Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 24 time winners of best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. 24 times. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well.
Mark: Today's victim is a 2016 Range Rover Sport that had front brake replacement. What was going on with this vehicle?
Bernie: Yeah. So the vehicle came to us with a brake warning light on the dash, that the brakes were worn out. And so we proceeded to do some service on it.
Mark: What inspections do you do to kind of dig into that, that warning light?
Bernie: Yeah, so the warning light is pretty clear. It's like a brake pad wear light. So we do a brake inspection on the vehicle to determine whether it's front brakes or rear brakes. In this case, it was both. But yeah, that's the inspection we do. We look at the pads, we measure the pads, we measure the rotors, inspect the brake fluid, all the brake lines. So it's not just a, let's just throw some pads and, you know, rotors on it or whatever. We move the caliper pistons, make sure they're moving okay, and the caliber sliders are good. Yeah, it's a thorough inspection.
Mark: And what did you find?
Bernie: So yeah, the front and rear brakes were worn out on the vehicle. So the pads and rotors were worn out front and back. Calipers were in good shape, but this vehicle is not very old, 2016, so we wouldn't expect there to be anything else with the vehicle. But it's always worth inspecting, but pads and rotors all the way around. And the brake fluid was due to be replaced as well at the same time. So we're just going to talk about the front brakes today. The backs another time, perhaps.
Mark: So what's involved in doing brakes on a Range Rover?
Bernie: Well, basically there's three items to replace. So we'll just talk about the front brakes. There's new pads, brake rotors and brake pad wear sensors, which each axle has a pad wear sensor to indicate with when the pads are worn out to give you a warning on your dash.
Mark: So how effective or the pad where sensors at actually detecting accurately, whether your pads are worn out or not?
Bernie: Well, in this case, they were really good. I'm going to share some pictures of this point and we'll have a look at a couple of things and we'll talk about that a little more.
So there's our 2016 Range Rover Sport Autobiography Edition, which is very nice model. There's a little closeup of the brakes after we completed, a nice shiny new rotor, nice Brembo red painted caliper. It's a very large brake rotor. Although it's funny in this picture, you can't really tell so much, but it's a nice visual ratio of brake size to wheel size. If that means anything. But, you know, I tend to think it makes the vehicles should stop faster.
So here's a picture of our old parts. These are the front pads and rotors we removed from the vehicle. This little groove here is basically you know, helps dissipate heat can see it's pretty much worn out, especially on this pad here.
There's an edge view of our pads and this wire piece here, this is the pad wear sensor. So just one brake pad on the front axle has a pad wear sensor and on the rear just one brake pad as well. You know, on some vehicles, they have a pad wear sensor on every pad. It depends. Range Rover, Land Rovers just put it on one. So how effective is it?
Well, let's just get a close up and we can actually look at the brakes. So this is the pad with the wear sensors. So you can see there's still probably, maybe two millimetres of pad left on this one. And the sensor is, I don't know if it's actually even touched. I didn't actually look really closely, but I don't even know if the sensor is touched. So it might be the rear one that actually set the warning light off. But if you look at this front brake pad, I mean, this is a spin as a piece of paper. So this pad is worn out and almost, almost ready to go metal on metal.
I mean, it would be a matter of a week before it would start grinding. So this is the yellow arrow here, basically points of what brake pads left. That's the pad wear sensor and the blue arrow just kind of points to the edge of the rotor, which is why we replaced the rotors. These brake rotors wear pretty hard on most European cars. As the pad, whereas it tends to wear the metal away on the rotor as well. So it's not really, if you could machine it, you'd be basically machining the rotor right down to its wear limit, which means in a short period of time, it will be under the wear limit and they just wear out really fast at that point.
So that's kind of an example of everything. I'd say, you know, the downside of pad wear sensors, when you have it on one brake pad is it doesn't monitor all the pads. So as you can see, there's quite a discrepancy between these two brake pads here. If you look how thick that is and how thin that one is.
So sometimes, you know, the brakes could wear to the point where they'll start grinding and the pad wear's warning light hasn't come on. But of course, once it grinds, you know you need to do some service. You just want to do it before that point.
Mark: So Range Rovers are pretty big vehicles and they're very high performance. Probably got a lot of horsepower. So they need big brakes. How long did the brakes actually last on these vehicles?
Bernie: Well, surprisingly not as long as I think they should. This vehicle has 33,000 kilometres and all four brakes are worn out in front and rear. And this is kind of typical of a lot of large European SUV's. Like Audi, the Audi Q7 for years you'd be lucky to get 25,000 Ks out of a set of brake pads. The newer Q7s are much better. They've reformulated the brakes somehow and they tend to last at least 50 now. So that's a good thing.
I think 50 is pretty decent for a set of brakes, but like 33 seems a little on the low side, and I've seen Range Rovers go up to 50. But you can sort of expect between 30 and 50 K's, you're going to go through a set of brakes. And I've said before, in other podcasts, it does surprise me because I mean, they are a heavy vehicle. They've got a lot of horsepower, but they have a huge brake. I mean, these brakes are bigger than you find on a lot of you know, there's the size of what you find in a one ton pickup truck.
And it's often the one-time pickup truck brakes on an American vehicle will last 100 Ks. So it's rather surprising that these don't last as long. But somehow I think in the formulations of the pad materials, in the rotor materials, they want to go for comfortable brakes so they probably put a slightly softer material in everything.
Mark: So does that mean that the brakes are more effective? So you're stopping power's a little higher or does it mean they don't squeak as much? Or why would they go with a softer material?
Bernie: I think it's a combination of both. Now, even while I'm saying softer material, you think that wouldn't be so hard on the rotor. So because generally a softer brake pad, isn't going to wear the rotor metal so hard. But yeah, usually like a softer material will prevent squeaks and it'll grab better. But of course, if you're doing high speed braking, you don't want something that's too soft. So there's a lot of science that goes into brake pad and brake pad materials to get it right.
Mark: If you've ever driven down a steep road for a long time, you know, brakes get extremely hot.
Bernie: Yeah, super hot. And I can't say enough about pumping your brakes, you know, put them on, slow down and let your foot off the brake. Let them cool down. It's really important. Don't ever go down a steep hill with your foot on the brake all the time, because you might find that you don't have any brakes. I've actually almost experienced that once in a car and it was a little bit scary.
Mark: It's more than scary. Yeah more than scary, yeah. So you service a lot of Range Rovers at your shop, how are the 2016's for reliability?
Bernie: So far, they seem good. Of course it is only five years old at this point. And I find sometimes you need a little longer of time before you find out the reliability of the vehicle. You know, we found timing chain issues with a lot of these engines. This one's fine. Of course it's very low mileage and five years old. But if you go, you know, a few model years back, timing chains are problems But so far so good. You know, I think first five years of these vehicles, you're generally pretty good. I mean, maybe a brake job, possibly a set of tires if you drive a lot. But other than that, so far so good.
Mark: If you need service for your Range Rover in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. Or go to the website pawlikautomotive.com. You can book your appointment online and they'll get in touch with you. Get the details, get ready for you to come in. You have to call and book ahead. You have to book on the website ahead because they are busy. There's a reason why they're 24 time winners of Best in Vancouver because they are, simply.
So check out the YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. We've got hundreds, literally not exaggerating hundreds of videos on there, close to a thousand actually. Or check out the website pawlikautomotive.com, everything's there, transcripts, et cetera. We've been doing this for nine years. We've got every make and model and type of car you can probably think of and type of repair on there. Thanks for watching. We really appreciate it. Thank you, Bernie.
Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching.