Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Remarkable Speaking. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver's best auto service experience, and we're talking cars. How you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well.
Mark: So today's victim's a little bit different. Again 2016 Ford Transit that had, was a commercial vehicle inspection. What's that?
Bernie: Yeah a commercial vehicle inspection, any vehicle, like a taxi, certain vehicles that haul goods over a certain weight or a number of passengers need to be inspected. So this company we do this for, it's a charitable organization. They work with a lot of handicapped people and this van can transport up to eight people. So that requires a commercial vehicle inspection.
They have a few of these vans. A lot of their vans are Sprinters. This Transit Connect 150 is a slightly different vehicle for this company. But it requires a commercial vehicle inspection every six months to make sure that everything's in good order and safe for the people riding in it.
Mark: So what's different about this compared to your regular comprehensive inspection?
Bernie: Well, we basically do the same inspection when we do, and you know, full disclosure, our provincial inspections and commercial inspections are usually more expensive than some shops. We're more thorough, so we actually put a comprehensive inspection together when we do it.
We do basically the same inspection as our comprehensive inspections, quite thorough. There are some things that are required in the provincial inspection or commercial inspection, that there's documentation and paperwork that needs to be filled out. That's the one thing that's different. But other than that, it's basically our comprehensive inspection and we include the provincial paperwork with it.
Mark: So were there issues that needed to be fixed on this vehicle to pass the inspection?
Bernie: Yeah, there was a few things. So sometimes things are simple, like it had a wiper blade that basically the rubber was torn. So those need to be fixed. There was a warning light on the dash said seatbelt minder. So we had some diagnostics to do on the seatbelt system. Sometimes you think, well, it all buckles up, who cares? But you know, these warning lights and anything that's factory equipped must work properly, like designed. So there's some repairs there.
And then the rear brakes were pretty much worn out. We had to do that. So for this podcast, I wanna talk about the rear brakes. Cause I found they were kind of an interesting design that's a little different. I mean, it's the way the Transit 150s are built. But it's kind of an unusual brake design. And I thought it'd be, you know, kinda worth talking.
Mark: Well let's go to the pictures.
Bernie: Let's go to the picture show. That's always the fun part. So there's the van. So as I mentioned, it's an eight passenger van. This also has a wheelchair lift in the back as well. So pictures, brakes.
So there's our rear brakes before they were taken apart. So what's unusual about this design is that the brake rotor sits inside of the brake hub and the axle has to be removed. But they've designed it kind of uniquely. If you notice this, again I'm moving my mouse pointer here.
You notice this sort of open area here. This actually is designed so the rotor, once you unbolt the axle, the rotor will actually twist off the hub and slide over this piece here. So we'll get a picture.
So this is with the axle removed. And the rotor removed. And you can see, it just actually just slid right off of here. The wheel bearing, it's pretty robust design. It's actually a full floating axle cuz it's got a separate wheel bearing. Which is something you, it's a 150, so it's a half ton van, but it's actually a pretty robust construction for a half ton van. Something you usually don't see until you're into the three quarter to one ton model. So, good on Ford for making it heavy duty.
There's a brake rotor on one side. You can see some, in addition to it just being generally worn, there's some pits developing in the metal, which happens over time. So probably, you know, bits of salt or water will just sit in one spot and slowly starts corroding and eating the metal. And then, you know, these develop into larger spots and things over time, but you know, these are being replaced.
There's our view of the brake pads. Now this is kinda interesting. The pads in the rear, the new ones look a lot smaller than the ones in the front, but it's just a bit of a trick of the way the camera angle looks. They're actually the same size. But the one thing you can notice here is that the pad material, which I again, I'm moving my mouse pointer around, is much thinner here than the new pad.
So you can see this is substantially larger amount of material. You can also see some uneven wear on these. This is again, I'm moving the mouse pointer around, in the inner edge. This is due to rust on the rotors. That'll cause sort of strange wear on the pads. So areas that aren't getting quite full contact with the good shiny metal.
And then the brake job, of course, when it's all back together, axle in, new rotor pads. We use special lubricants on the pads to prevent squealing and make sure everything moves well ensuring a longer life of the brake pad.
We also have a sand blaster. So these brackets here again, I'm moving my mouse pointer, where the pads slide. These develop rust over time and the rust will actually kind of seize the pad in place. And that's what we find most of the times when brakes are worn out, that the pads are hard to remove cuz they're seized up.
We have a sand blaster, so we actually take these caliper brackets, put 'em in the sandblaster, we can remove all the rust. So that's a little extra that we do that I think a lot of shops don't have, you know, they'll wire brush them. You can use a file to get rid of 'em. But the sandblasting works really well. It does a really, really good job. And that's our show.
Mark: So how did everything work after you repaired it?
Bernie: Yeah, really well. Yeah. It was all good. Brakes worked fine. Seatbelt issue we solved. And the wiper blades of course, fairly straightforward replacement. Yeah. So it's all good. And then from there we fill out the paperwork, the inspection that it's passed and good. And there's a special decal that we put on the windshield and this vehicle's good for six more months, and then it's gotta come in and be looked at again.
Mark: And how are these Ford Transit vans for reliability and how do they compare to Sprinters?
Bernie: Well, they're definitely a competitor for Sprinters. And they come in a variety of sizes, probably even more so than Sprinters, but I'd say they're probably a pretty good one. I mean, Sprinters, we've done a lot of podcasts on them. The three litre diesel that's found in so many of 'em is not the most reliable engine. Although they seem to be a little better. You know, we've talked about it in our shop. They seem to last a little longer and it be a little less problematic than some of the cars and the SUVs we find them installed in. I'm not sure why that is, but generally I'd say these are good vehicle.
I mean, they're probably fuel economy-wise, not as good as the the Sprinter because they're a gas engine. This uses a 3.5 EcoDiesel. But I think that it's a good vehicle. I mean, so far we haven't worked on a ton of 'em. We're starting to see more of 'em in our shop. Seem to be pretty reliable vehicles, pretty well built as an example with these brakes, to me, a pretty robust design. So that should last and be pretty durable. Just one area of the vehicle.
Mark: And as far as commercial vehicles go, how large of a vehicle can you handle in your shop?
Bernie: Well, I'll just say for Sprinters or these kind of vans we work on Sprinters that have dual rear wheels. I mean, our shop, we've got 10 foot bay doors, so anything over 10 feet we don't do. As far as length, I don't know, maybe 24 feet I'm thinking or a bit less. So we do work on a lot of cab forwards, GMC forwards, those type of vehicles. But we we kinda leave it just to the Isuzu and GMC cause we have the diagnostic equipment for them.
There's Hinos that do that. Other models. We don't have the diagnostic equipment for them and parts are harder to find, so we just stick to those. But that's as large as we get in our shop. Small, medium trucks.
Mark: Yeah, small to medium commercial vehicles. If you are looking for service for your small to medium size commercial vehicle, or you need an inspection and you want somebody who's reliable, who's gonna go the extra mile to make sure your vehicle's safe, book a session at Pawlik Automotive, pawlikautomotive.com. You can do that online or you can give 'em a call, (604) 327-7112. For those of you who are still in the world of, Hey, I wanna talk to somebody, there'll be somebody to talk to.
Bernie: And we like to talk to people.
Mark: That is very true as we have completely proven for the last 10 years of doing this . That's true. And I want to thank everybody for suffering through that with us for the last while. Appreciate you watching and listening. Thanks Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks, Mark. Thanks for watching.