Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast, and we're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 19-time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver, as voted by their customers. How are you doing this morning, Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well.
Mark: We're talking about a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek. A service, it had a service. What was going on with this almost brand new Subaru?
Bernie: I say a service. It's actually an A-level service, which we should have put there to be clear. And it's interesting, because this client, we've actually serviced this vehicle since brand new, now you're thinking 2018, we're in 2019. It may have had its first service but actually this is the fifth service we've done on the vehicle. The owner of this vehicle drives an awful lot. It's got about 48,000 kilometres already on in a year period. He drives a lot.
Basically, we do an A-level service, so at our shop an A-level service, basically the heart of it is an oil change, and then a basic maintenance inspection around that. What else is included of course is inspecting lights, inspecting all the fluid levels and qualities, under hood and under car visual inspection, adjusting tire pressures. That's basically that kind of bulk of it.
Mark: Was anything else in need of service on this pretty new vehicle?
Bernie: No, it actually needed absolutely nothing, so that's always nice and that's the advantage of owning a new car is that you don't need to do anything on it for a while. The owner's good, at least conscientious and changes oil on a regular basis and has it serviced, so that's really the important thing to do. And then when things do crop up, because they will as the vehicle gets older, you fix them as they go.
Mark: How often do Crosstreks require service?
Bernie: Well, this vehicle here is somewhere in the 10 to 12,000 kilometre range. It uses synthetic oil. This is a perfect candidate for a longer oil change interval. We do his normally at 12,000, around that range. He drives a lot, the engine's hot so that's a good amount of time to do the service. If you were the kind of person who maybe only put 12,000 Ks on a year, it'd probably be better to have it serviced a little frequently because that engine's gonna be running cold a lot more often, and that's harder on the oil than for a car that just runs hot.
Mark: And so a lot of people think that only the dealer can service a brand new car, and still have their warranty? Is that true?
Bernie: No. We've got a number of clients who buy new vehicles and bring them straight to us for service. They'd rather deal with us than going to the dealer, and there's no effect whatsoever.
The key thing is, is that you have to have your receipts or at least be able to access the receipts. We have them all in our computer but it'd be good to keep your own files. Make sure you do the maintenance as scheduled and have documentation. If the engine blows up in this vehicle, he's covered. He's done all the work, he's had the flues changed at the right time, and the service is all done at the proper time.
The advantage with us, is if we see an oil leak develop on the vehicle, it might be that the dealer looks at it and goes “It's not enough that we can run it under warranty.” But if you go in and say “Hey, there's an oil leak in this vehicle,” it's been found somewhere else, they're not gonna cover things up. There's actually an advantage because we're not biased in any way. We just call it as we see it.
Mark: How do you guys actually do the inspection? How do you log everything?
Bernie: Well, let's look at that. One advantage that we have at our shop, a lot of independent shops don't have, and actually even dealers have a ... We have an awesome electronic inspection system that we do. Let's just have a look at, an example of what you, as a client will receive after we do this inspection.
This is, as I mentioned, an A-level service. For the A-services, I mentioned it's a more basic inspection. We measure the tire pressures, we adjust the tire pressures, do a visual under hood and under vehicle inspection, look at lights, and that sort of thing. Now, this vehicle, this is actually kind of a boring inspection to look at, but as a customer, this is the kind of inspection you want. There's 45 items that we looked at and they're all okay. Which is, I'll have to say, pretty rare. We don't do these inspections all that often. There's usually always something that needs to be done.
But this is basically the sort of ... The basic view that you would get when we send the inspection report to you and we send this out either by email or text message or both. And there's a link and you just open it up and have a look at it. Most of our clients, quite honestly, are blown away by this inspection, just how thorough and how detailed it is. And when there's problems and issues, we take photographs of things.
This one here ... I'll just get to the next picture here. And so this is how it expands. You saw there was a little plus button, you can click on it, and go “I kinda wanna see what's going on with it.” Here you can see the windshield wipers. These are some of the things we look at. And I'm not gonna bore you with all the details but the other most interesting inspection to look at, this one here you can see that we take measurements of the tires. The treads are still practically brand new. Adjusted the pressures on the tires.
There are notes in certain places that can be clicked on and you can see. But if say there was a ... Say the tires were worn out, we normally take a picture of that so you can actually see the tread wear. It's like you being in the bay yourself and actually having us showing you stuff on the vehicle. It's a really good system and we're proud to use it and our customers love it.
Mark: And how are Subaru Crosstreks for reliability?
Bernie: Well, they haven't been out for a long time. We actually have not run into any problems with any of them so far, so I'd say it's a fairly new vehicle on the road. I'm sure some issues will crop up, like they do with all vehicles, but they are different in design. They still have the boxer and four-cylinder engine as they've used forever and ever. They always keep redesigning them and changing the format of the engine around. This one uses a timing chain, which they have for quite a few years now. They seem to be a little more reliable.
I think the only issue with the timing chain, what we've run into, was there was a leak in one of the ... We had a client with a timing covered gasket leak but that's about it. Head gaskets seem to be pretty solid on these things so far, which is a good thing, compared to the last generation where pretty much every one of them was a guaranteed head gasket replacement. So far, they're holding out well.
Mark: So, there you go. If you're looking for service and reliability for your vehicle, if it's a Subaru or any other make or model of vehicle, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, to book your appointment. Book ahead, they're busy. And if you're outside of Vancouver, in the other part of the country, call your local dealers. We can't diagnose your problems over the phone. It's not in integrity for us to do that.
As well, you can check us out on YouTube. Hundreds of videos on there of all makes and models of cars. Pawlik Auto Repair. The website, everything's up on there as well, pawlikautomotive.com. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast, we really appreciate it. Thanks, Bernie.
Bernie: Thank you, Mark, and thank you for watching.