2009 GMC Sierra – Duramax Diesel, Fuel Filter Replacement

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

Bernie: I’m doing very well Mark.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a GMC Sierra Duramax diesel that you did a fuel filter replacement on, what’s the story with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well this vehicle was brought to us for maintenance service, excuse me, there’s a bit of feedback here, this vehicle was brought to us for maintenance service, it needed a full check over, service and just general maintenance and was also due for a fuel filter. The reason that I’m talking about it today, a fuel filter seems like a pretty basic service but there were some interesting things we found when we did the fuel filter.

Mark: So what was interesting with this fuel filter replacement?

Bernie: Well, fuel filters are important, especially on a diesel, a lot of gasoline cars no longer have the replaceable fuel filters built in to the gas tank. But on the diesel, it’s still a replacement item, it’s very critical, if you get any water in the diesel injectors or any dirt, they’re done for, so it’s critical to keep a very clean fuel supply and water free. All fuel filters have a water separator built in to them. Quite frequently we do these services, we take the filter out, drain the water separator, there’s no water the filter’s clean and you sort of think, “well geez, that could of lasted a lot longer”, but there’s a reason why we change the filters and what we do, and I’ll just show a couple of photos. With this vehicle we found some pretty ugly stuff in the fuel filter, I don’t know if it was just the age of it but it was probably within it’s regular service intervals. So let’s share some photos, you see that ok Mark? So this is the bottom of the fuel filter, there’s a sensor in the bottom, a water and fuel sensor, and this is what we poured out of the fuel filter. You can see that reddish, rusty coloured water, that’s basically what came out of the bottom of this fuel filter. I mean, the fuel filter is doing it’s job, perfect, then it’s certainly, absolutely time to get rid of it. This is the water separator, it’s been sitting in the bottom and you can see there’s a lot of guck just floating around in the bottom of this filter for a pretty long time. So very worth, am I back Mark? Ok good. Yeah so that’s basically the reason you want to change your fuel filter on a diesel. I mean these kind of things get into the fuel system, hard to know whether there is rust in the fuel tank or whether the owner went in and filled up with fuel at some point with some contamination but this is why you want to change your fuel filter on a regular basis.

Mark: So how often do you change fuel filters on these trucks?

Bernie: Well, I don’t have the interval off the top of my head, we have maintenance schedules we look at, but one thing about these 2009 era GMC’s, they have a maintenance reminder that comes on the dash. It’ll tell you when you oil is due for service, it’ll tell you when your fuel filter is due for replacement, I can’t remember the time frame, it’s probably 30 to 40,000 kilometres, but I would recommend don’t go any longer than 30,000 kilometres. Change it at least every couple of years if you don’t drive a lot because you never know what’s in there and what kind of damage will happen. A fuel filter replacement is cheap, fuel injectors are not. So you really want to make sure you don’t ever let that material build up to a point where it can actually escape the filter and cause damage.

Mark: And how are these trucks over all?

Bernie: Awesome, you know, the big three American trucks, definitely the GMC/Chevrolet are definitely my favourites. I think that they combine well, they’ve got really well built engines, very reliable, not a lot goes wrong with them. It’s got the good engine plus it’s got the body and the whole chassis of the vehicle is very good. The Dodge’s, the engines are fabulous but the front ends always requires repairs and replacement head ball joints and tire rods don’t last long but the Chevy is very durable and I think the best value for sure and less engine problems than Ford. Although the 6.7 Litre Ford’s don’t seem to have any problems yet but the earlier generation Ford’s were definitely issues, as we’ve talked about. So yeah, if you’re looking for a diesel American truck, I’d just go straight to GMC or Chevy right away.

Mark: So there you go, the expert opinion of Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. They are Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 16 time winners of Best Auto Repair and Service in Vancouver as voted by their customers. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, they’re very busy so you have to book ahead or check out their website, tons of videos on there, years worth now, pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2003 Nissan 350Z Engine Replacement

Hi there, Bernie from Pawlik Automotive again, going to talk to you this morning about an engine replacement on a 2003 Nissan 350Z. This vehicle came to our shop on the tow truck and it was pretty obvious once we had a look around the engine why it had been towed in. The engine had thrown a rod and poked a hole right through the side of the engine block, or actually blew a hole right through the side of the oil pan. So we replaced it with a used engine, it was really the best economical, the only economical option at this point in time. Pretty tricky to find an engine for this car because there’s not a lot of them around and they do tend to get abused a fair bit since they are kind of a racing type of car. But anyways, the replacement is pretty straight forward and once done the engine ran fabulously.

So a few things again, it really comes down to maintenance on these cars and with all cars we talk about, make sure you change your oil on a regular basis. I think the owner of this vehicle had actually done a little racing here or there, so that may of contributed to the demise of this engine, but if you’re not out there racing it around, just make sure you do your regular services, change the oil regularly. I can’t say enough about how much that improves the life of a vehicle or a lack of doing oil changes will shorten the life. So if you own a Nissan 350Z or any Nissan for that matter, we can do expert service on it, whether that’s engine replacement or just oil changes and maintenance to keep the vehicle alive longest. So I’m Bernie from Pawlik Automotive and we’re Vancouver’s best auto service experience.

2010 VW Golf, DSG Transmission Fluid Replacement

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 16 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 going to talk about a 2010 VW Golf and something about the automatic transmission fluid, whats going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: So this vehicle is actually equipped with a DSG transmission and the DSG stands for direct shift gearbox. It’s a sort of a hybrid between a standard transmission and an automatic, trying to incorporate the best of both worlds. I mean, the difference between the DSG versus a pure automatic or standard is it uses clutches, but there’s no clutch pedal, you just put it in drive like an automatic and away you go or you can shift it manually like a standard transmission, although it doesn’t have the same kind of stick. You either just push a lever back and forth from the gear shifter or they can be equipped with paddle shifters on most cars. So those are the differences. Now what’s different is the vehicle uses, the transmission uses these clutches, it actually uses two of them, it actually has two gearboxes built into one. To be honest, I’ve never seen the inside but I’m looking forward to the day when I do, probably pretty cool. But it basically, one transmission has first, third and fifth gear, the other will have second, fourth and sixth gear on a six speed. They have six and seven speed models and the reverse is on one of the two transmissions and so what’ll happen is it’ll already have pre-selected, say you’re starting off on the road, it’ll have already pre-selected second gear but it hasn’t engaged it yet. First gear is ready to go so as soon as you accelerate it engages the clutch in first gear and away you go and when it’s ready to shift into second gear, it’s already made the shift it just has to change the two clutches from one to the other, so the gears shifts are very fast and that’s the advantage. Apparently they can do upshifts in 8 milliseconds which is like eight thousands of a second, so that is like really really quick and that’s a lot quicker than an automatic can do. There’s also some advantages, the disadvantages of an automatic is you have your torque converter which creates some slippage, so there’s always a bit of slippage in an automatic transmission. So in a way an it’s an automatic, so it’s the best of both worlds being a standard and an automatic, and I’d say more complex. Although like I say, I haven’t seen the inside, but putting two transmissions into one with a hydraulically actuated clutches, it’s got to be expensive.

Mark: So is there something unique about the fluid that this kind of pretty complex piece of machinery is going to use to be able to shift in eight milliseconds and live with all that complexity and make it work properly for a long time?

Bernie: Absolutely, so Volkswagen has a scheduled service interval at 40,000 miles which I think is about 70,000 kilometres and they have that right in their maintenance schedule. In the past, a lot of auto manufacturers have been a little bit glib with their transmission fluid recommendations, like automatics, they say it’s filled for life, don’t worry about it which I know we’ve talked before which is a bunch of BS, but with this one, they’re very specific, change the fluid every 40,000 kilometres. So whey they say to do it, they’re pretty serious on it, they know stuff will go wrong. So it is a special fluid, you have to use a special, it doesn’t have to be by Volkswagen, but there is a very special fluid made for this transmission. The service also consists of replacing a filter, so you do the filter, you change the fluid and that is basically what needs to be done. So with anything, there’s lots of expensive parts inside, you don’t want it to wear out, you want it to work reliably for a long time.

Mark: So again, we had to switch computers this morning so we don’t have any pictures but this was a fluid replacement on a 2010 VW Golf - was there anything particular about this vehicle that you wanted to mention today?

Bernie: Well not really about the Golf, I think we just talked about the DSG service in general. Just a little history of background on the transmission, it came out in 2003 so you’ll find it on some models way back then and Volkswagen Audi uses it, so you’ll find it in various Volkswagen Audi models anywhere from the mid 2000’s right up until current. We just did a service last week on a 2015 GTI with DSG, so you know there’s, like I say it varies between car to car and it just made me realize I said 70,000 K’s, it’s actually 60,000 K’s. So since we’re in Canada, that’s the way we should be thinking, that’s the way our odometers work.

Mark: Yeah, and how are VW’s on the whole these days?

Bernie: I think they’re really good, I mean obviously they suffered quite a blow with their TDI and rightly so, I mean they were dishonest with the public, shouldn’t be that way when you’re selling the car and advertising it to be a certain way but I mean, there’s really nothing wrong with the TDI other than it puts out a lot more pollution that it’s supposed to. But I mean, the performance is good, the reliability of Volkswagen is really a lot better these days. Ten, fifteen years ago I wouldn’t of recommended one, like their automatic transmission had problem after problem, super expensive to repair and they died at a very young age. Those are just some of the things, electrical problems, power windows, these are the things we used to see but they seem to be quite reliable these days so I think they really upped their game and hopefully they’ll will survive their TDI and I’m sure they will and come through and make an honest product for the public. but the reliability is good.

Mark: How is the reliability on the DSG transmission given that you were maintaining it on a regular basis, changing the fluid every 60,000 kilometres regularly?

Bernie: Well to be honest, I don’t really know. We haven’t seen a bad one yet, I haven’t seen too many of these on a high mileage vehicle so I don’t really know what their longevity is, but I would say that based on the complexity, I mean that kind of stuff always scares me, you know when I think about what you could be spending on fixing something like this, I mean I would imagine a rebuild on the transmission like this has got to be six to ten thousand dollars. So changing fluid, the service is about, off the top of my head, it’s in the $300 range to do a service so it’s not particularly cheap but certainly not anything more than a modern automatic with synthetic fluid to do a proper flush service is cheaper. Every 60,000 kilometres is really cheap insurance. But certainly when things go wrong, there will be expensive repairs. Just change the fluid and you’ll get the best life out of it you can.

Mark: Alright, so if you have a VW with the DSG or Audi with the DSG and you need service the the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. You can book ahead at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com - years of videos on there, great amounts of information that’s really trusted from a trusted advisor who really knows and works on cars, not just driving around in a brand new car all the time, someone you can really trust. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2006 Acura MDX, Wheel Bearing, Ball Joint and Tie Rod End Replacement

Mark: Hey it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 16 time winners of Best in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a 2006 Acura MDX that you did quite a bit of suspension work on. What’s the story on this vehicle?

Bernie: Yeah, so this vehicle was brought to our shop, the owner had some concerns about the brakes. There were some noises that were happening with his brakes, so we proceeded to do a brake inspection and found something quite completely different. There was quite a few severely worn parts on this vehicle on In the front end on the left side is a left ball joint and tie rod end and it was severely worn. I’m going to share a video in a minute and the right rear wheel bearing severely worn, the wheels were just wobbling back and forth. So that’s what we found

Mark: So is that the full extent of what was happening with this SUV?

Bernie: Pretty much, as I said he brought it in for a brake inspection but the brakes themselves weren’t in too bad condition. There were a couple caliper sliders that were seized a little bit but it clearly wasn’t the highest priority on the vehicle. These other parts were much more urgent. I’ll share these videos right now because they tell a lot, we’re doing this a little

Mark: A quick exclamation folks, we’re having some technical challenges today, we switched computers and we’re going to do the cheap and cheerful version of how we share videos, so bear with us.

Bernie: Yeah, so this is from an iPhone through a webcam so let’s hope it’s good. But just before you look at this video, if you look at the wheel, my technician’s going to grab the wheel and you’ll see a lot of up and back and up and down wobbling, and we put a zoom inside the wheel and you can see the axel shaft moving. On our website, if you look at this post, the video will be much better. So here we go, at the centre if you can see it, there is some wobbling, quite severe wobbling. I’ll just share it one more time. Right in the very centre you can see the axle shaft wobbling back and forth. So that’s our rear wheel bearing, now in and of itself, that’s bad enough. That’s going to create a lot of growling noises when you’re driving downtime road and bangs and clunks, things like that. So if that wasn’t enough, so that was on the right rear of the vehicle on the passenger side, here is what we found on the front left which is even scarier. so if you look at the bottom right, that’s the ball joint you can see that thing jumping back and forth. That should not move at all, I’m going to share this one more time. If you look at that round sort of accordion shape piece, that’s a CV joint boot and if you look up right behind that, you’ll also see another joint like a ball type joint, that’s the tie rod end that that’s jumping around as well. So we had two critically serious, critical parts jumping around, severely worn.

Mark: So that stuff should be tight and just rotate on the vertical axis to keep your tires aligned so you actually pull where you’re pointing the steering wheel

Bernie: Exactly, so when you’re going around, yeah when you’re going down the road, those parts are out of controlling themselves, you hit a bump, the ball joint jumps, it moves and the wheel moves and the tie rod end moves, so it’s a lot of, a little bit of your steering is out of control. That will wear your tires, in and of itself not, I mean the biggest concern with that is if it wears much more, it’ll just pop and break apart and it can happen, so your wheel will just flop out onto the road. Extremely serious issue. So those are what we found, we fixed them and the car is great, much safer. But I think the point of this post is to not only show some interestingly bad parts but you never know what’s wrong with your vehicle unless you have it inspected.

Mark: So I guess that’s why you recommend really highly, routine inspections on a regular basis each year so you can find these sorts of problems in the system before they get bad, is that right?

Bernie: Absolutely and I mean we recommend every year that once a car gets a little older, every year to do a comprehensive inspection so we would look at these parts in detail but also, this speaks to one advantage of our shop doing oil changes, we do all our old changes on a two post hoist, so your wheels are always lifted off the ground and loose and part of every oil service, we talk around and wiggle every wheel. It takes two minutes and provides a lot of peace of mind. Like these kinds of things would be easily found in that inspection, we could look at it further but at least you know that there’s a concern. You go somewhere like a quick lube shop with a pit or even a shop that uses a four post hoist where they just drive the vehicle on, that’s a much more efficient way to change your oil but the extra two minutes that it takes us to wiggle the wheels around, you get a lot more for it. So if you come to our shop, you’re going to get that but if you go somewhere else, see if they use a two post hoist because it’s better value for your money.

Mark: So Acura’s have a really great reputation, I assume MDX’s are not different for reliability and performance?

Bernie: No, they’re fabulous vehicles, really good. This vehicle by the way, had 240,000 kilometres on it, it was a back east vehicle as well so it’s lived a rougher life in salty conditions and it was a bit more work for us to change these parts than say it would be, a little more time consuming, doing rusty bolts and things, but yeah, very good vehicles. They last a long, long time, even 240,000 kilometres is, well it seems a lot but this vehicle has got another 100 easily of life left in it.

Mark: So there you go. If you need service for your MDX, the guys to call in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive, you have to call to book 604-327-7112 or check out their website, we have years worth of videos on there about car repairs, car maintenance, evaluations of different brands - pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2007 Mercedes CLS550 – Steering Angle Sensor Replacement

Mercedes CLS550

Hi there, I’m Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive, we’re a full service auto maintenance shop located in South Vancouver. We service most makes and models of cars and light trucks and this morning I’m going to talk to you about a service on a 2007 Mercedes CLS550.

This vehicle came to our shop and it had a warning light on the dash, the warning light for the ESP system would come on intermittently. We did a diagnosis and found that the cause was a steering angle sensor. So what was the steering angle sensor you may wonder? Well the steering angle sensor works with the body computer; it sends a signal so that it knows where the steering wheel is, what position is it, how fast is the wheel being turned and from that information, the computer can use it to control the suspension lean, it can control the anti-lock brake systems, there’s a number of things that it can control: it's a very important input into the body control computer. If there’s any little flaw or defect in the sensor, it will set off a warning. So we replaced the sensor, not a huge job in this car: it’s located behind the steering wheel, there’s a lot that needs to be removed but it’s a very straight forward job. Mercedes did a very nice job in terms of putting this steering column together and all things considered, it was fairly easy to replace.

Mercedes CLS550

New Steering angle sensor for 2007 CLS550

I just want to talk a bit about diagnosis on Mercedes, with modern Mercedes and I say modern anything from about 2000 and newer, the diagnostics work great. With the way the vehicle computers connect, there’s a lot of information, a lot of tests we can do. We’ve got a very sophisticated diagnostic computer which works really, really well. Older Mercedes are a different ball of wax and they can be a real nightmare to fix. So I’m talking older, like pre 1996, these didn’t have the OBD2 computer systems, the diagnostic systems are much worse: they offer little information and the older the car the less there is. The diagnosis back in the earlier years, like into the ’90’s and’80’s, just wasn’t as sophisticated, so there’s a lot of manual tests we need to do. Bottom line, if you own one of these cars, expect you’re going to pay a lot more money for diagnosis because it takes a lot more time to do the job.

Mercedes CLS550

Steering angle sensor connect with other steering column components

So that’s our story - a 2007 Mercedes CLS550 steering angle sensor. If you are in the Vancouver area, we do a lot of work on Mercedes, we’re expert at diagnostics and repairs and maintenance. Bernie from Pawlik Automotive, we’re Vancouver’s best auto service experience.

2006 Range Rover Sport Supercharged, Coolant Hose 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 you doing, Bernie?

Bernie: I'm going very well this morning.

Mark: We're trying to get our second one in here. We're going to talk about Range Rovers, which we've done a few things one. This one is a ... one of the supercharged ones. There was a coolant hose replacement needed. What was happening with this sport ute?

Bernie: Well, the vehicle came to us, it had developed a sudden coolant leak, leaking a lot of coolant out of the engine. We did our usual pressure test. This one was pretty complicated to figure out where the leak was coming from, somewhere on the engine. There's a lot of covers and pieces buried. This is also a supercharged engine, so right in the middle of the engine there's the supercharger, which basically blows air into the engine, gives it all that extra horsepower. It adds level of complexity. It turns out that the coolant hoses that were leaking are located underneath the supercharger. We could barely see them, but, we could see enough to know that that was where the leak was coming from.

Mark: Under the supercharger doesn't sound like the best place to put coolant hoses.

Bernie: It's not a good location at all. I mean, it's ... you know, they're rubber hoses at an area where there's an incredible amount of heat being trapped. Although they might be good quality hoses, the vehicle is 10 years old. You know, it's ... things go wrong. It's not, from an engineering perspective, extremely smart. I'll just share some photos here. Let's get these up. There we go. This is the ... this is the engine with the supercharger removed. This is the ... you can see ... The blue arrow points to the supercharger. Now, that, that has actually been lifted up and removed. That normally sits down where the red arrow is pointing. The red arrow is actually where the hoses are located. However, we've actually removed the hoses from this picture. They sit sandwiched. This is the valley area. It's a V8 engine. It's the valley area of the engine. Hoses sit on top of the valley. Supercharger sits over top of that. Like I say, there's an awful lot of heat being generated. Also, you'll notice there's a yellow arrow there. It just points to another hose nipple. If you look, sort of at the front of that picture, you'll see there's actually 4 of those nipples coming off. There's coolant hoses on these items, and what those are, those are the intercoolers. As air is being blown in the engine, it heats up. It's cooled, actually by engine coolant, which is warm, but, it's obviously cooler than the temperature of the air. The intercooler cools the charged air down, so that it densifies the air, and it gives the engine more power. It's a performance enhancement, but, again, there's another number of coolant hoses. It adds a lot of complexity to the engine. While we're looking at pictures, this is the hose we replaced. We'll talk more about the hose after. You can see, there's a lot of bits and pieces. The little yellow piece on the left, that just holds a clamp. That's one end at the front of the hose. Then, the other end, just to the right of that is the other front piece. That was the part that was actually leaking at this particular time. This hose is available only from the dealer. It's a rather, you know, pricey piece, but, you got to do what you got to do.

Mark: What kind of cost are you talking about?

Bernie: Well, the labor's quite a few hours to remove the supercharger and get the hose off. The hose itself is over $500. I think the labor is well over that as well. It's, with taxes and everything, in the end, I think the bill will be somewhere in the $1500 range, which is a lot of money for a couple of hoses.

Mark: No kidding. It sounds like it's obviously labor intensive. Isn't that true when you get into these very high-end, high-performance vehicles with pretty complex systems? Their costs of maintenance and repair gets a lot more expensive because they're so complex?

Bernie: It does. This is a thing you got to walk into with your eyes wide open when you buy one of these vehicles. You're getting ... you know, you pay a lot of money for a Range Rover new. I think the starting price on a supercharged Range Rover is $120,000. Some of the HSE models go up to $100,000 more than that. I mean, we're talking like brand new. Even an '06 of this vehicle is probably $80,000 or $90,000. Now, you can buy one for $20,000 bucks, and you get a really, really nice luxurious sport utility vehicle. You're going to be paying a lot of money for maintenance and repairs. As long as you know that, not a bad thing because you're actually saving a lot of money over buying a brand new one. You get the ... pretty much the ... Well, it's a bit used, but it's a nice product. That speaks to the complexities of these vehicles. They all have air suspension, which we've talked about. Things go wrong with that. Supercharger, eventually when that part fails, and it may never fail, but, usually everything will at some point. That's a few thousand dollars. There's a lot of stuff on these vehicles that can cost you money.

Mark: Overall, how would you rate these vehicles? I've had my British cars, and my fun with those. They're unique. Let's put it that way. How would you rate their Range Rovers?

Bernie: You know, I'd say they're actually pretty good vehicles. The thing with ... My opinion on English cars is that they've ... Ever since Ford took over Jaguar and Land Rover, they really made the cars a whole lot more reliable. When you get into the early 2000s, it's really when these vehicles started to become reliable. It's kind of funny to say that for Ford, because I find we often criticize Fords for their reliability. They did improve the product enormously. You know, they're not bad vehicles. I would ... you know, when you're buying a Jaguar or Land Rover, you're buying a luxurious vehicle, so there's more to go wrong. They're not like the old English car where you have to meet at your mechanic's shop every week, having something tinkered or tuned, something's going to break. They're not like that anymore. They're much more reliable.

Mark: If you're looking for service on your Range Rover, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them to book, 604-327-7112. Or, check out their website, pawlikautomotive.com. We have quite a few other videos about Range Rovers on there, and lots of other luxury vehicles. Thanks, Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks, Mark.

2009 Volvo XC60, Rear Differential Bearing Replacement

Mark: Hi, good morning. Mark, Top Local, we're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience, voted best in Vancouver for auto repair by their customers 17 times, recently run the Georgia Straight again. How you doing, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well!

Mark: We're talking about a Volvo, a pretty popular car, an XC60. This is the 2009, it had some kind of rear differential problems. What was going on with this, how did you diagnose this vehicle?

Bernie: Basically, the customer brought it to us with a humming noise coming from the back of this vehicle, figuring it's probably the rear differential. He was correct. We road tested the vehicle, hear a noise in the back, did a hoist inspection. We have listening equipment so we can listen to all the different areas in the rear end, the wheel bearings, the differential bearings, and whatever else is underneath the vehicle and determined that the noise was coming from inside the differential.

Mark: What's involved in repairing this?

Bernie: Basically on the Volvo, we removed the rear differential assembly, so it's a whole rear end, sub-frame assembly. Remove it from the vehicle, then take the differential off, dismantle it, and there's four bearings inside the differential. There's usually one bearing that causes the problem, it's the small bearing. It's the front bearing on the pinion shaft, for some reason these seem to wear on this vehicle all the time. Don't know why. Obviously not a big enough bearing to handle the job. That's the one that wears the most. We replace all the bearings. It's not a lot of extra money or time, while you have it apart, you may as well make sure you're covering everything. Also, when they wear out, there's metal filings that get pumped through the system, through the oil, so that's causes wear on all the bearings. The gears themselves never wear, but the bearings do. I can share a photo here, just so you can see what was going on inside this differential. This is the differential disassembled. This is a view, that sort of brownish-orangey coloured stuff in the middle, that is some of the differential fluid. That's some of the differential fluid was left inside the case after we drained it out, and you can see a bunch of shiny bits near the bottom, especially in the right corner. That is all metal filings from the worn out bearings, so that's been running around inside the system and grinding all the other bearings, so that's why it makes sense to change all the bearings at the same time. As I mentioned, the gears don't, they're so hard, they don't seem to take any abuse from this kind of thing, so they last, but the bearings wear. This is a picture of the worn bearing.

Mark: Ouch.

Bernie: Yeah, I know. If you know anything about bearings, you can see some very rough spots. There's a roller, it's a very smooth ... everything is really highly polished and smooth. You run a fingernail over this, it won't grab or gouge on anything, but if you can see, chunks of this race are missing. This is the inner bearing race. Funny, you look at the outer bearing race, it actually looks fine, so I cut the bearing apart, and that's what we find. We do a lot of these repairs, so we find this every single time.

Mark: 2009 doesn't seem that old. Is this a common problem on these cars?

Bernie: Extremely common. The interesting thing is that this vehicle is also the same as a Land Rover LR2. It doesn't look the same, but the drive train, the engine transmissions, the rear end, it's exactly the same thing. We replace these a lot on Land Rover LR2s as well.

Mark: Where do you get the parts to do these kind of services?

Bernie: This is the interesting thing. Bearings we can buy from a lot of our after-market part suppliers. Bearings are numbered, we've got the numbers off the bearings, we can get those. Seals are available from Volvo or Land Rover, I'm just going to divert to both makes here, because it applies to both. The bearings, interestingly enough, are not sold by Volvo, you can only buy those ... there's crush sleeves, there's various parts we need to do this repair. You can only buy those through Land Rover, so some of the parts we buy from Land Rover. Some of the parts we buy from after-market suppliers. Here's the interesting thing. If you were to take this vehicle to a Volvo dealer, the only thing they're going to do for you is replace the complete rear differential assembly. Would you like to know the price?

Mark: Yeah, that sounds expensive.

Bernie: $4,900 for the differential assembly.

Mark: How much?

Bernie: $4,900 for a complete differential assembly.

Mark: Plus labor to put it in.

Bernie: Plus labor to install. It's a fair bit of work on one of these Volvos to take the differential out. I don't want to ... I haven't seen a Volvo bill, but I would speculate it's probably in the $5-$6,000 range by the time the labor's there, and the taxes are applied to the job. Interestingly enough, if you go to Land Rover, they do actually have a technical service bulletin. They'll do the job by actually repairing the differential. It's strange that one dealer would do it one way, and one the other way, but that's just how they're set up.

Mark: Can you save a Volvo owner quite a bit of money when you're just changing the parts out rather than redoing the whole ... re-swapping out the whole rear end?

Bernie: Yeah, it's huge. I think, about $1,400-$1,500 taxes included to do the whole job. That's a third of the price of just the differential assembly from Volvo.

Mark: I know for a lot of people, that they only will take their car to the dealer. The only concept they have is they're the best guys to service the car. Is that true in every case?

Bernie: I'd say not. I don't like to slam other businesses, but certainly, as an independent repair shop, we like to do things the most economical way for our customers. We'll take the time to find, we've done a lot of repairs and Volvo's where they'll only sell a completely assembly. Just an example. We look at it and go, well we can buy these bearings from this place or that, and these are the kind of creative things we do to save our customers money. You won't get that at the dealer. They're more interested in, "Let's get the car in and out, as quick as possible, let's get the job done." Without regards to cost or seeking other options. I can think of a lot of other examples I've seen over time. For an average service on your vehicle, yeah, the dealer's probably pretty good. Although one interesting thing that we do notice, we get a lot of new customers, go to do an oil change and we find the air filters are just hideously dirty. We ask, "Where'd you have the car serviced before?" "The dealer." It's like the technicians, because they're, this is my speculation, because they're paid flat rate, they want to get the job in and out as fast as they can. The more cars they can do, the more money they make. Fair enough, but they're missing things. They don't inspect air filters, unless it's incredibly easy. There's no money in them, for them, whether they sell another part or not. They don't get paid any more, so they don't bother. The customer really doesn't get the best service at the dealer. It looks like a great place. I'm not saying ... there are some dealers that are very good. It's hit and miss.

Mark: It's like life.

Bernie: Right.

Mark: How are these Volvos overall for reliability? The XC60?

Bernie: They're good cars. This is one flaw with them, but so far we don't see a lot for any other problem. This is, again, one sort of thing you can expect. It seems like almost every vehicle has something that's going to go wrong with it, unless it's ... well, even Toyotas we can pick a few things out, although they're highly reliable. Most cars, there's going to be some deficiency. This seems to be the one on these cars, other than that, they're pretty good.

Mark: If you're looking for service for your Volvo, or Land Rover LR2, your Volvo VC60, or any other kind of Volvo, the guys to see in Vancouver at Pawlik Automotive. You can book your appointment at 604 327 7112, or check out their website. We even have other website builders and SEOs telling us how good the website is, so check it out. Tons of information on there. PawlikAutomotive.com. Thanks, Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks, Mark.

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Heater Blend Door 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 you doing today Bernie?

Bernie: I am doing very well this morning.

Mark: We're going to talk about a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a little bit of a different issue. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well, this issue had some ... There was stuff going on with the heating system on this vehicle. It wouldn't blow hot air. It sort of started out originally it would only blow hot air from one side of the vehicle. This is a vehicle that has a dual zone climate control. It's a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, so it's a top end vehicle full of luxury on road and off road features. The climate control system wasn't working right. There was too much heat on one side of the vehicle, not enough on the other. It couldn't be controlled properly.We went to access the vehicle heating system, and we can do this with a scan tool of the computer because it's electronically controlled. We went to access that and that's where we started our procedure.

Mark: That sounds like interesting thing. What was involved after you had gotten into the electronics?

Bernie: We plugged in our scan tool, and there's different ... They're called PIDs, parameter IDs, and so we looked at the different PIDs. We could see that some things weren't reading right and then there's some actual actuator tests we can do on the scan tool. Nothing would respond properly. Things weren't reading right. A little confusing, and we finally determined the actual heating control unit, the actual computer, something was screwed up with that. This is a really expensive part. It includes the panel with all the knobs. It' the thing you see and inside there's a computer as well. We acquired a good used unit because it's an old vehicle. The owner didn't want to spend I can't remember it's like 1,200 or 1,500 dollars for the actual climate control unit. We managed to get a good used one for a fraction of the price.Put it in, and all the computer end of things were working great, but what we found, then we found the other problems that had probably been there for a long time, and that is we still couldn't control the actual it's called the blend door. The blend door controls the temperature between the air conditioning system and the heating system. The blend door's this little motor twists and turns doors inside. There's a whole bunch of doors inside these vehicles. Most vehicles are like that nowadays. Blend doors couldn't be controlled so that's where we basically have to rip the heater box out and go to the next step of the operation.

Mark: Do you have some pictures of that?

Bernie: We got pictures. I love showing this kind of stuff. It's super interesting. We'll just go back and we'll start. This is our Jeep 2002 Overland. It's a little bit of an older vehicle, but nice for it's year and age. That is a view of the instrument panel and the dash removed. That's what you got to do to change this particular blend door. It's a lot of work as you can see. The body if you just take the time to savour the photo for a minute. If you look in the top right there's a few kind of grey items, square items. That's the heater box. That unit, that's actually been re installed but we have to remove that unit, and that's where the blend door's located along with the heater core, the evaporator core, and a whole bunch of other bits and pieces. You can see the steering wheel sort of line in the bottom left corner. It's sitting upside down. It's that round, that brownish coloured piece. Then on the actual seats which are on the right, which you can barely tell are seats, that's the dash. That's the thing you're looking at.As you can see, this is a huge amount of work to take apart. Our next photo, this is the actual blend door that we replaced. It's two separate doors that operate. You see a couple of red arrows there. They point to where the motors engage the blend doors, and you can see they're broken. Over time what happens is when the vehicle turns on, it starts, and the climate control system doesn't check. It actually actuates every door, so there's blend doors. There's the doors that control the up and down air flow. It operates all these doors just to make sure the whole system's operating, and then if there's an error, it'll send something back into the system.Every time these doors are operated, they're moved a lot more often that then probably need to be, but over time it breaks. That's what the real problem was with this vehicle. We changed the blend doors, put the motors back in, and away we went. Now there was a couple other things. We can get into that. We did actually find a couple of other things when we had the heater box apart. I'll share those photos, too. Just give me a second to get back to the screen sharing. Where are you?Inside the heater box, there's also as I mentioned the evaporator core and the heater core. The evaporator creates the cold for the air conditioning. The heater core creates the heat for the heating system. Of course, we had the heater box apart so we found a couple of interesting things. If you notice on the right hand side, there's a bunch of greeny and the top a bunch of ugly green. That's antifreeze that's leaked out of the heater core. Now this vehicle didn't actually have a ... There was no client complaint of a heater core problem, but nonetheless, this was starting to leak so this was a great time to replace the heater core. It was out. No extra charge for labor, just the part. Then we found the evaporator core also had a very small leak. Again the red arrow points to that.You can see that sort of oily film and a bunch of dirt build up. That is actually a very small minute evaporator core leak. You could even smell the refrigerant oil in the area. Again, the air conditioning worked fine before we started. It was nice and cold, but this would have created problems, and we would have had to pull the whole thing back out again. It was a very good time to. It was an expensive repair, but very fortuitous for our client that we kind of dealt with everything.

Mark: Well, how did all the work once you were all done. That's a tremendous amount of work.

Bernie: Yeah it was good. There was nice heat, cold air in this vehicle. The temperature was right on the right hand side and good on the left hand side and everything was good control. Everything was like it's supposed to be, so restored to normal, and the owner was happy.

Mark: There you go. Another successful repair by Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience, 17 time winners of best in Vancouver as voted by their customers. Reach them to book at 604-327-7112 or check out their website at pawlikautomotive.com. We have a few years now of these kind of videos on there, so there's a ton of information plus all the stuff that Bernie's created himself. Check it out. Pawlik Automotive. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Talk to you soon.

2008 Ford F150, Fuel Pump Driver Module 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 or 17 times, we're not sure yet, I think it's 17, Bernie thinks it's 16, time winners of Best in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How you doing, Bernie?

Bernie: I'm doing very well.

Mark: We're going to talk about a recent repair of a Ford F-150, a 2008. What was going on with this truck?

Bernie: This vehicle was towed to our shop. It wouldn't stop, and the owner's complaint was that it had been getting progressively harder to start. Eventually went to go start it one morning, it just cranked over, but nothing happened. It wouldn't fire.

Mark: Being an F-150, I assume it's a gasoline engine.

Bernie: It is. Yeah, a gas engine, 5.4 litre, I believe, in this truck. Very common arrangement.

Mark: What happened with this vehicle?

Bernie: We diagnosed ... Of course, the battery was almost dead, so we charged the battery, hooked up some testing equipment, including a fuel pressure gauge, among other things, and found there was no fuel pressure. Basically, that was the reason it wasn't firing a good spark. All the other components needed to make an engine run were there, just no fuel pressure.

Mark: No fuel pressure is usually a dead fuel pump, right?

Bernie: Well, usually it is. As a matter of fact, probably about 95 percent of the time, it is a fuel pump, but, in this case, Ford has a little more complex system that adds to the fun of the diagnosis and, ultimately, the cost to the client to fix it, as well. What we found when we finished, complete our diagnosis is that the fuel pump driver module was dead, and that was causing our fuel pump issue.

Mark: I've never heard of that. What's a fuel pump driver, and why do they use it?

Bernie: It's a relatively new component. It's probably been around for about 10 years. The reason they use it is efficiency. Somewhere, automotive engineers are looking at what it takes to run a vehicle, how much energy is being used just to pump, just how much electrical energy it takes to run a fuel pump. A lot of times, you don't need that full on 12 volt energy and pressure that a fuel pump delivers. In idle, for instance, you don't need a lot of fuel.The pump is really there to deliver everything under load, so they put this driver module in, and what it does is it lowers the voltage to the fuel pump. More efficient use of the electricity of the vehicle is really what it is. Overall components, it kind of changes things around, but, again, overall, for fuel efficiency, as well, it helps out, because you're not trying to deal with so much fuel pressure. We can share a few photos and keep on talking.

Here's our F-150, the typical, nice 4 door pickup truck, very useful vehicle. This is the fuel pump driver module. How do we know it was bad? Along with the fact that there was no electricity coming out of it, we removed the module and found this. This is the bottom side of the module. It's an aluminum based unit, probably for heat sinking qualities. There's a lot of electricity, heat going through this unit, so that's the heat sink. It's all corroded. The reason why is because this is where it sits. This is with the spare tire removed in the back, and that's the new module installed. You can see rust and corrosion around on the frame of the vehicle. When you're driving down the road on a wet day, there's water spraying everywhere. It's living in a very hostile environment. Over time, something like this happens. It just, basically, the aluminum keeps getting rotted away, and, eventually, the hole cracked through the bottom, and water infiltrated the unit and killed it.

Mark: Yep. That's what caused the part to die. We talked about many Fords. Some have different reliability issues. How are these trucks?

Bernie: These are pretty good, actually. They're Canada's number 1 selling pickup for years and years. At least, Ford likes to advertise that and are proud of that fact. They're pretty decent trucks. I mean, they have their flaws. I think these newer lines, like '08 and newer, they got rid of the spark plugs blowing out of the engine and the spark plugs that seized in the engine, redesigned the way they should have been in the beginning. They're, overall, pretty reliable. There's a few things that go wrong here and there but nothing more than you'd expect in any other pickup truck, so, overall, pretty good. A lot less issues than an F-350 Super Duty or the Diesel.

Mark: If you're looking for service for your F-150, here are some guys who have done a lot of work on them for decades. These trucks have been around for decades, and Bernie and his team have that kind of experience. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Get ahold of them on their website, pawlikautomotive.com, or at 604-327-7112 to book your next appointment. Thanks, Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks, Mark.

2002 Subaru Legacy, Engine Replacement

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik at Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. We're talking about a Subaru Legacy. Having some issues with Google+ this morning, Google Hangouts. It's always an adventure. How you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I'm doing pretty well. It is an adventure. Hopefully, the technology will work with us this time.

Mark: We've talked a lot about Subaru's in the past, this is a Legacy, but this time it's a engine replacement, which is a bit extreme. Is this pretty common with these motors?

Bernie: No, it's not. We do a lot of head gaskets, as we've talked about in the past. We probably do at least one or two a month, maybe even more. Head gaskets tend to leak on Subaru's, but engines themselves are very reliable. We very rarely ever replace an engine.

Mark: 2002 is getting a bit old for that level of repair. Is it worth it?

Bernie: It's really up to the owner of the vehicle. This person had just recently bought this vehicle, unfortunately, but it's in really nice shape. I'll share a photo of it. There's our 2002 Legacy. I mean, the car looks pretty much brand new, the mileage is pretty low on this vehicle, and it actually, with the exception of the issue with the engine, is actually running fine at the time. I'm going to cut the photo here, if I can remember how to do that. Am I back? Yes, I am.Is it worth it? It's really up to the individual owner. With every car, people often attach a value, "Oh, it's only worth this much, so I'm only going to spend half of the value on repair". People have these, in my opinion, crazy equations, but really, at the end of the day, when you own a car it's how much money you're sending out the door for the privilege or whatever it is, the cost of driving. To me, that's the only thing you really need to look at. If you buy a brand new car, you're not doing a lot of repairs, but you're spending 3, 500, 1,000 bucks a month on payments. You know, when you have an old car, you might spend 3-4,000 bucks one year changing an engine, and then you don't spend any more money. When you work that out into monthly payments, it's much lower. It's still money that's going out the door. Anyways, is it worth it? It's very much up to the owner, but this car was in good shape. We'd done an inspection previously on it, and stated that everything was actually in pretty good working order otherwise.

Mark: What was the presenting problem and what did you do to solve it?

Bernie: Basically, the vehicle came to us, he was driving down the highway and all of a sudden, it started developing a knocking noise in the engine, which is never good. Got to the shop, we started it up, you could heard something very severe in the bottom of the engine going knock, knock, knock, knock, knock. When we arranged for an engine replacement, and he authorized the job, we decided to drive the vehicle into the shop to get repairs done, and halfway through the parking lot the engine just seized up. Something broke inside and that was the end of his engine, so he got here just at the right time.

Mark: These are typically pretty reliable, why did it ... What was the cause of the problem?

Bernie: I would say the cause of the problem on this one was bad maintenance. As we mentioned many times before, bad maintenance, lack of oil changes, really contributes to a lot of problems. Really, most of the time, whenever we see an engine problem, it's due to bad maintenance. Now, the head gaskets on a Subaru, you can be meticulous with your oil changes, and they're still going to leak, because that's a bit of a design defect, but the engines in a Subaru, if you change the oil regularly, keep the oil level full, you really never ever have any problems with the bottom end of the engine. What had happened with this engine, is that it ... Unfortunately, I have lost my photos to share, but we'll put them up on the webpage. When you look at the picture of what was in the oil pan, there's a lot of metal debris, but it was also, you could see a layer of sludge. This accumulates, people go over on their oil changes too frequently, maybe they missed an oil change, eventually things build up, and it causes a problem. If I can fire one thing home here, change your oil, which we've talked about so many times. Change you oil when it's due, don't wait. It's cheap.

Mark: If you want a great oil change, where they actually look at all the rest of your vehicle and make sure that it's running properly, and let you know, give you a really good diagnosis about what is coming up, what needs to be changed, what might need to be changed in the future, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. They're at least sixteen, maybe seventeen time winners of Best in Vancouver, as voted by their customers, best auto repair shop in Vancouver, and you can reach them at 604-327-7112, or check out their website PawlikAutomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark

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