Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive, Vancouver’s best auto service experience. How’re you doing this morning Bernie?
Bernie: I’m doing very well.
Mark: So we’re going to talk about a 2007 Monte Carlo that had an automatic transmission problem. What was going on with this Monte Carlo?
Bernie: Well, first step of course is always for us to road test the vehicle, the client was experiencing some shifting problems, I drove the vehicle and definitely noted there’s some shifting issues. At first it seemed to be fine and then there was the odd, a sort of three four, third to fourth gear type shift there was a kind of a weird feel to it and then I noticed after a while of driving, I’d stop and go to start and it would jump out of gear and then jump back in again. So that was clearly a pretty significant problem.
Mark: So what kind of diagnostic steps did you do to narrow down what the problem was?
Bernie: Well first thing of course is a road test to verify the concern, which we did, second plug a scan tool into the vehicle, I mean this is an 07 there’s lots of computer controls in the transmission, plugged the scan tool in, see if there are any trouble codes, that gives us an area to look and there was actually none. And my kind of initial, my gut feeling from driving it is maybe there’s a fluid problem, maybe the fluid level was low and sure enough, the next step was the check the fluid level. This vehicle has a dipstick which surprised me because a lot of GM’s of this vintage don’t have dipsticks and you can still check the level, it’s just a lot more work. Put the dipstick in, pulled it out and the fluid wasn’t even reading on the stick. It took two litres of fluid to actually get the reading close to normal. From there we road tested the vehicle to see how it works and it shifted fine which I kind of suspected it would.
Mark: So what else did you do?
Bernie: Ok so from there, basically the next step was to, we could of let the vehicle go at that point because it was working but the fluid was discoloured and it makes send to look inside the pan and see if there’s any damage. Also of course, why’s the fluid level low? So we looked underneath, did an inspection and found the leak was coming from the transmission pan gasket and you know, that’s a pretty common spot for a leak. So we pulled the transmission pan down, inspected inside, fortunately there was absolutely no filings, materials like particles of any sort which is really good news for the owner of the vehicle. Yeah, so that’s basically what we did from there.
Mark: So how did if work after the service?
Bernie: Oh it was awesome. So what I should add is in addition to changing the pan gasket and filter, we also did a transmission fluid flush because the fluid was old and discoloured. So yeah it was great, road tested the vehicle, worked absolutely fabulously and I want to share a few photos while we’re at it because it’s interesting, so where were we here, so here’s our Monte Carlo, good vehicle. I know for quite a few years they built this car looking at the same type of design of vehicle so it actually surprised me it was when they got it it was actually new as it was, I thought it was a lot older. Anyway so here’s the transmission pan that we took out. Now I’m going to share a couple photos of this pan. So this is the pan, and this area here, someone has used a cork gasket and put some silicone or some Right Stuff Gasket Sealer on there, probably nothing really wrong with it, it’s not exactly the right gasket, but they tightened it way too tight and this area here, it’s actually the middle of the pan they tightened it so tight that the cork is squished right out and that was one of the causes of the leak. And now I’ll share the other photo, this is the proper pan gasket that’s supposed to be in there, you can see it’s a very elegant, thin gasket. This is like a metal cored gasket with molded rubber and it’s actually supposedly a reusable gasket, we normally change them but you can take them off and reuse them. They’re meant for multi purpose use. So again, we put the proper gasket on with the filter and it works fine.
Mark: So we don’t see a lot of these Monte Carlos, how are they?
Bernie: Pretty good cars, as I say, yeah we don’t really see many of these cars, I don’t think they made a lot of them but when you open the hood, it’s a typical GM vehicle of that vintage, I’m trying to think of others but there’s other Chevy’s, there’s Pontiac’s and Buick’s that if you look under the hood they have the same engine configuration, same transmission, generally a pretty reliable vehicle. A few problems here and there but overall pretty good car.
Mark: Alright if you’re looking for service for your GM vehicle, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks Mark.