August 9

2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Fuel Injector Replacement



Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik repairing vehicles in Vancouver for close to 40 years. And he's the owner. The big boss at Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. They are 24 time winners of best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. They didn't just make it up. They won it. And of course they're the best auto service experience in Vancouver. We're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing went very well. 

Mark: So today's victim, we're reprising a 2001 Chevy Silverado 2500 that this time needed fuel injector replacements. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah, so this is the same truck we talked about in our last podcast where we replaced the injection pump. And unfortunately the injection pump repair didn't go quite as well as we'd thought. We delivered the vehicle to the customer on Friday after lengthy road tests. And everything seemed to be fine only to find it back on Monday with the crankcase still filling up with oil and kind of disappointing for everyone that that happened because we hate it when a job doesn't go well. But we had kind of speculated on this job that the injection pump needed to be done because a previous shop had changed the injectors and apparently verified all their work. So that's what we were faced with next. 

Mark: So what was your next step? 

Bernie: Yeah, so the next step was to call the owner of the vehicle and just have a good chat with them and say, okay, so tell us about the injectors that were put in, you know, what did the shop do? So is a bit of a learning curve for us. You know, we made some assumptions that the shop had done some good work and as it turned out, we found out that the injectors that actually have been supplied to the shop by the owner who'd ordered them online at a cheaper price. They're supposed to be Bosch rebuilt injectors. But they weren't as it turned out to be.

So at this point we figured, okay, the injection pump we bought from a reputable supplier, we never ever have a problem with their parts. So we figured, okay, at this point, obviously something at the other shop did, they didn't either know what they're doing or they overlooked something.

Or now the fact that they didn't actually supply the injectors and we didn't know what the source was, you know, they could be faulty. So our next step was to basically remove the valve cover. And figured, okay possibly leaks from the return line system. So we connected a smoke machine up, we figured this is the easiest way, we ran some air pressure through it. Didn't find any leaks. We hooked our smoke machine up, found no leaks. A smoke machine will pump smoke through a line or a pipe or wherever we send the smoke. And it'll show as a leak, which is a great way to find leaks, nothing showed up. So we verified the injection lines and the pipes were all in good shape.

I'll just pop up some pictures and we can keep talking.

2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Fuel Injector Replacement
2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Fuel Injector Replacement

But this is basically the view under the valve cover. What you're looking at here, these are the rocker arms. So that's part of the valve train. This is a fuel injector here. There's four of them per side. It's a V8 engine. The red arrow points to the fuel injection return pipe. And the yellow basically points to the bolt where this attaches to the fuel injector. And there's two copper washers on each side. So these are potential leak points. And these pipes actually go to the valve cover housing. There's plumbing that connects them up to the fuel return system. So, and again, you know, we tested with a smoke machine, verify that there's no leakage in this particular area. So that's kind of where what our next step in her testing was. 

Mark: So no leaks in the return system and what was next? 

Bernie: So what was next was basically, okay. There's no leaks there. We know the injection pump. We assume that that's gotta be good. So we authorized the client to remove the fuel injectors and send them off to our, I'll just name the name of our supplier, NW Fuel Injection. They're out in Surrey. If you're in the Vancouver area and if you actually are a do it yourselfer diesel person, we don't do these podcasts for that, but you are, this is the best place to buy your diesel parts from because the quality of their work is absolutely superb and everything they sell is good quality, high-end. You know, it's already OEM Bosch remanufacturer. They do some remanufacturing themselves, but I've seen their equipment. It's state of the art. 

Anyways they have injection testing. So we sent the injectors off to be tested and that revealed some very interesting things. And then actually in fact, found the problem. So I will...

Mark:  What did they find? 

Bernie: What did they find? Well, we found a very badly leaking fuel injector. First thing I'll do, and this is kind of boring writing, but I'll just leave this up on the screen for a minute, but I'll just talk it through. So they, they basically tested all eight injectors and they said, you know, five of them passed.

They all tested perfectly within factory specifications. Number two, injector failed. Significant over fuel at pre injection and pilot ignition injection. 28% above factory specifications. So that isn't going to leak fuel into the engine, but that is going to cause the engine not to run properly and the tests they do, I didn't show all the test reports, I don't have them on this podcast, but there's certain injection sequences is I believe there's five of them on these injectors. So they test every one of them. 

So number five, fail. Under fuel at full throttle, 4% below factory specs. I mean, that's really pretty minimal. You'll probably never notice that unless you're full throttle and even then you'd probably notice it. Then number seven, fail, leaking, at body. And this is the interesting thing which we'll show a video in a second. You can see what was going on. And then we found out why this crank case is filling up so fast with diesel fuel.

The other interesting line is the injectors are not genuine Bosch, which is obvious from the fact that they have no Bosch identifying numbers on the top. So, you know, we could've just put five of the injectors back in sold three more, but you know, once you get into this, the suppliers questionable, how long are these injectors going to last? There's three already failed and they're brand new. Theoretically brand new. 

So I'm going to get into the video which is the fun part. And if you watch this video, if you look around this area here where I'm running my mouse, you'll see everything is dry and you'll notice fuels starts to pool up and then it eventually starts spraying out in rather large quantities. It's a 20 second video, so just kind of watch carefully. I'll play it a couple of times.

You can already start to see some fuel pooling in this area here, which should it be none. Now there's a huge drop up there and now you can see it just spraying out all over the place. I'll just play that last few seconds of the video because this is the interesting part. Right there, you can see field spring out. Well, you can imagine running an engine and It wouldn't take long for a litre to get sprayed out after an hour's driving, maybe, you know, a few litres in an hour or so. There was our problem.

Mark: So, what happened next?

Bernie: So we replaced the injectors, the owner was kind of reluctant because he'd spent an awful lot of money on this vehicle already. And it kind of put us in a bit of a sticky spot because, you know, we'd said to him, look, you know, based on what you've told us, this is where we should proceed. And the injection pump wasn't a cheap job. So we did ended up compensating him and reducing the cost on the job much lower than we would have normally done on doing a set of injectors. But we did them and you know, it was good that he did them. We put them in and buttoned everything up and fired it up. And you can ask me the next question.

Mark: So how did it work after that?

Bernie:  Really, really good.  It was amazing because you know, the week before this vehicle is here for a couple of weeks, but after we'd done the injection pump, I remember taking it out for a good long road test. And I seem to remember it ran fairly well, but by the time we got back on the Monday, maybe because it was the crankcase was so full of fuel, it really ran badly. Felt like it was only running on seven cylinders. And you know, when we changed the injectors with the pump done, this vehicle ran like brand new. And I, I say that because I actually bought a brand new Duramax six months ago. And so I know exactly what a new one feels like and this truck, you know, 20 years old ran exactly like a brand new truck. Tons of power, pep, acceleration, no smoke. It was just a dream to drive. So ran great and we drove a extra long time. Triple checked to make sure the oil wasn't too full. And you know, there was no stored trouble codes related to any injection issues. 

And we did get a call back from the customer a few days later, he said he was super happy with the way it worked. So it's a happy ending. And I guess the good news, the vehicle did have a fair number of ks, two to 300,000 kilometre range, which is a fair amount of mileage. So changing injection pump was not a bad thing to do anyways, but it's too bad we didn't think of the injectors as a first thing, because that probably would have  saved a little bit of money for him.

Mark: There still was a leak in the injection pump, you saw that.

Bernie:  There was a leak in the injection pump, which we could see, but it wasn't really major compared to this injector and who knows. I mean, given time, maybe over a period of a couple of months, maybe it would have started to fill a crankcase up. So there was a leak, but certainly not to the severity of the injectors. 

Mark: So what have we learned? Don't use cheap parts. Use good stuff and use the place that's knows what they're doing, frankly, is going to question you on it, but also this is really important to keep a log of what actually has happened. What have you done? Don't try and hide anything from your service guys. Tell them the truth about everything that's gone on so they can fix your car, right the first time. 

Bernie: Exactly. Exactly. You know, people sometimes, you know, we often have to pry information out of people and I think people don't often think, well, maybe that's not important, but it is important to say, Hey, I bought this from this particular place. And you know, I think what we've learned as a shop is to really ask questions. 

 If you look back one of our other podcasts, we had a client with a Land Rover LR2 had a bunch of engine drivability issues that we solved. And in the end I ended up making a project. I go, look, I just want to fix this vehicle. So it was one of those things where we didn't charge them fully for the amount of time we spent on it. I just educated myself. And finally, at the end of the day, thought, he changed the fuel injectors. Where'd you get them from? We bought some cheap fuel injectors from somewhere.

And so you know, had he not done that he would have saved himself thousands of dollars on, literally thousands of dollars on, at least a couple thousand dollars on repairs and grief. You know, so. If you're buying parts, don't buy the cheap stuff, but if it's OEM and you know it, for sure, and it's cheaper that's okay.

But don't buy parts from someone who hasn't got the backing of a major manufacturer because you're just asking for trouble. 

Mark: And if you don't know, go to a shop that does know.

Bernie: Exactly, exactly. And bring all the information, lay your cards out on the table. Hey, you know, here's where I had it fixed. Here's the work I had done. I supplied the parts and this is actually another reason why we don't like to do work with customer supplied parts, because these are the kinds of issues we run into. You know, we bring it to us to do the whole job. Yes, you'll probably pay some more money. We guarantee the whole thing. Now, for this guy, if he has fuel, leaking into a system, We also changed all those fuel return pipes and seals and everything. If there's any leaks, we own that job now for the next couple of years. 

Mark: They have a warranty basically. 

Bernie: We have a warranty. Yeah, yeah. We back it. 

Mark: Sometimes ladies and gentlemen, let me give you the sad news. Sometimes the internet and Amazon are not your best place to get parts for your vehicle. 

Bernie: Exactly. Sometimes it is. And I will say something about prices and I don't, we should shoot Amazon, but you know, sometimes the price on Amazon, a lot of times, they're really good. And other times they're outrageously overpriced too. So it's like anything buyer beware. You got to know what you're buying. Not Amazon's fault. You gotta be a good consumer and just look into your stuff.

Mark:  If you need service for your Chevy, GMC diesel in Vancouver or Ford or Dodge or VW or Mercedes or whoever else makes diesels, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. Get all the details or you can book online Put all your information in there. They'll call you back. They'll investigate. They'll be ready for you when you show up. You have to call and book ahead. They're super busy. Check out the website Check out the YouTube channel. Pawlik Auto Repair, all makes and models and types of repairs for nine years. And of course, we really appreciate you watching and listening. Thank you, Bernie. 

Thank you, Mark. And thanks for watching and listening. 

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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