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: I’m doing very well Mark.
Mark: So we’re going to talk about a GMC Sierra Duramax diesel that you did a fuel filter replacement on, what’s the story with this vehicle?
Bernie: Well this vehicle was brought to us for maintenance service, excuse me, there’s a bit of feedback here, this vehicle was brought to us for maintenance service, it needed a full check over, service and just general maintenance and was also due for a fuel filter. The reason that I’m talking about it today, a fuel filter seems like a pretty basic service but there were some interesting things we found when we did the fuel filter.
Mark: So what was interesting with this fuel filter replacement?
Bernie: Well, fuel filters are important, especially on a diesel, a lot of gasoline cars no longer have the replaceable fuel filters built in to the gas tank. But on the diesel, it’s still a replacement item, it’s very critical, if you get any water in the diesel injectors or any dirt, they’re done for, so it’s critical to keep a very clean fuel supply and water free. All fuel filters have a water separator built in to them. Quite frequently we do these services, we take the filter out, drain the water separator, there’s no water the filter’s clean and you sort of think, “well geez, that could of lasted a lot longer”, but there’s a reason why we change the filters and what we do, and I’ll just show a couple of photos. With this vehicle we found some pretty ugly stuff in the fuel filter, I don’t know if it was just the age of it but it was probably within it’s regular service intervals. So let’s share some photos, you see that ok Mark? So this is the bottom of the fuel filter, there’s a sensor in the bottom, a water and fuel sensor, and this is what we poured out of the fuel filter. You can see that reddish, rusty coloured water, that’s basically what came out of the bottom of this fuel filter. I mean, the fuel filter is doing it’s job, perfect, then it’s certainly, absolutely time to get rid of it. This is the water separator, it’s been sitting in the bottom and you can see there’s a lot of guck just floating around in the bottom of this filter for a pretty long time. So very worth, am I back Mark? Ok good. Yeah so that’s basically the reason you want to change your fuel filter on a diesel. I mean these kind of things get into the fuel system, hard to know whether there is rust in the fuel tank or whether the owner went in and filled up with fuel at some point with some contamination but this is why you want to change your fuel filter on a regular basis.
Mark: So how often do you change fuel filters on these trucks?
Bernie: Well, I don’t have the interval off the top of my head, we have maintenance schedules we look at, but one thing about these 2009 era GMC’s, they have a maintenance reminder that comes on the dash. It’ll tell you when you oil is due for service, it’ll tell you when your fuel filter is due for replacement, I can’t remember the time frame, it’s probably 30 to 40,000 kilometres, but I would recommend don’t go any longer than 30,000 kilometres. Change it at least every couple of years if you don’t drive a lot because you never know what’s in there and what kind of damage will happen. A fuel filter replacement is cheap, fuel injectors are not. So you really want to make sure you don’t ever let that material build up to a point where it can actually escape the filter and cause damage.
Mark: And how are these trucks over all?
Bernie: Awesome, you know, the big three American trucks, definitely the GMC/Chevrolet are definitely my favourites. I think that they combine well, they’ve got really well built engines, very reliable, not a lot goes wrong with them. It’s got the good engine plus it’s got the body and the whole chassis of the vehicle is very good. The Dodge’s, the engines are fabulous but the front ends always requires repairs and replacement head ball joints and tire rods don’t last long but the Chevy is very durable and I think the best value for sure and less engine problems than Ford. Although the 6.7 Litre Ford’s don’t seem to have any problems yet but the earlier generation Ford’s were definitely issues, as we’ve talked about. So yeah, if you’re looking for a diesel American truck, I’d just go straight to GMC or Chevy right away.
Mark: So there you go, the expert opinion of Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. They are Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 16 time winners of Best Auto Repair and Service in Vancouver as voted by their customers. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, they’re very busy so you have to book ahead or check out their website, tons of videos on there, years worth now, pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie
Bernie: Thanks Mark.