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

2005 BMW 330Ci Coolant Overflow Tank Replacement

BMW 330ci

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver; Vancouver’s highest rated and best reviewed automotive service company. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing really well.

BMW 330ci

Engine compartment of 330ci - much of what you see is plastic

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a BMW, a 2005 330, what was going on with this car?

Bernie: Well this car came into our shop with quite a bad coolant leak, it actually was to the point where I think the owner was driving down the highway and the engine actually stopped running because it got pretty warm and shut down which is a good thing before it destroyed itself but yeah the main reason it came was for a coolant leak.

Mark: So I’m going to digress for a second, is there a reason why it would shut down like that, is there an electronic protection that would shut it off?

Bernie: I suspect that’s probably the case although I don’t know for sure having not driven the car, I mean a lot of cars if you overheat it to a certain degree it will actually, you know it will actually stop because it can’t physically run anymore so actually I’m not sure whether BMW has that capability; it would be a good thing because we do fix cars where people have overheated them to the point where they’ve cooked their engines so it’s not a good thing.

Mark: It’s not a good thing to do. So where was the coolant leak coming from?

Bernie: The coolant leak was coming from the coolant overflow bottle and the bottle basically spit suddenly and this is a pretty common issue that we see in these vehicles so, yeah I can share a couple photos, actually hang on, get to the photo share thing, just a second here, here we go. There’s the BMW engine compartment with lots of plastic pieces and before we look at this I’ll just show, this is the coolant overflow bottle, it was cracked, this sits on the side of the radiator, the red arrow points to a big long crack along the length of the bottle and we do see these from time to time; it’s fairly frequent once the car gets a little older, plastic, it’s brittle, it’s under a lot of stress. The BMW’s there a lot of plastic in the engine compartment, this is a view of the top of the engine and pretty much everything black you see there is made of plastic with the exception of a piece that runs along the sort of lower portion of the photo, a long piece that runs from left to right, that’s a metal piece painted black but pretty much everything else you’re looking at in black is plastic. There’s the intake manifold is on the right near the back, the big BMW word, that’s the valve cover area, that’s all plastic and at the front is the radiator, it’s kind of buried and hidden but to the right you can see a sort of round piece with, right sort of lower corner that’s where the radiator cap is and the overflow bottle we replaced is down there. So these are the many of the plastic pieces that they have on this car, so I will stop the sharing, come back and talk.

BMW 330ci

Cracked overflow tank - the red arrow points to the large split in the plastic tank

Mark: So all of this plastic cause engines are hot, plastic doesn’t do all that great with heat, repeated cooling so it seems like not a great idea why are they using so much of it?

Bernie: I think weight reduction is probably the biggest reason but plastic is also highly moldable, you can, you can mold it into any shape so it’s helpful for certain things that require flow of liquids, flow of air and you know it I think it’s increasingly cheaper to work with than it used to be at one time but I think weight is the primary reason. I mean in all fairness plastic nowadays isn’t what it used to be 30 or 40 years ago where you couldn’t even make anything, I understand that they even have plastic pistons in engines although I’ve never seen one but I think for high level racing they’re actually used or its experimental anyways, but for a lot of parts they work fine but there’s only certain lifespan and plastic unfortunately tends to fail rather suddenly, we have like this coolant overflow bottle, basically we had this vehicle actually in for service the day before it came back for this leak and the thermostat housing was leaking, did a number of repairs on the car and I mean unfortunately the car came back in the next day with this big coolant leak. The day before we replaced the thermostat housing, we pressure tested the cooling system, there wasn’t a drip of coolant or leak coming out, next night he’s out driving on the highway, the bottle splits and you know without any warnings so almost with the BMW when you get 10 years old it’s not that preventative maintenance to just start changing some of the plastic parts, the radiator has plastic, the overflow bottle is plastic of course. A lot of the coolant hoses even have plastic ends so it’s great, you can clip these pieces together you know, from a manufacturing perspective it’s amazing but once it gets a little older like after like you said a lot of heating and cooling cycles plastic gets brittle and breaks.

Mark: So are there metal replacements available for any of these parts?

Bernie: Some of them there is, not for the radiator, not for the overflow bottle or the hoses for that matter but there are for some models there are thermostat houses that are available not for those newer models though but it’s really the older ones you can get metal thermostat housings, water pumps are one thing, water pumps themselves are made of metal but the impeller, the blade that turns inside the water pump it’s a lot of European cars use plastic impellers, we’ve even seen them on medium sized Isuzu trucks as well which is kind of shocking but the thing about plastic impellers is they just crack and break without warning so you have a water pump it looks on the outside it’s working perfectly well but it isn’t pumping any water so with these we always replace with metal impellers so again the reason they use plastic on these is just simply weight production but they fail you know and that’s without warning so.

BMW 330ci

Automatic Transmission Thermostat: this part is broken and this is typically how they look when replacing the coolant tank. It sits in the bottom of the tank.

Mark: How was the customer, you you’ve done a bunch of work, their car basically broke down on the next day, what would, what happened with that.

Bernie: Well for us it’s always highly embarrassing because the kind of work we try to do, with everything we do we like to be very thorough and make sure we’ve covered everything you know without of course selling the person a brand new car when we do our repair, by doing it the most reasonable way you know, it’s rather irritating for the customer and for us when the car gets towed back a day later. You know what we did for this customer, we replaced parts, we didn’t charge him any labour, you know it was a few hours’ worth of work that we did for no charge, we did charge him for the parts, it wasn’t our fault that failed but me I’m just interested in customers being happy with what we do so we replaced the parts and took the car out for a very long road test to make sure there wasn’t some other issue causing the vehicle to shut off suddenly, so we’re pretty satisfied, we inspected everything and it all looked to be pretty good but this is the kind of thing we do in certain cases where it may not be our fault but we figure the car just been in, spent a bunch of money, want to just do a little extra to make them happy.

Mark: Sound pretty fair.

Bernie: We try.

Mark: So if you’re looking for a fair and useful and honest mechanic, honest maintenance place for your high end vehicle, your low end vehicle, doesn’t matter what kind of vehicle it is from diesel to high end Mercedes, these guys repair it all Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Give them a call to book 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Starter Replacement

Jeep Wrangler Starter

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver; recently again awarded Best in Vancouver in the Georgia Straight poll as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well; yeah, proud to receive that award for the 8th year in a row, quite awesome.

Mark: But I think that’s seventeen times now you guys have won, Best in Vancouver.

Bernie: Sixteen or seventeen with that and the West Ender, I think that’s what they’re called, but yeah it’s awesome, it’s an honour.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a 2012 Jeep Wranger Unlimited, unlimited, you had to do a starter replacement, what was going on with this vehicle?

Jeep Wrangler Starter

2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Bernie: We did, yeah so the vehicle was towed in, wouldn’t start, apparently it wasn’t running properly and the story we got was it died so brought it in, it needed a starter replacement.

Mark: So how did you determine that the starter was the problem?

Bernie: Well through a grueling diagnostic process, I mean, it’s just, just what we do for every vehicle we work on. We have to take the customer’s concerns and you look at the vehicle and do some tests and from the testing we did we found the starter was dead. Just a bit surprising because the vehicles not all that old, 2012, its only 4 years old, sixty-five thousand kilometers I think on the vehicle, really pretty young, normally I would expect you know some vehicle starters last for 100, 200,000 kilometers maybe even longer.

Mark: So I guess this is a kind of generic sort of question but how difficult was it to get details from the customer about what happened to the vehicle?

Bernie: You know this is an interesting story because when the, when the customer brought it in he mentioned that the vehicle has been making some, some strange sort of screeching kind of noises and just listening to him I kind of thought well that sounds like it’s, it’s a maybe it was a problem with the belt screeching noises, belts maybe the belt tensioner came off or belt broke, the alternator wasn’t charging and the battery went dead. Those are the kind of things I think about when a customer talks about what happened to their vehicle but it is funny getting a straight story from people, the more I’ve been in this business the more I like to ask more detailed questions and some concerns are really difficult to try to pin down and others will tell you certain things and then they reverse their story and nothing wrong, it’s just that it’s just the way people perceive things and I often get a little scared in our business when someone who comes in is not proficient in English because even people who are incredibly proficient in English it’s hard to communicate the details sometimes of what’s going on. I had a guy a week or two ago, he had said you know, the moment this vehicle goes up the slightest incline the temperature gauge goes up and the engine starts, well I surmise kind of overheating and then he repeated it to me several times, the slightest incline so we did some work on the car, Nigel went out for a drive, went up a really steep hill and didn’t even overheat so I phoned him back, he goes it only happens when I go up Royal Oak hill which if you know Royal Oak hill that’s practically like a rocket ship taking off, it’s straight up, I go well no wonder. It’s funny how many times he said the same things, we get those kind of details where I try to even ask people to trip them up for stuff and then o.k. well, we’ll just work the best we can with the information we’ve got.

Mark: So let’s go back to the Jeep, what was involved in changing the starter?

Bernie: Well starters are pretty straightforward, I mean once we diagnosed it and we determined the starter is a problem we replaced it and it’s not really huge labour intensive. I’ll just share a couple photos here while we’re on it. This is the starter motor from the Jeep, the interesting thing about the starter is it’s really small, now I haven’t put anything to give it any scale but this starter motor is probably only about six or eight inches long for the total length which is really quite small, it’s also incredibly lightweight too and I kind of makes me wonder why, whether that’s part of the cause why this starter failed at a fairly young age. Vehicle manufacturers are always trying to make things lightweight, compact you know, better fuel economy performance so they make things out of lighter materials but often that doesn’t equate to durability.

Jeep Wrangler Starter

Starter from Jeep Wrangler. This unit is very small and lightweight. It may be that this compact design shorted its lifespan.

Mark: What does this vehicle look like?

Bernie: Oh yeah, so here’s our Jeep, this is our 2012 Wrangler Unlimited, four door, quite a popular vehicle, we work on a lot of these, excellent vehicle even seen a few of these rigged up by some of the dealers around town with shovels and axes and really set up for the off road experience but a lot of people they just see street pavement but if you want to take them off road they’re definitely pretty good for that, they’re nicely set up for that.

Mark: You have another shot there that was showing where the starter was in the motor?

Bernie: Yeah, yes so this is another interesting thing and I’ll just share this back again, just hang on for a second here. Actually this is a not actually the starter, this is a I took this photo because I found it very interesting, like a lot of modern cars, it has a big plastic cover over the engine. We pulled the cover off and found that, found the alternator position rather unusual in this vehicle; they’ve actually mounted the alternator backwards to where they normally sit. That red arrow points to the alternator and normally and if you look to the right of that you see sort of a round piece, the black section, that’s the belt, the drive belt and normally the alternator sit the other way around but that drive belt pulley sits forward and it’s kind of been like that for ever and ever, as long as cars have been manufactured but on this one they’ve flipped it around the other way. I guess there was space under the hood and room and that’s what they did so, it’s funny looking at the innovations of car manufacturers do, kind of set us back, what the heck is that and that’s basically what they did. It works fine either way as long as it’s bolted up and the belts tight.

Jeep Wrangler Starter

view of engine compartment with backwards mounted alternator

Mark: So how are Jeeps overall for reliability?

Bernie: Well I’d say they’re not fabulous, they’re actually to be honest with you they’re kind of one of the vehicles we like to work on because a lot of stuff goes wrong with them, so that’s a bit of an honest from the auto repair shop, a bit of information but people love Jeeps, I mean we have a lot of customers with them, people seem to like them a lot, I mean because they’re a unique vehicle and they’re capable of doing some offroading, a lot of people don’t but they like them and where there’s more stuff goes wrong with them than probably should but you know, they seldom break down if they take care of them, we don’t get too many towed in like this one but there’s a lot of, they’re complicated too, it’s all wheel drive, 4 wheel drive so there’s transfer cases, differentials, lots of other bits and pieces that can go wrong.

Mark: So basically make sure that you’re maintaining your Jeep regularly and you’ll get the maximum life out of it.

Bernie: Absolutely and I mean expect that you will spend more money fixing it than you would on a lot of say a Toyota Yaris or a Honda Fit but it’s a different class of vehicle than that so.

Mark: If you’re looking for maintenance and repairs on your vehicle in Vancouver the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive; check out their website pawlikautomotive.com, tons and tons of information on there. We’ve been doing these hangouts for a long time, they’re seen all around the world or you can give him a call to book 604-327-7112. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: You’re welcome, thanks Mark.

2009 Mercedes ML320 3 Litre Diesel Engine Oil Cooler Seal Leak

Mercedes Diesel Repair

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

Bernie: I’m doing really well.

Mark: So we have a bit of a meaty presentation today, you said, a Mercedes 3 litre diesel with a cooler seal leak; what was going on with this vehicle.

Bernie: Well there was a few things going on with this vehicle but primarily, the first thing the customer brought it in for was a fairly large oil leak at the bottom of the engine and we’ve been servicing this car a while so this leak was there in the past and it’s just getting worse and worse and so basically there’s a large oil leak was the primary concern. It was due for service actually, in fact overdue for service which I’ll talk about later and the check engine light was on.

Mark: So what did you find with the oil leak?

Bernie: The oil leak it was coming from the center of the engine, the valley area so on a V engine there’s two banks of cylinders, one on the left, one on the right and in between it forms a V, the valley sits in the middle and this is where they positioned the engine oil cooler. Oil cooler seal leaks are pretty common on these engines, the actual coolers themselves are pretty much bulletproof unless you destroy your engine but the oil cooler seals do leak so very difficult to actually see the leak on this vehicle because there’s so many parts and pieces in the way, the intake manifold, there’s fuel injection pipes, a lot of, a lot of pieces in the way but the just based on where the oil was leaking from the oil cooler seals were the cause of the leak. So we, yeah we basically stripped down the engine, took the engine manifolds off, accessed the oil cooler and there’s also another area of leakage in that area which is the turbo oil stand which we looked at, at the same time. I’m going to share a few photos

Mercedes Diesel Repair

View of right cylinder head and engine valley, Note the oil leakage. The red arrow points to the oil cooler. The leaking seals are underneath. The yellow arrow points to the intake points that are covered with carbon deposits which restricts airflow into the engine. The green arrow points to the turbostand mounting. There is a lot of oil in this area and likely another source of this engine's oil leakage.

Mark: Sounds like a lot of work to get at the oil cooler.

Bernie: It is a lot of work – here’s a photo, are we seeing this o.k.?

Mark: Yup

Bernie: Perfect, so this is the, this is the valley of the V6 diesel engine with the intake manifolds removed, so a lot of parts and pieces have been removed, many hours of work has gone into what you’re looking at in this photo and there’s a lot of interesting things to see. So I’ve got the coloured arrows here, the red arrow points to the engine oil cooler, so you can see a lot of oil and filth around this area especially heading towards the right side of the picture which is the back of the engine. The green arrow points to the turbo where the turbo oil, the turbo stand sits, it’s a stand that holds the turbocharger in place and there’s oil flowing in and out of the turbocharger through this particular area. Again that’s a source of leakage and based on the amount of oil around that area that, that was probably leaking some oil as well. So the oil cooler which is the piece the red arrow points to was removed, we changed the seals and we put the cooler back in, of course it’s never enough. The yellow arrow and I’m going to talk about it further on as we get going in this hangout points to the intake manifold ports, you’ll see there’s a rectangular or square port and there’s a round one and what the arrow I’m pointing to in this picture is just that amount of black filthy carbon deposits in those ports. This engine’s gucked up pretty badly. That’s where the air, this is where the air flows into the engine so it needs lots of air flow and it wasn’t getting as much air flow that it should have had so on that note we’ll stop the sharing for the moment, back to where we were.

Mark: So I think you mentioned that there was a check engine light on, did this repair have any relation or did that have any relation to the oil leaks?

Bernie: Well the check engine light wasn’t related to the oil leaks but fortunately for the customer, the check engine light was on for a couple trouble codes for the intake valve, sorry the air intake, actually look at my notes here, the intake port shut off position sensor was the codes and it was for left and right bank and what that is actually we’ll just go right to pictures for this makes, as you say a picture is worth a thousand words. This picture is of one of the intake manifolds and this is the opposite side remember that yellow arrow that pointed to all that black sooty stuff well this is the part that bolts onto there and the red arrow is pointing to the round intake ports and these all have it’s called a butterfly valve that opens and closes. The trouble code that was stored in the engine computer was related to this particular system and again there’s a variety of arrows here so I’ll go through all of them. The red arrows point to the valves that open and close, the yellow arrow points, that’s a linkage rod that connects all three of these pieces together, the purple is the swirl valve motor, this is the motor that actuates the valves when the computer tells it to and the blue arrow points to a sensor, now that sensor, when the computer tells the valves to close or open it goes to a final position and when that position is reached then the computer knows the valves are closed, everything is good but the trouble code is being set because that sensor was not seeing that particular item happen. Now the motor was actually working fine it was moving the valves but what was happening is that there is so much wear in the linkage rods, they’re plastic over the years the rods have worn so much that the valves were all opening and closing at the same rate so you can actually see in the picture if you look on the left side you see the valve is actually partially closed and anyways the linkage was so badly worn now the only replacement for this is to replace the whole intake manifold, as you can guess it’s expensive, off the top of my head I think they’re about around nine hundred dollars apiece and there’s two of them so that kind of gives you an idea what this adds to the bill of the job but after completion it, you know, everything is done and fortunately for the customers there’s no extra labour charge to do this work at the same time as we had to remove it. This is a picture of the new manifold, so you can see how nice and clean and clear everything is, at the top of the picture there’s the swirl valve motor, it’s a bit of a different view of the linkage rods are on the bottom of the picture here and actually this is both manifolds coupled together but you can see how clean the ports are, a lot more air flow so the engine will perform, I mean the engine’s going to perform much better after this, after this particular service is done.

Mercedes Diesel Repair

View of 1 intake manifold: red arrows point to swirl valves: note the carbon deposits on all 6 intake ports; yellow arrow points to swirl valve linkage, on this engine there was severe wear in this linkage; purple arrow points to swirl valve motor; blue arrow points to switch which send computer a signal to indicate whether valve is closed fully. On this engine a code was set due to severe linkage wear and the switch not being 'switched on' when actuated

Mercedes Diesel Repair

New intake manifold - note the clean intake ports which allow a huge increase in airflow into the engine

Mark: So did you find any other issues while you were doing this repair?

Bernie: Well it’s funny that you mention that because yes we did find some other issues. This vehicle came in and it was due, well actually I’ll just show a couple things. So here’s the other issue, this is the turbo oil stand pipe, the oil stand and this as I pointed to in the other picture, you can see where it’s bolted down in the engine, it looked like it was leaking, this is the top where the turbocharger bolts onto the engine and the red arrow points to the engine oil, this is the high pressure oil line that goes through the turbocharger so this is feeding oil into the turbocharger, critical for life in the turbo, the turbo’s spinning at you know at 30 to 40 thousand rpms at times, maybe even faster, it really needs good clean oil. If you look in there it looks pretty gucked up, that’s a small hole, it’s only about maybe a quarter inch in diameter at the most but it’s, this oil hole is so badly plugged it’s surprising that a trickle of oil is getting through. The turbo is working, I think the owner of this vehicle is extremely lucky that he had this service done when he did because the turbo would have seized up in pretty short order and just so you know, the hole on the right hand side which is quite a bit larger that is the oil drain back hole so the oil drains back into the engine down through that hole but again this is you know bad maintenance and the other issue this is what was going on the dash of this vehicle; Service A exceeded by 11,415 kilometers. So this light has been on for a very, very, very long time and this isn’t the first post I’ve talked about people who left their oil and haven’t changed it and you know it’s there in black and white, Mercedes doesn’t make it much easier to be reminded you need to change your oil, it’s there every day and every kilometer you go it tells you you’ve gone too far and really if you follow that religiously you’re going to have a lot less problems, I just can’t say it enough, it doesn’t make any sense, you’re saving absolutely nothing by leaving it longer, so get your oil changed, that’s the key message for this and a lot of that, that guck we’ve seen in the intake system may be prevented, certainly the turbocharger failures we’ve talked about them on previous blogs posts, complete engine repairs, there’s a lot that goes wrong with these so, change your oil, change your oil, get the service done regularly.

Mercedes Diesel Repair

Instrument panel display indicating that service is far overdue: If you own a vehicle with these reminders PLEASE HEED THE WARNING: failure to do so will cost you lots of money

Mercedes Diesel Repair

Turbocharger stand: red arrow points to the almost solidly plugged oil supply port. Had this plugged fully the turbocharger would have quickly seized.

Mark: So it seems to be pretty like we’ve seen a few of these now and this has been a pretty consistent issue, these diesel motors from Mercedes or maybe any diesel motor really must be pretty regular, you’ve got to be rigorous about getting the oil changed on time, you can’t stretch it very far even if it’s a synthetic.

Bernie: Absolutely and this uses synthetic oil and the oil change intervals in these I believe is about 15,000 kilometers, that’s a good amount of time you know for, you know if you drive a lot, huge distances I mean that’s a couple times a year but if you’re not a huge driver it’s only probably once a year service, it’s not a lot so you know it is a couple hundred dollars but it’s only one service a year, maybe two but the cost of course you know, the bills for these kind of jobs are enormous when you leave it too long especially if you wreak the engine. We had one that was over 20,000 dollars so yeah, it’s important to do the service, I mean on any engine it’s important, gas running engines too, I mean it’s more critical now than it ever has been.

Mark: So would you say that with all that corrosion that was in those intake ports and everything I’m sure that part of that was just due to how diesels, how diesel fuel is burned but is that more a function of you know would a regular oil change have helped with that or is that more of a function of they needed to have an engine flush or you know maybe some of the other services that you guys offer the, I’m trying to think the fuel injector cleaner

Bernie: Cleaning services of diesels that can help with that, there are also EGR cleaning services that we can do, I mean a lot of it is a function of the design of the engine most all modern diesel have an EGR system exhaust gas recirculation that it’s a critical emission component to remove NOx emissions which are really high in the diesel because of the combustion temperature and pressures so it’s an important emission item but it also leads to this grungy debris if you had no EGR system that none of that debris would be there, it doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue with American diesels for some reason like the trucks and I don’t know if it’s because they’re larger, bigger breathing engines but we see it on TDI Volkswagens we see it a lot on the Jeep Liberty, it’s a small Italian 4 cylinder diesel, we see it on the Mercedes but changing the oil and doing regular service it’s critical to minimizing that and also highway driving, again it’s another thing a lot of these diesels people just use them around the city and that’s, that’s definitely harder on the system as well because the engine doesn’t get hot, warm enough, we’ve talked about this in the past, driving it and getting it good and hot that’s the best for diesel, highway drives much better. Incidentally I do want to mention this, this vehicle has 273,000 kilometers on it, so it’s had some pretty good usage and good life and that’s that is a good thing and after the work we’ve done on it, I mean it will be good for a quite a lot longer timeframe so even though the oil change is, was way overdue you know, definitely a bad thing and all the things that were plugged and blocked, cleaning all that out will get a lot more life out of this engine so as long as the owner keeps changing his oil in a regular timeframe I don’t see why he can’t get 500,000 or a million kilometers out of one of these engines, I mean they are very good.

Mark: So there you go, if you need maintenance or repairs on your ML320’s 3 litre diesel or any Mercedes, Jeep, VW diesel, these are the guys to see in Vancouver, Pawlik Automotive, they’re experts in this stuff, give them a call 604-327-7112 to book your appointment or check out their website, tons of good information on there, pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark, talk to you again soon.

2008 BMW 128i Ignition Coil Diagnosis Repair

BMW 128i

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s highest rated and 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well this morning.

Mark: We’re going to talk about a 2008 BMW 128i that had some ignition coil problem. What was going on there?

2008 BMW 128i

Bernie: So this vehicle came to our shop, was running rough and the check engine light was on.

Mark: So what did your diagnosis find?

Bernie: What we found was, so we connected the scan tool and we found there was several codes stored for engine misfires, did some further diagnosis and we found two ignition coils that were dead. Typically when this happens, we normally replace all six, there are six of them and if one dies or two dies, usually the others are not too far behind, that’s what our experience has found with these cars. In the past, we’ve done one or two and then found the customer may often come back in a couple months with another dead coil. So it just kind of makes sense to change them all.

Mark: So are ignition coil failures common on these cars?

BMW 128i

Ignition coil from BMW 128i

Bernie: They are actually, we do quite a number of them and yeah, so this is a pretty common issue. That and a lot of German cars, it seems like Audi as well, Audis and Volkswagens, the coils fail. Fortunately they are not overly expensive parts, so to change six of them, or four or eight depending on how many your engine has are not hugely expensive. But it is pretty common on these BMW’s.

Mark: Was there anything else that you repaired on your service while doing this job?

BMW 128i

Spark plugs from BMW 128i

Bernie: Well we did the spark plugs as well, this vehicle had enough kilometres on it that the spark plugs were nearly at the age that they need to be replaced. It’s not a lot of extra work once the ignition coils are out to change the spark plugs. So that makes a lot of sense. We also changed another part, when we’re doing ignition coils, we noticed there was an oil leak, a small oil leak from a part called a Valvetronic Motor Gasket. So we replaced that as well, it was right in the vicinity, a little extra work but not a lot when we’re doing the ignition coils. So I’m just going to share a couple pictures while we’re here - so how does that look, can you see the picture of the gasket? Here is our BMW, a nice little 128, it’s a small compact BMW. There is a view of the ignition coil, as I said there are six of these parts and that’s what one of them looks like. Spark plugs, which is a sample of a couple of the old spark plugs that we replaced, and this is our Valvetronic motor gasket. If you look at the bottom on the picture you can see there’s a sort of oily film, that’s where the leak was coming from.

Mark: So what is a Valvetronic motor?

Bernie: A Valvetronic motor, sorry we’re still screen sharing here, ok we’re back, the Valvetronic motor is basically, it’s an actuator for the variable ballast timing. BMW uses a sort of a, it’s a, how do I describe it easily, there’s a sort of extra arm on the camshaft and it adjusts the valve timing, so it’s BMW’s method of variable valve timing and it works really well. It’s amazing, it has an awesome set of these broad cast style, the power you get out of a modern engine and this is just one of those kind of devices that gives you that smooth power from low end to high end on many modern engines. So the motor basically in a very fast amount of time will adjust the valve timing to whatever the computer desires it to be.

BMW 128i

Valvetronic motor gasket. Note oil leakage at bottom of gasket

Mark: Based on load and speed.

Bernie: Load, speed, fuel economy needs, exhaust emissions, it’s all taken into account and into the brain of the vehicle computer and sets everything, it’s pretty amazing. You know, it’s another thing to go wrong but I mean, generally they’re, generally the system is quite reliable. We’ve rarely replaced any parts or pieces for it, but given enough time, like they say with anything, it’ll break down but this gasket was not an uncommon leak. So just fix them and it’s done

Mark: So how are theses cars overall?

Bernie: They’re pretty good, they are quite reliable, you know ignition coils, we certainly see a number of those pieces, there is the odd oil leak. I think generally, I think the car is quite reliable but there’s an interesting study that came out a couple of months ago about overall car maintenance costs and the BMW came out on top as the highest maintenance cost vehicle, so just something to note if you’re buying one. Now I’m sure it’s not as bad as a Ferrari or something exotic, but as an average look over car, BMW came out as being the highest cost. Interestingly enough, if you want to know the lowest was a Toyota product, Toyota Lexus and Scion. So, something to keep in mind but still a great car, you know I mean, not that crazy amounts of things go wrong with them.

Mark: So if you have a BMW that needs some service, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. Give them a call to book at 604-327-7112. Remember they are 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2007 Porsche Cayman Maintenance Service

Porsche Service

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

Porsche Service

2007 Porsche Cayman

Bernie: i’m doing pretty well, put a big smile on my face when you said that, yeah I’m doing really well this morning.

Mark: Good, good. so we’re talking about a 2007 Porsche Cayman, that’s getting a little longer in the tooth, that’s, what is that nine years old, you did some maintenance on this, what was that about?

Bernie: Oh the vehicle was due for a maintenance service, the customer actually brought it in, it was due for an oil change but he mentioned that his oil level had gone low too, so it had been burning a bit of oil which is not untypical of Porsches as time goes by. Yeah, so we did a level two maintenance service on this vehicle.

Mark: So what is a level two maintenance service?

Bernie: A level two maintenance service for us and I mean I know different dealerships have their A’s and B’s and C’s and different codes, some have 1’s and 2’s, but for us in our shop, we basically break it down into two things. A level one service is basically an oil change and a basic maintenance inspection, so adjusting tire pressures, looking at lights, fluid levels, that sort of thing. The level two service is more involved. It’s an oil change, it’s inspecting all the fluids and then it’s a full vehicle look over so brakes, wheels off, brake inspection, steering suspension, pressure testing the coolant system, testing the battery charging system, as I mentioned a visual inspection all through the vehicle. What else do we do on that? We move the door locks, hinges and latches, rotate the tires if necessary or if possible, a lot of cars you can’t rotate tires because they’re different size tires. But we will do them if necessary and possible. So that’s kind of an overall look. It’s good to do that service about every once a year, maybe once every two years depending on the mileage of the car and how often it’s driven, you know, the usage of the car, really depends. So once every year or two depending on the car.

Mark: So, just to digress for a second, how many items are there that you guys, because I know you guys follow a pretty rigorous checklist to go through. How many items are there on that list?

Bernie: Currently our inspection sheet that we use has 150 points on that inspection. The other thing that is actually on that sheet too, it’s not just all about the 150 points, there is also maintenance items. So we’ll actually look at the manufacturers maintenance schedule, we’ll see based on the mileage what is due based on that maintenance schedule as well. But there’s also other things, this could be a separate topic, but there are other items that we recommend that are not on a manufacturers maintenance schedule that if you want to keep your car running in top condition for a long time there are other things to do that the manufacturers don’t recommend. That people in the after market, experienced technicians, shops have found that it will help your car run better so recommend those things as well. But yeah, it’s 150 points, but we also as I mentioned, lubricating door locks, hinges and latches which is not an inspection item but it’s a maintenance item that we add in there, it tends to get forgotten if you don’t do it and your doors creak when they open so regularly little things like that don’t happen.

Mark: So how often do spark plugs and fuel injection cleaning have to happen?

Bernie: Well on these vehicles, around a hundred thousand kilometres is good, fuel injection cleanings are even beneficial at 50,000K’s. So just to digress a bit, that’s one thing we did find from doing a service, was the spark plugs were due for maintenance, replacement and also a fuel injection thing was recommended just based on mileage and usage of the car. So spark plugs around every 100,000, the fuel injection cleaning that I mentioned every 50 to 100,000 is good. Fuel injection cleaning you’ll not find in the manufacturers schedule, that’s something that a lot of aftermarket shops will do and I will say there are different kinds of fuel injection cleaning, we could discuss that another time, but the machine we use is really good and thorough and most of our customers notice pretty good results in doing it.

Mark: So did you have any pictures of this?

Bernie: I got one nice picture of the car, let’s have a look, yeah so do we have a nice looking, not sure if my screen sharing is working properly, yeah so there we go. So there’s a nice 2007 Porsche Cayman hardtop, nice little reliable car, sporty and fun to drive.

Mark: Well they’re reputed as being one of the best sports cars on the road, so…

Bernie: I really like this car, I find it fun to drive, you know when I usually start you know when the first Boxsters came into our shop quite a few years back and I drove them and I was kind of disappointed, I don’t know why, but I just found it hard to get in to, it just wasn’t that much fun to drive. But I’d have a Cayman which is a very similar car, its just a lot more fun. I like this car. It’s and this is just a base model, it’s not an S so you can get even more power if you like, but it goes well and it’s fun. It’s a really nice car.

Mark: Yeah, mid engine so it handles extremely well.

Bernie: It handles extremely well, it’s a real pleasure to drive.

Mark: So there you have it.Looking for service for your Porsche, you want to make sure that it’s maintained properly Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver are your guys. Call them to book 604-327-7112 or check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

1 2 3 40