Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Thirty eight years of repairing vehicles and 18 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well. You say 38 years, I start to feel a little bit old
Mark: Well it happens to all of us, the grey hair starts to creep in. So a 2002 Volvo V70 drivers door module replacement. This is a little bit of a different thing, what was going on with this driver’s door?
Bernie: Well when the vehicle was brought to us, there was a couple interesting issues. First of all, the battery would go dead overnight. So again that doesn’t necessarily indicate a driver’s door module but what did indicate a problem in that area was that there was a clicking sound coming from the driver’s door area where the power window switch is located. The driver’s door module and power windows switch are kind of an integrated unit and there’s a clicking sound as soon as you shut the key off there’d be a click, click, click, constant noise. If you unplug that unit, the noise would go away. Of course you have no functional power windows but also the customer had noted that the power drain would go away so the battery wouldn’t go dead overnight. So that kind of gave an indication the problem was in that area.
Mark: Ok, well what’s a driver’s door module?
Bernie: Ok, well I kind of, well almost explained that. But a driver’s door module well basically it’s a computer, computerized unit that sits, it’s usually integrated with the power windows switch assembly and what it does is that it networks with the other computers in the vehicle. So although a 2002 seems pretty old, it’s actually pretty modern by the standards of the way vehicles are built. This vehicle has a number of networked modules and the driver’s door module is one piece of it. So what happens is I think in an older car, you would when you pull the power window switch for say the passenger window, it had very thick wires that would go all the way over to the passenger’s window motor and switches and if that would cause the window to go up and down. Now that would require very thick wires, a lot of current draw through the car. With modern vehicles, they’ve eliminated that. There’s just one main power and ground wire that goes to each door and then from there it gets a very low voltage computer signal, there’s a little relay in the module and that all works again through a central control module. So the driver’s door module is a piece of that. I hope that’s not too complicated an explanation. But what it does, it makes, it allows for smaller wires as the cars have got more complex there’s more electronics to them. So it allows for smaller wires, less number of wires and also certain functionalities like for instance, if you get like a European convertible, some of them you go to open the power roof, it’ll automatically lower all of the windows and these are the functions you can do when you have everything electronically linked together. So you can hit one button and it’ll open all the windows of the car. May be overly complicated but it’s kind of neat and that’s just the way car are nowadays because we can do it.
Mark: So I’m going to guess the repair was just replacing the door module is that what was involved with the repair?
Bernie: Well you’d think so. However being a complicated electronic piece it is a little more complicated than that. The door module is actually a really easy piece to replace, you know it clips in and out of the door, doesn’t take too long to do but the hitch is on this particular car, it’s not the case with every one of them, but on a Volvo you have to reprogram the module to the vehicle. There’s a coding inside the module and once you plug the other one, the new one in, the vehicle doesn’t know it has a driver’s door module. So reprogramming is something we have to do. At this point I’m just going to share a couple of photos because we’re going to talk about some reprogramming but I’ll just get into a photo share for a second here. So here’s the door locks, here’s the power window switch mechanism, you know with your, it’s typical it’s got the mirror, power mirror as well as the power door lock and the four windows. And the actual module itself sits underneath the power window switch, so it’s all kind of one big unit about three four inches deep. To reprogram the vehicle, we actually hook the computer up and you can actually see all the modules of the vehicle. So this is the Volvo’s original OEM software and when it scans the vehicle it actually picks up all the modules. So you have the ECM which is your engine control module, TCM transition control module. This is a whole list, all the green units are the modules that are on this vehicle and you notice there is one red one, DDM driver’s door module. This is the module before you reprogrammed it, is basically the computer saying well we don’t read this module, we don’t see it. So that’s kind of a list, this is fantastic because you know again, you’ve got a rear module, passenger door module, and I won’t decode some of these, I can figure then out but it might take a little while, a BCM body control module, that’s a big one to where a lot of these, but you can see that they’re all linked in some way, shape or form.
Mark: And reprogramming modules something you’re doing a lot of in your shop?
Bernie: Yeah it’s something we can do, now it varies from vehicle to vehicle what we’re capable of. We can pretty well program an vehicle but certain vehicles we can program more of than others and Volvo is awesome because we can actually program any module. And actually when we interface with it it actually gives us the complete OEM manufacturers diagnostic system. So really good capabilities. It’s not something we do very often because it costs extra money to access it. So if we have a tricky diagnosis, we can access that system and then of course we have all access to all the software to download. But with a lot of other, some vehicles, we can only do the engine and transmission. We also have a company that we deal with that has more sophisticated diagnostic equipment and scan tools. Their business is basically reprogramming vehicles so we call on them from time to time to do some of the vehicles that are a little trickier. But Volvo’s are awesome, you know Volvo’s are really excellent for what we can do.
Mark: And so how did the car work after all the repairs?
Bernie: Fantastic. I mean there’s no more battery drain, all the windows worked fine, the moment it was reprogrammed everything just started working just like it should and no more clicking sounds, no more power drains, it worked perfectly.
Mark: So this is an almost 16 year old Volvo, getting old, is it still a worthwhile car to be doing these kind of repairs on?
Bernie: Well I’d say it’s still worthwhile to do it if the rest of the car’s in good shape. It was a rather pricey repair because unfortunately the door module is only available from the Volvo dealer, there could of been a used one available and there’s all the reprogramming and of course the diagnosis. I don’t want to get into the cost, but it wasn’t a cheap repair, but overall these are pretty good cars, they’re worth keeping, they’re generally well built. I say repair costs are kind of higher than average but it is a more sophisticated car than again a Toyota Corolla but you know they’re good cars. And I mean as far as a used car buy, if it’s the kind of car that you like it could be a worthwhile car but I would say make sure you check the service records, the miles, you know what the actual life of the aged mileage of the vehicle is but even a 200,000 kilometre Volvo, still has a lot life left in it but have a mechanic inspect it, that’s kind of the key so you know what you’re getting.
Mark: So there you go. If you’re looking for service for your Volvo new or old, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, they’re busy, you’ve got to book ahead or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie
Bernie: Thanks Mark.