, they last an awful long time, front ends like steering, suspension, ball joints, steering linkages, they’re all good, I mean they do eventually wear over time but you usually got to put a few good years before any of that wears. Transmissions are reliable, some of them even come, like the higher end, the heavier duty models come with Allison Transmissions which are a bullet proof unit. Interior, fit and finish, everything else is good. Not too many electronic, quirky things, there’s nothing unusual about them in terms of how they wear out they are quite durable.

Mark: So how about the vans?

Bernie: Vans, again same thing. Here you get two categories, you get the full size vans and you’ve got the Astro van which they discontinued a few years ago which is too bad because it was a very popular van, a lot of people in the building trades and even people had them for family vans because you could put a few seats in them. So it was a nice size mini van but my inly thing with vans is that you’ve got the engine mounted inside, buried inside the vehicle so to speak, and the access is difficult. So when repairs come, they’re a little more costly and time consuming but overall they’re very reliable. One thing about the Astro vans, the idler arms wear on these things all the time. They’re kind of expensive but it’s not the end of the earth but that’s sort of the one thing that sticks out in my mind as being a common issue. Other than that, just general repair and maintenance, brakes and they’re good. Again very reliable, they run for a long time. The larger vans use the V8, for the most part use V8 engines, same as the pick up trucks. Same level of reliability.

Mark: And what about the SUV’s?

Bernie: Well the SUV, so you’ve got, I’m thinking of the larger ones like the Suburban and Tahoe which are essentially a Chevy pickup truck. The Suburban is like a four door pickup truck with a short box and it’s just built in. So same level of reliability and durability, so yeah, excellent that way. Tahoe is a bit of a smaller version and yeah overall excellent.

Mark: So there’s a lot of diesel engine choices in Chevy and GM trucks, how are they?

Bernie: Again, really good. They’re one of the best, I like them best among the options. We don’t fix too many of them which says a lot. The odd fuel injector job here and there but again it’s not that common, they are much more reliable than the Fords of a lot of vintages, maybe not the 6.7 litre but certainly much more reliable. Now when you go back, so I’m talking about the Duramax diesel, they were introduced in early 2000, the earlier models used the GM made 6.2 and 6.5 litre engines. Not so good. A lot more problems and once we get into the older ones, the diagnostics are a lot more difficult as well but I would not buy a truck with a 6.2 diesel. These are getting very old at this point and time but we still see them though so they’re still around but they were not the best, durable, reliable diesel. The Duramax by the way, is made by Isuzu, so it’s a Japanese made engine which says something to about the quality of American made engines.

Mark: Ooh, so anything to add in closing, any other parting shots?

Bernie: Um, you know overall I like GM trucks and so I’m a little biased, I drive a Suburban myself and the reason I drive it is because I like the vehicle, it’s reliable and durable but as far as the diesel trucks, again I would buy a Chevy over everything else. I like the way they drive, they’re durable and my parting shot you can’t really go wrong with a Chevy or GM truck these days.

Mark: So if you’re looking for a reliable maintenance on your Chevy vehicle in Vancouver Pawlik Automotive are the folks to call. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

Ford Gasoline Powered Trucks, How are They for Reliability?

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive. We’re doing our 2nd hangout actually of 2017 and we’re going to talk about Ford gasoline powered trucks. Bernie how are Ford’s gas powered vehicles?

Bernie: Well, my comment on them would be fair, not excellent, just fair for reliability

Mark: So that seems like a pretty surprising comment given how popular Ford truck sales have been for so many years.

Bernie: Yeah, I’ve often wondered about Ford’s. I’ve worked on them for a long time and I guess I shouldn’t complain because they do bring in a lot of work at our door which itself tells you something, but they’re not as reliable as I would think. They certainly don’t sell their vehicles because of reliability. I think the marketing for Ford is good, I mean they are a nice truck and they’re fairly reliable but there are a lot of things that do go wrong with them that I sometimes make me question would I ever want to own one.

Mark: So let’s talk about engines, Ford uses a variety of engines in different models. How are these?

Bernie: Well, let’s start with V8 engines and these are what you’ll find in the F150 and of course there are V6 options in the F150, but we’ll talk about the V8’s because they’ve been popular for a long time. 4.6 litre, 5.4 litre - a lot of issues with these engines. Things that shouldn’t happen like the early Triton engines, the 5.4 litres, they would blow spark plugs out of their holes because Ford didn’t tread the spark plugs deep enough and under extremely heavy loads the spark plugs would loosen off and they actually blow out and tear the threads with them. And that would often happen under pretty harsh circumstances. A kind of classic example might be a minibus fully loaded with people going up a highway grade hill and blowing a spark plug. Well what do you do, well you call a tow truck and find a new bus for your passengers. So these are the things that would happen quite frequently then they redesigned the engine and they used a spark plug that would break off when you went to change it. Because it has an unusual design, nobody else uses this, it’s an obscure design and many times the spark plugs would break off inside the bore. So it’s not the kind of thing you want to take out readily. If you’re going to change the spark plugs and you do have to from time to time, although there is a long service interval fortunately, but when you do there can be an extra, anywhere from one to eight hours worth the labour to change that. Well if you add that up, that’s a lot of extra money. So that’s things that shouldn’t happen. And then finally in 2008, 2009 they put a proper spark plug in where it doesn’t break off any more and it doesn’t blow out, so I don’t know why it took 10 years to figure that out but it did. Anyway, so that’s some of the things with Ford V8 engines, I mean they do have timing chain problems and a lot of the overhead cam engines and these are engines where you’ve got to do good maintenance. We’ve talked about this before, change your oil regularly, change it a little more often than the factory interval but make sure you change it, don’t ever let it run low on oil. Any engine with an overhead valve system, overhead cam, sorry, you’ve got to keep the lubrication going in the engine, it’s absolutely critical.

Mark: So on some of the other vehicles, the Explorer and Ranger often use a V6, how are they?

Bernie: Again, I’d only rate these engines as being fair. They run well, they work well but given a bit of time, they tend to, after a few years like 10 or more years old, they tend to start having timing chain problems and again these are really expensive to fix, they’re not a simple fix. The 4 litre engine has one timing chain at the back of the engine and you have to pull the engine out just to replace it. So again, there’s a lot of issues with these, we’ve replaced a lot of engines in these. When they run well, they are good and they do tend to go for a long time but again, good maintenance is important. I can’t comment too much on the Ecoboost engine, we don’t see a lot of trucks with them, I know they are fairly popular. In the early years when they came out, we serviced a number of these vehicles for a fleet and they seemed to be good, but again this is an engine that has two turbo chargers on the V6 for fuel economy, it’s a smart idea but two turbo chargers, even one turbo charger is expensive, so when two go it’ll cost a lot. So again, good maintenance, change the oil regularly, you know do that it’ll keep things going.

Mark: And the rest of the stuff? How’s the rest of the truck?

Bernie: Oh the rest of the truck, yeah, again I’d say fair, I mean, there are a number of things that happen, I’m thinking, overall the drivetrain and chassis on an F150 for instance, it’s quite well built, quite reliable, steering, suspension components last a long time, brakes pretty good, differentials, transmissions, they’re all pretty reliable as well, same with the Explorer. The early Explorers had a lot of transmission problems but the newer ones, when I say newer, like the last 10 years have been pretty trouble free. So yeah they’re pretty good, other than the few nick picky electrical issues that can happen on any vehicle, they’re overall pretty good.

Mark: Final thoughts?

Bernie: Yeah, good trucks but like any vehicle, educate yourself on what can go wrong with it before you buy it and that’ll kind of help in your decision. If you want an F150 with a diesel, I’d buy something that was newer than like a 2009 and newer because you’re not going to have that spark plug problem has you have in the older ones, and make sure the vehicle is well maintained if you buy something used. That’s really really important.

Mark: So if you’re looking for service for your vehicle, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, we’ve get a lot of feedback right now Bernie can you turn your speakers down? Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver - 604-327-7112 or check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. Remember they’ve been voted 16-15-16 times Best Auto Repair in Vancouver, they are the guys to see if you need your truck serviced in Vancouver. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark, talk to you later.

Ford Diesel Trucks, How Reliable Are They?

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

Bernie: I’m doing very well Mark.

Mark: So our first hangout of 2017 and we’re going to talk about Ford Diesel Trucks and how reliable they are. Let’s start with older to newer, were the good old days really the good old days?

Bernie: Well in this case, yes to some degree. So we’ll go back as far as the 7.3 litre Ford diesel which came out in the 1990’s, so that’s going back a long ways now, we’re looking back 20 years which is getting pretty old for a vehicle. Yes, the 7.3 litre diesel built by International was a very reliable engine, we still work on them, we still see them, not a lot of problems still. I mean, the actual basic engine, the valves, the pistons, timing components, all very reliable. there’s a few sensor issues with these things, fuel injectors go bad from time to time, but I mean, these are getting to be old vehicles now, so they’re really generally, pretty good. They are a dirty running engine, the emissions systems are not sophisticated and they’re noisy, but they get good fuel economy for the size of truck and they are very reliable.

Mark: So what about some of the other models, they had quite a few different sizes of engines through the years, how were they?

Bernie: Well, let’s get into the 6 litre, this is the legendary engine that has, I was thinking about when we were doing this hangout, it’s probably easier for me to talk about what doesn’t go wrong with this engine that what does because there are so many things, if you look on the internet you’d probably be scared to ever own one of these vehicles. But there are, a positive thing about the 6 litre, we’ll start with that, it’s got descent fuel economy, good power, a little noisy by modern diesel standards but there’s a lot that goes wrong with it. The base engine itself, like the bottom of the engine is really solid, the pistons, the block, crankshaft, there are very few problems ever occur with that part of it, but everything else, there’s a lot of things; head gaskets, EGR coolers, fuel injectors, turbo chargers, fuel injector control modules, a variety of sensors, the list just goes on and on and on. So Ford, well this is an International engine but there was many revisions made over the years this engine was made from 2003 right up into 2010, they were still used in vans, but not used in trucks after 2007, I think. So a lot of things, the list goes on, I would say this is not a, if you’re wanting to buy a vehicle that’s reliable, the 6 litre engine is definitely not the best. However, that being said, we have clients with them that have well over 200 thousand kilometres and have almost nothing go wrong with them but that’s usually the exception more than the rule. So after the 6 litre, Ford changed to a 6.4 litre and again another International made engine.

Mark: So we don’t hear a lot about those, how are they?

Bernie: Well they are definitely better in many or respects over the 6 litre. A lot of the reliability issues that happened with the 6 litre had blown head gaskets, injectors, all of those sort of things don’t seem to occur with the 6.4 litre engine. What we’ve seen in our shop mostly with the 6.4 is a lot of cooling system leaks and they’re expensive to fix because they’re diesels, the radiators are enormous and expensive. Also the other issues are a lot around the ignition system, these are the first engines that used a particulate filter and a system to burn it off and what happened with these engines is they get horrendously bad fuel economy and it’s always hard for me to reconcile how an engine can burn more fuel and be cleaner at the tailpipe. It just does not make any sense but for some reason that’s what they do. But there’s a lot of issues that happen with these, I mean people do eliminate the emission systems, it’s not legal, possibly not ethical but people are free to do what they want. It’s not like there’s a cop on every corner checking. So definitely more reliable but they’re not a great engine from the fuel economy standpoint. So after a few years of using this engine, Ford decided to go into building their own diesel because their reputation had suffered for so many years from these two, the 6 litre and the 6.4 litre, they built a 6.7 litre diesel. That’s their latest model.

Mark: So the latest, is it the greatest, how are these?

Bernie: Well so far so good, we do a lot of maintenance service on customers with these trucks, we haven’t had one problem yet, haven’t seen anything but we are in the greater scheme of things, a small shop. I did do a little reading on the internet, there’s a few little issues here and there but really overall compared to previous generation, last two diesel models, these things are great. Very few problems and Ford has now, for this model year brought out a new version of this engine with a larger turbo charger and a few other features to address whatever concerns they had with it. So I would say that this is definitely a good engine, it’s definitely a good way to go. If I was going to buy a Ford truck, this is the one I’d buy. But of course being newer, you’re going to be spending a lot more money.

Mark: So we spent a lot more time on engines, what about the rest of the truck?

Bernie: Well that’s an excellent question. So the rest of the truck, so these engines would be found in the F250 and F350 models and actually up to larger 450’s and 550’s, overall the trucks are pretty good. The transmissions don’t have a lot of problems, drivetrain wise, the differentials are solid, a lot of these are in four wheel drive trucks and so as time goes by, things do wear out, ball joints and the universal joints and the front end and when they do wear out, they are very expensive to fix. Brakes are large, so you do spend a lot more money on brakes and I will say Ford brakes do seem to be more expensive to fix than a lot of other vehicles for some reason the calipers, the caliper dust seals tend to break on Fords at a very early age and frequently. So a lot of times you’re doing a brake job with pads, rotors and calipers which can be substantially more expensive than a lot of other trucks where just the pads and rotors need to be replaced. But I think the rest of the truck itself is pretty good. They’re pretty solid and they’re certainly a nice truck to drive, they feel good, they operate well so that’s definitely a positive. But they are, it’s a big truck, it’s a big vehicle. it’s complicated so that adds to the expense and you need to know that before you get into it.

Mark: So any further thoughts on Ford diesel pickups?

Bernie: Well, as I’ve said earlier, I mean if I was going to buy a diesel Ford, I’d definitely be looking at a 6.7 litre model. They seem to be the most reliable unless you want to go really low budget and get something old, the 7.3 still does work well if you can find one that’s got some descent mileage, low mileage on it, that could be a way to go too. Depends on your budget, but overall they’re good trucks but just know what you’re getting in to.

Mark: Alright, so if you’re looking to get service on your Ford diesel pickup in Vancouver, the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive. They’re experts in this, they’ve done thousands. Give them a call 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com, we’ve got two or three years worth of hangouts on there, tons of information on almost every kind of car there is. Check it out. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2007 Ford F350 Superduty, Ball Joint Replacement

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

Bernie: Doing very well this morning.

Mark: So, we’re going to talk about a 2007 Ford F350 Superduty, you had to do a ball joint replacement on this vehicle. What was going on on?

Bernie: We replaced ball joints, we also did some brake work. The vehicle originally came in for front brakes, it was making some grinding noises and the front brakes were worn out. The owner is a regular, a somewhat regular client and he called us about the ball joints, actually quite some time ago and mentioned that they did need to be replaced, he had some new tires put on. So we had a look at the ball joints and found that yes, they were in fact, couldn’t wait any longer, he was on beyond borrowed time, very dangerous. So we replaced the ball joints and the brakes. I’ll share a video, this is really very interesting to look at, it gives you an idea what a worn out ball joint looks like. Here we go. So if you look at that wobbling thing up there, with a reddish colour, the red is rust. I’ll just repeat the video again, that should not be moving like that at all, there should be no movement there. This is really severe and we’ll play one more time, with that rust there, that indicates that the part’s been badly worn for quite a long time. This is the upper ball joint, this was the worst worn part but the lower ball joint, and we’re back, there was also a lower ball joint which I didn’t include in that video, it also had play but not as extreme as the upper. So that’s what a very worn ball joint looks like. I can’t get my words out this morning… what a very worn ball joint looks like and if, it should be replaced long before it ever gets to that point of wear.

Mark: So is there anything unusually complicated about this repair?

Bernie: Well a Ford, this particular Ford Superduty, they make it a little more complicated than an average vehicle. Just to talk a little bit about ball joints in general, the simplest ball joints are on a car with a McPherson strut suspension, it has one lower ball joint which is often not that difficult to replace. On this particular vehicle, it’s a four wheel drive, so it’s got an upper and lower ball joint, plus it also has a drive axle which goes right through the middle of the hub and in order to take the ball joint apart, you have to remove the drive axle first. You also have to take the brakes off which is typical of many ball joint jobs. You take the brake rotor and the caliper off, take the wheel hub off and then take the axel out, so that’s what’s involved in doing this job. So there are extra steps, mostly because it’s a four wheel drive.

Mark: So what does a ball joint do? Does that allow the suspension to go up and down and the wheel to turn basically?

Bernie: It does actually. It allows the wheels, it allows the steering knuckle which is the piece that the wheel is attached to, it allows that to turn and move and as you said, it allows it to move up and down. Now, actually on a truck like this, it doesn’t because this is a solid front axle or at least semi solid front axle, so there is actually no up and down movement in these ball joints, they only do a side to side movement or sorry, a rotational movement, but nothing up and down. But most cars and any independent suspension vehicle will have up and down movement to the ball joint as well it’s pretty complicated motion involved with it.

Mark: So is there anything that an owner of these vehicles can do to extend the life of their ball joints?

Bernie: Well, just before we get to that I do want to talk about just one other complication to the service on one of these Ford’s because what Ford has designed is they have an automatic locking hub which is more fuel efficient in two wheel drive to not have the hubs locked and there is less moving drivetrain parts, but on these vehicles, Ford’s mechanism for locking-unlocking hubs as well as making it convenient for the owner where he can just push a button in the car is to have a vacuum operated system, where it will actually, if you push the button, it’ll actually use engine vacuum to suck the locking hubs into place and lock them and when you disengage it unlocks it. So what they’ve done with this, they’ve added a bunch of extra seals around, not a bunch, but a couple extra seals around the universal joint where it slides into the wheel hub, so this adds more labour and more cost to doing the job. So I just wanted to throw that in there before we talk about what an owner can do. But basically as a vehicle owner there’s not a lot you can do unless you have a lubricatible ball joint and most, 99% of cars and trucks don’t have them anymore, they are all lubed from the factory, they’re sealed, they actually last a long time. However, when you replace ball joints, like these replacement units are lubable, so you need to lubricate them probably once every year just to make sure that they last. But there’s not much else you can do, they’ll just wear out in their own time. And some vehicles are better than others, these Ford trucks they do last a fair amount of time, Dodge trucks not so long as we’ve talked about, most cars they’re pretty durable they’ll last one to two hundred thousand kilometres.

Mark: So any other thoughts on this repair?

Bernie: You know generally, it’s a Ford, just to talk generally about these Ford trucks, I mean they’re awesome vehicles, tough, they can handle a lot of load, this is a diesel so you know it can haul very heavy loads, it can handle heavy loads but if you don’t need it, don’t buy the truck. This repair with the brakes and the ball joints, very expensive job so if you don’t really need that kind of weight, that kind of, it’s a tool and if you don’t really need that sort of sledgehammer toughness, well then you know, maybe you better get a lighter duty truck because it’ll cost you less money to maintain.

Mark: So there you go, if you’re looking for service on your F350, these are the guys to go see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, they are on Marine Drive near Oak Street. You can call them at 604-327-7112 to book, they are busy you must book ahead or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG, ABC Tandem Pump Replacement

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local Lead Generation, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. We’re going to talk about a 2005 Mercedes Benz CL55 AMG. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver are Vancouver’s best auto service experience. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing pretty well this morning.

Mark: So, we’re going to, as I said a CL55 that had an ABC tandem pump replacement, what was going on with this sports coupe?

Bernie: So this vehicle came in with a few issues, but one of them is that the ABC warning light was on on the dash and there was an issue with the suspension system, so that was the main concern that the vehicle was brought in for.

Bernie: So the ABC warning light, basically stands for Active Body Control and what it is is Mercedes fancy suspension system, it’s hydraulic so it uses fluid, there are hydraulic struts on all four corners of the vehicle, there are some valve units that control within a hundredth of a second to make the re-adjustments on the suspension system, there are level and height sensors and also there is the pump, which is the unit that went bad with this vehicle. The pump is integrated with the power steering pump, it’s called a tandem pump, it’s actually two pumps in one. So one of the functions is to operate the hydraulic suspension system.

Mark: So what’s the ABC light all about?

Bernie: The ABC light basically, it’ll come on if there’s a problem with the suspension system. So our diagnostic procedure, as we say so many times, we hook a scan tool and computer up to the vehicle, access the trouble code see where, see what’s going on and then we can perform our tests from there. What we found was that the, from our tests, the pump wasn’t working, there was no pressure being developed in the system.

Mark: Ok, sounds expensive and complicated. What was wrong with this pump?

Bernie: Basically the pump had just died. We don’t normally take them apart to fix them, we replace them but yeah, everything on these suspension systems is expensive. First of all, it’s amazing, you can go around a corner and the vehicle doesn’t lean, the control is amazing but when things go wrong with it and they do, it costs a lot. The pump, it depends where you buy it, a rebuilt pump is about $700 bucks, brand new and from Mercedes is a bit under $2000 dollars plus there’s a fair bit of labour to put it in, so that gives you an idea of one end of the spectrum. The hydraulic struts, they can be bought re-manufactured, good quality re-manufactured units are $1200 bucks or more a piece. You can buy them new or rebuilt from Mercedes, they’re $2500 bucks, so there’s a lot of expensive pieces. There are four struts, there are valve units that are a couple thousand bucks, you could spend $20 or $30 thousand bucks fixing this thing, if everything happened to blow at one time, which it won’t but that’s kind of what you’re up against if you own one of these cars.

Mark: Don’t jump your Mercedes CL55 over big obstacles.

Bernie: Yeah, it’s not meant for jumping things that’s for sure, but on the road, it works fabulous.

Mark: So how did things work after you got the pump replaced?

Bernie: Really well. The warning light was off immediately, pump worked great, the whole suspension system was right back to where it’s supposed to be. So yeah, it worked really well. I’ll share a couple of photos while we’re at it. So here is our CL55, beautiful car. Unfortunately weI didn’t have a chance to wash it before I took this photo, it’s Vancouver, it’s salty roads and it doesn’t look as pretty as it could, but that’s the car, very beautiful vehicle, powerful. There’s the pump, the old pump that we replaced. So yeah, I mean, it doesn’t look much more than an old grungy pump but that’s the unit that’s a couple thousand dollars from Mercedes, but other than that it’s, there’s our piece. I’ll just close our photos here and I’m back.

Mark: So was anything else required for this repair?

Bernie: Well the other thing we did was we did a flush on the hydraulic system, it uses a special fluid, it’s a Pentosin CHF 11, it’s a special hydraulic fluid that is actually commonly used in a variety of European vehicles for power steering pumps and hydraulics. It’s an expensive fluid about $30 bucks a litre or so. But we did a flush on the system and this holds quite a bit of fluid but we flushed the system out, the fluid gets dirty over time and it’s actually, I strongly recommend if you own a vehicle with a Mercedes with a hydraulic suspension system, flush the fluid every probably three to four years. It’s a worthwhile service, the fluid gets dirty, it gets dark, it works hard and anything you can do to keep costs down on repairs for this vehicle is well worth it.

Mark: So I know you have one of these AMG’s, I don’t know what year yours is and you have a convertible model, how are these AMG cars over all?

Bernie: Well, they’re awesome and if you won one, you can expect that you are going to spend an awful lot of money to fix it. The finicky, complicated cars, there’s a lot to them, so if you want one I mean they’re amazing cars but be prepared to spend a lot of money to fix it. I sort of budget myself, I don’t know $5 to 10 thousand dollars a year for repairs which is an awful lot of money when you consider an average car is probably a couple thousand. But there’s a lot that can go wrong, you know they have big tires and they’re expensive and there’s a variety of those kinds of things but if you kind of keep that in mind before you buy one of these cars then you’ll know what you’re looking at. And some years you may not spend even a thousand bucks but you just never know. But the one thing is they tend to depreciate quite quickly which is why I own one, because after they’re 10 years old they tend to not be worth a huge amount of money so you can actually get an incredibly fancy car for not a lot, but you’re just going to pay a lot of money to fix it. So, but yeah, there’s a lot to them. It’s a good mechanics car, which is why I think the price goes down so much. If you have the money to buy one new, then you may as well buy a new one.

Mark: So great car with caveats.

Bernie: Yeah exactly. Great car with caveats, just be prepared to spend a lot of money on repairs.

Mark: So there you go, expert opinion from Bernie Pawlik at Pawlik Automotive and if you want Pawlik to look after your Mercedes or any other vehicle basically in Vancouver, these are the folks to call 604-327-7112 to book. They are busy you have to book ahead or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com couple years of hangout videos on there talking about all different kinds of cars. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2005 Mercedes-Benz E320, Electrical Diagnosis and Repair

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive, Vancouver’s best auto service experience. They’re 16 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 you had an issue I guess with this weeks car repair of the week, is a 2005 Mercedes Benz E320 that had some electrical issues. What was going on with this Mercedes?

Bernie: Well there were a few things. Some interesting things. First of all the vehicle was brought to us because the owner was concerned about some rodent chewed wires under the hood, he was also concerned that his battery would go dead over night and there was a couple of dash lights and lights in the vehicle that remained on, the gear shifter light and a couple of other things stayed on. So these were his concerns. So we proceeded to have a look at them and do some diagnosis.

Mark: So that sounds like a number of possible things occurring, so where did you start?

Bernie: Well where we started first was a visual inspection under the hood of the rodent chewed wires and fortunately it turned out that it was really minor. They just nibbled a little bit on the outside of the insulation of a couple wires and we taped it up and it was fixed and done and that had no cause for any of the other concerns in the vehicle. The next step was to put a diagnostic scan tool up and do a full vehicle system scan. You can scan all the modules of this vehicle, a lot of modern cars give you that capability and you can scan the whole car, we do that a lot in diagnosis. We look and see which modules have trouble code. We found a few that were related to body control and the Can System so that’s where we started with our issue, but also verified that there was a four amp power draw from the battery when the key was shut off. So that’s huge, that’ll kill a battery pretty fast.

Mark: So a Can or a C-A-N System - what’s that?

Bernie: So a CANbus - it stands for Controlled Area Network and it’s a communications system used in vehicles that communicate between various modules. So your car, on this Mercedes there are probably at least ten to fifteen different modules, there are modules for body control, there’s modules for lights, there’s modules for the power door locks, the suspension system, the anti lock brakes, there are a number of modules and they all communicate with each other ver this, it’s like a pair of two wires and they communicate data signals back and forth. So it saves on an awful lot of wiring and allows a lot of complexity in the vehicle. Can is used in a variety of different vehicles, not just Mercedes unique. But they were early adopters, like they were for a lot of different types of technologies. So the problem with this system, some of the codes we were getting seemed to be related to the CANbus system, there were some communication errors going on.

Mark: So that sounds real similar to my previous life where I worked in processor design, so that sounds like it could be pretty complex.

Bernie: It is a very complex system, it requires a computer, the scan tool and a good quality one to work with the system. So once we have that it works pretty well but yeah, there’s a lot of complexity but we have the tools and the equipment to fix it. So yeah, that was the area where we started our diagnosis and looking at the CANbus system and the way the diagnostic procedure works with this is we disconnect different modules to see which one might be causing the system error, any particular module that can cause the other ones to misbehave so to speak, so it’s a matter of disconnection the modules and finding out where the error lies. Where these lights were staying on and where the excessive battery drain was.

Mark: Ok, that sounds like a lot of work. What did you do next?

Bernie: Well we disconnected everything and it got kind of frustrating because the power drain was still there and the lights were still remaining on, so we had basically ruled out any actual problem with the CANbus even though the codes were all from that area. And at this point, we were really at the point of disconnecting various components in the vehicle, unrelated items, and what we found was really interesting, something completely unrelated, nothing to give us any clue, but the radiator fan was actually causing the whole issue. The radiator fan is an electric fan, so there’s four wires, two like a power and a ground and a couple of communication, you know signal wires to turn the fan on and off. The fan wasn’t running, it wasn’t buzzing, it wasn’t doing anything but yet, once we unhooked that all the problems went away which is really, really bizarre.

Mark: Ok, that sounds a bit crazy, sounds like a do-it-yourself repair gone wrong.

Bernie: Well, yeah the do-it-yourself thing, so after we figured it out, we call the owner, because we looked at the fan and it looked quite new, so we thought this is interesting, looks like this part has been replaced, so we quizzed the owner and he said “yeah, you know like about a few months ago, in the summer, the radiator fan motor was dead so I replaced it myself”, he did a great job by the way, installed it nicely, and he’s like “come to think of if, that’s kind of when all the issues started happening”. So the fan motor was defective, so I’ll just actually share a couple of photos while we’re here. So there’s our Mercedes E320, a nice four door Mercedes sedan and this is the fan motor assembly. So the electrical connectors on the right hand side where my mouse is pointing, and yeah, that’s basically the unit.So that’s basically it. We installed a new fan motor, all the lights were off, battery drain down to about 30 milliamps I believe, perfectly normal and the car worked great.

Mark: So what’d we learn from this kind of experience?

Bernie: That’s a very good question that you asked and what we learned is, I mean we as technicians, we just follow a diagnostic procedure based on the best information we have. We got to start somewhere. There were codes for the CANbus and various systems so we followed that but what would of been really useful is for the owner to have said, “you know, one thing that I did do was I did change the radiator fan and the problems seemed to happen. People tend to forget that anything is relevant and it wouldn’t seem like it was relevant but if you have a vehicle, you have a problem that needs to be fixed and it’s you know, it’s good to think back of anything that may have happened recently, when does the issue occur, is it hot, cold, after running for 10 minutes, those kinds of bits of information are really really helpful for us to diagnose the vehicle. So often we get a car and it isn’t doing what the owner says and after we look at it for an hour, and you know, it costs money for the customer and then oh well, you know it did this and so if you can think of everything before your bring the vehicle in, write it down, really think hard, think twice that’ll save you some money for sure. And help us do the job for you.

Mark: So this brings up an obvious perhaps question, but was the fan actually running?

Bernie: No the fan wasn’t running.

Mark: Did the fan ever work? So it was a pretty obvious thing that this never, that the repair never really worked? Or it worked for a while…

Bernie: No I think the fan was working fine, it’s just as far as our diagnostic we never needed to even look at the fan because it was nothing. Normally if there’s a fan malfunction on a Mercedes, it’s pretty sophisticated, it’ll actually send a trouble code for a malfunction but it didn’t so yeah, the fan I believe was probably working fine if you warmed the engine up but we never even got to that point because we were chasing a power draw. And normally you know, if the fan was actually running while the key was off, well ok there’s a problem there, some kind of an electrical fault inside the unit. Again these things have like little control units inside, some little malfunction.

Mark: So in all honesty, would you have caught that if you had installed a bad fan motor?

Bernie: Well we would of, I think we would of. If we would of installed it, there would be no charge to the customer. So this is where sometimes I think you could save a lot of money by fixing stuff yourself but in the end, it cost this person a lot more money because he had to pay a lot of money to diagnose a problem that was result of a faulty part that they put in the vehicle. So had we installed that, yeah there’d be no extra charge. So bottom is it costs more money to have a car repaired in a shop than you could do it yourself but any good shop will back their work up, some don’t but you know, we do. So we care to make sure we install good quality parts and we do the job properly.

Mark: So there you go. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. If you need service on your vehicle and you want a warranty and quality repairs from people who really know what they’re doing, these are the guys to call in Vancouver, 604-327-7112 to book ahead, they’re always busy or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. We have years of these hangouts on there, tons of information of every make and model of car that we could possibly do so far. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2008 Volvo XC90, Shock Absorber 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; 16 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 2008 Volvo XC90 that had a, needed some shocks. What was going on with this SUV?

Bernie: Well the vehicle was brought to our shop for a couple concerns; it was a stability warning light on, on the dash and first we always road test the vehicle and almost immediately I drove out of the parking lot and the handling of the vehicle just felt weird; like it felt very unstable and clearly there was something wrong, I figured based on years of experience something is wrong with the shock absorbers in the rear, you could just could feel it the way the vehicle was bouncing.

Mark: So what was happening with the shocks and how did you know they were bad?

Bernie: Well basically, so what was happening with the shocks was the vehicle rides as I mentioned was very poor, it was, it’s just a feeling you get when shocks absorbers are worn out and it’s like the vehicle bounces in an odd way and so when we hoisted the vehicle and looked at it there really was nothing else other than they were worn out. I’ll share pictures in a couple minutes but it’s just a feel you get with the vehicle and I know in my, in the automotive industry shock absorber manufacturers they often recommend you replace your shocks at 80,000 kilometers or 50,000 miles, they’ve since toned that down to inspect your shock absorbers because honestly and I’ve battled with my suppliers, talked to my suppliers and I think this is a bogus recommendation, I mean there’s so many cars that have 200,000 kilometers and I’ve seen a Subaru with 250,000 kilometers, the shocks, the struts original and the car still rides fine and they said look, I’ll give you a free set to try out, about 50,000 kilometers ago, try them out and you know there might be a subtle difference but really it’s minimal so when shocks are blown you can feel it like there’s, there’s a bounciness to the car, when you hit the brake if the fronts are gone, yeah the car will, you hit the brake and the vehicle dips and then it bounces back up and it keeps bouncing, like that’s when they’re really bad, if it dips too much that can be a problem too but it’s that relaying bounces that’s the problem. Now this vehicle the fronts were fine but the rear bad so when you hit a bump the whole back of the cars just kind of flopping around, it’s kind of hilarious. There’s a bridge near by my shop, the Oak Street bridge and there’s this curve and every vehicle I drive on this curve there’s a little expansion joint in the bridge and every vehicle I drive and you hit the curve it kind of makes a little bump and twists the back end and I went around this curve with this Volvo and I honestly thought the car was going to off the road it was that scary, so. Anyways, I’ll just share a couple photos so there’s our XC90, it’s a little dirty, it’s Vancouver this time of year and I didn’t have a chance to wash it for the photo but that’s it. 08 XC90 and then we have shock absorbers, the old shocks are on the top, I mean they look old and dirty, there might be a slight bit of fluid leaked out of the but that’s the new replacement unit underneath, it’s a KYB Gas-a-Just, excellent shock absorber, original equipment quality or better, so yeah that’s it, so a lot of, sometimes you can tell shocks are bad too, they start leaking, they all have fluid in them, if they start leaking fluid that’s a sure sign the shocks are on the way out. Sometimes you can be leaking fluid and still work fine for a while.

Mark: So is this a difficult repair on this Volvo?

Bernie: Not too difficult although it does require removing some of the interior to access the top shock absorber vault and there’s a bit of finikyness to it but it’s not a really, you know not a really crazy job, a couple of hours type of work to do it and it’s done.

Mark: So how did the vehicle ride after you put the new shocks in?

Bernie: Felt awesome, felt like a semi luxurious sport utility vehicle, yeah it’s nice, really good and stable I mean, the thing when the rides like that it, it actually is dangerous even though it’s not like driving a car with not brakes but it’s not stable on the road so he could lose control under certain circumstances; it’s important to have them working.

Mark: So how are these XC90 for reliability and repair?

Bernie: They’re not bad, the older versions, the older models prior to this generation they had a lot of problems, these ones seem to be a more reliable, I don’t know if I’d go out and buy one, I think they’re still you know, if you want something that’s really reliable Japanese would be better but I would say that you know, overall they’re pretty good, definitely better than the previous generation; quite redesigned too, the engine design is different. One of the other items we replaced was a serpentine drive belt that it’s interesting because it’s located between the engine and transmission instead of being on the side of the engine away from the transmission which is the normal place, so there’s a lot of interesting redesigns with cars over the last decade, we look under the hood and go wow that’s strange but you know but it uses the space more wisely but it makes for a more expensive belt replacement but fortunately they last a long time so overall you know the car is good.

Mark: So there you have it, if you’re looking for auto service, auto maintenance, changing your oil and other special, you know, specialty services in Vancouver for your vehicle’s, these are the guys to call Pawlik Automotive, you can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Engine Replacement

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver; Vancouver’s highest rated and favourite auto repair dealer and experts in auto repair. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to try and run a cast that we’ve done a few times on the Ford Explorer Sport Trac engine replacement. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: So this vehicle came to our shop, was running very rough and the engine was running very rough, check engine light was on, very minimal amount of power, the vehicle would barely run to be honest it was surprising they could even be driven to our shop. So we proceeded using diagnosis, it was a pretty complicated diagnostic, there’s a number of trouble codes without getting too technical, there’s a number of trouble codes stored in the vehicle computer for a variety of misfires on the right cylinder, in the right engine bank there was also a cam phaser code for the left engine bank which seemed a little odd because problems all seemed to be on the right. It kind of made sense there’d be a camshaft like a valve timing problem could be the issue so we proceeded to do some diagnostic, it was a very long arduous process and in the end we found that the engine needed to be replaced basically due to the fact that the oil pressure in the engine was too low to adequately operate the valve timing phasers and eventually the timing chain would start rattling and the valve timing would go out and that was part of our a lot of our misfire issue.

Mark: So you ended up replacing this motor?

Bernie: We did, we ended up replacing the engine so whenever an engine needs to be replaced we look at options, and it’s always an expensive job. For used engines, good used engine which are sometimes a good idea, in the end we settled on a rebuilt engine from, directly from Ford was a factory rebuilt engine and a really nice engine, we were very impressed with it, overall it comes with the oil pan bolted on, complete valve covers, all new sensors, really deluxe package and quite a treat. A lot times you get a rebuilt engine, it doesn’t come with the oil pan, you have to change a whole bunch of things over and this one was very complete, so it worked really well. I’ve got a few photos to share and just a couple of things here, so basically here is our view of the top of the engine, it’s a 4.6 litre, it’s an overhead cam engine with variable valve timing, 3 valve motor, not much to see other than a lot of plastic which is typical for modern engines. As far as diagnostics and I mentioned that it was a bit of a tricky diagnosis on this vehicle, some of the tools that we use, one of lab scope and so this is a lab scope pattern, there’s a yellow and a green trace you can see on the scope and this is, this shows the cam timing of the two different cam phasers and it’s something we use to figure out what’s going on with the engine, whether valve timing’s out. In this particular photo everything’s, this picture everything’s good at the moment but it changed as time went by and we could verify a lot of things but it’s a time consuming process but it tells us a lot of good accurate information and finally there’s our Ford engine. This is the new engine sitting waiting to be put in, actually the other thing that’s really neat about it is actually it comes filled with oil and a new oil filter as well which is pretty awesome so that’s the new engine right out of the crate and yeah, so there’s our photos, so I’ll go back to us.

Mark: So what do you think caused the engine’s demise?

Bernie: Bad maintenance, yeah this engine came in was way over due for an oil change. The oil was hideous and it did have 200,000 kilometers on it to be fair but that’s still, for a vehicle that’s been well maintained, it’s had all its oil changes, done at the right time, 200,000 kilometers is really nothing so I’d say it’s bad maintenance absolutely was the cause.

Mark: So once you put the new motor in how did everything run?

Bernie: Well it ran very smoothly and we got it on a road test in the parking lot and it still had no power which was kind of disappointing, you think, oh the new engines going to fix everything but what else happened because the owner had driven it for so long with the engine misfiring it actually melted the catalytic converters and caused a blockage in the exhaust system so we had another issue to deal with. We replaced the catalytic converters and then it was fine, so the lesson here is when your check engine light is on, it’s blinking do not run the engine for very long, drive it like, drive it gently as possible and get it fixed. When the check engine light comes on and it’s just on solid, it’s not often a big deal but when it’s blinking that’s a serious issue and you know that catalytic converter job on most vehicles is another 1,300 bucks on top of the engine so and that’s buying aftermarket conversion, if you went to Ford dealer it would be twice the price, so maintain your car that’s what we always say here.

Mark: So if you’re looking for a car maintenance in Vancouver these are the guys to call, Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomtove.com. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

1 2 3 41