2013 Ford Edge Cabin Air Filter 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, 18 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I am doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Ford Edge, an incredibly important change or maintenance item, the cabin air filter. What was going on with this Ford vehicle?

Bernie: Well the vehicle came to us for a routine maintenance service and the cabin air filter was dirty, due by mileage, the vehicle has about 50,000 kilometres, so we replaced the cabin air filter.

Mark: So what’s the function of a cabin air filter?

Bernie: Well I mean, the name kind of says it all, it filters the air that comes into the cabin, meaning the air where you sit in the car, so I’m just kind of pondering that for a minute and going well why do we have a cabin air filter because if you take a car from 20 years ago, you’d be hard pressed to find any model that had a cabin air filter. So that makes me wonder, you know why we have one, but I would think, I mean, it makes for a nicer experience having filtered air in the cabin especially if you’re spending an hour commuting through LA traffic and there’s a lot of car exhaust fumes in the air. It helps to filter all that stuff like that. It also helps to filter out pollens and dust and dirt so it actually keeps the cabin of your car cleaner overall. 

Mark: Well I know you don’t drive a lot on the freeways here in Vancouver, but the traffic here is actually worse than LA so that also applies to Vancouver.

Bernie: Yes it does, you’re right and you know what, almost any major city in probably the world.

Mark: So is there a simple way to inspect the cabin air filter?

Bernie: Well on some cars there is and on some cars there isn’t. Thinking of some European cars, where as soon as you pop the hood you can actually see the cabin air filters sitting right in the back of the hood so that’s a really easy one. Others you normally have to remove things to inspect them. So on this Edge for instance, the glovebox, they make it pretty easy on the Edge, you have to just pop your glovebox down and out of the way and there’s a hatch to get out and a lot of vehicle manufacturers are like that. There’s a few that make it difficult but really the way to deal with the cabin air filter is just replace it in certain intervals, 30 to 50,000 kilometres, say 20 to 30,000 miles every 3-4 years depending on how much you drive and it also depends on where you drive. If you’re driving in dry kind of city areas, they last for quite a while whereas if you’re spending a lot of time in dusty country roads or logging roads, that kind of thing, you’re going to need change it far more often. I have a photo here of this cabin air filter. I don’t know why, we change them a lot and I’m always like of wow this is cool, it’s dirty so it’s just something to look at here. There’s our cabin air filter, this is just for context, this area here is all full of dirt and dust and it should be white like the edges here. So, when it’s new it’s white and clean and when it gets old its dusty and dirty and we’ve seen them ten times worse that this, but anyway, this one’s pretty dirty. Definitely the owner got their money’s worth out of this one.

Mark: Imagine if you’re smoking certain substances it’s probably a good idea to change it even more often.

Bernie: I suppose so, but the filter actually doesn’t, the filter actually filters outside air not inside air, so good thought as probably other filters you could get for that.

Mark: How are Ford Edge for reliability?

Bernie: Pretty good, you know we work on a few of them, no real major problems with them. I mean it’s a fairly new vehicle although I guess they are getting on, this is a 2013 with low mileage and the owner has had no problems with this vehicle at all. Quite nice vehicle and so far fairly reliable.

Mark: So there you go, if you’re looking for service for your Ford vehicle in Vancouver the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, you must book ahead, they’re busy or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com or our YouTube channel, search for Pawlik Automotive Repair. We have hundreds of videos on there. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2011 BMW M3 V8, Brakes

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 18 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing fantastic today.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a BMW M3 which is the V8 model from 2011, so what was happening to this ultimate ticket machine?

Bernie:  So the brakes were, the client came in and the brakes were worn out so we did some brake repairs on the vehicle.

Mark: Ok, so brake wear is pretty normal in all cars, what’s unique about these ones?

Bernie: Well, I’d say what’s unique about this being an M3, it’s a sports model of a 3 Series BMW, the brakes are big. They’re meant to stop fast. The car’s got a V8 in it whereas most have 6 cylinders, some even have 4, so it’s meant to stop the car fast. The car accelerates fast, stops fast, it’s all part of the performance expectation of having a car like this. And a lot better than a lot of old American cars used to be where they’d have a lot of horsepower but not a lot of stopping power.  Anyway, so let’s have a look at these brakes because they’re pretty, large is kind of the key thing here, let’s have a look at a few photos. We’ll start here, this is the rear brake. This is the old system, this is before we removed anything from the vehicle. So you can see I mean, there’s nothing here for comparison, but it’s pretty large, if you see the calliper here but the brake rotor disc is large, they are all cross drilled rotors which allows for more airflow. Get onto our next picture here. This is a front brake rotor, again a view with, before the rotor was removed, you can see the shiny area and the original thickness of the brakes and this is typical of a lot of European vehicles, the rotors wear quite heavily in the inner areas, the pads are hard, the rotors are a little softer and they tend to wear the rotors pretty hard. So you’ll get some people in European vehicles, they stick just pads in, not a good idea because you’re putting it on a surface that’s not even, it’s a very uneven surface so it takes a while for the brakes to wear in and they work quite as well as it could if you did them the other way around. One more view we have here, this is our, this is a brand new rotor, you can see again the cross drilling and the inside via the rotary. There’s a lot of interesting technology here for airflow through the rotor, again it’s kind of part and parcel you get with one of these cars.

Mark: Ok, even though we don’t have something to compare with, this components are pretty large, so and yeah this is a pretty expensive service

Bernie: Yeah, there’s a variety of pricing. I mean once you start getting into the higher performance cars, especially European vehicles, there’s certainly a big price jump in rotors. These are not the craziest priced rotors but you know, the brake job on this was definitely more than you’d spend on a 3 Series BMW but not as much as some cars are. 

Mark: So you didn’t really mention any pricing, I guess there’s, how much, how expensive can rotors get?

Bernie: Well there are some AMG Mercedes, the rotors are $1200 bucks apiece, like an SL55 a SLK55, some of them, depends on which brake package you have, they have, the brake rotors are $1200 bucks apiece which is a crazy amount of money but they have different brake packages, some have them and some don’t. Also when you get into certain cars like Aston Martin, some high end Porsches again, they have really expensive brake rotors. You can usually tell by looking at them, the way their built, the actual rotors, there’s also bolts around the edge of the hub, a number of them, those are usually the expensive type of rotor. 

Mark: So why would rotors, some rotors cover over $1000, each?

Bernie: Yeah, each, that’s the key word. Some of it is exclusivity, but the other is the metal they’re made out of, they some of them use carbon composites. I’m not sure the, all the exact metallurgy but they’re pretty high tech materials where they resist fade, they can dissipate the heat extremely fast and that’s what you’re paying for with these kind of brake rotors. They don’t necessarily last any longer but they can handle the hear better so if you’re going a hundred miles an hour and you nail the brakes over and over you’re going keep stopping and that’s really the advantage of that. But how many people really do that, you know it’s a bit overkill, but having a good braking is important. 

Mark: So these M3’s have a pretty awesome reputation, how are they for reliability?

Bernie: I’d say really good, you know, if you want to get a nice high performance sports car, they’re excellent vehicles. You’ll certainly spend more money than you would on an average type of car, I always say this European you’ll generally spend more money than you will on a Japanese car, but for a performance machine, that’s a fantastic car, really nice especially with the V8 engine. 

Mark: So there you go if you’re looking for service for your BMW M3 in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, check out their website pawlikautomotive.com or check out our YouTube channel, we’ve got hundreds of video on there. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2011 Mercedes GLK 350 Brakes

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 18 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a 2011 Mercedes 350 GLK, there was a brake problem. What was going on with this SUV?

Bernie: Well, the client brought it in for some brake concerns, it was just brakes didn’t feel quite right and we did a brake inspection on it and found a few issues. The brake fluid was discoloured and dirty and old which is not untypical, the front pads and rotors were worn out, not metal on metal, but worn out, also the brake calliper, they were sticking and wouldn’t retract properly. The rear brakes were in pretty good shape for the time being so they didn’t any service but that’s basically what we found. It needed new front brake pads, rotors and callipers. 

Mark: So are callipers a pretty frequent replacement on this car?

Bernie: No they’re not, actually for Mercedes and a lot of European vehicles, we don’t do callipers very often. They tend to be quite durable. I’d say, if you know, for all the Mercedes we work on, maybe 95% of the brake jobs don’t require callipers. It’s really once you get into the older models, you know 15, 20 years old, even some of those don’t require any calliper replacements and it’s not an often replaced item anyways. Usually once you do a set of callipers, they last for a long time.

Mark: So this vehicle wasn’t in that age category, is it, was it a really high mileage vehicle?

Bernie: No it wasn’t and it was kind of surprising that the callipers were actually sticking but you know, sometimes it does happen. It had only about 135,000 kilometres, that’s pretty young but not too many of them need callipers at that age but nonetheless, it’s just something that needs to be done.

Mark: So what does a brake calliper actually do?

Bernie: Well, let’s have a look at some pictures and I’ll explain that. Here’s out nice GLK350 2011, nice looking car, nice compact little sport utility vehicle. The brake calliper you can actually see through the wheel here, each wheel has a calliper and basically the function of the calliper is to squeeze the brake pad against the brake rotor.  So there’s a picture of the brakes with a nice new brake rotor, the rotor turns with the wheel, the brake pad sits in here. Now those two pads, one on each side, you could only see the outboard pad and this is the calliper and this is actually the bracket of the calliper. So it’s not a full picture of the calliper, well actually this part here, this darker part is actually the calliper bracket, it bolts to the steering knuckle and the pads ride inside this bracket and the calliper, this is the sort of outer part, the ear squeezes the brake pads against the rotor when you apply the brake and inside this area here, there are I’m pretty certain, there are two pistons and the pistons, once you press it, brake fluid forces the pistons against the pad and that forces this part to compress and causes the pads to squeeze. So that’s basically how a calliper works. As soon as you let the brake off, the pressures released and then the wheels are free to turn again. What goes wrong with callipers is the pistons will stick, moisture will get inside, the pistons will stick, there is also a slider pieces inside this area here on top and bottom and these pins will stick. Again it’s usually moisture gets in and attacks it and ruins it, but also dirty brake fluid can cause the pistons to seize from the inside. So that’s basically the brake calliper explained.

Mark: So what would cause the brake fluid to get dirty?

Bernie: Brake fluid is what’s called a hydroscopic fluid, it actually absorbs water and it absorbs water right out of the air. I thought at first that’s kind of a bad thing but actually there’s a reason why it does that, that is because if water wasn’t absorbed into the fluid, it would accumulate in certain areas of the brakes. So it would accumulate, say if it was petroleum based fluid, water would separate and it would accumulate in certain areas and cause rusting and corrosion. So the fact that the water is absorbed into the fluid is actually a good thing and when you flush the fluid out it gets rid of the water. The brake fluid, I mean, there’s heat that takes place, there are lubricants that are put in at the factory, inside the master cylinder and the calliper pistons and these lubricants, I won’t say they break down, but they contaminate the fluid and it’s basically heat from the brakes that really contaminates the fluid and moisture that just gets absorbed out of the air in the fluid. So it’s good to flush the brake fluid every two to three years on any car, unless I guess if you live in you know, the Arizona desert or something and the car never leaves there it can last longer. But as a general rule if you own a car, flush the brake fluid every two to three years.

Mark: And I’m sure that that fluid running in the vehicle, it’s hydraulic, so it’s going to get pretty hot.

Bernie: It does get very hot. It can get up to, I think the boiling point for .4 brake fluid is somewhere around 450 degrees Fahrenheit, so I mean the other brake parts, you can’t even touch a brake rotor, you can fry an egg on a brake rotor after stopping a few times, it’s that hot. But it transfers into the fluid, it gets really hot, it’ll be a few hundred degrees Fahrenheit for sure, two, three hundred. If you’re going down some steep hills for a long period of time, you can see it approaching 400 degrees for sure. So that’s pretty hot.

Mark:  And how are these vehicles for reliability?

Bernie: They’re good vehicles, you know they’re not the most common Mercedes. We don’t work on a ton of them compared to the ML’s which just seems to be a lot more common around this part of the world, but it’s a nice little vehicle. It’s a more compact sport utility vehicle than an ML or a GL, the K’s in a Mercedes usually indicates a smaller version of a larger vehicle, like a SLK is a smaller SL car and a GLK is a smaller GL vehicle. But it’s a nice sized vehicle and reliability, they’re pretty good, we don’t really find much in the way of unusual problems with them.

Mark: So there you go. If you are looking for a service for your Mercedes GL class vehicle in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, they’re busy, you have to book ahead or check out our website pawlikautomotive.com or our YouTube channel, search for Pawlik Automotive, got hundreds of vides on there. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2004 Audi S4 V8 Drive Belt

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 18 time winners, 18 times, come on, Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well this morning

Mark: So, Audi S4, these are a fun little vehicle, this is a 2004 with the V8 and there was a drive belt change. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well the vehicle came to us with a couple of issues, actually the belt wasn’t the major one, it was, but we’ll talk about the belt anyways, but actually the major issue, it came in with some smoke coming out under the hood and the steering felt really stiff and it turned out that the power steering racket had a severe leak and also one of the hoses as well. So we replaced that, that was a very major amount of work in and of itself but we’re here to talk about the drive belt today. Basically, we’ll talk about the drive belt, there’s a bit of complexity involved in changing it.

Mark: I bet, this is a V8 crammed into basically into a vehicle designed for a 4 cylinder engine on the platform, how does that, how did that work?

Bernie: Well in order to get the, yeah, it’s very tightly fitted actually when you look down into the hood, you can barely see the drive belt, I mean, there’s no room to even put a tool on it. It’s wedged in extremely tightly, the clearance is probably like between the front place of the engine and the radiator, maybe an inch but no room to put any tools in.

Mark: So what needs to be done to get the belt replaced?

Bernie: Oh so that’s a really good question. So Audi has engineered in a solution and basically what you do is you remove the front bumper of the vehicle and then you, there’s several bolts that move the rad support forward and actually, the hoses, coolant hoses are all designed and anything attached, it’s designed to be flexed out a few inches so you can actually get in and access the belt area. So we’ll just share some photos at this point. Here’s our S4, it’s still a nice looking wagon, practical and certainly very peppy with that V8 engine in it. So there is a view looking down on, looking straight down into the engine compartment, there’s the pulley’s with the belt off, it’s not a large belt on this vehicle, it actually, this just drives the alternator and the AC compressor on the front, power steering is driven off the back of the engine which is another nightmare in and of itself. We won’t get into that one today but basically this is the actual, this is with the rad support moved forward so you can actually access the belt. I’ve got another photo to share here, this is a sort of view of the front, so the bumper’s off here and a kind of view looking at the engine but you can see even this doesn’t have a lot of clearance but there’s just enough to get in there.

Mark: so I there’s a lot of other services on this vehicle that need that same procedure, right?

Bernie: Well anything that requires work on the front of the engine will need that and a lot of Audi’s with timing belts, you actually have to do this too. So some of the V6 models with timing belts or even the 4 cylinders, you have to put it in the service position to pull the bumper off and slide it forward. I mean on this vehicle too, if you need to get the alternator out, you’ve got to get that. There’s a lot of things that need to be done to do it, so I mean, it adds a fair bit of work to every job but that’s what you get when you have an Audi.

Mark: So I’ve driven an S4 and ridden in the V8 model, I’ve even driven the V6 supercharged one, which is a later version of this, these things are little rockets, how are they for reliability?

Bernie: I’d call it a fair car, I mean you know, Audi’s are, there’s a few things that go wrong with these cars that are a little more than average and once they older of course, things will go wrong. The steering rack on this vehicle is a pretty expensive job based on the price of the part and there’s a lot of labour involved to remove it as well. So they’re complex vehicles when things do go wrong they cost a lot more to fix. They’re generally pretty reliable but some things that come to my mind on the various models and I’m not saying just specifically for the V8 but there are various models that there are things like crankcase breather issues which are common on a lot of European cars, ignition coils on Audi seem to die frequently and they’re actually one of the things that are pretty cheap to fix, the coils themselves are inexpensive and the labour is really easy. Yeah so, the ignition coils are mounted right on top of the engine on actually all Audi’s, the V8’s, the V6 is 4 cylinders and they remove extremely easily. So there’s one thing, even though they do fail, they’re extremely simple to replace, that’s a positive thing. But overall, I mean they’re nice cars you know, again and I say this with a lot of European, if you want to get a fancy European car you’ve just got to be prepared to spend more money to fix it.

Mark: And service becomes really important, regular

Bernie: Absolutely, I mean more important than any other car, it drives me crazy when I see someone who owns an expensive car like this, and they don’t change their oil regularly enough knowing what the cost of an engine replacement is on the car like this, you just don’t ever want to go there. So change your oil, do all the maintenance service, you just want to do anything extra, because extras will come along but just do whatever you can do to keep it maintained and lasting a long time. A lot of European car engines will last for 20, 30 years, you know there’s Mercedes out there even with 40 or 50 year old engines that are still running. So if you take really good care of your vehicle, it can last a long time.

Mark: So there you go, if you need service for your Audi, A series, S series, whatever it is, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, you must book ahead or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com or our YouTube channel - just search for Pawlik Automotive. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2003 Kia Sedona Check Engine Lamp

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

Bernie: Doing very well, actually I have a correction Mark, actually 18 time winners now, we just won the Georgia Straight Best of Vancouver for 2017

Mark: So I’m corrected, stand me amazed, 18 time winners now

Bernie: Yeah, so very fortunate and thank you to everyone who voted for us, we really appreciate it. So I’m doing very well this morning.

Mark: Great. So we’re going to talk about a Kia Sedona, a 2003, a little bit long in the tooth, there was a check engine lamp problem, what was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: So the vehicle came to us, it had a check engine light that was on intermittently, sometimes it would come on and go off but beneath it all the engine had a slight rough running condition at idle that the owner was concerned about.

Mark: So how badly was it running?

Bernie: Well not really badly, I mean as far as how bad engines can run, it wasn’t too bad, like a full, sort of really rough misfire the engine would shake quite severely. This one, we went out for a very long drive together, you know some of the times it would shake and some of the times it wouldn’t and it would only really happen at idle. The rest of the time driving it wasn’t really noticeable.

Mark: So what kind of system did you follow to find what was going on?

Bernie: Well so any time when there is a check engine light or any rough engine type of thing, any engine issue, first thing we do it plug the scan tool in and the scan tool is basically a computer that talks to the car computer. We looked at it and the first thing we found was a code, P0306, which means a cylinder misfire. So it gives us a pathway to follow and an area where the vehicle’s computer has picked up a problem. So first thing we do is go to number 6 cylinder, inspect things like the ignition coil, the spark plugs, fuel injectors, is there compression in that cylinder. Now these are the things we look for and these are the things that can cause problems, so these are the ares we look at.

Mark: So and what did you find?

Bernie: What we found was interesting, number 6 spark plug had a crack in the porcelain insulator causing it to misfire sometimes and having worked on cars for years and years, I mean I’ve seen that happen before. Once we found the issue, of course that’s what it is, it’s one of these things that won’t cause a full on misfire like a completely dead spark plug or a coil but it’ll cause a misfire sometimes because the spark is supposed to go down from the ignition coil through the spark plug into the cylinder and it doesn’t always make it, it sometimes get grounded out. So I’m going to share a couple of pictures here. Here’s our 2003 Kia Sedona, still in good shape for the age of the vehicle. Here’s our spark plug. Now we actually wiped off the carbon track that was on there, what happens is it gets a carbon track and if you look closely, you see the red arrow, if you look down here you can see a little tiny crack, a little bit of blackness, that’s some of the carbon track that was present and basically what’s happening was the spark from the ignition coil goes to this piece here and down through, this insulates the spark plug and goes down and basically fires a spark right down here. But if there’s a crack here, the electrical energy won’t make it all the way down so it goes down this crack and grounds out so the engine at certain times won’t receive that spark that it’s supposed to receive. Now we’ll go to the other view, so here’s the ignition coil, there’s the spark plug view again and this is kind of how it all sits. The ignition coil sits on top of the spark plug and this is buried deep down inside the cylinder. There’s our picture show for the day.

Mark: So how did the van run after the repairs?

Bernie: Really well, nice and smooth, perfect.

Mark: So this is a fairly old vehicle, how are Kia Sedona’s?

Bernie: Pretty good. We’ve actually serviced this vehicle for many years with the client. We don’t see a lot of them and I don’t think they really sold a whole lot of them back in 2003. It wasn’t as popular of a van as it is now a days. I’d say they’re pretty good vehicles. The only thing that I noticed with this vehicle that’s really wrong at this point, is after it idles for a quite awhile it starts burning some blue smoke and that’s kind of typical of some engines as they age, they just can’t seal the oil out properly, it uses oil and it’s got nearly 200 thousand kilometres, so I guess it’s not a bad thing but certainly like Toyota’s don’t have that problem. What I’ve noticed all along in servicing this vehicle, it seems to have a few more problems than you’d get out of say a Toyota Sienna van so you pay a lot less money to buy the vehicle but you’re going to have a few more repairs and that’s probably the way Kia’s will go, even new ones compared to say Toyota’s or the more expensive Japanese brands.

Mark: So there you go, if you have a Kia in Vancouver the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment or check out our website pawlikautomotive.com or our YouTube channel Pawlik Automotive Repair. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2009 Jaguar XF; Thermostat Replacement

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

Bernie: I’m doing very well this morning.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a classic, some people would say, another classic Jaguar XF from 2009, it had a thermostat problem, what was going on with this fine English sedan?

Bernie: Well our client came to us with a complaint of a coolant warning light on the dash, basically it was an overheating warning light. We’d actually had the car here a few months ago with a similar issue and it turned out the coolant overflow bottle which has a sensor in it, a level sensor was malfunctioning, so we replaced the bottle. Solved the issue and for a couple months it was working fine and then the same light came on. Although the conditions were different this time. It was only on after driving for about half an hour driving down the highway that the issue occurred.

Mark: So how did you go about diagnosing the problem?

Bernie: Well the first step with any coolant diagnosis is to make sure there’s coolant in the vehicle, so I verified that in fact the coolant level was full, it hadn’t lost any coolant, there were no leaks present anywhere. So the issue was either something internal in the engine was causing it likely run too hot or maybe that overflow bottle had a malfunction. Again so the first step basically hook up a scan tool which is something we can do on this vehicle, and access the data on the vehicle and see what the actual coolant temperature is. Drove the vehicle and it was pretty apparent, I didn’t have to drive a half an hour on the highway, it was pretty apparent just driving in the city, the temperature  was creeping up pretty high. It’s normally, like the normal temperature on this vehicle should be under a hundred degrees Celsius. It was you know pretty quickly running up to a hundred, a hundred and two, a hundred and three slowly creeping up to a hundred and ten and you can hear the radiator fan running full blast the whole time. So that’s again, an indicator of a problem. So we brought it back to the shop and continued the diagnosis and I’ll share a couple of, well actually no, we’ll talk a little more then I’ll share some photos.

Mark: So what did you find that was wrong with the vehicle?

Bernie: Well after testing and looking at a few things further determined that the thermostat was the cause of the problem. The thermostat is supposed to open at a specified temperature, usually it’s around 95 degrees Celsius. It can be up or down five degrees above or below that number but that’s usually the right amount of time and as the temperature just kept creeping up, I figured it was either, the coolant’s full, it’s flowing, it’s mostly likely a defective thermostat and that was a place to start. When we took it apart we found the thermostat housing which is made of plastic, was broken apart which is not an untypical issue to find on these cars and that along with the bad thermostat was the cause of the problem. So at this point I’ll share a few photos. So here’s our fine 2009 Jaguar XF, very nice stylish looking four door sedan and this is a screen capture of our scan tool. It’s an Autologic scan tool, excellent for imported vehicles and there’s a number of items that we look at this. On this particular car it lists the temperatures that are running in the engine. So you can see fuel rail temperature, engine oil temperature, intake air, ambient air which is the outside temperature and this is the engine coolant temperature. Now I did this screen capture after we repaired it and everything was working properly and you can see it says 96 Celsius. This is pretty much where it sat the whole time when we did a long road test once the engine was warmed up but previous to doing this, as I said this number was creeping up to a  hundred, a hundred and three, a hundred and five, a hundred and ten, so it kept going up. So this was a place where we get data an good data and information to look at. Back to a couple of the photos, here’s the thermostat housing, now initially you can, for this particular engine, it’s a V8 non-super charge, you can actually buy the thermostat separately but it was pretty apparent once we took it apart that the housing was damaged. Here’s a closer view of the inside of the housing. You can see this is a, this is supposed to be a nice round cylinder and you can see these rough edges, this is bits of plastic that have basically broken off and disintegrated and the the thermostat fits into this area. So it really affects the flow of the coolant through the thermostat. So the whole housing needed to be replaced. Not an untypical repair for these vehicles and Land Rovers use a similar engine as well and they do have problems also.

Mark: Alright, so this is a pretty, upper, special, fancy car is there any particular unique feature about this car that we should look at?

Bernie: It’s funny that you mention that because yeah there’s a couple of unique features about this car. I love the interior of the vehicle, when you get in there’s a push button start like a lot of newer vehicles have but is has a knob instead of a gearshift lever for the transmission, it actually has a knob that comes up, it’s a rotary knob and it actually lifts up out of the dash but the other really neat feature and I’ll just share a video here, so if you watch these dash vents as the engine’s starting, for some reason there’s no sound here, but when you shut the engine off which I did then these vents close. So that’s my kind of unique feature of this car. I think that’s pretty nifty, there’s four of them and they all pop open but strangely whenever I’ve worked on these cars, I go that’ll be interesting when something goes wrong with them and sure enough one of the vents which is not in that view, actually doesn’t close properly, it eventually closes, but it’s slow. So you know there’s with all that beauty and neat engineering, there’s extra stuff to go wrong but it’s a pretty cool feeling when you get the car and you push the button and all these things kind of pop up and move into position.

Mark: You’re showing your age Bernie, it’s like you talking about a 69 Corvette.

Bernie: Yeah I know, yeah exactly we talked about pop up stuff like hide away headlights awhile ago and now pop up dash vents.

Mark: So in the past, English vehicles had let’s say a, well terrible reputation for reliability, how is this age of Jaguar?

Bernie: These are good and yeah, you’re right, I mean older English cars are the kind of thing where you’d be having it in to the mechanic shop every week doing some tinkering or fixing it and these vehicles are really reliable. I mean, as I say, the thermostat problem is not uncommon and there’s a, it’s probably the worst thing about these cars is there’s a lot of plastic on them which just happens on a lot of European cars, not so much on Japanese, but a lot of European cars, there’s plastic in the cooling system so they seem to use a lot of it and it breaks. So that’s sort of one of the things that affects the reliability, but overall they are actually pretty good, I mean you can usually get in these cars and you can drive without much problem. So the engines are pretty good. They used to be problematic in the past, I mean as much as I often have had not great things to say about Ford’s ever since Ford took over Jaguar and Land Rover, it’s made them a lot better vehicles. So yes Ford’s aren’t that bad after all.

Mark: So there you go, if you have a Jaguar in Vancouver and you need some service, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, you have to book ahead, they’re busy or check out the website pawlikautomotive.com or our YouTube channel Pawlik Automotive, you just have to search for it, you’ll find it, hundreds of videos on there over the last few years. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark

1969 Chevrolet Corvette; Headlight Repairs

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

Bernie: I’m doing very well

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a classic some people would say, other people would say a strange vehicle to begin with but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this is a 69 Chevrolet Corvette that was having some headlight issues. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well basically the headlights on this vehicle, sometimes they come on, sometimes the high beams would work, sometimes the low beams would work, sometimes they just shut off completely. So there’s quite a few issues with the headlights on the vehicle but not reliable that’s for sure.

Mark: So it sort of sounds like a vintage English car but I guess, this is a 69 so it’s got the hideaway headlights, I bet that was fun! How was that to deal with?

Bernie: Well it definitely adds some complexity to the repair but in this case, this was a purely an electrical issue. Hideaway headlights are kind of neat in this car but that’s a complete vacuum operated system which is kind of a, I don’t want to say a nightmare of it’s own, but it has a vacuum system, basically it uses the engine vacuum, there’s a little storage tank and a bunch of switches and valves. So when you turn the headlights on, it actually pops the lights up and it closes them down when you shut the switch off and you can also flip them up manually to leave them up all the time. This car is a bit of a, you know not perfect, it needs a bit of work. So the actual headlights have to be operated up and down with the manual switch but there’s not much crossover between the electrical and the vacuum system, they’re separate, so when the lights actually don’t illuminate that’s actually an electrical problem.

Mark: So what do you do to start diagnosing this kind of issue?

Bernie: Well, I’ll start, within the electrical problem,you got to start at one end and you know just from experience, pick which end you want to start with is it the end where the headlight is or is at the end where the switch is and it’s a lot easier to access the headlights and the owner had just bought this car and there was a box of new headlights in there that the previous owner had said, hey you should change these lights. So I thought well, he want them done anyways so we start with the headlights, pulled everything apart and what we first of all found, a few of the headlights were actually broken so that was part of the issue but in being able to take the lights out, we were able to test the wiring and found that there was a bad ground to the lights and in fact, a lot of the front lights didn’t work as well. So it’s a matter of finding that common ground wire and why that connection, and why that end of it wasn’t working.

Mark: So what else did you eventually find that was the problem and how did you fix it?

Bernie: Well what we found is the ground wire is located near the front of the vehicle, near the headlights on a metal tab, interesting thing about a Corvette is it’s a fibreglass body car, so there’s lots of metal around that it’s not as plentiful as an average car which is all made of steel, so you have to hunt around for your ground wires. The wiring, there is a little more wiring on a Corvette than it would be on an equivalent 1969 car because the body isn’t a complete ground. So once we found the ground wire, found the bad connection, but the connection actually ended up not being repairable so I ended up finding a new ground source and repaired that. So I’ll just share a few photos while we’re at this juncture here and here’s a of view of the hideaway headlights. This is the passenger side, you can see that there’s a covering around the headlight and the drivers side, here I actually took this picture when it was partially apart. I don’t have any fancy videos or things going up and down, it is kind of cool to watch but we’ll do that at a  later date. Here’s the passenger side of the cover, there’s a cover that lifts, a few screws you remove and then you can get at the lights and remove them. What is kind of neat about this cover, it’s a 69 car, the cover which on any modern car, even you know a few decades old, would be made of plastic. This one’s made out of like a thin, tinny pot metal. So it’s kind of neat working on this kind of stuff, it’s kind of like working on a museum piece in a way that still drives down the road. The wiring problem, there’s our ground wire, it’s a close up view, that’s the actual wire that was bad. I cleaned it up first of all, this is the hole where it screws into, you can see it’s a fairly thin gauge piece of metal and when I went to screw it back in, it just wouldn’t tighten back up which happens. It’s probably really good for one or two, in this case only one shot, it’s probably never been removed since the factory but there’s basically corrosion that built up in this area and just wouldn’t allow the ground connection to happen. So we’ve got a better source elsewhere.

Mark: So we don’t really have, we haven’t often spoken about cars this old, do you work on a lot of vintage cars like this?

Bernie: Not too many and to be honest, we try to avoid them in our shop. It’s tricky to get  parts for old cars but I will say that we seem to work on a lot of old Corvettes and a lot of older Mustangs. These are two cars where you can actually get a lot of parts fairly easily. I mean things like, I should say on this Corvette there’s a couple other problems with the lights too, the high beam-low beam switch which is located on the floor was broken and these are parts that you can still buy quite easily. So some of these parts I mean, they just made millions and millions of them. Same switches used on GM cars for, as I say, like millions and millions of them. So there’s still the demand to make parts but you can pretty much buy anything you want for one of these Corvettes, unfortunately a lot of it is cheap made in China junk, which is kind of unfortunate. So it’s a little bit of work to find the right parts, but there’s a few select vintage cars we will work on in our shop and they’re kind of fun. Although I’ve kind of made myself the vintage guy here now because I kind of grew up with these cars, a lot of my newer, younger guys are like, oh how do you fix that? I go, I’ll just take care of it, it’s easier.

Mark: So some fun.

Bernie: Yeah exactly

Mark: So if you have a vintage car in Vancouver and you want Bernie to work on it, bring it into Pawlik Automotive, he’ll look after you. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out our website pawlikautomotive.com, tons of videos on there, Youtube channel, got four years plus of videos, lots of controversy, check it out Top Local Rankings, sorry Pawlik Automotive on Youtube. Thanks Bernie 

Bernie: You’re welcome Mark

2016 Mercedes Benz C300 4 Matic; A Level Service

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

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re talking about another Mercedes this morning, a 2016, pretty new, last year’s model, you did an A Level Service, what was going on with this car?

Bernie: Well, basically the car was just here for a service, it’s a regular client of our, just recently purchased this car, used, again it’s a 2016 C300 that was due for an A Service. So that’s what we did on the car.

Mark: So it’s a really new car, don’t most people take their new cars to the dealer?

Bernie: A lot of people do, and there’s really no reason why not to take it to a good independent auto repair shop. Generally our rates, I know for a lot of these services, are a lot lower in the luxury car market and the quality of what we do is as good as I would dare to say, better than what you get at the dealer. You many not notice any difference but I know from an insider point of view, that we offer more than what’d you normally get at the dealer. Yeah, so I mean, it’s an individual choice but this client has been coming in to us for years and he bought the car used, has no attachment to the dealership that he bought it from, he bought it from an independent dealer.

Mark: So I’m going to throw you a little curve here, what’s included in an A Service?

Bernie: So an A Level Service is basically an oil change, that’s the heart of the the service and then around that of course is inspecting, a basic inspection of the vehicle underneath, make sure there’s no fluid leaks, an under hood inspection, looking at the fluid levels, adjusting the tire pressures. Of course these are very, like a lot of modern cars where they have tire pressure monitors and there are things where you don’t really even have to look at your lights in this car because theres a light that will come on on the dash to tell you if there’s a bulb burned out. We still look at them anyways but you know, the computer will tell you, hey this bulb’s burnt out or if a tire is low in air it will tell you as well. So it’s pretty good, pretty neat that way. I mean this car is a high end car but there’s a lot of even lower end cars that have all those features as well. So it’s pretty nice but nonetheless,  we look at all those things and make sure it’s all good. I mean the car won’t tell you if there’s a small oil leak or something developing so you want to know these things ahead of time.

Mark: So what else is uniquely interesting about this car?

Bernie: Well the neat thing about this car is it’s got a 2 litre turbocharged engine and so it’s extremely efficient on fuel and it drives really nice, I mean it’s fast, really peppy. You’d never even guess when you drive the car around the block that this thing has a four cylinder engine in it. It’s smooth and fast and under the hood and I’ll share a photo in a minute, it’s a really nice simple straightforward engine even though it’s got the turbocharger on it. I think over the years this car will be a really nice car to work on because a lot of things are quite simple to access. We may as well just get into photos right now. So there’s the car and that’s the under hood view with the plastic cover removed from the engine. If you look under the hood, of course, you won’t see this because there’s a big plastic cover that goes all around here. But you basically, you’ve got your ignition coils right here, four of them right underneath of the spark plugs, so really easy to get to. It’s timing chain driven like everything Mercedes, intercooler for the turbo here, the turbocharger is over here, pretty straightforward layout, pretty simple. The oil and filter, easy to get to underneath, actually filter here, oil underneath so overall it’s a pretty straightforward arrangement. And it really impresses me when I drive something like this, just how well engineered this car is in terms of that you know, it used to be, I’ve been working on cars so long, it used to be, that when you had a turbocharged engine you accelerate and nothing would happen and then all of a sudden it would be like someone just you know whacked you over the back of the head, it accelerated really fast and this car you can’t even tell, it’s completely seamless and smooth. A really impressive car.

Mark: How reliable are these Mercedes C300’s

Bernie: Well that’s an excellent question and we won’t really know the answer for a few more years to see what problems develop and this is kind of the interesting thing with cars, anyone can make critiques about a brand new car and go, oh this is fabulous, it drives so great but really down the road, how do we know how well it’s built? We won’t really know for a few years. Sometimes problems start to develop soon and that’s probably a good thing because then you can get everything covered under warranty, paid for which is kind of what you want. We do have cars with engine failures that happen early and that’s all great when it’s paid for, you don’t really want to find out abut those failures at like six years down the road when the warranty expired in five years. So hard to tell but generally Mercedes are pretty reliable, they just develop their own little problems here and there, but I’d say it’s probably going to be a really good car.

Mark: What about a five year old C300?

Bernie: Five year olds are good, yeah we don’t really see the problems with those and interesting, I mean, I knew we just did a video a few minutes ago about the C350, a 2010 and that was a V6 so it’s kind of like the entry level model had a V6 and now they’ve gone down to a four cylinder turbo for efficiency. So it’s kind of neat seeing, again the gas mileage figures you get in a lot newer cars is just way up there compared to previous models and still lots of power. So it’s pretty cool what’s happened with developing of cars but yeah, I like a five year old model, they’re fine, there’s really nothing we see going on with them but I would say don’t buy one.

Mark: So there you go, if you have a Mercedes in Vancouver, the guys to go see if you need service or repairs are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment or check out our website pawlikautomotive.com or our Youtube channel under Pawlik Automotive. We’ve got a ton of great videos on there, a lot of activity. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2010 Mercedes Benz C350 4 Matic; Radiator 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, 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well this morning.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about the Germans, the German automobiles and a 2010 Mercedes Benz C350. What was going on with this fine German automobile?

Bernie: So this car came to our shop with a massive coolant leak and that was yeah, a coolant leak suddenly developed in the vehicle and the car was brought in for a coolant leak repair. 

Mark: So this car is about 7 years old, but that, doesn’t that seem a little soon for this kind of replacement?

Bernie: Yeah, so what we found, that I didn’t mention that, was actually the radiator was leaking quite badly and yeah, it is pretty soon I mean for any car nowadays, seven years is pretty early for radiator replacement, especially on this car, because this car only had I believe it has under 50,000 kilometres on it. So it’s still a very young vehicle and something with a lot of life left in it. I drive a Subaru that’s a 2001 and the radiator is still hanging in there you know, it’s original, so radiators can last a long time on any make of car.

Mark: Ok, so what did your analysis show as the reason why this radiator failed so soon?

Bernie: Well to put it in a nutshell, this vehicle is a rebuilt write off car, if that tells you anything, I know we’ve talked about avoiding rebuilt write off cars for certain reasons and that’s, I would say that’s why the reason this radiator failed.

Mark: Ok so was the radiator installed somehow wrong or was there damage that was not found in the write off repair?

Bernie: Well what we found when we took everything apart was it was right down to installation. So we’re serviced this car actually for a few years now and it’s actually been a fine car, drives well, there’s nothing really wrong with it but when we took everything apart, what we found was that the person who put the radiator in had done it incorrectly and I’ll just share some photos right here. So here’s our 2010 C350, nice looking car for sure, so here’s the radiator and actually I’ll share a different photo first, this is the actual failed point on the radiator. If you look, this is a seam, this is an aluminum radiator on plastic which is pretty much every vehicle on earth these day has these, the metal’s crimped over a plastic housing and if you look along this housing, if you look very carefully you can see actually a crack here and to look at the radiator itself, this plastic has actually bulged which is kind of odd but this is where the radiator was leaking and it suddenly developed a big crack. Now why did it develop a crack? Basically it was installed incorrectly. Down at the bottom of the radiator, and again this is typical for many cars, not just Mercedes, they have, they hold the radiator in with two plastic pegs on the bottom and there’s a big rubber mounting piece that sits in the hole in the body and the radiator slips in there and then there’s two brackets on the top, one here and here and bolts that hold it down. So pretty simple, easy to install, very common across the platform for most makes of cars. What we found when we took it apart, is one of these rubber pieces was missing and the radiator was mounted actually with the rubber piece hitting the bottom of the vehicle body and they rigged up some kind of device to hold the radiator tight from the top. So this is why I don’t recommend buying rebuilt write off cars a lot of times. People who work on them are really to that competent and that’s where a lot of problems lie, they, if there’s incompetent people who work on them, they just put them back together somehow and from a distance you never see any difference but over time, again you know, 50,000 kilometres, it’s a 7 year old car, the radiator’s failed and it’s cost the clients a lot of extra money that wouldn’t normally happen for another 5 to maybe even 10 more years.

Mark: Ok so stay away from rebuilt write offs, a further lesson. How are Mercedes C350s for reliability?

Bernie: Overall, they’re very good. This car’s a good example, I mean even at this mileage, there’s no fluid leaks, sorry at this age, there’s no fluid leaks, car starts well, it’s as reliable as anything else on the road for sure. But being a fancier German car, there’s more to go wrong so over time you’ll spend more money than you would on a sort of more basic Japanese car but overall, excellent car.

Mark: So there you go, if you have an Mercedes in Vancouver and you’re looking for service or repairs, the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book an appointment, they’re busy you’ve got to book an appointment or check out our website pawlikautomotive.com or our Youtube channel, got hundreds of videos on there, very popular these days, check it out Pawlik Automotive. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2004 Ford F350, Front Wheel Bearing 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. We’re talking Ford trucks again, how’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we have a 2004 Ford F350 that you had to do some wheel work on, what was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: This vehicle came to our shop, the client had a concern about his drivetrain, there were some noises present and he was concerned that there was a problem and brought it in and we proceeded to do a road test and a steering and suspension inspection and what we found was very interesting.

Mark: So what did you find that was wrong?

Bernie: Well let me go straight to the vehicle, so basically what we found was the front left wheel bearing was extremely badly worn so let’s just go right to the video

Mark: Whoa, is there an earthquake?

Bernie: Yeah, I know, it looks like that. I know we’ve done hangouts on these type of issues before but I just thought, you know this is just so badly worn, I just had to do it again. So let’s have a look at that wheel bearing again. Take a look at that movement, this is the brake rotor flopping around, the axel’s moving, that’s the front drive axel and the wheel of course, you look at that amount of movement, it’s just phenomenal.

Yeah, so that’ all we found was wrong. Now whenever we have an issue like this, we do a complete drivetrain and steering and suspension inspection to see if there’s anything else because there could be other issues as well but in the case of this vehicle, that’s all we found was wrong, which is plenty of problem.

Mark: So like you said that’s pretty worn and nothing else damaged but how often do you seen wheel bearings with that much play?

Bernie: Not that often, I mean we do see wheel bearings that have play, but a lot of times it’s just minor, this one is extremely badly worn and obviously I would guess that it’s probably been making noise for quite some time before it starting failing worse.

Mark: And what’s the ramifications of that much play?

Bernie: Well like ramifications in terms of driving it or in terms of …?

Mark: Well potential other failures etc, how bad can it get, does the wheel fall off?

Bernie: Well, the wheel completely falling off is pretty unlikely, it could just come to a kind of grinding halt on the road which would not be a good thing if you’re going down the highway but other damage, you could see that universal joint that’s being flopped around in there and if things could much worse it could actually cause that to hit against something and cause the actual axel to hit different parts in the housing. And also with the brakes, the brakes are moving around a lot so that could cause some excessive brake pad or brake rotor wear or even damage the brake calliper. The wheel bearing on this vehicle, is a unitized wheel bearing so the good news is that all that damage is kind of contained, all that wear is all contained to one area. I’ll just share one more photo here, this is the wheel bearing hub assembly, so this a whole unit that gets replaced, this part here where my mouse pointer is, this bolts into the wheel hub, sorry, the steering knuckle area, and this housing contains the bearings, so there bearings are inside here, this is the wheel hub where the wheel bolts onto. This wiring, these bits and pieces are for the ABS brakes. Again, all these parts, if you didn’t have, if there was a different bearing replacement, you may have to replace the hub or something else but because it’s  all unitized, the good news for the customer is it’s probably not going to cost him a lot more money than it did had he not fixed it sooner.

Mark: And I guess tire wear? How was the tire on that vehicle?

Bernie: Well the tired definitely had some wear and that’s another thing having a wheel bearing like that it can affect your tire wear as well. I mean these tires on that truck looked from what I remember, they’re not in great shape. If you had a real nice set of tires, yes of course that could damage them but I think the tires on this truck were pretty near worn out anyways, so not a huge consequence.

Mark: And are wheel bearings a pretty common failure on super duty vehicles? 

Bernie: We do a number of them, not a really common failure but by the time you get to 200,000 kilometres or a little more, you probably have replaced your front wheel bearings, they do wear out at that sort of rate but unfortunately they are pretty expensive but I mean, once you use the word “Super Duty”, it is a super duty truck, it’s tough, it’s got big stuff, big front end parts, big bearings and the job is pricey. So the good news is they do tend to last a long time, but they will fail.

Mark: So there you go, if you’re looking for a service on your F350 in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website, pawlikautomotive.com or our Youtube channel. Just search for Pawlik Automotive on Youtube, we’ve got hundreds of videos on there, including a few more on the F350’s. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

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