Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here this morning with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver; Vancouver’s favourite, best, most loved auto service experience. How’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: I’m doing very well this morning.
Mark: So 16 time winners of best in Vancouver, we’re going to talk about Acura cars and their reliability. Acura’s the luxury line of Honda and Honda’s are pretty good, so how are Acura vehicles?
Bernie: Basically the same as Honda, excellent vehicles only you get a little bit of a nicer package, you know, you get the leather seats in every model, the luxurious features, climate control, AC all those kind of things you expect in a high end luxury car but with the same reliability as Honda.
Mark: So no cars perfect, what problems do Acura’s sometimes show?
Bernie: Well, yeah, you’re absolutely right, so one of the biggest issues that Acura’s have had in the past and so this is going past around from 2000 maybe 2005, a lot of transmission problems both in the MDX, the TL models, very common and these aren’t you know, little reprogramming issues or sensors, its, it’s actually a full transmission rebuild job, so that’s something that you’ll come across on any of these well Honda products as well of those model years, so that’s probably the biggest single issue with these vehicles. Also the older ones, they do have a little more maintenance, little more heavy on the maintenance but we don’t see, we see very few problems with them. Now I’m just talking about the two models, the MDX which is the larger sport utility and the TL which is, yeah the TL which is the four door sedan and there’s a number of other models, we have the NSX that really cool mid-engine sports car which is very rare and then the RS, the RSX is the, get my models confused, the RSX is the, it’a a newer mid-sized sport utility vehicle, really nice vehicle, small engine, turbocharged, efficient, again luxurious, really nice, really nice vehicle, very reliable and the, uh it ends in X and RSS, NSX, that’s the one, excellent little car too, small, peppy, sporty, they do have the odd manual transmission issue with bearings and things like that but other than that, overall the whole line of cars is really reliable, and the newer, the newer models the transmission issues are gone.
Mark: So what kind of maintenance services are required on the Acura?
Bernie: Well, it’s generally like most cars nowadays, oil changes on a regular basis, the spark plugs do need to be changed rarely, timing belts are a thing of the past in most Acura’s, I think in all Acura’s actually now but the earlier again, the models that I spoke about with the transmission issues also had timing belts so that around 167,000 or sorry 168,000 k’s they require timing belt replacement so you can sort of add a cost in on owning one of those vehicles, but again they’re starting to get a little older but still very reliable. We have clients with them with three or four hundred thousand kilometers that actually, the car’s actually still work really well, so to me that’s always a sign of a well-built car but you know, other than that I mean a lot of these engines, they all have timing chains now and I’ve said many times before, you’ve got to change your oil regularly, you don’t want to miss oil changes on the timing change engine. I’ve seen some Honda’s where owners have abused them really badly, some type of Honda Acura where they’ve gone for a long time, way too long in changing oil, I don’t want to say how long, it’s frightening and for some reason the engines have survived but these are engines with timing belts and once you add the chain into the factor, there’s no tolerance, you know you’re going to wreak your engine really soon and cost a lot of money, so oil changes a big thing.
Mark: So why does the timing chain make a difference?
Bernie: That’s a good question; the reason was the timing chain is lubricated internally with the engine so it needs clean oil. Now old engines for instance, if you look at an old V8 engine the timing chain was basically a small gear, a big gear and a chain in between and that’s, you know sometimes they stretch and they did wear out but on modern cars they’re overhead cam engines so the camshaft is you know, the crankshaft is down here and the camshaft is way up here and on a V engine it has multiple timing chains, one to each bank of the engine and to keep that chain tight they use tensioners so these are plastic, generally plastic guide rails and then there’s an oil filled tensioning unit that presses against the chain it keeps the chain tight and the valve timing is always consistent, now you can imagine if you don’t have proper lubrication these plastic things start pieces start to wear out and metal pieces start to wear out so that’s one factor. The other, a lot of new engines have variable valve timing, it helps keeps emissions low, engine performance high; this is why most of our modern cars have such good performance on a lot of smaller engine size but variable valve timing requires, uses oil pressure and solenoids to actually vary the variable valve timing mechanism so again if you start running low on oil, the variable valve timing system won’t work and also of course if you’re a little low on oil things don’t get lubricated properly and things wear so that’s kind of the key and so Honda’s have these, Acura’s have these so change your oil regularly and use good oil.
Mark: Any further thoughts or last thoughts about Acura?
Bernie: Great cars, I mean really, you know people often ask me what kind of car do you want to buy and they’re looking at different lines of luxury cars and I’d never hesitate to recommend Acura, they’re very nice cars and generally very reliable.
Mark: There you go, if you’re looking for service for you Acura in Vancouver, Pawlik Automotive are the guys to talk to, you can reach them at 604-327-7112, they’re busy, call ahead or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com, tons of information on there. Thanks Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks Mark.