Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s best loved, best voted and favourite place to get your car serviced. How’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well Mark
Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Range Rover Sport and you did some work on the parking brake, what was going on with this vehicle?
Bernie: Well, the vehicle came to our shop with a warning light on the dash and a rather irritating bell ringing in the vehicle when you’re driving the car, every time you stopped at a light and then go to accelerate the warning chime would come on. There’s a warning light on the dash for the parking brake and then there’s an actual warning service parking brake system. So that’s what was going on with the vehicle.
Mark: So what did you do to try and diagnose this?
Bernie: So being an electronic issue, at least electronic warnings and Range Rovers being a sophisticated vehicle, we plugged out diagnostic scan tool into the vehicle and retrieved one trouble code for an overheated parking brake module and as soon as we cleared the code, the code had returned immediately, so we knew there’s a defect in the module based on that particular symptom and it was basically a matter of replacing the parking brake modular to solve the concern.
Mark: So the parking brake module, is that just an electronic part or was there mechanical parts as well?
Bernie: Actually, it’s a rather involved piece. It sounds like it’s just an electronic module here but when I hear the word module, I think a little electronic piece but the one actually is, there’s lots to it. I’ll show, I’ll share some pictures. So this is the parking brake module. This is the electronic and motor portion of the module. This module actually has, it’s electronic plus it has the actuator motors and the cables as well and in the next photo I’ll show you, this is the actual, this is a larger view of what you get when you buy the part. This is the old one removed from the vehicle. You can see there’s two large cables, one on each side. These go up to each wheel and actually link up to the parking brake shoes and there’s a third cable which is actually an emergency release. So should the electric motors fail for some reason, there’s actually a way you can manually pull a handle in the vehicle and release the parking brake. But in the case of this vehicle of course, that didn’t matter because the defect was in the electronic module itself. And while we’re just looking at pictures, here’s a 2008 Range Rover, it’s the vehicle we serviced.
Mark: Ok, so that sounds like a lot of work to replace. Is this a pretty common failure part?
Bernie: It’s a fairly common failure part on these things. We don’t do a lot of them but they do fail from time to time and the fact that the dealer stocks it is always to me, an indicator that it’s a common part. We have done a few of them from time to time and it is a lot of work to replace. The module was buried up underneath the vehicle, there’s covers and things to be removed to get to the module and then the cables of course, have to be removed. They’re all bolted in quite nicely, they don’t just flop around. They’re, it’s a nicely built vehicle, they bolt everything in every few inches. You have to remove that and then the brake shoes have to be removed to install the cable, so it’s a fair bit of work, a few hours.
Mark: So how are the brake shoes on this just as a side line?
Bernie: The brake shoes were fine, yeah they were in great shape and of course, once we take it all apart and put it back together we readjust for brake shoes as well so everything is in good shape. So yeah, it’s all done, all done good and it should last a long time.
Mark: So this sounds like a pretty complicated way of doing a parking brake, is this similar to other vehicles?
Bernie: Yeah, a lot of other vehicles do it, a lot of other European cars for sure, they’re, I’m not sure, sometimes I wonder why they make things so complicated. I mean, I guess sometimes I think it’s because they can and because you know, it’s nicer to go all you do is just pull a little button or push a button and your parking brake is activated and it activates it to the right sort of amount, but to me sometimes when you’re faced with a large repair bill like this job and chimes and warning lights and you have no option but to fix it, it makes me wonder whether it’s all worth it in the end or they’re just a simple cable system would be better. But anyways, that’s what is is and you will find that in a lot vehicles and most new cars have it, at least Europeans for sure.
Mark: So just to remind everybody and me, the parking brake is actually a different braking system than the main braking system of the car, isn’t it?
Bernie: It is yeah, the parking brake is separate, it uses it’s own brake shoes, although some of them will use the disc brake calliper in the rear and they’ll actually have a lever on the calliper so it mechanically activates the brake pads so there’s actually a few less parts in that system. So either way, there’s, I like the shoe system better because it isolates it from the callipers and makes it completely separate and I think actually in the end you have less trouble with that system.
Mark: So I imagine this is an expense repair and maybe not the most, if you’re living in a flat area probably wouldn’t be the most needed repair but with the warning lights and bells ringing after every stop, is not something you could avoid.
Bernie: No you can’t and I guess it’s good because even if you, like you said, even if you live in a flat area and you don’t use your parking brake and a lot of people with automatic transmission cars don’t use them, myself included, you know because once you put it in park it locks the vehicle in place but it’s important to have it as an emergency brake and if you’re on a steep hill it puts a strain on the drivetrain to just use the Park function on the transmission. So it’s good to fix it yeah, it’s hard to avoid with that bell ringing. We had a Jag a while ago that had a similar system, it was even worse. The moment you drive it you just a bing bing bing bing bing bing bing bing the whole time you drive down the road, so you really couldn’t avoid fixing that, it’s totally irritating. So yeah I mean it’s nice if you can put stuff off but this is not a thing on these vehicles that you can.
Mark: So then my way of fixing it which I like to use the black tape on the check engine light, I’d have to have some kind of ear muff, ear protection to be able to drive my vehicle.
Bernie: Exactly, you’d have to turn your radio up really loud.
Mark: Alright, well folks if you’re looking for a better solution than using black tape to hide your check engine warning light or wear ear protection to stop the bells ringing in your vehicles, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. They will look after your vehicle, everything from high end luxury vehicles to your general you know pony car that you drive every day to work, they fix them and keep them running for a long time, saving you a tremendous amount of money. Call them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com - we’ve got hundreds of videos on there, thousands of subscribers and we’re approaching the million video views - so check us out. Thanks a lot Bernie
Bernie: Thanks Mark