Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, Producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast. We're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik and we're talking automobiles. How're you doing, Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well today.
Mark: So, we're going to talk about a 2013 Acura TL that came in for service. What is an A-service on a 2013 Acura?
Bernie: An A-service is the most basic service you'll do on this vehicle, and it basically includes an oil change plus a basic maintenance inspection.
Mark: So what is a basic maintenance inspection? I know it sounds real simple, but I've seen the list, you guys do quite a bit of inspecting.
Bernie: We do, yeah. So for the basic inspection, we'll look at all the fluids in the vehicle, check the levels and the quality of the fluids. We will adjust the tire pressures. We also do all our services on a hoist, a four-post hoist, so the wheels are sprung free off the ground, so we can generally wiggle all the wheels, give them a spin, make sure there's nothing like a brake calliper that might be sticking or an obviously loose suspension component, like a ball joint. Which is an advantage of having a vehicle serviced on a four-post hoist as opposed to a ... sorry, not a four-post hoist, a two-post hoist, where the vehicle's hanging free, as opposed to being on a ramp or in a pit, where the wheels are not lifted off the ground. We also look at lights, and just do a visual inspection under the hood and underneath the car, see if there's any fluid leaks, look at the belt, hoses. Again, a basic visual inspection.
Mark: So when you're mentioning, like you look at these things, you actually turn them on and off and make sure that things are working the way they're supposed to be looking, is that right?
Bernie: Yeah, absolutely. Well, things like lights, for instance, we'll look through all those. Many modern cars have dash warnings if the light is out, like you can be pretty certain on a Mercedes, not 100% but pretty certain, that if there's no warning light on the dash, every bulb in the car is working. But a lot of other vehicles aren't that way. Acura's not quite that accurate, so it's good to look over the lights anyways, and we do it on all the cars we service. Things like, as I said, we spin the wheels, we wiggle the wheels, make sure there's nothing obviously loose, and then visually just look around at things. Get a flashlight, look at the belts, look underneath the car. If there's oil leaks and things, we can advise as to what needs to be done going forward.
Mark: And we've talked a lot about the importance of oil changes, because of people not changing their oil in most cases, so what type of oil do you end up using on an Acura, 2013 Acura?
Bernie: This vehicle requires synthetic oil, and a lot of newer vehicles are that way, so synthetic oils offer better lubricating qualities than conventional oils, and they also allow you to have a longer oil service interval. So you can go longer between oil changes, which, while it costs more money to actually use synthetic oil, it saves you time, because you don't have to come get your oil changed as frequently. So it's actually better, with our resources, to ... You don't have to change the oil more often, manufacture more oil, recycle the oil, it's actually better in the long run to have an extended oil change interval.
Mark: And what would be the next types of service that would be needed on this vehicle?
Bernie: I'll just talk about the service, the dash service reminder system that they use on Acura and Honda products. They've been using it for quite a few years. A warning will come on on the dash saying, "A Service" or sometimes it'll have like A one, two, there's basically six numbers and two letters. A or B. So B service is a more thorough inspection. This is, when we do a B service, we remove the wheels, we do a wheel-off brake inspection, we really look at suspension in much more detail, we test the battery and charging system, and cooling system. We can talk more about, but that's basically, it's a much more thorough inspection than the basic inspection. Also a B service has an oil change as well. But all these other numbers indicate other items. It might be an air filter on one, cabin filter on another, brake fluid on another, timing belt, spark plugs, they've actually got it all mapped out and it's actually pretty good. I find some of these reminders are ... BMW, for instance, I find their oil change interval's ridiculously long at 24,000 Ks, but Honda, when their light comes on saying to change the oil, it's a good time to do it. It's a little dirty, but not too dirty. I actually like the way their reminders are set up, it's really good. We'll just get into a couple pictures right now.
So there's our 2013 Acura TL, beautiful-looking, nice sleek-looking sedan. The engine, again, nice looking engine, this is with some of the covers removed so you can actually see it, because when you normally pop the hood it's mostly hidden away. This engine does have a timing belt, it's located over on this side of the engine, but what you're looking at here, this is the upper intake manifold, throttle body in this area of the vehicle. You've got your ignition coils over in this area on the front cylinder bank, with the spark plugs located below, oil filler cap. The rear cylinder bank, much more difficult to access, it's kind of hidden away under these covers. And one final item, the air filter, which we always inspect every service. You can see this one's pretty dirty, and there was actually a reminder as part of this maintenance reminder system, where it'll actually have an indicator to change the air filter, but we always do a visual inspection on it, wherever it's easy to do, and it's easy on this car. This filter's dirty, it's time to change it. It's not expensive, and no extra labor charge at this time. So it's a good thing to have a clean air filter. On that note, back to me.
Mark: So you mention this engine does have a timing belt.
Bernie: It does. Yeah. Not too many engines, more and more engines are going away from timing belts, but this one still has one. Not really a bad thing, it's just, a timing belt is something that just has to be done at a scheduled service time, and these are usually about 144 Ks, seven years I believe for most of these, and you don't have to really worry about it because your dash indicator will come on, if it says a number 4 with the service, that means your timing belt is due. Also spark plugs at the same time. So that's going to be your priciest service to do on this vehicle, but not needed to be done very often.
Mark: And you've mentioned how good the Japanese products basically are, is this the same? Is Acura in that same category of a well-built, long-lasting vehicle?
Bernie: Yeah, they are. It's not like over the years they haven't had their problems, the earlier TL’s had a lot of transmission problems, that was a common issue. But generally speaking, they're excellent cars. Really reliable and you'll get a lot of life out of them if you want to do that. You can go a long ways and not spend a ton of money on them, they're really good.
Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for service for your Acura in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. Call ahead to book, because they're busy, or check out their website, pawlikautomotive.com. YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair, we've got five plus years of many hundreds of videos on there. Or, hopefully you're enjoying the podcast. Thanks, Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks, Mark, and thank you for watching.