March 16

2002 Porsche 911, Annual Maintenance



Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 23 time winners of best auto repair in Vancouver. I kind of overemphasize that because it's amazing. 23 time winners as voted by their customers. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: 2002 to Porsche 911 or Porsche for those who get all uptight about it a way we say it coming in for an annual maintenance. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah, so a regular client of ours came in for an annual service, oil change and basic maintenance, just an, A service inspection this time. So we did that, found a couple of services that were due, but other than that, basically an oil change in some some service. 

Mark: So what all is involved in that service? 

Bernie: So for our A-level service it's an oil filter change, a basic vehicle inspection. So by basic, we're looking at lights, adjusting tire pressures, a visual inspection under the car, under the hood. And that kind of covers it. Looking at belts and, you know, sort of normal wear out type of items. What it doesn't include is a wheel off brake inspection, a full steering suspension inspection. But because we do everything on a two post, hoist, you know, the wheels are free to move around so we do wiggle the wheels around, make sure there's nothing excessively worn that would warrant further inspection and repair. So it's a safety inspection at the same time. Just not as in-depth as it could be. And that next service it'll be a B service on this vehicle, a more full, detailed inspection.

We did find a couple of items. It was due for a motor vac fuel injection cleaning the brake fluid was  also due to be flushed. We'd also recommended spark plugs, which the owner didn't want to do it this time. But we did do the motor vac, a couple of air filters, cabinet and engine air filter, and a brake fluid flush.

Mark: So motor vac, what is a motor vac cleaning service? 

Bernie: Yeah, so a motor vac, that's actually a brand name of some cleaning equipment basically. They make fluid flushing machines. This is a fuel injection system, cleaning machine. I think it's probably the best in the industry. There are various other ways you can clean fuel injection systems. But the motor vac I think is the best. It has connectors basically for pretty much every vehicle under the sun. So it's relatively simple to hook up.

 A Porsche is a bit more work to do than your average car, but basically we hooked the motor vac machine directly to the engine which disables a fuel system, run a very concentrated cleaner through it. So that cleans the fuel injectors and even more importantly, removes carbon deposit off the valves and in the combustion chamber.

 Benefit, more horsepower. Better starting, better fuel economy, just better running overall. And I pulled clients over the years, talked to them about the benefits of the motor vac or what their experience was. And most people report back. It runs better. I got more power. If I had one person said I got 33% better gas mileage. And I mean, I've done it on my own vehicles and noticed quite a benefit too. 

So I'll just share a quick picture. So here's our 02, 911 convertible.

2002 Porsche 911, Annual Maintenance

There's the motor vac machine hooked up to the vehicle. So that's basically the motor vac. Excellent service, really provides a great benefit to any vehicle, unless it's a direct injection vehicle. And then in that case, there's a different type of service that we do. 

Mark: So how often do you recommend this kind of fuel injector cleaning? 

Bernie: For the motor vac, usually around every 50,000 kilometres is a good amount of time, maybe three to five years, depending on how much you're driving the vehicle. That's about the right interval, about 50 Ks. 

Mark: So wouldn't it be possible to just put some kind of fuel cleaner in my gas tank on a regular basis and not have to do this?

Bernie: Yeah, well, you can, but I think the fuel cleaner, it doesn't really do a whole lot. And see the thing with the motor vac is when the cleaner is very concentrated and we're running it in a ratio of like one part of motor vac cleaner to three parts of gas. So it's extremely concentrated. We run it for about half an hour but that really gets in there and cleans everything off.

Whereas if you're pouring a bottle, which is usually the same size as a motor vac bottle, you're diluting that in with you know, I dunno, 50 to 70 litres of fuel. It's really not very concentrated, so it doesn't do the same kind of job. And with the motor vac, we usually let it sit for awhile, road test it afterwards. So it really burns the carbon out. So it's a very concentrated, intense service. And putting a bottle of cleaner in while it won't hurt, is really gonna make very minimal difference. And if you're using good fuel, like a top tier gasoline, which you should be using in your car, it's got good cleaners in it already.

Mark: So you also mentioned a brake fluid flush. How often are those recommended on a 911? 

Bernie: Usually two or three years is the recommended interval. And that's kind of across the board for all cars and probably even more important for a 911. Brake fluid we've talked about this before. It's a hygroscopic fluid. And what that means is it absorbs water. And it absorbs moisture right out of the air. And you know, we used to have a tester that we would use to test for water content in the fluid. And it's amazing after a couple of years, you know, the content definitely goes up. 

Nowadays we just kind of go by time and mileage and just talk to the client. And if it's two or three years old, we recommend it because it's just needs to be done. But the moisture, the reason that actually I thought this is kind of a flaw of the design of brake fluid. Why would it absorb water? But it's actually a smart thing because if the water were to separate from the fluid, then it would sit in the areas of steel, start rusting and then possibly cause your brake components to seize up like the calipers or wheel cylinders on an older car. So it's actually kind of an interesting design, but the key is to flush the fluid out because if you get too much water content, the fluid can boil. 

And on a sports car like this, even though this one is a standard, you won't be using the brakes as much. If you're out for a really hard drive, your brakes are going to get pretty hot and that's when the brake fluid will boil. So it's even more important on a Porsche or a sports car than it is on your regular family sedan. 

Mark: Were there any other repairs required at this time? 

Bernie: I mentioned we did change the cabin air filter and the engine air filter, we'd recommended spark plugs based on mileage. And the owner declined to do that right now. We'll be doing it in the future, but that's really it. Other than that, the car is in great shape. 

Mark: And how are, this is fairly old vehicle. How are these ancient Porsches for reliability? 

Bernie: Hard to call this ancient, but it's a beautiful car. I think these are great cars. They're super reliable. The one issue with these is the IMS bearing, intermediate shaft bearing. These are definitely the engineering nightmare of this engine. And there's lots of documentation on the internet about replacing it. That's a service we do. It's something you want to do before it goes bad because it can destroy your whole engine.

So it's an important thing to deal with. And you know, that's really the only downside. Otherwise these are super reliable cars. You know, if you're looking for a reliable sports car, they're not cheap. I mean, they hold their value or go up, which is not usual in the world of European cars. Usually they're on a steady downward price curve, but Porsche's hold their value really well. And they're fun to drive and super reliable. So I'd recommend one. It's a good car. 

Mark: So there you go. If you need some service on your Porsche in Vancouver, the guys to call Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You got to call and book ahead. They're always busy or check out the website There are hundreds, not an exaggeration, over 600 videos,  of all kinds of repairs, all kinds of makes and models of vehicles. Because they deal with mostly everything. And of course, check out the YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair, same thing it's all shared on there as well. And thank you so much for watching and listening. We really appreciate it. ThanksBernie. 

Bernie: Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. It's always a pleasure.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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