Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert. I'm here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie?
So today is a 2015 Mercedes Benz is the victim and E250 that had some kind of weird noise going on. What was happening with this vehicle?
Bernie: Yeah. So the owner's complaint was that there was a creaking, they kind of described as a suspension noise, something in the rear of the vehicle. So that basically was a complaint on the vehicle.
Mark: Creaking, sounds like ghosts.
Bernie: Yeah, well, it was interesting. So, of course, our procedure's to do a steering suspension, drive train type of Inspection, that's kind of normally what goes on. So we did that. And you know, you'd have to hit a bump a certain way. Usually, it would be if you're sort of turning into a parking lot, off the road, making a right or left hand turn, up a little bump into a driveway, would make this loud cracking sound in the back of the car.
And we did do a steering suspension inspection, found a couple of very minor issues like with some sway bar links in the front. But obviously that wasn't the issue. So we dug a little deeper and we realized that the noise was actually coming from inside the cabin of the vehicle. Somewhere up around the middle of the sunroof area, you know, it's very distinct. Like, you hear this crack kind of sound, a little unnerving and irritating and loud.
Mark: So some ghost busting needed. What did you find was the cause of the issue?
Bernie: Well, to find it, you know, two of us go out driving. I was driving my technicians in the back, listening, okay, it's coming from this area here. This vehicle has two sunroofs. And figured it's something in between the two sunroofs, whether there's like something loose or it sounded sometimes like when I first drove it, it sounded like almost like a golf ball rolling along something and hitting, the sound changed, but there was something going on up there.
So we figured we need to pull the roof liner down and inspect and find out what's going on. So we can have a look at some pictures.
So there's our car and what we did after pulling the roof liner down we actually did some online research and found that there is a somewhat common problem.
There's a metal plate that goes between the two centres. So the roof liner is basically dropped down here and we're looking at the roof of the vehicle. We put a little piece of wood here to keep the roof liner down. There's a lot to remove to get a roof liner down off a vehicle. We didn't remove it entirely. We just removed it enough that we could access it. But even that still is a very time consuming procedure.
But what we found is that these bolts, these are at the ends of this metal plate here, will sometimes just loosen off enough to cause this metal plate to shift as you go over bumps.
So basically once we'd identified it, what was involved is to actually just remove these bolts, put some loctite on them and tighten them back up. Loctite is basically a, they call it thread lockers. Actually, probably the more proper word. Loctite's a brand kind of like Xerox. But It's like a thread glue. So once you bolt it up, it holds the threads in place and they don't come loose. If you have the right kind of Loctite, there's different grades of it, you can loosen the bolt but it just prevents it from coming loose. A couple of other things you can see up here, this vehicle has a lot of side curtain airbags, and these are all located up in this area. So you have to be careful when you're working on these kind of cars that you don't damage things or poke things in different spots.
There's a view on the driver's side of the side curtain airbag there. They're pretty involved pieces of equipment. So that's our show.
Mark: So how common is this kind of ghostly cracking noise?
Bernie: Well, it's the first time we've seen it. I guess it happens from time to time. We use the Internet a lot to find information and actually, my tech found a forum where someone had actually mentioned this particular issue.
You know, information is key to find things and we can try to reinvent the wheel and go, hey, you know, let's just check every bolt. We probably would have found something, but you know, the fact that someone had verified this, we go, okay, this gives us a pointed area to look at.
And sure enough, we found the bolts were not really loose but just enough to cause it to shift. So I'd say if it's mentioned on a forum somewhere, one person's found it. We're another person you know, we're not going to post anything about it, but you know, some might be watching this video and go, Oh, you know, I've got the similar car and got the noise.
Mark: How are 2015 Mercedes E250s for reliability?
Bernie: Yeah, they're generally pretty good. This is a diesel. This car has been a regular client of ours for many years and it's got, I think, 150,000 kilometres on it now. They use it a fair bit. It's been really reliable. We haven't done any engine repairs or anything else on it. So you know, knock on wood for the client, so far, so good.
Mark: If you're looking for service for your Mercedes Benz in Vancouver, BC, Canada, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can book on the website, pawlikautomotive.com or call them. They actually answer the phone sometimes. Sometimes they're busy, but they will get back to you (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to book ahead. They're always busy. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Thanks so much for watching and listening. Thanks, Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks, Mark. And thank you for watching.