Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver; Vancouver’s best auto service experience. How’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well this morning.
Mark: So we’re talking about a Smart Car, something we’ve not really talked about before, a 2006 Smart Car, was this a diesel? What were you working on with this vehicle?
Bernie: This was a diesel, yeah, turbo diesel, sorry Mark.
Mark: Rarer version of this car?
Bernie: Well they most of the Smart Cars for the earlier versions, well they’re all sold in Canada, I believe they’re selling now in the US but for many years they were only sold in Canada so the earlier versions were diesels and then they started selling gas and I think they’ve gone back to diesel. I’m not sure on the newer models but all the older ones are diesel.
Mark: So what was happening on this car?
Bernie: Well this car came in with a couple issues, it had an oil leak, an engine oil leak, also had a check engine light on and the vehicle has been inspected at Mercedes, they’re diagnosed and the owner was told it needed EGR valve or and also a turbo intercooler so we did an inspection of the vehicle and verified that those in fact were the two issues that the EGR valve was stuck and full of carbon deposits which they typically do and the EGR cooler, sorry the EGR intercooler, losing my words here, the turbo intercooler was leaking oil.
Mark: So what did you notice with the car when you serviced it?
Bernie: Well basically those two items; there was oil dripping from it, from the vehicle and during our testing we were able to verify that the EGR valve in fact was not functioning. On further inspection we actually found that the valve was stuck so not repairable, not just due to excess carbon deposit but the actual valve itself had gone bad.
Mark: So this seems like it could be a little quite a bit of work on this vehicle, was it?
Bernie: It is a fair bit of work, quite, quite a few hours’ work to remove, there’s a lot to remove on these cars, and typically the engines are tucked into the back, very compactly. The bumper needs to be removed a lot of suspension components need to come off so you can get access to the, to the various parts; so a lot of labour just to get in there and get going on it. Unfortunately in these vehicles everything is just, it’s compact and everything’s put, put in very tightly but, yeah a fair bit of work but certainly reasonably straight forward once you get everything apart. I’m going to share a few photos, there’s our Smart car and there’s the EGR valve, so this is the old EGR valve where my mouse pointer, this is the electronic solenoid actuator section of the EGR valve and the actual flap is in this area here, so this piece was basically the motor was stuck internally so that’s why this piece needed to be replaced and then we have a look at the EGR cooler and there’s the old EGR cooler.
Mark: Turbo intercooler, you mean, right?
Bernie: Sorry Mark?
Mark: Turbo intercooler?
Bernie: Turbo intercooler, I don’t know why I kept calling it an EGR cooler, we do so many EGR coolers, it’s the Turbo intercooler, thank you. This is, you can see a lot of fresh oil around this area here and then of course a lot of just dry, dried-up old dirty oil over here, so this part has been leaking for quite some time but it just got substantially worse over a period of time. So I believe I should be back, yes I am.
Mark: So what’s your overall impression of Smart Cars?
Bernie: Well, they’re not my favourites. I find their kind of tiny, you know, they’re a little small but if you want a small economical car, they’re pretty awesome. There’s a lot that does go wrong with these vehicles and they’re kind of finicky over time, you know things like the ignition, we’ve had issues with the ignition keys that don’t work. The transmission on these vehicles, it’s a manual, it’s an automatic manual transmission so things do go wrong with those, turbochargers, you know they’re not, you know, I look at different when we’ve worked on some that have quite high kilometers and seem to be pretty good but they’re a little bit hit and miss, they are a lot of things that do go wrong along the way and I think sometimes if you get lucky and take care of the car you can get a lot of kilometers out of it but there are a lot where you don’t get so much and they tend to end up with a lot of problems so you may end up spending a lot of that fuel savings on repairs; you know, unless you really want something small and easy to park and super economical there’s probably some better options out there but you know many people like them.
Mark: So there you go. If you are looking for service for your Smart Car in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, to book an appointment or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.
Bernie: Thank you Mark.