Mark: Hi this is Mark from Top Local, we're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver's best auto service experience, 18 time winners for Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How are you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well this morning.
Mark: Great. We're going to talk about a 2000 Ford F250, a transmission service on it. This is a pretty old vehicle. Why would we be talking about an F250?
Bernie: Well F250 of course still make them, it's a truck, it's popular. Now speaking of old, cars and trucks last a long time if you take care of them. In this case it's a work truck, it's for a landscaping company. It's a lift box on the back. It's specialized. The thing about why are we talking about 2000 truck, we actually work on a fair number of older vehicles like this because a lot of value in trucks keeping them for a while if you take care of them you keep up the maintenance, it's worthwhile financially to do it not just necessarily trade the truck in. It's a lot of work to push the bed over to the other one. If you take good care of it, it'll last a long time. It financially makes sense.
Mark: What's involved with the transmission service on this vehicle?
Bernie: The transmission service on the Ford basically we remove the transmission pan, replace the filter, clean the inside of the pan and then we have the machine that we flush the fluid. While running the vehicle, we can actually replace pretty much all of the fluid, which is the best way to do the service. There are cheaper, easier ways that you can drop a pan, you can change the filter, put it back in, fill the fluid but you're only changing about a third of the fluid so you're leaving two thirds of the old dirty fluid behind. That's how we do the service at our shop. It definitely costs more money but it's the right way to do it 'cause you get 100% proper service.
Mark: Did you find anything interesting when you removed the pan?
Bernie: Well unfortunately we did in this case. Let's share a couple photos of what we found. A good part of doing a tranny service is you get to see what's inside the pan, is there some wear going on. Let's have a look at a couple things real quick. Okay, this is the inside of the transmission pan. This is actually what we really don't want to see when we do a transmission service. There's a magnet at the bottom of the pan to catch any metal filings. This magnet is loaded full of filings. You can also see some metal debris here and a couple of actual little pieces of metal here like ring type pieces. This is pretty serious. What I will say is when we road tested the vehicle thoroughly beforehand and there was no concern with the transmission whatsoever, it shifted fine. There was no leaks. The only reason we were doing a service is the fluid was old and dirty. Unfortunately, this transmission probably has a somewhat limited life span but who knows? I mean it's definitely wearing, how much longer it's hard to say. Here's a close up of the magnet, again you can see a lot of metal filings. We clean all this out. The fluid is new. Hopefully it'll result in a much longer lifespan for the transmission but it's really hard to say at this point how long it's going to go for.
Mark: What would cause this sort of wear other than it's a 17 year old vehicle?
Bernie: I think basically a 17 year old vehicle, it's age. I mean we do transmission services on vehicles that are 20 years old and never find anything in them. If you don't find anything, that doesn't mean that the transmission isn't going to pack it in next week. It's finding metal filings is a bad sign, but it's not a guarantee that it's going to be dead next week or not finding something doesn't necessarily mean anything either. It's better to not find it 'cause it's a sure fire sign of wear but I’d say age. This vehicle actually doesn't have a lot of kilometres, it's under 150,000 kilometres, so it's not a lot, nonetheless, that's what's there. It is a work truck. I would imagine that some of its life it carries pretty heavy load so that's harder on the transmission.
Mark: Do you recommend doing a transmission fluid service if you've got trouble shifting?
Bernie: Not normally. I think if there's any problem with the transmission and sometimes we see it, the fluids dirty, okay well, we could do a service, it's a few hundred dollars to do it. I think if the end result is going to be it's the same afterwards, you've just wasted that money 'cause you can put it towards actually repairing the transmission, which can often be extremely expensive. We have one client with a Volvo, they're really expensive transmissions to service. A couple of times we've done a service for him and it's actually for about maybe six months to a year it actually shifts fine and then it needs it again. For him he weighs it and goes, "Do I spend five or six thousand dollars a transmission or do I spend $300 on a service" and he's done the service. Most of the time we don't recommend it.
Mark: Do you find this issue is severe wear very often when you do a transmission service?
Bernie: Not really. We do a lot of them and pretty rare that we ever pull a pan apart, which when we do these hangouts often "Oh what's interesting, what's broken, what's worn, these are the interesting things to show", we don't see it all that often. Most of the time it's pretty straightforward. I will say some vehicles don't have transmission pans, on the Ford they do. I'd say it's about 70% of the vehicles that we service have the pan. The number of them don’t, vehicles like Volvo, Honda products, those are a couple where they don't have a transmission pan. The filter's built in. The flush service is actually a lot easier in those vehicles and less costly.
Mark: After the transmission service, was there any perceptible difference in how this vehicle ran?
Bernie: Not really, not that we noticed. As I said, it worked fine beforehand. Sometimes when you do a service, you'll notice a difference but most of the time it would be the same. Having dirty fluid is never a good thing especially this fluid was quite black and dark. You haven't asked the question, "Why does the fluid get like that"? I mean from age, couple things why the fluid gets dirty, there's no combustion going on so there's nothing to burn the fluid like motor oil. Inside the transmission there are clutch disks, there's a lot of fibrous disks, some of them depending on how it's built, a certain amount of material is always wearing so it contaminates the fluid. Certain vehicles use disks that are a blackish colour so the fluid goes black quite quickly. Also, there is heat and wear that way, even some vehicles the fluid doesn't get that black but over time it tends to get a little brownish and burnt and it loses some of its qualities.
Mark: How are these F250s for reliability overall?
Bernie: It's a good truck. I mean this thing is 17 years old. This is a gas truck by the way. I know we often talk about diesel this is a gas 5.4 litre. I know we talked about issues that happen to these engines but overall, it's a pretty good vehicle. Again, 17 years old, it did need some work at this point in time beyond the transmission service but nothing beyond general wear and tear you expect on a vehicle at that age, so pretty good truck.
Mark: There you go, if you're looking for service for your F250 Ford or you need transmission service in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 book ahead, they're busy or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com or our YouTube channel Pawlik Automotive, thanks Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks Mark.