Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well this morning.
Mark: So we’re going to talk about a little bit newer vehicle today, a 2010 Jaguar XF with the all too common check engine lamp problem. What was going on with this vehicle?
Bernie: So the vehicle was brought to us by our client, the check engine light was on on her dash and recently she had some bodywork done on the front of the vehicle, there was a small collision and had some body work done and a short time afterwards the check engine light came on. So she figured it was possibly related to that and she wanted us to see what was going on with it and see whether that was in fact the case. It wasn’t related to the accident but the check engine light was on.
Mark: What did you have to do to diagnose this?
Bernie: Well basically the first procedure we plug a diagnostic scan tool into the vehicle and see what trouble codes are stored. Every time a check engine light comes on, there’s a trouble code that’s stored in the vehicle or codes, there could be many of them depending on what faults there are, but there was one code in this case for a problem in the EVAP system and the EVAP system captures fuel vapour and prevents fuel vapours, gasoline vapours from escaping into the atmosphere which creates a lot of pollution and haze and a lot of those issues. So that’s why they have these complicated systems to keep gasoline fumes inside the vehicle.
Mark: So what other procedures, well that’s maybe a little, sounds a little more complicated. Don’t you just plug the scan tool and it tells you exactly what the problem is?
Bernie: No and a lot of people have that misconception that there’s a magic box you just plug in, tells you what it is, away you go, you fix that part and the car tells you what’s wrong. Not the case at all, I mean this magic box, the diagnostic scan tool will give trouble codes and information, it’ll give an explanation as to what the issue is, but it will not tell you what exactly is wrong with it. Now in this case, there was a circuit problem with one of the EVAP system valves and from there, well we can make an assumption, oh it’s this piece, let’s just change it, but really the proper way to diagnose it is having that information. It gives us an area to go, ok this is where the problem lies, from here we have to test the circuit. So we have to test the circuit from the computer back to the valve which is located in the, way in the rear of the vehicle, buried up above the differential. So those are the tests we need to do to verify whether the part is bad, whether there’s a wiring problem, whether the computer itself is bad because it can be any of those things.
Mark: So in other words basically, you just get an indicator of here’s where the issue might be, but then the issue could be caused by a bunch of different things failing or it could be upstream or even downstream of where the computer is telling you that it is.
Bernie: Exactly and it’s important to know some, you know with a lot of these trouble codes is whether the problem is being caused by the actual component or whether it’s being, something else that’s causing the component to read a fault. So like a lot of diagnostic systems, as cars get newer the codes are more and more specific as to where the problem lies but it’s still requires testing and verification to know and there are hundreds of things that can cause a check engine light to come on. So we can fix this problem this week, next week the light will come on because something else failed and you know, it’s kind of frustrating for an owner because you go, hey you just fixed that last week and it’s like well, it’s something else this time.
Mark: So what ended up being wrong with this Jag?
Bernie: So there’s a, so the EVAP system has an item called the charcoal canister and on the canister there’s an item called a leak detection pump, there’s a valve on the pump that opens and closes to atmospheric pressure, it’s a vent valve and basically the valve had failed. So that’s what was wrong and we found that as I mentioned through testing the circuits and making sure that everything was working fine but we actually verified that the problem was in the pump itself.
Mark: So that sounds pretty complicated to be honest with you. Was this a difficult part to replace?
Bernie: It is. It’s basically, Jaguar installed this part then they put the rear differential, it’s a rear wheel drive vehicle so the rear differential sits underneath it and there’s no room to even access the wiring connector for testing. So we have to do all the tests from the front of the vehicle but anyways, to get the component out, the rear differential has to come down, the exhaust system has to be removed, an axle shaft, there’s a lot of pieces that need to be removed. Once those are out, then the parts really easy to change. But its quite a few hours of worth of work to replace the piece.
Mark: Not exactly a Formula One car.
Bernie: No not as fast at taking tires on and off a Formula One that’s for sure.
Mark: So when a check engine light is on, is it always necessary to fix it?
Bernie: Well I would say, yes and no and it depends on what, why the light is on. So first of all you should fix it because you’ve got a warning light that’s telling you something’s wrong, now if you live somewhere where there’s emission testing and your vehicle needs to go in for a test, yes you’ll have to fix it because if the lights on, it’ll fail the test. We live in Vancouver, they don’t have emission testing any more so it doesn’t really matter from that point of view. My first question to anyone who’s got a check engine light on, is how is the vehicle performance? The performance is exactly, feels exactly normal then it’s probably ok not to fix it immediately but it’s alway worth having it scanned to see what the cause of the problem is. An EVAP problem is not going to affect your vehicle performance most, 99% of the time. It will create emission issues but so that’s up to your conscience as to how much you care about the environment. But if you have an engine misfire code or there’s some other codes that are a lot more serious, it’s important to fix them but those usually will be associated with engine performance issues. So key thing is get the code scanned by a professional, have some assess what it is and then you can decide what between yourself and your mechanic or your service provider, do I need to fix this right now? Depending on your budget, depending on if you have a holiday you need to go on, you know if this codes wasn’t fixed on this vehicle immediately it wouldn’t really affect the car right away but it’s a good idea to fix it and then of course if your check engine lights on for one problem you know of if something else happens you won’t know that there was another problem that’s occurred. It’s good to fix things as they happen because it’s, even though it costs money to fix it, it’s cheaper to fix them one by one that it is to wait till there’s 10 codes and go oh my god it’s like way too much money, I need to get rid of the car.
Mark: So that sounds like a really good plan actually. Get your check engine light checked to find out and get an idea of what the problem is and the you can decide whether you want to repair it to not.
Bernie: Yeah exactly that’s exactly the best way to do it.
Mark: So there you go, if your check engine lamp is on here in Vancouver the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book an appointment, book ahead they’re busy, or call I already said that, you can check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie
Bernie: Thanks Mark