Blog - Pawlik Automotive Repair, Vancouver BC

2014 Subaru Outback, Low Oil

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. And we can say that because they've been voted 24 times as best auto repair in Vancouver, voted by their customers by the way, and we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing well. 

Mark: So todays vehicle is a 2014 Subaru Outback that had low oil. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: This is vehicle came to our shop on a recommendation by a friend who was concerned because the engine was making some noises and checked his oil and found that it was not reading, really it was very low. So that was a concern we were dealing with. 

Mark: So what kind of testing and inspection did you do? 

Bernie: Well, first of all, of course, checking the engine oil level to verify his concern. We did notice that the oil was very low. There was some slight noises in the engine. Did a visual inspection underneath the vehicle, looked around for oil leaks, found none. So there was no external oil leaks. 

It was due for an oil service. So we did change the oil. Found the engine oil was about two litres, low. Looked for a few other possible causes of engine oil consumption, like PCD valve and those kinds of issues, found none there. So basically the engine was low on oil. Changed the oil. The noises stopped, which is good. So I think the owner dodged a bullet there.  

Mark: So if there's no oil leaks or a plugged PCV valve, how did the engine oil get so low? 

Bernie: Well, basically these engines in this particular model, have an issue of burning oil. Some of them do some of them don't .We'll talk a little bit more details on that in a few minutes. But essentially for a car engine, if you're losing oil, you're probably burning it. Burning oils is a normal part of the combustion process. But on many engines you can go 10,000 kilometres or more between oil changes and not use a drop. I mean, a drop will be used, but very little. So you won't notice a difference, but oil consumption is normal. It's just when it becomes excessive, that becomes a problem. 

And I think people, these days are a little lazy. Very few people ever check their oil. You should really do it every one or two tank fulls. I mean, I don't even do it on a lot of my vehicles, but a lot of them have low oil warning lights, but if your vehicle doesn't have one, which a lot don't, it's important to check your oil.

Mark: So running an engine on, with low oil is pretty bad, not, not good. So did this cause any kind of permanent engine damage? 

Bernie: Well, I can't say for sure, but I would guess that it probably has some effect on the engine somehow. Once you start developing some noises in an engine, and we see this from time to time, people run their engine low on oil, we change it or top it up. The noise has stopped. That's a good thing, but there will be some damage somewhere because things that have been allowed to, timing chains run a loose or, you know, things just not lubricated properly. That will have a long-term effect on the engine. So how soon it'll show up, it's hard to know.

I'll have a look at a couple of pictures here. Here's the engine. 2014 Subaru.

2014 Subaru Outback, Low Oil

Plastic intake manifold, which is kind of common on Subarus. A lot of manufacturers, they find ways to lighten the car. They'll use plastics for certain things, but below it all is still good metal components. 

Not a lot to see here. I mean, it's, it's a boxer engine. Everything's kind of sits down below here, but I do have another closeup image of, just kind of looking down at the area.

2014 Subaru Outback, Low Oil

This is the oil filler cap, the oil filter's located conveniently right at the top of the engine. So it makes for simple replacement. 

And they put this nice little drip tray, diverting here, but this nice little drip tray here. So when you take the filter off, any excess of oil just stays in this tray here and you can wipe it up without sloshing it all over it down the side of the engine. But down here where my mouse is pointing here, these are the fronts of the cam shafts. So there's variable valve timing. This is a timing chain engine. And an engines with timing chains are even less tolerant to running low on oil than, say a timing belt engine. Cause you've got a lot of moving parts that require good lubrication all the time. Just make sure your oil’s full. That's the key takeaway.

Mark: So is this only a 2013 and 2014 model year issue? 

Bernie: It's mostly 2013, 2014, there's some 2015 and 16, but and actually 2015, there's quite a few, but in 2016, it tapers down and seems to stop at 2017. Now I've got a lot of that information, there's a website called carcomplaints.com, which is a good thing to look at, but they don't sample the entire industry.

I think most of their information comes from people complaining about. So, you know, in these certain model years that there's a much higher level of complaint, but once you get to 2017, nothing about engine oil consumption whatsoever. So I'm assuming that Subaru has got that figured out or else we're going to see a round of complaints coming up. Yeah, those are the critical years, 13 to 15. 

Mark: So could this repair still be covered by a manufacturers warranty? 

Bernie: It might be. You'd have to check with the dealer on that. And they may even offer an extension on some of these. I don't really know the details on that, but what I was just going to go through next is a TSB, which is a technical service bulletin put out by Subaru to address this exact condition.

This is just an example. I mean, this is many pages on this bulletin. A lot of details really for the repair industry, for the service advisor and the technicians to repair the vehicle properly. And these are things we look at in our business as well.

But subject of this TSB surface treatment change to oil control piston rings. So that's obviously where the issue is, with the oil control rings. But the original repair used to be, and this bulletin states it, to replace the piston rings, but they since changed that to replace in the short block of the engine.

So it's not a complete engine replacement, but it's a major job and not something you'd really want to pay for out of pocket. So if you are using some oil, you'll probably find it cheaper just to add oil, then actually take this on. But if your vehicle's still covered by warranty, it would be very worth doing.

There's a TSB number here. We'll put it in the the notes for the podcast and this. The one other image I want to share with you, they show some engine details and actually how to replace a number of the items. And this is just an inside view of the timing chain. There's basically two timing chains being a boxer engine. I just wanted to show this as there's a lot of moving parts inside this engine. So again, keep your oil full, keep it clean. These are the kind of critical things that people sometimes forget. And it's very important.

Mark: Would a third party warranty have covered this? 

Bernie: No, a third-party warranty will not. And it's always nice having a third-party warranty cause they'll fix things. But the one thing they do not cover is oil consumption issues. So you know, even if you're burning oil at a rate of, you know, a litre, every 500 kilometres, they won't cover it. So that's one thing to be aware of when you have a third-party warranty. 

Mark: So how would I check this? If I was interested in buying a used Subaru, how would I check. Is there any way to inspect for excessive oil consumption? 

Bernie: The only way you could is if you can make a deal with the owner of the vehicle, say, Hey, you know what we're going to fill the oil up. I want to check it 1200 kilometres, which was what this TSB says and see if the oil's low. The odds of that ever happening, I'd say it would be zero, but really there is no way to check it other than given time and driving it. I mean, if an engine is blowing blue smoke, of course that's an obvious indicator, but yeah, avoid. And the issue with this oil consumption is it doesn't get to the place of blue smoke at all. It gets burnt, but you don't ever see it. 

So unfortunately there really isn't a way, and that's why I'm kind of reluctant recommending these cars to people. They're fantastic cars, but this issue is just something you might not know. But if you get good maintenance records, you might actually find from the owner that, Hey, you know, this thing actually had an oil burning problem. I had the block replace and that would make the car definitely more valuable buy. 

Mark: Besides this issue, how're this kind of 2014, but also the whole range from like I saw 2012 was in there up to like 2016. How are they for reliability? 

Bernie: Yeah, they're really good cars. I think they're fantastic. You know, and they're less maintenance than the older models that had the timing belts. Cause you don't have to do that. And the head gaskets don't fail, like the timing belt model engine. So theoretically, assuming you don't get one that's burning oil, each it should actually last a lot longer and be a better car. So I think they're really good. I highly recommend them. 

Mark: So there you go. Things to be aware of if you're going to look at buying a used Subaru, but also if you have a Subaru and you want expert advice on how to get it repaired, how to make sure it lives as long as it can, is reliable. The guys to see in Vancouver, British Columbia are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, or you can book your service at pawlikautomotive.com. They'll call you. They'll check everything out with you. They'll be ready for you when you show up. You have to call and book ahead. They're busy. Of course, if you want to just research stuff, you can see all the videos we've done, close to a thousand on pawlikautomotive.com. All makes and models and types of repairs. Or on our YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. We really, really, truly appreciate you watching and listening. And thank you, Bernie. 

Bernie: Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching.

2016 Volvo XC90, Coolant Pipe

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 24 time winners, best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well. 

Mark: So today's victim is a 2016 Volvo XC90 that had a coolant pipe problem. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: So the owner came to our shop. He'd sprung a coolant leak. The engine was running a little hot and that's why the car came in. 

Mark: So how do you go about diagnosing that kind of a leak? 

Bernie: Well, first start, of course, is a visual inspection. Look under the hood, under the vehicle to see what we can see. It was evident that we could see some coolant dripping, sort of between the engine and transmission area. And from there we do a cooling system pressure test where it was pretty evident there was some coolant spraying out of a pipe that's sort of located under the intake manifold. I guess I'd call it a coolant bypass pipe, anyways there was a leak from there. So that's what was wrong with the vehicle. 

Mark: So what's involved with this repair? 

Bernie: Well let's just get into some pictures and we'll talk about what's involved in the repair. So there is our 2016 XC90.

2016 Volvo XC90, Coolant Pipe

This is the second generation car. We'll talk about this in a minute just go a couple more pictures.  

So here's the engine. It's a two litre engine.

2016 Volvo XC90, Coolant Pipe

The coolant pipe that we replaced is located, if you just follow this mouse pointer kind of underneath this area here. So what was involved is actually removing the intake manifold and the air intake box and so on, to access the pipe. And from there, once everything is removed, it's a pretty simple job, but of course it's the matter of getting everything out of the way to access the pipe. So that's basically it was involved. I mean, it's just few hours labor to take it apart and put it back together. 

There's our leaky pipe.

2016 Volvo XC90, Coolant Pipe

These are a quick connect type of pipe, which is common in most modern vehicle manufacturing. Plastic end with a sort of plastic shrunk over piece. And you can see from this picture here where the arrow points as a split in the plastic of the pipe, that's basically it.

Mark: So which engine is in this vehicle? 

Bernie: It's a two litre engine and interestingly enough, in this generation, so this is the second generation of XC90s, the original...

Mark: A four cylinder? 

Bernie: Yeah, it's only, it only has a four cylinder. That's the only engine it comes with is a a variety of different four cylinders, depending, I guess, on where you buy it in the world. There's a hybrid version. There are diesel versions and there are gasoline, some with twin turbo, someone single turbos, but they all use a two litre engine. So they've kind of changed the platform around, you know, the previous generation, there was a V8 model. There was a 3.2 litre, which was actually common for quite a while, then a few different six cylinder versions of the same thing. So they've shrunk the power plant down with this redesigned model, which started in 2015. 

Mark: So is this a common issue with this pipe on XC90s? 

Bernie: Well, this is the first one we've seen at our shop and I don't expect it's going to be the last one because I mean, this isn't, you know, an abused vehicle. It's not that old. And so I think that's probably, I would say defective design or when they built it, it didn't quite stand up to what they expected it to do. So I imagine this isn't going to be the last time we see one of these coming into our shop. And who knows what else we're going to see? But that's certainly one thing that'll, it'll be back. Things get predictable with cars? You know, certain items fail with frequency. 

Mark: Yeah. The engineers didn't quite think this through putting that, can I make that assumption? They didn't quite, it's not the best design in terms of putting that bypass pipe underneath everything else and then making it out of, instead of making it a metal, say they made it up the rubber. 

Bernie: Yeah. Well now this one is actually plastic. So, you know, and I mean, there's a lot of really good plastics, but there are a lot of plastics that just don't quite stand up to the test of time. And I've often said jokingly around our shop, you know, thank God for European plastics. Although they all use them, but you know, it seems like we do a lot of repairs on European vehicles with plastic, because it just tends to fail sooner than it would if it was metal. 

Mark: And it's used a lot more in vehicles than it ever has been, like when I thousand years ago, when I worked on cars a lot, everything was hard cast iron now it's plastic. 

Bernie: Oh yeah. It's amazing how engines have gone from yeah, like you said, like hard cast iron. If you look back to the sixties where there was hardly any aluminum used except maybe for the pistons and it's gone further and further. I mean, there's more and more plastic everywhere. I mean it makes sense. It's easy to manufacture. It's lightweight. There's good reasons for it. And you know, it's not as durable in many circumstances as metal is for sure. 

Mark: So Volvo is kind of famous for having supposedly having the safest cars on the road, what do you think? Are they still that? 

Bernie: No, I don't really know. I mean, I had to do a little thinking about that question and I mean, certainly a lot of other manufacturers have put safety as a very high priority, but I didn't do a little research into this vehicle and there's a lot of safety features on this particular model. The cab has got rollover protection, high strength steel in the roof. And I think a lot of the safety features of Volvos now, I mean, they were the ones who invented the three point seatbelt way back. I don't know even how long ago that was probably in the sixties or fifties or something.

But a lot of these safety features now are more electronic. They're collision avoidance features. And you know, they've put a lot of that into these vehicles and some of them are options, but are they safer than a Tesla, a Mercedes even some General Motors products? I can't really say for sure, but they still put a priority on safety. So they don't own safety like they used to at one time, but they're still pretty good. It's still very much considered when they build a Volvo. 

Mark: If you're looking for service for your Volvo in Vancouver, BC, Canada, the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive. You can check out their website and book on there at pawlikautomotive.com. Or call them. Have a conversation they'll get ready for your appointment. (604) 327-7112. You have to call and book ahead. They're busy, always busy, pawlikautomotive.com. Check them out. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks, Mark. Thanks for watching. And thanks for listening. We really appreciate it.

2010 Smart Car, Valve Cover Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 24 time winners of best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And clearly Vancouver's best auto service experience. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: I'm doing well today. 

Mark: So today's victim is a little bit older, 2010 Smart car that had a valve cover issue. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: And so this vehicle came to our shop for a general look over. It had a few concerns of which we repaired and there was a leaking valve cover gasket, but it wasn't too severe when we looked at it. And based on the cost of the other items that were needed to be repaired, the owner, you know, we sort of made an agreement, hey, let's not fix the valve cover right now we can leave that until a later time. So we did all the other work, left the valve cover gasket alone and went out for a road test and the vehicle wasn't running too well. 

Mark: So what happened on your road test? 

Bernie: Yeah, also the engine started misfiring and when we came back to the shop, reinspected it, found that there was oil in the spark plug tubes which are not exactly part of the valve cover gasket but it does involve removing the valve cover gasket. Now we weren't aware of that before because the vehicle ran fine when it came into the shop. And the valve cover gasket we only saw the external leak. We didn't pull a spark plugs out as part of our inspection because we would have found that. That's sort of the extra amount of work that, you know, we only do when necessary. So that now necessitated us doing the valve cover replacement. 

Mark: So the spark plug tubes were filling up with oil because of the leak from the gasket. 

Bernie: Exactly. I'm going to start showing some pictures, but the actual valve cover gasket leak that we saw was due to the external gasket on the outside, but there's also seals on the inside that seal a spark plug tubes from oil getting in. So they're not actually valve cover gasket, but they're part of the whole ceiling system. So here's our cute little 2010 Smart car. It's actually a convertible model too, which is kinda neat.

2010 Smart Car, Valve Cover Replacement

 All right. Other pictures. Valve cover. There's the new valve cover. This is where the spark plugs tubes sit. The ignition coils fit down in here and there's a seal that goes in there. Then this prevents oil from getting down the spark plug tubes. So that needed to be replaced as well. 

2010 Smart Car, Valve Cover Replacement
2010 Smart Car, Valve Cover Replacement

Now you can see the gasket here. We're going to talk a little bit about this. This gasket is molded right onto the valve cover, and we have to replace the whole cover to do this job properly. And I reason I know that is because there's actually companies that sell the valve cover gasket. And so the first time we ever ran into this a few years ago, we just changed the gasket and it started leaking and we got another gasket and it started leaking.

And then we decided to realize, oh, this is a molded type of factory sealer that they put on here. So we decided to do it with silicone and we tried that and it didn't work. And finally ended up after three times having to bite the bullet, buy the valve cover, which is a lot of money and seal it. So why companies sell a gasket when it doesn't really work, I don't know. But we can talk about today a little more. So this is that factory molded gasket. This is hard rubber. It's interesting. This isn't actually quite perfectly formed, but when it all bolts down and it's torqued top, it actually works really well. And it's kind of a, you know, one time use unfortunately. 

2010 Smart Car, Valve Cover Replacement

These are our ignition coils and you can see all this oil here on the ignition coils, especially this one here is, well as bad as the other ones. Then what happens is, as the oil starts filling up, it shorts out the spark plug and it won't fire. Now you can see three coils. This is a three cylinder engine. You can imagine if you take one ignition coil out of the picture, you've got only an engine running on two thirds of your spark plugs. Whereas if you have a V8 engine and one quits, you have seven eights of an engine, but this one, you only have two thirds. It's not a lot. And if two were to quit, while you basically have a one third, it doesn't even work. So it's really critical that there's no malfunctions on this type of thing. 

2010 Smart Car, Valve Cover Replacement

This is a picture looking down to the engine compartment. This is the new valve cover put in. The coils, this is sort of the lip of the engine bay. This engine is in the back of the vehicle. A little bit hard to get at the stuff. These wires here that I'm pointing out with the most pointer are for the ignition coil wires. The coils fit in here. And the fuel injectors are sitting here. There's wiring that needs to be connected up there as well. So those are pictures show.

Mark: Okay. So did you have to replace the ignition coils? 

Bernie: No, we didn't replace the coils. They were fine. We cleaned them up with brake clean, which removes all the oil and they were in good shape. So if you were to have left them for a very long time, it might wreck the rubber boots that go over the spark plugs. But in this case it was fine and they all worked fine. So they should work for quite some time. 

Mark: So other than evilness, why would someone make and sell a valve cover gasket when it doesn't work? 

Bernie: I really don't know. It's really dumb and kind of annoying in fact. Maybe on some occasions it works, but we've tried it a couple of times, as I said. We had one that we went through and it ended up costing us a lot of extra time and grief to try to fix it. Sometimes when you fix cars, you learn that certain things have to be done a certain way. And the more expensive route first off is the best way to go. It's just a little bit harder to sell when you're faced with a bill of a thousand dollars plus for a valve cover job and you go, wow, it's a little dinky car. You know, it's a lot of money when you could get a gasket. But you got to fix it the way that works. So, yeah. I'm a little annoyed that this manufacturer actually sells it in the first place.They really shouldn't. 

Mark: These are very unique automobiles, not a lot of them around. Three cylinder engine, which is kind of very strange in itself. How are Smart cars for reliability? 

Bernie: They're not bad, but they do have a lot of things that do go wrong with them over time. And they are expensive to fix because it's a Mercedes. They're kind of exclusive and they've never sold a lot in North America. I mean, for awhile, they were only selling them in Canada and not the US and I'm not really even sure what sort of volumes they sold in the US. But the original diesel models from the sort of two thousands decade, those were only sold in Canada. So parts are hard to get. They're kind of an expensive vehicle to fix once they get older.

So they're fairly reliable, but I think they reach a point where they're just not economically worth fixing anymore after a certain amount of time. This one still has pretty low mileage. It's a nice car because it's a convertible and still get some good life.

Mark: So if you're looking for service for your Smart car or Mercedes-Benz in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can check out the website and book on there, pawlikautomotive.com. They'll call you. They'll check out everything what's going on. There'll be ready for your appointment. Or you can phone them (604) 327-7112. You have to call and book ahead or book online prior to your appointment. They're always busy. They will look after you. Best auto service in Vancouver, pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie. 

Thanks Mark. And thanks for watching.

2015 Audi Q5, Wheel Bearing

Mark: Hi it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. And we can say that cause they've won best in Vancouver, 24 times as voted by their customers and we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well. 

Mark: So today's victim is an Audi Q5, a 2015 vintage that had a wheel bearing problem. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah, so the owner of the vehicle, was due for service and also noticed that noise when she was driving the vehicle sounded kind of like a jet taking off or some description similar to that, like a noise that would happen as you start moving faster. 

Mark: So what kind of testing and diagnosis did you do to narrow down what the issue was? 

Bernie: Well, the first step is a road test to confirm that we can hear the noise because sometimes clients come to us with noises that we actually don't hear, which is strange. But usually these ones we do, and it was pretty apparent on the road test, the noise.

Second step was to put the vehicle up on the hoist. It sounded like it was probably a wheel bearing. There's some distinct things about wheel bearings that the noise of a wheel bearing usually gets louder the faster you go. And also if you're driving and you happen to be say going around a curve or corner, and the noise changes, that's often an indication of a wheel bearing too, because you're shifting the load from one side of the vehicle to the other and taking the weight on and off the bearing. So that can be an indication. 

Second step of course is to confirm which wheel bearing is it. Sometimes you can kind of get an idea and hear where the noise is coming from, but we need to confirm it on a hoist. So we put up on a hoist being an all wheel drive vehicle, once we put it in drive on the hoist, get one of our texts to drive the vehicle in the air and listen to all the wheel bearings with the stethoscope. And we can tell which wheel bearing. In this case, it was the front left wheel bearing that was worn out. 

Mark: So what's involved in changing a wheel bearing on an Audi? 

Bernie: Well, the wheel has to come off and the brakes need to be removed. From there, then we can actually access the wheel hub which we remove, the bearing comes in assembly. I'll show a picture in a minute, but basically the bearing and the hub separate. But what we do is we take the bearing off of the steering knuckle, and that involves also unbolting the wheel bearing from the axle shaft as well, being an all wheel drive vehicle. So there's a little more complication involved in an all wheel drive.

So it involves, you know, there's some pressing involved. Usually things get corroded and we may as well just get into some pictures right now, because as they say a picture's worth a thousand words.

So this is the brand new wheel bearing as it comes, the part that's replaced. So this is basically a ball. It's got two ball bearing races and slightly different diameters for these two. So you have to make sure that you put them together the right way. In some older Audi's, it didn't come with this sleeve. I guess you could do it the wrong way possibly, but the older ones you actually pressed in the bearing and you could actually put it in the wrong way. So then the hub wouldn't fit in properly. So you have to be careful. It seemed like Audis always have two different size races.  

2015 Audi Q5, Wheel Bearing

So here's the old bearing. So tends to be a lot of corrosion. And this is something that you have to battle when we take everything apart. Usually the bearings tend to weld themselves into place with rust and corrosion. So tends to involve a lot of hammering or large pry bars to get it out. But this is the bearing race. One of the bearing races is off here, cause that usually sticks on the hub. We have to pull that off separately, but you can see these are all the ball bearings that go around and there's two sets of these. So pretty heavy duty bearing in this vehicle.

2015 Audi Q5, Wheel Bearing

There's the wheel hub, so this part gets replaced. We reuse this as you can see, it's step there's one diameter here, one there, and the splines in the middle are where the actual shaft slips in to drive the front wheel. 

2015 Audi Q5, Wheel Bearing

And the final picture is the, this is where the wheel bearing fits in. Again, you can see corrosion here. It's a 2015, so what's that make it about six, seven years old you know, and people often buy these vehicles or at least around here to go skiing or places. And you know, this is probably seen a bit of road salt on it, which adds corrosion, which makes it a little more difficult to take out.

2015 Audi Q5, Wheel Bearing

But here's the end of the axle and you can see where the splines slipped into the hubs. So there's a very large bolt that attaches this to the hub, keeps everything rotating properly and smoothly. That ends our picture show for the day. 

Mark: So this is a very complicated job, not something you're going to try and attempt to do at home, because you have some specialized equipment that you need to use in order to get that off of the axle properly.

Bernie: Yeah. I don't want to say that if you're bold enough to try to do it at home, that you know, with a large hammer, some pry bars and some tools, you couldn't do it, but there's a lot of very tight bolts that were involved, very large tools to remove. And of course, we have hydraulic presses that we use to pry things apart to take the hub off the bearing. And then sometimes you have to actually cut the bearing race off of the hub because they stick on there and just the way they're designed. So it involves a lot of creative work to get it off. It's definitely not a do it at home kind of job.

I mean, I used to have a mobile auto repair business where I do things out on the road, so to speak. So I got kind of creative, but even a job like this would have been exceptionally challenging and very time consuming and not very doable for sure. 

Mark: So basically it sounds like a lot of work. 

Bernie: It is a lot of work. But with the right tools, it's just a straight off procedure, but again, you know, having the right tools just makes all the difference. 

Mark: So do the hubs ever wear out or get damaged? 

Bernie: They do from time to time. And what'll happen is, you saw there's two bearing races occasionally, haven't seen one for a long time. One of the bearing races will start, will somehow the fit will get loose on the hub. And the actual hub will spin on the bearing race. And if that happens enough times, it starts wearing down the hub and it won't fit properly. These have to have a friction fit. So there's just a slight, I don't know the exact measurements, but we're talking thousands of an inch of just exact fit. So, it fits with a tightness. 

If that happens, then the hub has to be replaced. And on many vehicles, when you buy this kind of assembly, it actually comes with the hub in the bearing. So you basically undo those four bolts, if you saw that picture we had of the actual bearing assembly, you unbolt those four, and the hub comes off of the bearing and you put it on. Every manufacturer's a little bit different. You know, really nothing wrong with keeping the old hub because they don't generally wear out, but it once in a while they do. 

Mark: Is this a common repair on Audi? 

Bernie: Well, we haven't done many on Q5s, but over the years we work on a lot of Audis and wheel bearings are a fairly common repair item. I'd say the wheel bearings are these days better than they were say a decade or two ago. More durable, but you know, it is a fairly common repair on Audis. 

Mark: So is there any way that you can have caused the issue or that you could, or are there steps that you could take that would help lengthen the time between having to change your wheel bearings?

Bernie: You know, there's really not much you can do. These are a sealed part. You know, and they're well sealed. I think over time, the reason this bearing failed is probably over time some moisture probably seeped in past a seal. You know, it probably got driven on some salty roads and that causes metal to start expanding or contracting or corrosion to build up and it'll allow some moisture to get into the bearing. As soon as that happens, then it tends to wear the bearing out. There's not much you can do to prevent that, you know, I mean, unless you drive in Arizona and you're not driving through the bush where there's dust. Because again, dust could get in and grind the seal out too, but really, there's not much you can do.

They're just going to wear out on their own time. I mean, if you start bashing curbs that could possibly put some strain on it, but again, if you're doing that kind of thing, you're probably going to be wearing other front end parts out faster. So really not much you can do. Just you know, one of those kind of set and forget it kind of parts and that's about it.

Mark: And how are Audi Q5s for reliability?

Bernie: They're kind of up and down. The earlier generations and a lot of problems with some of their engines with excessive oil consumption. This one's a 3 litre turbocharged V6, pretty nice unit. So far, they seem to be fairly reliable. You know, it gets vehicles not too old, but you know, some of the earlier ones with the four cylinders definitely had some oil consumption problems.

And usually I think that involves engine replacements, but I'm not a hundred percent sure on that. So it's a kind of vehicle I'm a little cautious on, but it's certainly a very nice vehicle. Nice size, you know, sort of smaller SUV. Overall, pretty good. 

Mark: If you're looking for service for your Audi in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them to book an appointment, 604-327-7112 or you can book online at pawlikautomotive.com. You have to book ahead, they're always busy. Or you can check out all the videos that we have. We have them on the website. There's close to a thousand there on all makes and types of repairs. Over 10 years of doing this. Or on our YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. And again, thank you so much for watching and listening. We really appreciate it. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks Mark. And thanks for watching.

2006 Audi A6, Valve Cover Gasket

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 24 times best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. We're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: So today's victim first victim is a 2006 Audi A6 that had a valve cover gasket issue. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: This vehicle came to our shop for a few concerns. It was due for spark plug replacement. Went to replace a spark plugs, we noticed there was oil in the spark plug tubes. The spark plugs sit right in the middle of the cylinder. Called it a hemispherical head. I don't know if they call it that anymore, but that's kind of the way it used to be common, having the spark plug in the centre, it seems to be what all cars have nowadays. And in the middle of the spark plug tube there was oil sitting at the base of the spark plugs, which is not a good thing.

Mark: So, is that a typical thing when you change spark plugs that you have to change the valve cover gasket? 

Bernie: No it's not typical. It happens from time to time. Valve cover gaskets will leak in certain ways. Most of the time it's an external leak so oil will leak outside the cover. It'll drip on the ground, it might just seep out and kind of get caught by splash pans. If it's a minor leak, it not really be noticed by the owner of the vehicle. But it can also leak onto the exhaust and start smoking and smelling. In this case, there was nothing noticed other than, you know, when we took the spark plugs out, there was oil inside the tube.

Mark: So what would happen if you just left the oil inside the tube? 

Bernie: Well, the first thing that happens of course is when we pull a spark plug out the oil drains down the tube and into the engine. So the first start-up will be rather smoky, which is no big deal. But what happens is, as the oil builds up inside the tube, it eventually builds up to the level where the spark plug wire connects to the spark plug and in that case, it'll actually short the ignition wire to ground causing an engine misfire. Plus you know, once you get oil on the spark plug wire, it tends to soften the boot and wear that out. So you really don't want that to happen. I mean, if we were actually to take it apart and it was so badly soaked, we'd have to change the wires. But in this case, it's got ignition coils. You may have to change the coils of the coil boot if that's available separately. 

Mark: Anything difficult or unique about this repair? 

Bernie: Well, let's just get into some pictures. Difficult. No. These are pretty complex cars to work on for the most part. There's our Audi.

2006 Audi A6, Valve Cover Gasket
2006 Audi A6, Valve Cover Gasket

 As far as difficult, I mean, there's our engine with the valve covers on this is after we did the replacement. So you know, there's a few plastic covers to remove, but really pretty minimal. And these are the valve covers on the right. That's actually the left side of the engine, but on the right is we're looking at it. 

And on the other side, these red pieces here, these are all the ignition coils. It's a V6 engine. So the coils have to be removed and the valve covers actually come out fairly easily for the type of engine that it is. So this is one of the simpler replacements. But what is unique? Maybe not unique nowadays, but I find, oh, it's interesting, is the valve covers are made of plastic.

2006 Audi A6, Valve Cover Gasket

Why do they use plastic? Save weight. Probably the biggest reason. And you can also mold it in many different ways. You can easier to mold plastic into shapes and incorporate components than it is to do it with metal. 

So you can see inside the valve cover here, this groove. I didn't actually take a picture with the valve cover gasket in place, but this groove that I'm tracing out with the mouse pointer here, is where the valve cover gasket sits. Now, you notice three holes in the middle. These are where the spark plug tubes are. And this is where the leaks were occurring from this gasket here.

These are separate gaskets as I'm pointing out with the mouse pointer. You're looking at, just photographs. All you're going to see is just the pictures of the valve cover. But in this three tubes are where the oil seals go. So these are actually where the major leak was, but of course you have to replace everything.

Mark: So once you pull the valve covers off, you redo the gasket every time, basically. 

Bernie: Yeah, we do. Yeah. You replaced the gasket. I mean, I've had jobs where we've done an engine and then we'd go, oh, we just changed the valve gasket two months ago. Let's just reuse it and it tends to leak. So it's usually once you take something apart, you got to replace the gasket. It's just kind of a no-brainer. You'll also notice how clean those valve covers were. Actually, I'll just get back into the picture again. Very clean. We have a a jet washer that we put all our parts in, unless it's an electrical part or electronic part, which wrecks it, but we jet wash everything.

So when we took these off, they would have been grungy and oily, and they're clean and they looked as good as new. So that's another part of our high-end service that we offer at Pawlik Automotive. We clean everything very well. Not make it look like new, but as new. 

Mark: So how difficult of a job is the valve cover replacement on this V6?

Bernie: Yeah, as I mentioned, it's really not too difficult. It's a bit of labour of course, but pretty straightforward compared to valve cover jobs we do in a lot of other vehicles. There's not a lot that needs to be removed to get at the valve covers. Many times on certain V engines, the intake plenum will hang over top of one side. So it will require a lot of extra work to take the valve cover off. But in this case, it's actually one of the things on this Audi engine that's fairly straightforward. 

Mark: And how reliable are Audi A6 vehicles? 

Bernie: Well, they're not too bad. I mean, being an Audi, they're more expensive to repair than most average vehicles. It's a high end vehicle. So the costs are higher, but it's a pretty good vehicle. This one's an 06. It's got a fair number of kilometres on it and still going strong. So it's a pretty good vehicle, but you know, if you own one, you will expect to pay a lot more for service and repair. They're European, they're kind of finicky. But other than that, a good car. 

Mark: You pay for that performance that you're getting. 

Bernie: Yeah. I've often thought, you know, oh, you pay more money for the car, so it's going to be more reliable and you spend less on repairs, but the truth is you just get a better ride. It's just while you're on the journey, the rides better. But the cost to play is higher. 

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for service on your Audi in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can book online at their website pawlikautomotive.com. They'll get back to you. They'll find out exactly what's going on. Or you can call and book at (604) 327-7112. You have to book ahead. They're busy. Check out the website, again, many repairs. We've been doing this for 10 years. Almost a thousand altogether videos on all makes and models and types of repairs, pawlikautomotive.com. Or the YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. Again, you can laugh at us from 10 years ago. Many people do. Including ourselves. Of course. Including us. We've gotten better at it I hope over the years. Thank you so much for watching and listening. We really appreciate it. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: And thanks Mark. And thanks for watching.

1998 Subaru Forester, Gear Shifter

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. 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. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well. 

Mark: So an older victim today, a 98 Subaru Forester that had a gearshift issue. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah. So this vehicle came to our shop with a few concerns. One of them, and actually the gear shifter was probably not the most major concern. The gear shift handle was really floppy. So normally when you move a gear shifter, it has sort of column gates. It'll move in a sort of pattern. it was very floppy. So that was one issue, but sort of more major issue with the clutch had a slippage problem. There's also some clunking and grinding noise in the front end. So those were some of the concerns we looked at. So there's basically three items going on with the car.

Mark: So what did you find is you diagnosed these issues? 

Bernie: Yeah, so we found there was an issue with the right front CV joint was worn causing the front end noise. We also found that the clutch had a pressure plate problem which we didn't find out till we actually remove the transmission. But, you know, just based on how the clutch felt there was definitely something going on. And also when we had the transmission out, we found the gear shift coupling was worn out, which was pretty obvious and noticeable. 

Mark: So I'm assuming that's easier to do to replace that part once you've got the transmission out?

Bernie: Yeah. Super easy. Not entirely difficult to do in the car. You know, if the transmission is in the car, but it's really easy to do in the transmissions out. It would be a no brainer, it made a lot of sense to fix it now, plus it was a concern. So let's look at some pictures. 

1998 Subaru Forester, Gear Shifter

There is the gear shift coupler. This is a brand new one from Subaru. A simple part, but it's basically got two rubber bushings that allow movement in two directions. Kind of like a universal joint, but a little different in terms of layout. This part connects to the transmission. This part here connects to the gear shifter.  

1998 Subaru Forester, Gear Shifter

And this is the unit installed on the vehicle. And there's basically a roll pin that attaches it to the shift shaft. This goes into the transmission. You're looking at the sort of back end of the transmission housing here. This is where the rear drive shaft slides into the transmission. So there's our brand new piece there.  

1998 Subaru Forester, Gear Shifter

So this is the old piece. So what wears out with this thing? Basically there's rubber. This is all sort of, I don't know if the original one's black or that's just worn like this over time, but you can see here that there is no rubber between this metal part and the edge. And if I was to have this in my hand, this just flopped around like crazy. So this rubber piece is completely worn out and allowed for a lot of movement in the shifter.

Mark: So this is an older car, but is this a common world part on these cars? 

Bernie: Not really. As you said, it's an older car. I mean, it's got a, what is it? 20 geez, you know, four years old now, at this point. It's almost pushing a quarter century. It's kind of surprising. I remember when these cars were new and the newest thing out there for Subaru. But yeah, I mean, it's not a common replacement part.

We do replace this coupler. It's different on different types of vehicles, but gear shift couplers do wear out. But it's usually a long-term item, you know as a car gets really old, there are more parts that will wear out over time. So this is one of those kind of parts. It's not a sort of something that's going to wear the first 10 years of life of the car.

Mark: It's going to take a few hundred thousand gear shifts to wear it out, in other words. 

Bernie: Exactly. And I was kind of thinking when I was preparing this podcast, you know, there's certain certain parts when you look at a car that you're sort of, you know, three to five-year wear out items, things like brakes that need to be done. And then there's your sort of ten year wear out items, things like spark plugs and timing belts in the past. And then you start getting into once your car gets older, they're sort of 15 year, 20 year parts. And sometimes you don't even know what's going to wear out once they get older, some things will last for, if you kept the car for 50 years, they'd still work. And other, other items would be certainly replaced several times. 

Mark: So being an older car, is it still worth keeping, is it still reliable. 

Bernie: Well, yeah, it is a pretty reliable car. I mean, parts for these are not too difficult to get still. You know, the owner had invested some money in this car in terms of upgrading suspension.

So he obviously liked the car and did a few things to it. I mean, the technology is not a lot different in this particular model than it is like in a ten-year newer model, you know, for a 2008, it's pretty similar. The only thing really different is the variable valve timing in the engine. So other than that, it's pretty much the same.

So, yeah, I mean, not really a bad car to keep. It really depends on your car and what you want to use it for. And the usefulness of the vehicle, again, you know, out in the sort of back roads is pretty good. And having an older car, sometimes if you're going to go out and go to the bush, you don't necessarily want a nice new car to scratch up. It's kind of better than sometimes having something old and maintaining it and keeping it good shape. 

Mark: If you're looking for service for your Subaru, old or new, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. They service a ton of them. You can reach them on the website, pawlikautomotive.com. You can book your service right there. They'll get back to you. They'll talk it over. They'll find out what needs to be done. What's going on. Or you can call them (604) 327-7112. You have to book ahead. They're busy or just check out the website. If you've got nothing to do, you want to fall asleep, watch us. We have over a thousand videos on there, pawlikautomotive.com. All makes and models, types of repairs. 10 years of doing this. YouTube channel is the same Pawlik Auto Repair. You can laugh at us about the old ones. They're pretty funny. Many people do, join the crowd. We appreciate you watching and listening. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching.

2014 BMW 435i, Valve Cover

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience and we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well. 

Mark: So, 2014 BMW 435i, had a valve cover issue. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah. So this vehicle came to our shop with an oil leak well, some smoking from under the hood and smoking and a weird smell which we determined to be the valve cover gasket leaking onto the exhaust manifold.

Mark: So what's involved in repairing that? 

Bernie: Well, there's a couple of ways to repair it. I mean, at the very least replacing the gasket, but in this case, we chose to replace the complete valve cover. It's a plastic cover. Comes with a gasket, all the bolts, the whole assembly. And we basically figured that was a better way to repair this as a permanent solution, as opposed to just doing a gasket and risking that perhaps the cover may be warped and leak at a future date, prematurely.

Mark: So is that something you've run into before? Like what that seems like a waste of a good part. 

Bernie: We have run into it before. Sometimes with plastic valve covers, now we actually did a podcast recently on Audis with plastic valve covers, but they're very short little V engines. And a lot of these longer valve covers, which this is a straight six engine, it's a very long valve cover. They tend to warp a little more easily. So we just figured that it was a better idea just to replace the whole unit than risk, you know, doing just the gasket. So there's a few parts, it's an extra item, but it kind of makes more sense to do the repair right the first time. 

Mark: Are there any other wear out items in the valve cover? 

Bernie: Yeah. Well, let's just look at some pictures here.

2014 BMW 435i, Valve Cover

So the crankcase breather system is part of the valve cover but we'll talk about that in a sec. So here's our nice 435, 2014, I think this is the second model year, they came out with these. They came out in 2013 originally.  

So there's our new valve cover. If you want to know what this weird background, this is a plastic bag the valve cover came in. I took the picture on the shop floor, didn't want to get any dirt in the new valve cover. You can see this valve cover has new bolts and the other thing you mentioned, was there any other items. 

2014 BMW 435i, Valve Cover

So integrated with these valve covers is the crankcase breather mechanism that which would be like the PCV valve. That's part of this unit here. There's a breather pipe somewhere else too, which I can't quite see. That is actually a breather nipple there as well. But these parts, there's little valves inside and they tend to wear out over time. And of course, because you can see this is all integrated with the valve cover. So it needs to be replaced. And so then that is a failure item. 

Here's a view of the valve cover on the under side.

2014 BMW 435i, Valve Cover

Again, this area is where the spark plugs and ignition coils go. These openings, cam shafts, the like sitting here. You can see the gasket around the edge here. And there's gaskets in the middle as well around the ignition coil and spark plug tubes. 

Yeah, so the PCV valve mechanism and the crankcase breather mechanism are really the one item that does fail too that can cause some problems. Here's a view inside the engine here.

2014 BMW 435i, Valve Cover

You can see this is the intake cam shaft, the timing chain, ignition coils and spark plugs over in this area here. And then the exhaust camshaft is located here. Variable valve timing, the VANOS system as BMW uses. But also this has a variable valve lift for the intake valves, which is an added piece of complication, but pretty cool engineering.

Closer view up here, you can see some of the variable valve lift mechanism over here.

2014 BMW 435i, Valve Cover

All electronic and oil controlled. So critical to keep your oil clean and in good shape. We talk about the frequency of oil changes. It's super important to do in these vehicles. Ignition coils are here. These are the tops of the fuel injectors here. You have to take the fuel injector pipes off to get to the valve cover. I think that's all we're looking at for our picture show. 

Mark: So this looks like a pretty involved repair job. 

Bernie: It is actually. You have to take all the fuel injector pipes off, there's a lot of wiring that goes over the valve cover needs to be removed. Plus the engine kind of sits under the cowl of the, under the hood, you know, it's tucked in.

So there's a bunch of cowl covers that need to be removed to access the valve cover to take off. So it's a pretty involved job. Again, hence the idea of doing it right the first time and not going, Well, we'll just change a gasket and then find it fails. Or a PCV valve fails a year or two down the road. You got a yard the whole thing back off again, just to replace a part that you've already done. Sometimes, you know, repairs in modern cars are more expensive. They don't need them as often, but when you do it, you do it right. And then you know, the problem just doesn't come back to haunt you later.

Mark: So these engines started as a fairly simple, straight six, and have kind of evolved into these incredibly complicated engineering marvels essentially. 

Bernie: Yeah. Yeah, it's pretty amazing. Pretty amazing how they've changed. I mean, you owned a BMW a while back. It had variable valve timing. It was probably a two decade old car now at this point. You know, variable valve timing was a big deal back then. Now it's like variable valve lift. It allows them to actually not have a throttle. So by varying the intake valve opening, that kind of operates as a throttle.

So it allows for a lot of control, but, you know, the more we do these podcasts, you look at the how complex these engines are. Like how much more can you do to squeeze a little more power out of them? It's amazing. But then you look at an electric motor and it just rotates. There's really not much, I mean, they can probably fail catastrophically and the whole thing goes bad, but with all the little bits and pieces and moving parts in an internal combustion engine, it's miraculous, and it's kind of, I think run its course. 

Mark: How are these four series BMWs for reliability?

Bernie: Yeah, they're good. I mean, they've kind of taken over where the three series left off and they're a good car, but they have their issues. Water pump issues, oil leaks. This vehicle doesn't have particularly high kilometres, you know, and it's got oil leaks. So I find BMW fluid leaks are kind of an issue. But it's a nice car. You're gonna pay a little more for repairs. 

Mark: And also BMW, in a way, I don't want to intimate any kind of dastardly intent here, but they have really long oil change intervals that you don't agree with.

Bernie: Exactly. Yeah. So you know, to me it's just kind of a sales issue. I think we've talked about this in the past. But their oil change intervals and a lot of them are 24,000 kilometres, which I think is ridiculously high, especially when you consider the complexity of this engine. It's turbocharged, it just needs clean fresh oil.

It doesn't need to go 25,000 kilometres. You're better to do it at 12. You know, keep it clean, keep it fresh. There's just so many things that can go wrong when oil gets grungy and dirty and wears out. It just doesn't make any sense. So, you know, if you're buying the car on a three-year lease yeah just do the 24 K change, you know, because you don't probably don't care. But if you're going to keep the car or if you own the car, do it frequently. And even 12 Ks is not that often. So it's a long period of time. So keep it fresh. Save yourself some money. 

Mark: If you want honest, for real based on experience repairs on your BMW, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can book online, pawlikautomotive.com. You can call them to book, 604-327-7112. You have to book ahead, they're busy, always. Check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. If you want to see the kind of history of all the makes and models and types of repairs that we've covered over the last 10 years. Or the YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. We really appreciate you watching and listening. Thanks Bernie. 

Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching.

2006 Audi A6 Quattro, Headlight Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 24 time winners, best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well. 

Mark: So today's victim is a 2006 Audi A6 Quattro that had a headlight problem. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: The vehicle came to us for an out of province inspection. And one of the issues that was going on with the vehicle, there's a warning light for an adaptive headlight issue on the dash. So all those kinds of things need to be fixed to pass a provincial inspection.

And by the way, you know, so the prevention inspections required. The vehicles being brought in from the Yukon. It'd be actually used to be registered in BC, but it had moved off to the Yukon. So now required being reregistered in BC and a provincial inspection was required.

Mark: So what was going on with the adaptive headlight? 

Bernie: Well, there's an electronic issue with the headlight. And to be honest, we never really looked too far into what was actually happening with it because if the warning lights on, it needs to be off. So the diagnostic procedure, you know, starts with basically plugging a scan tool in and seeing what sort of trouble codes are there.

You know, operating things, clearing code, see if they return. And of course it came right back on as soon as we fired the headlight back up. The lights were working fine, but you know, that issue needed to be solved and fixed before the vehicle could be passed for inspection.

Mark: So what is an adaptive headlight? 

Bernie: So an adaptive headlight, perhaps we can look at some pictures here. While I talk.

So there's the Audi. So basically here's the headlights here. I apologize for the rain. It's been rainy season of Vancouver with severe storms and so on. And it's hard to get pictures of cars outdoors without rain drops on them these days.  

2006 Audi A6 Quattro, Headlight Replacement

But they have lights, adaptive headlights basically will change depending on when you're turning that the light will point in the direction where you turn. It's actually a pretty awesome feature. 

So they'll adapt to road conditions. Some of them will automatically dim as well, but I think most adaptive headlights, at least in this car refer to, they kind of steer with the vehicle so if you're turning left, the lights will kind of point a little bit to the left. And everything's of course taking into account for safety to make sure that it doesn't point into drivers ahead of you, but they'll have sensors to monitor those kinds of things. So that's basically what an adaptive headlight does. 

This is another closer look at the new headlight that we put into the vehicle. Again, nice shiny brand new Audi only part, which makes it quite expensive.

2006 Audi A6 Quattro, Headlight Replacement

 Mark: So what kind of testing and diagnosis did you do after you found that the warning light was still coming on? When you turned the lights on? 

Bernie: There's a few areas that need to be tested. So there's the headlight and then there's the headlight module, which is this piece that bolts into the headlight.

2006 Audi A6 Quattro, Headlight Replacement

There's also an igniter module as well. Which of course, wasn't an issue because the light was igniting and turning on. It's a Xenon headlight, but this module here is part of the adaptive system as well. So we had to do some tests on the module and then the end, we were replaced the light and the module cause we found both of them to have issues. 

But the module, unfortunately for the price of the headlight, surprisingly, it doesn't come with the headlight. You have to buy that as a separate item. But the module, there's feedback between the sensors and the lights and the module will actuate and operate the items.

So it's kind of critical, but probably the best way to test it is to really swap the module from one side to the other on the vehicle and see if the problem follows or whether the issue stays with the headlight. And we found for the most part, the issue stayed at the headlight, but occasionally the module was just giving us some concern too. So both parts were replaced. 

Let's look at a few more pictures here.

Some of the electrical connectors. This is where the module plugs in. You can see there's basically three very large pins. These would be the high power, 12 volt, and then the rest of the very small little wires. So these would be for sensors and actuators and things. The high power components run through these large wires here. 

2006 Audi A6 Quattro, Headlight Replacement
2006 Audi A6 Quattro, Headlight Replacement

This is kind of what's involved in replacing it, removing the front bumper assembly. So there's a fair bit of work involved in changing the headlight on this car. Some cars are really easy. They have little clips and they pop out and other cars are very complicated and this one happens to be the complicated kind.

There's a view where the main power plug that comes in from the vehicle wiring harness. So again, there's a number of pins here. These would turn on the different lights, high beam, low beam, tail lights and that sort of thing.

2006 Audi A6 Quattro, Headlight Replacement

 Mark: So it's all these control module after a placement. Did you have to reprogram anything? 

Bernie: No. Fortunately on this vehicle is plug and play. So you never know from one car to the next, some of them, as soon as you change an electronic module, you have to right, I'll say right as in WRITE the module into the vehicle computer system. But in this case, you don't, it's it's plug and play. So that's good. It's time-consuming, but at least it takes that complexity out of the repair. 

Mark: And so why did it need to be repaired in order to pass a provincial inspection? The lights were working, right? 

Bernie: Yeah. They were. Well, any issue, any warning lights that are on anything that isn't working to factory specifications or that's a safety problem needs to be rectified.

And so in this case, you know, if the lights aren't working properly, which they aren't, if the adaptive lights aren't working, then that needs to be fixed and brought up to spec. So it makes for some expensive repair sometimes for certain things that you would think, well, I'll just live with that because it's working okay. So, you know, it can make for some expensive repairs. 

The other issue that can be difficult is if this vehicle gets really old and the parts are no longer available and I'm thinking like, you know, we get a lot of some old Ford trucks that come into our shop. Vans. People have like camper vans and you know, they're still worth keeping, but all of a sudden there's an ABS warning light on the dash.

Well, you can't buy the module anymore. The diagnostic procedures are really complicated because they're built in the 90s, 80s or 90s when ABS has just been introduced and they didn't really have the good diagnostic procedures. So sometimes if you can't get parts for it, it makes the issue difficult.

But I mean, fortunately this Audi is not very old, so still easy to get parts. So if you have a vehicle that needs to be brought in from out of province, you have a warning light on of any sort, just know that you're going to need to have that fixed. Whether that's an Audi or whatever it is, whether it seems like a superfluous component, it 's still important when it comes time to have that inspection done. 

Mark: So if you need some repairs on your Audi or you need a provincial inspection to bring a vehicle in from out of province, guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. You can book your appointment there, or you can book on a, by phone, who knew. 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call and book ahead or book online. They're busy or check out the website, hundreds and hundreds, maybe over thousands, actually of articles, videos. We've been doing this for a long time. Pawlikautomotive.com. Same thing on YouTube, Pawlik Auto Repair. All makes and models, all types of repairs. And we really appreciate you watching and listening. Thank you, Bernie. 

Thank you, Mark. And thanks for watching and thank you for listening.

2008 Mercedes Benz E320 Bluetec, Engine Mounts

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. 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. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well. 

Mark: 2008 Mercedes diesel. Bluetec. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: So the owner brought the vehicle to our shop, there was a vibration and a noise going on in the front end of the vehicle. He was concerned about. Plus the battery was weak which we replaced, but the front end sort of noise and vibration was a concern. 

Mark: So how do you go about diagnosing and finding out what was going on?

Bernie: Well, the first place to start is with a road test. And we did that. Technician already looked at it, did the diagnosis, but I took the car for driving myself. And immediately I noticed, as soon as you put it into drive or reverse, there's this horrible vibration in the vehicle. And once I feel that, indicates a worn out engine or transmission mount or something vibrating from the engine to the frame of the vehicle.

Mark: Is that a typical way that you would diagnose that? 

Bernie: Well, that's kind of a right away, going hmm. I think that's where the problem lies is an engine mount or transmission mount. So there are ways to diagnose it. So visual inspection of the engine and transmission mounts would be the next step. There's a way we can test it. So what you do is you basically have one person look under the hood. You load the engine up, so you put it in drive, put your left foot on the brake, right foot accelerator. So you're actually loading the engine and it'll twist the engine.

Different direction in forward and reverse. And you can see whether the engine moves. And so we could see very excessive movement when we did that test. Sometimes it only do it and drive, sometimes it only do it in reverse. If a mount's broken bad enough, the engine will actually jump several inches up in the engine compartment, which is not good. But you know, we know we found our problem. So there's definitely excessive play in these mounts. Very clear and noticeable. 

Mark: So an engine mount, isn't that just the rubber piece, what can wear out in an engine mount? 

Bernie: Yeah, so typically they're rubber, but these are a little more complex and we'll show some pictures in a sec, but what can wear out, I mean, a typical old fashioned engine mount was two pieces of steel with a stud or bolt holes on each end.

One end would bolt to the frame of the vehicle. The other would bolt to the engine and there'll be a big piece of rubber cushion in between. They've got a lot more sophisticated. Some of them use electromagnetics to dampen vibrations. Others like these Mercedes, fill the mounts with oil as a cushioning. It's kind of like a shock absorber. So there's more complexity to them. 

And in the olden days, the mounts, if they were to break, they just jump around and move around. But a lot of times they put a little anchor pieces on the mount, so they don't quite come apart like they used to in the old days. Like in the sixties or seventies and earlier when cars were a lot cruder. 

Let's have a look at some pictures. So there's our Mercedes.

2008 Mercedes Benz E320 Bluetec, Engine Mounts
2008 Mercedes Benz E320 Bluetec, Engine Mounts
2008 Mercedes Benz E320 Bluetec, Engine Mounts
2008 Mercedes Benz E320 Bluetec, Engine Mounts
2008 Mercedes Benz E320 Bluetec, Engine Mounts

 So there's one of our old worn out mounts. So the mount on the left side was actually leaking oil out of the mount. I've just got pictures of old mounts to look at here. There's another view of the mount . You can see a lot of fluid that's leaked out of it. And sometimes you see that in the car and other times you don't actually see it until we actually unbolt the mount and then it all kind of falls apart. 

There's a view of the mount with that rubber sort of sleeve or covering sleeve off it. You can see all the oil that's leaked out and the rubber's not in very good shape on this one either. And then finally, this is a mount on the right-hand side of the engine, which wasn't leaking oil. You can see the rubber is kind of a little cracked, not broken, but this mount may have been okay to leave.

But when we change it, we always do them in pairs. It's often best to change them all because if one's worn, the other one will have taken strain or is going to wear out sooner than later. So that's kind of the best thing to do in that case. But again you can see now, all the oil it's leaked out in this mount. And even the the metal isn't sitting properly in comparison to the, it's actually collapsed here. But once you put some load and torque on it, this mount will just jump around.

Mark: So what kind of engine configuration is this, a V6, V8? 

Bernie: It's a V6 diesel. It's a three litre diesel and it's a longitudinal mounted engine. So it's a rear wheel drive, typical Mercedes. Most Mercedes, let's see, all of them, most Mercedes are rear wheel drive.

If they're an all wheel drive, the front wheel drive is kind of a secondary drive of the vehicle, so to speak. As opposed to like something like a Subaru where it's a front wheel drive with the rears kind of being the secondary driver of the vehicle. So BMWs, Mercedes, they're primarily rear wheel drive. And this is a rear wheel drive car. ]

Mark: So you mentioned the transmission shock absorber mount or whatever. Do you have to change that typically when you change the engine mounts? 

Bernie: No, not always. Not in this configuration. It's a little different. When you have your transverse mounted engine is the sideways, I call them sideways mounted engines, a lot of times it's best to change all the mounts in those because the transmissions are twisting back and forth all together. 

So typically most of those engines will have three to four mounts. An engine like this longitudinal mount, it's usually two. There's one for the transmission, sometimes two for the transmission, but one transmission mount, two for the engine. And they can be done separately because they're so far apart and the stresses are quite spread out. 

Mark: So how labor intensive a job is this? 

Bernie: Yeah, it's a bit of a pain on this one. You know, they wedge things in pretty tight on this particular vehicle. So it was pretty labor intensive to change the mounts.

A lot of times it seems like not a very difficult job on a longitudinally mounted engine, but they're getting to be worse and worse the way they shoehorn things in. So took awhile. 

Mark: And how did the car drive after all the mounts were replaced?

Bernie: Oh fantastic. Yeah, felt really good. Vibrations gone and nice and comfortable to drive. 

Mark: So this is a 2008. How are these Bluetec diesels for reliability? 

Bernie: Well, this is the same diesel you find in a Sprinter van or in the MLs and GLs that we talk so much about. They're kind of along the same level of issues. Oil leaks and the like. Maybe a little less stress in the car than there is in the SUV's and truck models.

So they might be a little more durable, but they're still the same kind of concerns. And again, you know, as we've talked about a lot with diesel, you need to warm them up. You need to drive them. So if they're just little grocery getters and your grocery store's a kilometre from your house, that's not a good thing. You should be out to be out driving it, getting it nice and warm. 

Mark: Change the oil. 

Bernie: And change the oil absolutely.

Mark: Do not miss. 

Bernie: Do not miss it and change it once a year. Even if you don't drive it a lot. It's really important. 

Mark: So, if you're looking for service for your diesel vehicle in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive or your Mercedes they're experts in it. You can reach them on their website pawlikautomotive.com. You can actually book on there. They'll call you. They'll get everything set up for you when you come in for your appointment, or you can call them at (604) 327-7112. You have to call or book ahead, you gotta, they're busy. Check out the website.

Like I said, thousands, not exaggerating over a thousand articles on there on all makes and models and types of repairs. We've been doing this for over 10 years. Or the YouTube channel. Pawlik Auto Repair. Same story. Videos, we've pontificated about many things for a long time only cars though. And only cars.

Yes. And of course as always, we really appreciate you watching and listening. Thanks Bernie. 

Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek, Brakes

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 24 time winners, 24 time winners of best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well. 

Mark: Today's victim is a newer one, a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek that had a brake issue. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: So the vehicle came in for a maintenance service and a brake inspection, and we found the rear brakes are worn out and needed to be replaced. So nothing out of the ordinary you might expect on a fairly newish vehicle.  

Mark: 2018. So how many kilometres were on this vehicle? 

Bernie: It had 57,000. So I guess we average it out. That's about 20 a year. It's sort of an average amount of driving. 

Mark: And I guess this would be their first brake job?

Bernie: Yeah, it was. You know, 60,000 Ks is kind of average for most vehicles with an automatic transmission. You get some vehicles with standards, the brakes last an awful lot longer. And of course, if it's an EV, they usually last way, way, way, way longer. But yeah, that's kind of average for a gasoline powered, automatic transmission vehicle. 

Mark: And what type of parts do you use for your brake replacements? 

Bernie: Well, we use a variety depending on car, but for this particular vehicle, we used a Napa, they're called the Adaptive One Line, which is their top line brake pads and rotors. And we use those for this particular vehicle. We find those work really well, good warranty. They're formulated right for the car. So yeah, that's what we use for this vehicle. 

Mark: So wouldn't the original Subaru brake parts be better? 

Bernie: No. Sometimes, I mean, there's nothing wrong with the original equipment because they're designed for the vehicle. And in some cases, in some cars, that's what we use. But we find a lot of times the aftermarket parts have better warranty. They last longer, I've had number of cars over the years where I've done cars with original brakes and they lasted for say 60,000 Ks.

And then 60,000 Ks later, the brakes still have lots of material left on. So a lot of times after market materials will actually last longer. So not always the case, but if you use the good stuff, it usually is the case. We'll have a look at some pictures here for a sec. 


2018 Subaru Crosstrek, Brakes

These are the old brakes pads. I mean, everything, kind of rusty and crusty that you kind of get after a few years of usage. And obviously this thing's been probably through some salty roads. I think of a 2018 is not really that old, but it's obviously seen a bit of salty roads. So the pads again, pretty near worn out. Not completely, but you never really want to let them get to that point. 

2018 Subaru Crosstrek, Brakes

Here's a picture of our new brakes with the Napa adaptive one rotors. The pads installed. Part of our service, we clean the caliper. So we take the caliper slider pins out. We clean, we lubricate them. We sand blast the caliper where the slider points are on the calipers. And then the good quality brake pads come with new mounting hardware as well. So we put that in. We lubricate the sliding points and make sure it all works good. 

Mark: And for anyone who's interested, there's an in-depth ancient video that we produced, I think, close to 10 years ago, or that you produced about 10 years ago, that shows in detail every step of the process of doing the kind of brake repairs that you've done for over a decade. So what kind of warranty do you put on your brake repairs?

Bernie: Yeah, so everything has a two year, 40,000 kilometre warranty. And you know, which is a really good warranty for brakes. I mean, unless it's a commercial vehicle. So I mean, usually, it's rare that we have to do any warranty work, but sometimes rotors will warp. I mean, that's probably the most common problem we get. Sometimes at least some noises or squeaks. 

We kind of offer a no nonsense warranty. If they're squeaks and squeals and things, we fix it and replace it. So it's not like, well, you know, squealing is normal, which it can be. You know, we fix it, we replace it. Our brake jobs, I'll say they're not the cheapest around especially when I drive by and I see a sign saying, a few miles from my shop, brakes $89.95. I'm going, what are they doing for 89.95? I mean, half the time, you can't even get a set of brake pads for that money. So I don't know what they're giving, you know, they should probably take that sign down. But you know we charge a fair amount for them and we back it up. 

Mark: And how Subaru Crosstreks for reliability? 

Bernie: They're good. I think they're a great car. You know, we've run into really no issues with them whatsoever, so far. They've been out for a while now. Probably maybe a decade, maybe not quite that, but yeah, they're good cars. 

Mark: If you're looking for service for your brakes or for your Subaru in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can book on the website pawlikautomotive.com or who knew you could actually call them. Use ancient technology and phone them 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call or book online ahead. They are busy. If you want more information, like you want to look up that brake video checkout, pawlikautomotive.com. There's a search function there. There's over a thousand videos on all makes and models and types of repairs. Or the YouTube channel. Pawlik Auto Repair. Same story. We've been doing this for over 10 years. And of course we really appreciate you watching and listening. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching.

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