March 5

2005 Dodge 3500 Diesel Comprehensive Inspection

Dodge Trucks, Podcast


Mark: Hi, good morning. It's Mark Bossert, producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast and video series, here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, of course, of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. 19-time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers, and of course, we're talking cars! How are you doing this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well this morning. And actually, we're talking trucks today.

Mark: Ah, trucks, yes! It is truck day. It's official, February 28th's truck day.

Bernie: Yeah, that's right. International truck day.

Mark: We're just making it up. A 2005 Dodge Ram was, had a 3500 diesel, for a comprehensive inspection. What was going on with this heavy-duty, big beastie?

Bernie: Yeah. This vehicle came to our shop for a B service, and part of the B service includes a comprehensive inspection.

Mark: What do you do during a B service?

Bernie: A “B” service basically starts with an oil and filter change, oil filter service, chassis lube, and then the thing that differentiates the A and the B service is the level of inspection. For a B service, we do a thorough, comprehensive inspection where we look at basically all the components of the vehicle, test the batteries, charging system, remove the wheels, inspect the brakes, steering, suspension. It's a full-vehicle mostly visual inspection, but there are some actual test items that we do, as well. But it's a very thorough inspection. The B service is something you want to do probably about once a year on a vehicle, and depending on the car and, of course, how much you drive. That's basically the component. But the big differentiating feature on the B service is the comprehensive inspection.

Mark: Okay. What's so special about your comprehensive inspection?

Bernie: Well, it's awesome that you ask that, because I think what's special about our comprehensive inspections is we're very thorough. We've always done a very thorough inspection, and about almost two years ago, we went to a digital inspection platform, which integrates with our shop management software. It's a fantastic tool that you won't find at a lot of shops.

A lot of good independent auto repair shops use these electronic inspections, but they haven't really gone through the whole industry yet. But what's amazing, and we'll look at some pictures in a minute, of what you get, but where a technician ... actually, in this case, I worked on this vehicle. I can use a tablet or smartphone, go around, capture all the data, take pictures of things, and put it all into the inspection. Then we email or text it to you and you can look at the inspection yourself and go, "Okay, here's what's good, here's what's bad, here's what we recommend." And you can actually see it with your own eyes. A really good way to prove that we're honest in what we say, and you can see what's really going on with your vehicle. 

On that note, let's just get right into looking at the inspection. 

There's our 2005 Dodge Ram truck. A few dents and dings and stuff, this is a well-used vehicle. It used to be a landscaping company vehicle, so they used it well for what they needed to. And onto inspection.

2005 Dodge 3500 Diesel Comprehensive Inspection
2005 Dodge 3500 Diesel Comprehensive Inspection
2005 Dodge 3500 Diesel Comprehensive Inspection
2005 Dodge 3500 Diesel Comprehensive Inspection
2005 Dodge 3500 Diesel Comprehensive Inspection
2005 Dodge 3500 Diesel Comprehensive Inspection
2005 Dodge 3500 Diesel Comprehensive Inspection

This is what you will get as a client. This is what you'll see. Not with all these exact details, but this, I've actually done some screen captures of some of these, of this inspection. Again, you can see in the green, there's 79 items that we looked at that are okay. And in these 79 items, there's a lot of detail, too. If you look at it, you might add it up, going, "Oh, it's only at 89 point inspection." But there's many more items we look at that are sort of hidden in between.

We'll look at some of those. There's three items with suggested work, and then we have the seven items that have required service. When you get this inspection yourself, you'll be able to press these plus buttons, and expand on what's good and what's not. And for the purpose of this, I just did it screen captures because I wanted to hide the client's name and phone number and so on, and vehicle information.

But you can see, there's obviously a dash warning light, and there's a bulb out warning light. There's a running light that wasn't working, a tail lamp that wasn't working. Those are some of the red items. We can go back, look at a few of the orange items here. There's the parking break, was out of adjustment. And this was actually a concern of the client's, which we took care of.

The front tire wear was a little irregular, but the tread was still at nine millimetres. And balancing the tire, just watching it, would have been a good thing to do. And then, the spare tire had some cracked side walls, very old. It's a spare tire, you know. Again, how important it is, that's up to you as the owner.

What else do we have here? A few other items. Fuel filter ... again, we can recommend, check the maintenance records. Should be replaced. There's a transfer case leak. And here's a photograph. Now, you can click on it to enlarge. In the case of this video here, we can't do that, but there's basically, you can see the fluid leak.

These are the kind of things we can show you on the inspection when we do them. Going over a few other items here. We've got some of the good stuff. You can see, the oil's good, which we changed during the service. All these other fluids were inspected, they're all good. Some other good items, too. We don't just take pictures of stuff that's bad. This is our ... this truck has two batteries, so we actually take, test each battery individually on a comprehensive inspection on a diesel truck. This is actually a photograph of our battery tester, which tells that the findings in the battery, they were both good.

Again, we've got belts, air conditioning, these are some of the other items we look at. What else do we have here? We've got this. Brakes. Again, the brakes, we take measurements of the brakes and the brake rotors. Here's a photograph of the brake measuring gauge with the brake pads, so you can see it's actually in good shape. A larger photo makes it a little easier to read, but that's kind of the gist of it.

I think that's the inspection pretty much ... got to see pretty much the whole thing. That's what makes our inspections so special. You get to see it, you get to see what's good, what's not, and that's it.

Mark: And also, I guess, if you send that to the customer, they have the option of making a choice: do they want to repair something that's not dangerous that could be left for the next service interval, or do it now? Is that right?

Bernie: Exactly. And you get to see it, and we can actually do video with this, as well. We don't do it very often, but you can actually ... say we have a loose or worn ball joint, we can actually take a little video so you can actually see the play in the ball joint.

But, yeah, exactly. It gives options. And I've had a number of people, sometimes we tell people, "Oh, you have an oil leak coming from some spot." Well, I didn't really notice it on the ground, but when you see a picture of it, and you go, "Hey! That is actually serious." It gives you an opportunity to kind of ... if you're so inclined to be more proactive or if your budget's such that you don't have the money to do things, we can still prioritize things. But it just gives you a better picture as a car owner of what's going on with your vehicle.

Mark: And of course, it didn't look like this truck, even at 19 years old, needed a lot of work.

Bernie: No, it was actually pretty good. Is it 19 years old already? Wow. It's getting up there. Yeah, no, it actually was in good shape. And we've serviced-

Mark: 15. I'm sorry. I can't add.

Bernie: Yeah, it's about 15 or 14. But that's still getting up there! The owner of this vehicle, we've serviced this vehicle for quite a few years. We've taken really good care of it. Unfortunately, the engine actually needed to be overhauled a couple of years back, and the fuel injector's replaced. Some serious money's been spent on this truck to keep it in good shape, but there was no worn or loose front end parts, the brakes were in good shape, everything was actually really good other than the parking brake adjustment and a fuel filter replacement, and some worn-out rear tires.

And the transfer case seat, which, again, we note, "Okay, it's leaking. How serious is it?"  Well, just keep an eye on it. If you start getting a drip on the ground, then it's time to, you've got to fix it right away before you run out of fluid.

But, yeah, this truck's in good shape, and it's a testament to good ongoing maintenance. If you do that kind of thing, you end up getting these kind of inspection reports, and we do get a lot of new customers who haven't taken care of their vehicles and this thing will have, you know, 25 red things, and not as many green. You kind of want to keep it in the green.

Mark: There you go! If you want to keep your vehicle in the green, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. For repairs for your diesels or any make and model of used car or truck, or even new vehicles. They offer full-warranty support for your new vehicle, as well. The guys to see, Pawlik Automotive, 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to book ahead, they're busy! Or check out the website,, the YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. There's actually 300 plus videos on there. I actually counted them.

Bernie: Awesome.

Mark: I was overestimating last week. And of course, thank you so much for listening to the podcast, and thank you, Bernie!

Bernie: Thank you, Mark! And thanks for watching! We really appreciate it.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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