Blog - Pawlik Automotive Repair, Vancouver BC

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert from Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, and we're talking cars. How you doing this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: In our business, a lot of times when people want a new website, I will tell them, because I know the numbers, "You know what? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Your website is doing really good, and we're risking everything if we go into the unknown with something that, just because it makes you feel a little better, it doesn't really work better." So why wouldn't I just fix my car as things break?

Bernie: It's a good question. There's that saying that's been out there for a long time, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," which is true in a large part. But the one thing with a car is, we want to count on it and it is a machine that has a lot of moving parts, a lot of functional pieces that do wear out and do break. The idea behind doing maintenance the way we like to do it at a Pawlik Automotive, is to look at your whole car, and just determine what condition components are in, so we can fix them before they break.

I mean, the thing about, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," chances are you wouldn't want to fly on an airplane with an aircraft company that had that maintenance procedure, because if an engine quits halfway through a flight, that's not a good thing. That's why they have scheduled maintenance, and that's why cars do as well.

Mark: So, you're not just treating symptoms, you're looking for causes? Is that a fair way of describing it?

Bernie: Absolutely. I mean, I guess we can break this into two things. Maybe we can talk about just routine inspections first, versus diagnosing actual problems.

With a routine inspection, we have a number of points, items, that we look at and we inspect, from your brakes to your wheels, tires, steering and suspension, exhaust system, cooling system. There's a lot to look at on a car, engine conditions, spark plugs, if it's gasoline powered engine. I mean, electric cars are going to be a whole lot simpler, because there's a lot of things that don't need to be done, but there's still things that are going to wear out.

So, there's things to inspect and look at and just verify that they're in good working order. If they're not, for instance, if, say, there's a control arm bushing that's cracked and worn, it might not be need to be replaced today, but maybe six months down the road, or a year, it'll need to be replaced, before it starts wearing your tires in a funny way. From our inspections and checklists, we can determine, "Do you need to actually fix something now? What are the consequences of not fixing it? What items will it prevent damage to, down the road?"

Mark: So, you're sort of positioning this as, you're the experts as far as knowing what to replace when, and what's really safe. Because there could be a time where that control arm bushing or ... causes tire wear. And, when you really need your tires to stop, because they've worn funny, they don't. That could be very dangerous.

Bernie: Absolutely. The other thing, too, is to be sensitive to people's budgets. I mean, the thing, using the analogy of an airplane, I mean, there's a certain point where, on the life of an airplane, an airline might go, "You know what, there's too much maintenance costs in this plane. We're going to ... It's time to get rid of it" Sell it, whatever they do with old airplanes and, buy a new one. We can determine the same thing, depending on the owner. But also with cars, the nice thing is, they don't fall from the sky, that if you have a certain component ...I'm thinking of a customer we had a while ago with a Honda CRV, and it's been a really reliable car. We did an inspection. There's probably $5,000 worth of items on the vehicle that would bring it back up to perfection. One of them was a power steering rack, is about, I think, about $1,200 repair. She's going, "Wow, well I don't want to spend money on that." It's like, "There's no problem." It's like, "It's got a leak. Here's where you can top the fluid up. Just keep an eye on it." It might take a year before it leaks down enough to even need more fluid. So, while it would make the vehicle perfect to fix it, it's not necessarily needed right away. So, we can work with that.

Mark: In your view, as a shop owner with 38 years of experience doing this, 20 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by your customers, you position yourself as a trusted advisor, of letting people know exactly what's going on with their vehicles, so they don't really have to be an expert in the car, and you can tell them what's next that needs to be replaced now, or in the future, or to keep an eye on.

Bernie: Exactly. I think people are really counting on us for that. What I see in a lot of other shops, maybe, where service advisers are not that well-educated, or maybe they're, maybe it's a more flat rate pay bay shop, where if something's wrong, the technician gets paid to fix something. There might be some incentives to do things and just not really looking in the customer's best interests of going, "Hey, you know, you could leave this."

By the same token, I mean, if there's something really dangerous we'll say, "Hey, you shouldn't drive this car." The odd person will choose to drive it anyways. But it's, "You have a ball joint that's really loose, and about to pop apart." It's a little disconcerting letting people go.

But that's, yeah, that's exactly what we do, is give advice on that kind of thing and prioritize things. I mean, of course, safety issues are the highest priority. Then, maintenance items would be a little lower, if you have a couple of thousand dollars worth of safety items that really need to be done. We get a lot of car ... people who come to our shop who haven't, they've kind of neglected their cars for a while, or haven't had it serviced and we look at it and go, "There's a lot of things that could be done on this car."

Depending on their budget, sometimes people want to do everything, sometimes people want to do nothing, or maybe there's a hybrid solution. The safety concerns, of course is the first thing, and then followed by things like, the transmission fluid needs to be serviced and flushed. That can be left as a lower priority, because it's not going to cause your car to, something to break and a safety issue.

Mark: So, maintenance is not necessarily going to prevent all catastrophic repair or all catastrophic failures. Is that fair?

Bernie: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, good, even good maintenance, things will happen. I like the analogy of thinking, there are people around who smoke, drink, eat nothing but french fries, and they live to a hundred years old. But generally speaking, that's a very rare thing. There's also people who live very healthy. They're physically fit. They eat right. They do all the right things, and they drop dead at, like, 40 years old from a heart attack. You never know sometimes.

The thing with a car, it's kind of like that. You can do really good maintenance, and all of a sudden there's some congenital defect in the engine, and something just breaks. But that's not very common, and the key ... It's like the human body thing, too. It's like, generally speaking, if you take care of yourself, take care of your car, it'll last way longer, and have less problems.

Mark: So there you go. If you want a more reliable vehicle and you want regular maintenance done on your vehicle, from a provider who you can trust, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112, to book your appointment. You have to book ahead. They're busy. Or, check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. Our YouTube channel is Pawlik Auto Repair, hundreds of videos on there and all makes and models and types of repairs and maintenance. And of course, thank you for listening to the podcast. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks, Mark. Thanks for watching.

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG Front Brake Pads and Rotor Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, producer of the Pawlik Automotive video series and podcasts and we're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 20 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And of course today we're talking cars. How are you doing this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing well.

Mark: 2015 Mercedes Benz, CLA45 AMG, has a bloody long name. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: Yeah, so this vehicle came to our shop for an inspection and we found that the front brakes, all we really found with the front brake pads and rotors were worn out.

Mark: Anything unique about the brakes in an AMG?

Bernie: Well, yeah, so AMG of course is a high performance version, the Mercedes high performance division and the brakes in any AMG model are definitely larger than their lesser model cars. So you know they're larger rotors, larger pads, larger calipers for obviously better stopping ability with the higher horsepower engines.

Mark: Is there only one type of brake option?

Bernie: No, actually there isn't. So interesting with Mercedes generally as a whole line. A lot of their cars you'll get a, say a C series regular sedan and they'll have like two or three different brake packages, which as an auto repair business, it makes it a pain to order the brakes sometimes, but on the CLA model, for instance, there are actually two different brake packages. There's the the regular brakes and then there's the AMG brake package and you think everything would have the AMG brake package, but, in this case, there was another option and this is true among a lot of other AMG vehicles. You'll have like this sort of regular AMG brakes, then you have the actual AMG brake package and the difference is very substantial in cost. For the rotors, I own an SL55 and the regular brake packages, for instance, like the brake rotors are, I can't remember, they're about about $300 per rotor for the front, but if you have the AMG brake package, the rotors are $1,300, like we're talking Canadian dollars, so you know $1,000 more per rotor. That adds a lot to a brake job.

Now the brakes are even bigger than, double my 55 and it's already got massive brakes and it stops really fast. With the AMG brake package has even bigger rotors. So I guess you know, we're going 150 miles an hour, you can keep stopping it really fast wherever you'd ever drive that fast. So the CLA kind of a drifted off a little bit. The CLA is the same thing. It has two different options. Fortunately for the owner of this vehicle, it had the cheaper rate package.

Mark: Any extra work required in replacing these brakes?

Bernie: No, there isn't. They're actually the same as any other Mercedes brake or most other brakes. Simple re-movement of the rotors, calipers, cleaning and servicing as we always do but there's nothing extra to do. Although some AMG models have, instead of like say two brake pads, they'll have, actually, the pad will be split into two pieces. It will be actually four brake pads per side. So it adds a little bit of extra labor but not a lot. On this car, it's basically the same. And actually we should get into some pictures.

Nice red CLA45 beautiful looking car. It's a little hot rod for a four door sedan. There's a view of the brakes. So again, the nice thing about the AMG too is they give a nice presentation. When you're looking at the wheel you'll see a nice, some are silver, some are red, you know with the AMG stripe and a nice sized caliper.

And you can see these rotors are, they're a pretty good size rotor cross drilled with some slots in them as well for extra cooling. And this is a picture of our old brake pads. So again, it's interesting, some of these, they have like little extra counterweights on the brake pads and I don't know why they do that. I probably should know since we're trying to speak intelligently about these things. But anyways, that's a picture of the brake pad. You can see the brake pad wear sensor goes in this area. You can see the pad's pretty well worn down, right where the pad sensor groove sits. So anyways, there's a few pictures.

Mark: So this is a smaller sized AMG vehicle. How is it?

Bernie: Oh, it's awesome. Fun little car. It's a two litre, twin turbo, really fast. I think zero to 60 in about 4.9 seconds, which is pretty quick, very quick. And yeah, it's a fun little car.

Mark: So there, if you are looking for some service for your AMG in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to book ahead. They're busy. Or check out the website, pawlikautomotive.com. YouTube video series, Pawlik Auto Repair, hundreds of videos over the last five years on all makes and models of cars. And of course, thank you for watching the podcast. We appreciate it. And thank you Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching.

2001 Dodge Ram 3500 Front Axle U-Joint Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert. We're here with Mr Bernie Pawlik. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. We're doing the Pawlik Automotive podcast and video series, and we're talking cars. How are you doing this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: 2001 Dodge Ram 3500, this is an oldie but goodie. Had a front axle joint problem. What was going on with this Dodge pickup?

Bernie: So the owner brought it into us. There was some clunking noises coming from the front of the vehicle. That was his primary concern with the vehicle. Other than that, everything was running really well.

Mark: So what diagnosis and testing did you do to find the problem?

Bernie: So our first step, of course, is a road test to verify the owner's concern, and we could definitely hear some noises coming from the front end. So the next part of the diagnosis is to do a visual inspection, and we hoisted the vehicle, had a look, and found the front left axle U-joint was worn out.

Mark: So what's involved in doing this repair?

Bernie: Basically we have to take the wheel off, the brake rotor comes off, the hub comes out, the hub assembly comes out, which is a fair bit of work, and then the axle shaft could be slid out from there. I could put some pictures up or if we want to have a look. 

So there's are a nice condition, 2001 Dodge. It's an 18 year old truck at this point, but it almost looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor, at least from this, from this angle here.

The a U-joint, so this is the front axle shaft. Oh by the way, I'll just go back. So yeah. So the axle U joint is in behind this wheel, and it's a four wheel drive, so it goes from the a front differential out to the wheel and allows for flexible coupling out to the wheel. Common on any American four wheel drive pickup truck. They all use this design of a universal joint on the end.

So there's our old axle. You can see a lot of rust in this area, which is a dead giveaway, even when the joints aren't worn as bad as this one. Often when we doing an inspection, we can see a bit a rust seeping out of one of these four corners of U-joint and that's a sure fire sign that the joint is worn.

Going a little further, this is the old joint taken apart. You can see that one half of it is completely rusted out. Inside the cup, there are needle bearings in here. This section here still has some grease in it, and the bearings were in decent shape.

Comparative, that is what the new one looks like. There's quite a quite a profound difference. There's little needle bearings in the joint, and, of course, no rust. And another sort of overall view of the U-joint with the grease nipple. Some of these actually come pre, you fill them pre-greased, and they have a higher strength seal in them, so you don't to lubricate them and some are lubricatable, and it's probably better to have the ones that you lube, because they face a pretty severe environment sometimes with moisture and water. It's down low on the vehicle. It's constantly exposed to rain, and if you actually happen to drive through puddles or streams or something, it's a very exposed component. So greasing them on a regular basis is a good idea, if it is greasable.

Mark: So is this like brakes, where if you do one side to get balanced, you have to do the other side?

Bernie: No, not at all. And this is the type of repair where it really, there's no economic sense to do both at the same time. We can inspect them very well visually. We can see them, and determine whether the joint in fact is this is good or not. And in the case of this vehicle, the one on the right hand side was in fine shape, so we just left it for the time being. You never know when it's going to wear out. It might be a few months down the road, it might be a couple of years, but it doesn't cost anymore to do... there's no cost savings in doing both at the same time, and there's no performance difference in doing it.

Mark: So this truck's, like you said, 18 years old. Is it still worth repairing?

Bernie: Oh yeah. Well, you saw the initial photo of the truck. It's in very good shape, and it's a dually. A dually truck, to me, is kind of a specific use vehicle. It's more like a tool or piece of equipment. There are some people who drive them around all day long, but it's kind of ridiculous. It's just that massive vehicle and the size of it. The thing that's great about a dually is if you're hauling a large trailer, you've got a big camper, it's a very useful vehicle, and being a diesel, and it's a Cummins diesel, they're very reliable. So this is a truck, if you keep it in good shape, it'll still be good 10 years down the road from now, and still worth putting money into. The initial investment to buy one is high, and keeping it in good shape, good state of repair, it's worth it.

Mark: So there you go. If you need some service on your Dodge Ram in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to book ahead. They're busy. Remember, there are 20 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers, and we really appreciate you watching and listening. And thank you, Bernie.

Bernie: Thank you, Mark. And thanks for watching.

2009 Volvo XC70 Engine Mount Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast, we're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 20 time winners including this year again. 20 time winner's of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver, number one, as voted by their customers and, of course, we're talking cars. How are you doing this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing well.

Mark: So, 2009 Volvo XC70, it's probably pretty close to the introduction year of these cars. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well this vehicle was brought to our shop with an amazing drive noise while the engine was running and driving. Like, I say amazing, sadly, I didn't record it because it made some of the most horrific noises I've ever heard come out of a vehicle.

And, the noise would happen when you put it in drive, you accelerate, it would make this horrible scraping, vibrating, rattling sound and, it would just disappear once you hit a certain speed. And, it was perplexing, to say the least, to try to figure out what it was because it just incorporated so many sounds of motion and vibration and, things. So, that's kind of the main, that's the main reason it was brought it, I mean, it sounded like the sky was falling in, it was pretty horrific.

Mark: What tests did you do to find the concern?

Bernie: Well, of course, road test is the first start to try to get a sense of what could this be and then, second, of course, is a hoist inspection to look underneath the vehicle at suspected areas and, we have stethoscopes and listening devices where we can listen to different components. But, what made this diagnosis perplexing is that we couldn't see anything under the hood or even, once you pop the hood, the vibration could be heard inside the car but you'd never hear it outside, you couldn't hear it under the hood.

So, we listened with various stethoscopes in different spots, tried to emulate the noise. What we did notice is, if you put it in reverse, the noise seemed to be there and then, when you put it into park, the noise would be there but, if the vehicle would roll back in park, the noise would disappear.

And so, we started suspecting it could be an engine mount issue, that seemed to be kind of the most likely candidate. And the thing with an engine mount is, it, in and of itself isn't going to make any noise but, what it will do is, if it's collapsed or, somethings happened to the engine mount, it will transmit all the noise from the drive train into the vehicle. So, it can do that in a lot of strange and weird ways.

Mark: And how did you eventually find the culprit?

Bernie: So eventually so, again, suspecting an engine mount we, you know, jacked the engine up and visually inspected the mounts. Of course, the mounts, a lot of them are buried. What we did find there so, the Volvo has basically four engine mounts. It has one on the right side, that's the main engine mount, which is sort of buried, a little hidden. It has a transmission mount on the left side. Again, very buried and then, it has two torque mounts and, most of those torque mounts have been replaced, one sits on top of the engine, the other one sits underneath. Both of those were clearly in good condition and, the top one was definitely nearly new.

So, it got to the point where, based on symptoms and what we experienced, we said, "It must be a collapsed engine mount." So, we actually removed the drivers side engine mount and, that's where we found the issue. We may as well just get right into pictures because, that's where the interesting stuff is.

So, there's Volvo XC70, nice youthful, practical wagon. I always like to say something good about every car we work on. Anyways so, engine mounts. So, there is the engine mount that we removed from the vehicle, you can't see a lot from this view but, this basically, this section bolts to the vehicle and, this part here is where the engine mount bracket bolts down to the mount. So that's the old mount. Here's a comparison. This is an old and new.

So, this is the original mount now, you can see that tab that we showed, can you see how low that sits compared, this is the new one? This mount had collapsed and that's where the noise was coming from but, it wasn't evident when we looked at it because it was, again, buried and hidden and, sometimes when you jack an engine up you can put a floor jack under the engine and jack it up, the engine will jump up and lift or, there's way's we can test engine mounts and, nothing showed up as obviously a bad engine mount.

So, that's what took us a while to figure it out, until we actually ... So, sometimes you actually have to go, "Okay, this is what we suspect" and, take it a part and it's very evident here where you can see that different heights of the new mount.

There's another view of the mounts. Again, you can see the, see this mount clearly is collapsed compared to this view of the new mount here. And then, then the ...

Mark: What's actually collapsed there? What's inside the black ...

Bernie: So, there's actually rubber and oil inside these mounts. Now, it used to be that an engine mount was simply one piece of metal on each side and, a piece of rubber in the middle but, what they do with a lot of these modern engine mounts is they actually fill them with oil because it provides an additional cushioning and, sometimes you can actually see oil seeping out of an engine mount which is pretty clear evidence that its worn out.

But, what's collapsed is the rubber, I guess the rubber collapses over time and then the oil can leak. Well, this one wasn't leaking but, I actually ended up sticking on my took cart, upside down and it actually leaked out a bunch of oil.

But, essentially the rubber just collapses over time and, there's a few items that will fail. There are some engine mounts that actually have electronic controls to them too and, I don't even, I haven't even studied, really, how they work, I'm just sometimes perplexed as a complexity that we have in our cars. Like why do you need an electronic ... Seem like when a rubber mount just worked fine but, that's why we get the smooth riding cars that we do and, you know, when everything works well, you can't even feel the engine in the car but, when it fails, it's noticeable.

Mark: So we have another picture on the screen with an arrow on it.

Bernie: The metal, yeah.

Bernie: So, this here is, this is where the engine mount, that top piece, the one that was collapsed, this is sort of an underneath view, this is the bracket that actually bolts up to the engine and the engine mounts in turn bolts to this bracket through this hole here.

Now, the arrows pointing to this little worn piece of metal here. Again, you know, I feel bad, I've presented a couple of bad photos, I should check my work a little more before I do this.

But, anyways, you can kind of see a little discoloured spot and, that was basically where the edge of the engine mount was rubbing against this metal bracket. And, that's where a lot of that noise was happening. It's basically transmitting the noises of the engine and the drive train right through the body of the vehicle and, causing all that noise.

And, actually, if I look at this picture here, oh yeah, right here you can actually see a worn spot here so, that's where that little piece of metal was rubbing against that. So that was the actual cause of the issue.

There we have it, pretty straight forward in the end but, it just took a while to take things apart until we could see it.

Mark: How was the mount on, the main transmission mount on the other side?

Bernie: Well, we never replaced it. Again, it was quite buried, I suspect, probably based on age, it wouldn't have been a bad idea to replace it but, you know, the costs of the repairs got up there and, we replaced this and it solved the issue completely.

So, for the time being, we'll leave that mount but, a lot of times, with engine mount repairs, with vibrations and engine mounts, some things are not so noticeable and often, it's worth just replacing all of them, even thought it can be a very expensive job, just replace them all because it deals with the issue. Sometimes it's hard to pin down which one it is. In this case it was pretty obvious.

Mark: Were there any other issues with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well there was, nothing related to this but, we did notice the water pump was leaking so we did replace that at the same time. This is one of those 3.2 litre, six cylinder engines that has the, I know we've got a couple of features on these, it has the drive belt and accessories mounted in the middle of the engine over the top of the transmission. It's a good space saving way to do things but, it's certainly makes for expensive and time consuming repair.

So the water pump, instead of being located on the outer side of the engine, is located in the middle, its on the inner side of the engine near the transmission. So, there's a lot of stuff to remove, it's a pretty complex repair but, it was done and, fixed.

Mark: So this is a 10 year old car. How are they for repairs and reliability?

Bernie: They're pretty good but, there are a few things. I mean, you know, we've done a lot of features on the rear differentials, the pinion bearings wearing out, that's a guaranteed repair you'll have on one of these cars if you keep it long enough or, buy it at a certain age.

We're running into issues with the drive belt mechanism too, you know, things like water pumps and there's pulley's and a variety of things in that area but, overall, they're a pretty good, decent, reliable vehicle, they're just, you know, they are complex and they can be expensive to repair. So, just keep that in mind.

But, you know, you are buying, you know, it's a nice quality vehicle, it's a good drive, Volvo safety, economical and it's all wheel drive too so, it will get you wherever you want to go in the harshest of conditions, good ground clearance too.

Mark: So there you go. If you need some service on your Volvo in Vancouver, the guys to see are, Pawlik Automotive, you can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to book ahead because, they're busy and, they're just in Vancouver for all you other folks in the rest of North America as well. Check out the website, pawlikautomotive.com, hundreds of articles and videos on there about all makes and models of cars, the YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair, same thing. We've been doing this for five years as well, thank you so much for watching and listening to the podcast, we appreciate it and, thank you Bernie.

Bernie: Thank you Mark and, thanks for watching, we love doing these, it's lots of fun.

2000 BMW 323i Engine Misfire Repair

Mark: Hi it's Mark Bossert, producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast and Video Series and we're here of course with Mr. Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience and 20 time winners of the Best AutoRepair in Vancouver as voted by their customers and today we're talking cars. How you doing this morning Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: So 2009 BMW ... 2000 sorry.

Bernie: 2000 yeah, it's an oldie.

Mark: Yeah, BMW 323I. Had an engine misfire. What was going on with this BMW?

Bernie: Yeah so the vehicle was brought to our shop. The engine was shaking, running rough, clearly a misfire condition was happening the check engine light was also on. So we proceeded to do some testing and diagnosis.

Mark: What testing and diagnosis did you do?

Bernie: Well so for a concern like this, first thing of course is to verify the client's concern by driving it, which we did. Second was to plug in a diagnostic scan tool and just retrieve stored trouble codes, see what data's available, see what information we can get. So that was the first step. Found several trouble codes stored, but most predominantly was a cylinder four misfire. Well there was actually two, cylinder four and cylinder one.

But when we can review data, and it'll say how often the misfire occurred and cylinder four was clearly I believe there's 74 or 70 occurrences, it's actually probably a lot more. But the data for cylinder four was much higher than cylinder one. Cylinder one may have misfired just because of number four, but clearly cylinder four had the issue.

So from there, we can narrow down our testing and there's a couple ways to, I mean, there's a few things that will cause a cylinder misfire, one could be bad compression, the other could be an ignition problem like the coil or spark plug, or it could be a fuel injector, or a massive vacuum leak. Those are some of the things that can cause a misfire.

But it's pretty obvious from years of experience, it's pretty obvious when you have an ignition misfire, you can feel the roughness and because the issue occurred suddenly, it's usually a good first place to start.

So from there, we have a really nice lab scope we can actually test the ignition firing pattern by just putting a probe on top of the ignition coils. Now this is a direct coil on plug ignition system, so it's a six cylinder engine and there's one coil per cylinder. So we can go and test each coil while the engine's running, and it was very clear looking at the scope pattern that the number four ignition coil was not firing properly at all, it was dead.

So basically found the problem right there. I mean the other way that we do it without this is we can take the coil out, we can swap it to another cylinder, clear the codes, see if the misfire now moves to the other cylinder, that's also an effective method to find the issue. In this case, it was verified right off the bat. So number four cylinder coil was dead.

Mark: So is misfiring a fairly common problem on BMWs?

Bernie: It is one of the more common issues that we repair on these vehicles, yeah. It is yeah.

Mark: And the ignition coil tested bad? What else and was there anything else contributing to this misfire?

Bernie: Well the other thing that we always test of course is once we verify the coil's bad, I mean, the coil fires the spark plug, so you know we didn't know the condition of the spark plugs. It wasn't like you know, I mean if we'd known they were replaced last week or a couple weeks ago and we'd done them ourselves, we probably wouldn't look any further. But because there was no history on spark plug replacement, the next thing to do is pull the coil out and do a visual inspection.

There's a big long coil boot, it's a rubber piece, I'll show a picture in a minute and then of course, inspect the spark plug. Pull the spark plug out, inspect that, and the spark plugs in this case were extremely badly worn. So I mean even if we changed the coil, firing on an old spark plug is probably not the best thing because the coil has to work a whole lot harder to fire, so.

Why don't we just get into some pictures? So there's our nice condition, 323I, still, 235,000 kilometres, still looking good, it's a nice car. Again, if you take care of your car, it'll keep looking good and keep running well. What do we got for the next picture?

So this is the coil boot. I actually didn't take a picture of the ignition coil for some reason, but the ignition coil sits up here. And this boot is, basically attaches. The spark plug sits down here. Now you can see this rubber, this is a soft rubber boot but with 235,000 kilometres and almost 20 years of life, the rubber's kind of hard and cracked, and it was breaking off. So this was another piece that we replaced while we did it.

This was kind of like the equivalent to a spark plug wire, but it's very short. But again, it's critical to have this sealing properly because with anything electrical, electricity always follows the path of least resistance. So for some reason a gap were to occur here, it might actually fire the spark down the side of the spark plug wall instead of down the insulator or against the spark plug tube instead of actually firing the cylinder. So pretty critical piece to replace.

And then finally, the spark plugs, and I apologize this is not the sharpest picture I've taken, but you can see even in a fuzzy image, this is the old spark plug, this is the new one. Besides looking a little grungy, I'll just go over a couple of pieces of spark plug. So this is the centre electrode that serves as positive terminal of the spark plugs, and you can see this one is flat and flush with the ceramic insulator. You can see this one here, the ceramic insulator even in a crappy photo has got cracks, and the electrode is really badly worn. It's not flat and flush to the edge, and these are the ground electrodes. These are kind of an interesting spark plug. They have four ground electrodes. A lot of spark plugs if you've ever seen them, this ground electrode kind of goes over top of this, and it fires the spark directly.

But these ones can fire in any direction to any of these four ground electrodes. But again if you can see these ground electrodes are really badly worn against the insulator, there's a huge gap. So there isn't a spark plug gap spec for this particular spark plug, but you can see visually just how badly worn this is. So it's kind of a miracle this thing was actually running as well as it did but also a testament to how long spark plugs last nowadays.

Mark: So how often are spark plugs scheduled to be replaced on this model of BMW?

Bernie: I didn't actually look up the spec, but I think it's somewhere around 160,000 kilometres. That's kind of a standard nowadays for spark plugs.

Mark: So and it looks like these were in right from new?

Bernie: I think so. They were actually BMW ... you know, they actually said BMW on the spark plug so that tells me they were original equipment spark plugs.

Mark: So that's a pretty long life.

Bernie: That's a very long life.

Mark: So BMWs have earned a reputation for needing a lot of expensive repairs. How's this generation of the 3 series?

Bernie: You know, these are pretty good cars. I mean, they do have their list of quirks and things, I can rattle off a few. I mean, among them you know, ignition coils are a failure item and the crank case vent valves are a failure item. There's a lot of cooling system issues with water pumps and plastic parts, thermostats, hoses, even radiators, plastic parts get brittle and there's some suspension bushings, control arm bushings. Those kind of things.

Other than that, it's a good reliable car. And you know I think with any car, if you know the things that are going to go wrong and these are fairly predictable, then you can decide, hey is this car going to be worth it? And if you're buying a used one, you know, have these items been fixed and repaired?

But generally I'd say these are less ... Even though they're complex for their age, they're actually less complex than a lot of newer ones and I'd say more reliable.

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for service for your BMW in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, or check out the website, pawlikautomotive.com, YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair, hundreds of videos on all makes and models of cars and types of repairs and maintenance and of course, thank you so much for listening to the podcast. We appreciate it. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark and thanks for watching.

How Reliable Are BMW Vehicles

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, Producer of The Pawlik Automotive Podcast and Video Series. We're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive, in Vancouver. Of course, 20-time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver, as voted by their customers, including this year, 2019, and 38 years repairing cars in Vancouver. And, how are you doing this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Good, very good.

Mark: Excellent. So, we're going to talk about BMW, the ultimate driving machine, the reliability thereof. Are BMW's reliable?

Bernie: Well, that's a pretty broad question. There's ... I mean, there's a huge lineup of vehicles from your sort of, let's say, your sort of basic three series sedans, up to SUV's, luxury SUV's and the X5. Compact SUV's. We've got some very nice sporty models, including the Alpina, which is a ... I hope I said that properly, which is kind of a AMG'ish type version of a BMW. And, the M Series, high performance. So, there's a lot of variety in BMW. I mean, you won't find any pickup trucks. But, you can find pretty much everything else.

Mark: So, there've been some studies that claim that BMW's the most expensive car to repair. What's your experience in the shop?

Bernie: I'd say they are pretty expensive to repair. There's a lot that does go wrong with BMW's. Not all models, but I would say, in a nutshell, you could expect to be paying more to fix a BMW than a lot of other brands of cars. Maybe not any more than a Mercedes or another equivalent European car, but there are a number of issues that happen.

And, I know the study you're talking about. Kind of compiled from a database of auto repair costs, and I believe it was acquired, I think it's from a mobile auto service or an online booking service, and they kind of looked at the pricing and stuff. And so, it is somewhat accurate, but I don't know that it's really a full sort of sample of the whole automotive market place. But, I would tend to agree with that, generally. They are definitely more expensive.

Mark: And of course, is it fair to say that for the brand, BMW, we're talking about generalities. We're not necessarily branding or stating that they're X or Y, because certain models within any brand of vehicles that's made, certain models would be better. Certain models, eh, not so much. Is that true for BMW as well?

Bernie: Yeah, absolutely. There's a wide variety of issues in different models of cars. And, I mean, we can talk about some of the more specific things, but I think generally, some models are better than others.

I think I've said this on my pod, my daughter owns like, a 2003 Series. It's a really reliable car. I mean, very little's gone wrong. And, I know you had a three series that's maybe a little older, that you had all sorts of problems with. And, you know, we see other newer three series where there's a number of things. So, there are some common problems to them, but generally, some are more reliable than others.

Mark: So, let's work our way through. How are the brakes on BMW?

Bernie: Brakes are generally good. There's not really a lot of issues in the brake department. Pads and rotors, of course, need to be replaced. It's a typical European vehicle where, as the pads wear, they usually wear the rotors at the same time. So, to do a proper job, you'll do pads and rotors.

They also have an electronic wear sensor which is, it's a little additional item that you won't find on a lot of North American or Japanese cars, but that's another item that needs to be replaced. But other than that, the brakes generally, they have an average life span, 50 to 80 thousand kilometre type of range. Some of the SUV's, they might wear a little quicker. But, that's the general rate. So, brakes are good. Nothing unusual in that department. And, not overly expensive to repair, unless you get into some of the high performance M series where the rotors and pads are oversized.

Mark: What about steering and suspension?

Bernie: There's a few issues there. Control arm bushings, especially on some three series vehicles, have been problematic for a long time. They tend to wear out, and when you replace them, they tend to wear out really quickly even after that. So, that's certainly something we see. There's some ball joints will wear out in the suspension.

Other than that, pretty good. But, there are some predictable parts that we'll see on certain models that will wear out. And these are mostly, I think, like, the three and five series.

Mark: What about engines?

Bernie: So, engines, well, there's a lot to be said for engines. And, BMW really has two ... unless you get into the V10's ... but, I mean, two common engines. They have V8's, and they have their straight six engine, which they've used for a long time.

Now, the six cylinder engine is, you get some that are like, two litre, some that are a three litre, and they've just sort of changed the dimensions inside the engine to accommodate. But, on the outside of the engine, looks pretty much exactly the same.

And, of course, they modified them as technology's increased with variable valve timing, and variable valve lift, and all sorts of pretty nifty technologies. But, I think the six cylinders, generally, are much better than the V8's. There's some problems with the V8's that can be ... And again, I'm going back to kind of the early 2000 range where their timing chains would wear out. And just, horrifically expensive to fix. So, you know, like, it's like 25 or 40 hours labor type of time, if you can just add a, multiply that by a hundred dollars or a hundred and fifty, or whatever you pay for labor. You can see, that would be an extremely expensive repair, plus parts.

Coolant leaks are common on those V8's as well, and again, extremely expensive to fix. So, I'm often like, I like power and performance, but I find those V8's, I'd be kind of scared to own one. Six cylinders on the other hand, I mean, they do have their problems, but they're much more reliable in many ways. And, some of the issues we see with the six cylinder, oil leaks, valve cover gaskets will leak. Oil pan gaskets will leak. Oil pan gaskets, valve covers, oil filter housings, talking about a lot of different places here.

Some of these oil leaks are actually pretty expensive to fix, too. Like, on an X drive, drive shaft goes through the oil pan. So, it's a very labor-intensive job to change an oil pan gasket on many of these. So, they do fail on most of them, so that is an expensive issue.

Mark: How about coolant leaks?

Bernie: Coolant leaks, yeah. That's the other area. So, coolant leaks have been kind of a common issue. Water pumps, a lot of plastic parts in the cooling system that'll cause leaky seals and you know, some of these ... Again, I'm thinking kind of back a couple of, a decade and a half, a couple of decades. You know, as the plastic gets old, it tends to get kind of brittle. And, we even had parts in our shop where somebody just lean on a radiator, and the radiator neck where the hose attached to it will snap off because the plastic gets brittle and hard.

So, that's an issue that's been common with a lot of BMW's. And, I think if you're into preventative maintenance, you want to keep one for a long time, there's certain parts that we can recommend to you to replace, just for a liability purposes. You know, certain plastic hose ends and things like that. I think that kind of covers it for the cooling system.

Oh, one other engine item that does tend to fail too, and a lot of the six cylinder, the crank case vent valve is a pretty high failure item. And they will ... You'll know it's bad, the engine, sometimes you'll start the engine, and a big pod of blue smoke will come out the back. Or, you'll have to add a lot more oil than usual. You know, maybe a litre every thousand or five hundred kilometres. And, the check engine light may also be on with a rough running condition, depending on how badly the valve's deteriorated.

But, that's again, a thing to fix. Now, I know we've talked about a lot of problems here, but in favour of BMW, I mean, the general guts of the engine, like, things like the head gaskets are usually bullet proof reliable. The pistons, the compression, the internal workings of the engine, besides timing chains, tend to be extremely reliable. Like, the valves, the pistons. You know, things that keep the compression component of the engine are generally, very reliable.

Mark: So, what about transmissions, the drive train, all wheel drive? What about issues there?

Bernie: Usually, pretty reliable. I mean, the transfer cases can cause issues when the vehicles reach really high mileage, but they're generally pretty reliable and well built. We don't see a lot of transmission problems with BMW's. Again, pretty reliable. The drive trains, the drive shafts, differentials, they're all pretty good. CV joints, CV boots, they're all pretty reliable.

Again, when a car gets really old too, the things ... And, I'm saying old like, you know, 12 to 20 years old, then a lot of other issues start to happen. But, generally, that part of the vehicles is really, quite reliable.

Mark: What about fit and finish? The interior and the body?

Bernie: Yeah, it's nice. I mean, it's good quality. The components are generally well built and you don't run into a lot of problems. Like things like power windows, again, we don't fix a lot of problems with those. They tend to work pretty reliably, yeah. Overall, that part of the car is usually pretty good.

And, the one thing I realize about engines that I did miss is, there's a lot of newer models that do have four cylinder turbo charged engines, that they're generally a pretty reliable option, and much better on fuel than some of the other models, so just jumping back to the engine category.

Mark: And, how about electronics? Electrical systems? Generally, can be an issue with German cars.

Bernie: Can be an issue. I mean, we don't see, again, a lot of problems with them. I mean, I do know someone who bought a, I think it was an X3. It may have been brand new. And, she had a lot of problems with the, I think it was the navigation system or something. And, the vehicle was in the shop for months, trying to get fixed. And, those are kind of irritating issues that you hope you have warranty on. But, usually for the most part, the electrical and electronic systems are pretty good, which is great, because there's so much to it that they could be problematic and expensive. And generally, things are pretty good.

You know, as far as interior items too, like heating and A/C, again, pretty reliable. But, I know some models, I'm thinking the three series again, going back and sort of in the 2000's decade, the heater blower fans would tend to fail. Start making noise or not work. And, very expensive to fix. So, the way they're designed, it's a very labour intensive job, plus, an expensive part. So, that is one thing that can be an expensive issue.

Mark: So, let's pick on some here. Are there any particular models that you see a lot of?

Bernie: We service a lot of three series. We service a lot of X3's. Those are probably the most common for us in our shop. I think I've alluded to some of the, a lot of the issues I've talked about there would apply to those vehicles, with the exception of the V8 engine, because they don't put that in that model. You'll find the V8 in the larger five and seven series, and the X5 models. But yeah, I mean, I think I've kind of spoken ... Most of the issues I've talked about are related to those particular vehicles.

Mark: What about X3's? I know that's a model you see a lot of. It has some quirks.

Bernie: Yeah, I mean, I actually own one myself, so I can speak from personal experience. I mean, pretty reliable, but this vehicle, a hundred thousand kilometres, it's had some oil leaks, new oil pan gaskets need to be replaced. The oil filter housings leaked oil. The electric water pumps failed. And you know, that's actually another item that BMW, they've gone to electric water pumps. It's an expensive part. So, yeah, there are some expensive things. And in my opinion, not as reliable as they should be.

I'm most happy when these kind of things start failing at around the 200 thousand kilometre range, instead of a hundred, seems a little too young, in my opinion. But you know, they're good running vehicles.

The other thing in the little X3 issue, taillight. They have LED taillights that quit working. And, it's a manufacturing defect. There's a little module, a little electronic board that turns the LEDs on, and they fail. They're just not made properly, so if you go to BMW, they'll sell you a whole taillight, but we can actually fix it. We've done the research, and found out how to repair it for substantially lower cost.

But that again, is like, a little quirky thing on the X3. It doesn't seem to ... We've seen other BMW's where the taillights fail, the LEDs, and you have to buy the whole light because it's a different design. But generally, they're pretty robust and pretty durable.

Mark: What about the X5? I know that's another one that we've talked about a lot.

Bernie: Yeah, X5, coolant leaks, to me, are probably the biggest thing on those. The earlier generation of V8's were really bad. The newer ones are better. And, X5's do come with the six cylinder as well, which, I think, is a much more reliable option. So, some of the things we talked about, problems with the six cylinders, like, crank case, vent valves, some of the oil leaks and coolant leaks, those are the kind of things you're going to get with a six cylinder.

But yeah, the V8's are, they definitely have their sort of ... They're more expensive coolant leaks from coolant pipes that run under the intake manifold, and pieces like that. You know, again, the older X series too, the V8, the timing chains can be an expensive issue to fix, as well.

And, one thing I'll say about an X5, it's an all wheel drive, and a lot of them have very large tires on them. So, they're not great on gas. But, you know, you don't buy a car like that for good fuel economy. You buy it more for the luxury. But, they are kind of, probably a little worse than they could be.

Mark: BMW's, what are the steps as an owner, to kind of maximize the reliability of my BMW? What do I need to do in maintenance?

Bernie: Well, regular service, for sure. And, this is a great question. Thank you for asking it. You know, BMW's maintenance schedule, they really try to stretch out the oil change interval. A lot of them are 24 thousand kilometre oil changes. They've been using that for a long time, back in the early 2000's, even earlier than that, late '90's.

You know, in my opinion, way too long for oil changes. The only time you ever really want to do that is if you're doing nothing but straight highway driving. So, changing your oil for sure. But, I would say every 12 to 15 is a much better time interval. You're much safer, you're still, that's a long interval for an oil change, and you're going to be having cleaner oil.

BMW also, you know, a lot of their transmissions, they say you don't need to service them. They're filled for life fluid. But, the fluid in them is no different than any other transmission fluid. And, the system works exactly the same. There's nothing magic about a BMW transmission, and changing fluid in that, I would recommend doing that.

So, the brake fluid every couple of years. You know, regular service is kind of the key for everything. The control arm bushings I talked about earlier, I mean, when they get bad, you'll hear clunks and things. Or, the brakes will feel a little weird. If you bring your car in for regular service, you'll know all these things and you can fix them before they become big problems.

Mark: So, there you go. If you've got a BMW in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, to book your appointment. You have to call and book ahead. They're busy, always busy. And, of course, if you want to check out their website, pawlikautomotive.com. Hundreds of articles and blog posts on there. Videos on all makes and models, and all kinds of repairs. Our YouTube Channel, Pawlik Auto Repair, same thing, hundreds, hundreds of them. And, of course, thank you so much for listening to the podcast. We appreciate it. Thank you, Bernie.

Bernie: Thank you, Mark, and thanks for watching.

2014 Range Rover Sport – Gear Shift Head Repair

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, Producer of The Pawlik Automotive Podcast and Video Series, and of course, we're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 38 years maintaining and repairing vehicles in Vancouver, and 20 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver, including this year, as voted by their customers. How are we doing this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing well. All of that good news, it's hard not to be happy.

Mark: We're talking about a 2014 Range Rover Sport that had a gear shift head repair. Sounds like a pretty simple process, but I bet it isn't. It's a Range Rover. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: The vehicle, the owner went to shift the gear. There's this little button you press with your index finger and move your gear shift around to park and it wouldn't work. The vehicle is towed in and we had to look at it, and what we found is that the actual knob, the little button was broken.

Mark: What did you do next?

Bernie: We were actually able to... we need to move the vehicle around, we were actually able to just kind of glue the broken plastic piece back together temporarily until we were able to receive the proper part. We did that, at least verified that that's all that was wrong with it, moved the vehicle around, and then we proceeded to repair it once the parts arrived.

Mark: What was involved in the repair?

Bernie: Land Rover sells a kit for this, of course, the part is only available from the dealer. Land Rover sells a repair head kit, which is good. Not very expensive. You can buy a complete shifter, but that's a very expensive repair and very time consuming. This is a pretty straightforward labor-wise repair and parts come in a kit. I'll just get right into the picture show here because this is where it's kind of cool, the parts kit.

We should be looking at a nice black Range Rover Sport model, Supercharged, and there's a picture of the gear shift head, basically what you'd be looking at from the driver's seat. Press that button, of course, the vehicle goes into park, not while you're moving, but when you're sitting still, you push that, the vehicle goes into park. To move it out of park, there is a button... I apologize, the picture is very fuzzy. The camera wouldn't focus that close, but that is the button right there that caused the issue and it was all floppy. You could tell something was wrong. That button must be pushed in order to move it out of park and into the other gears and this is a-

Mark: Sort of like a park lockout, basically.

Bernie: Yeah, it basically locks the vehicle from moving, just like in traditional gear shift where you move it right up to the P position and lock the vehicle. This is also kind of neat. It's illuminated, so there's different colours here depending on which gear you're in. This is the repair in process. This is basically the gear shift head removed. You can see there's a little electronic circuit and quite a few items in here. There's two buttons and switches, but the neat part of this job was the repair... was the parts that we got.

This is the... this came in a nice little boat, a 3 inch by 3 inch box, and when I opened the box up this is what came out in the box. Here's our new switch, that's the park switch, that clips in place, a new, this is ... I wouldn't call it the face plate, but the cover over here, comes with a new screw. And a new face plate with, it's actually attached an adhesive, so it's got new adhesive. But it comes with a little pry bar and then these gloves. These are electrostatic gloves. So it comes with this kit. Like everything's included, I thought this is really neat. This is a sign of a nice, high quality vehicle, and a very thoughtful repair procedure. Obviously I'm guessing in the beginning they may have had a few of these repairs they did where they blew the circuit board from static electricity. It's very easy to generate then where you're doing a repair inside a car. Just slipping across the seat will generate static electricity and sulphur.

Whoever's working on the car, just one little touch of the component you can blow it just with that. So these are static protection gloves. And by the way they were actually too small for my hands. I don't have massive hands, but it took a lot of work to fit those gloves on. They could've made them a little larger. But that's my only complaint.

Mark: So it's a difficult and expensive repair.

Bernie: No, not really. Not saying you should necessarily do it at home, depending on your skill level. It's not a very time consuming repair, and that's a rare feature for a Range Rover since a lot of things are expensive. But this is a, it's a nicely thought out kit to repair an issue that probably, a part that probably shouldn't have broken at this age, but did.

Mark: And the car basically won't move if that lockout won't work.

Bernie: Won't move. It used to be there would be shift lockout buttons and things you can push, and in this case it's all electronic which is the way everything's going, more and more so all the time, things just don't move unless the electronics and electrical items function. Will this is actually a mechanical failure of an electrical part. Everything's got to work like it's supposed to.

Mark: Is this something that you've seen before? Or often in the shop?

Bernie: This is the first repair of this type we've done. But I'd say it's probably fairly common because the parts in stock at the Range Rover dealer, and that always tells me, whenever we have an issue with, if the part's in stock, that means it's a somewhat common item. They don't tend to keep inventory on things that don't move off the shelf at a reasonable pace.

Mark: And what's your overall impression of Range Rover vehicles?

Bernie: I like them a lot. But they are expensive, they're expensive to buy new. They fortunately, if you're looking for a used one, they depreciate very nicely. I'd say fortunately, if you're the buyer, if you're the owner, you'll throw away a lot of money in depreciation, a hell of a lot of money. But they're extremely nice vehicle, in the luxury SUV category. Very popular around Vancouver, many part of the world.

Good vehicle, generally pretty reliable, but there are a few issues, and some of them are ... things like timing change, we discuss a lot among this podcast, that probably shouldn't go so soon. So some things, the build quality on some items isn't perhaps as good as others. But in other areas, they're pretty good. So just expect if you buy one, you'll pay a fair amount of money to repair it, more than you would for an average vehicle.

Mark: And maintenance is of course paramount to keep it running well.

Bernie: Maintenance is very paramount. I mean things, we get people a lot, occasionally with the luxury European cars, and any car, and they neglect to do oil changes and things, and I just shake my head because if you can't afford an oil change or the time to do an oil change, you really can't afford the time to replace the engine. They're just so expensive. So you're really, doing proper maintenance, and service is just key, it just keeps the cost way down.

Mark: So there you go, if you're looking for service for your Range Rover, Land Rover, in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive, you can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. Check out their website, pawlikautomotive.com. Hundred of blog posts on there about repairs of all makes and models of cars. Of course there's our YouTube Channel, Pawlik Auto Repair, again hundreds, over 300 videos on there. And of course thank you so much for listening to the podcast, we appreciate it, thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thank you Mark, and thanks for watching and listening.

How Reliable Are Audi Vehicles

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast and video series. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 20 time winners, Best AutoRepair in Vancouver as voted by their customers and of course today we're talking cars. How you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well this morning.

Mark: So, Audi. We're going to talk about the Audi, how a reliable are Audi vehicles?

Bernie: Well generally I'd say they're quite reliable, but they do need a fair number of repairs and service over time. There's a couple of models that are probably a little more problematic than others, but generally I mean, they're a very nicely built car and I tend to think of reliability as can I go out and start my car and will it drive me to where I want to go and generally Audi's are really good in that department, but they do have a number of problems and issues that come up from time to time, some more common than others.

Mark: So what are some of those problems that you see with them?

Bernie: Well why don't we start and sort of break the car down into different areas and sort of look at the reliability of each piece because there's a number of factors. We can start with the brakes and under the car, so I mean brakes generally are quite reliable on these vehicles but some of the larger SVU's like the Q7's, the breaks tend to wear quite quickly. It's a heavy vehicle, even though they have enormous brakes they do tend to wear quite fast. On the cars the life span is pretty normal, I think in 50 to 80,000 kilometre range and if you have one with a standard, you're going to get a lot more life out of the brakes then you would with an automatic. So brakes are good. Brake fluid flush is certainly a service that needs to be done on a regular basis, usually about every two years, but that's not really a reliability factor, so we've got the brakes there.

Mark: Steering and suspension?

Bernie: Yeah, steering and suspension. So for the steering and suspension, generally again, steering components are pretty reliable, the odd tie rod end will wear out here and there, again as the car gets older. Some control arm bushing issues, again these have some fairly complex suspensions in some of them and ball joint wear is also common in some of them. Again, this is over time, we're talking over five years, in the five to ten year old range of the car and older. So that's kind of steering and suspension, shocks and struts are generally pretty good but given you keep the vehicle long enough those kind of components will wear out over time.

Mark: What about the drive train?

Bernie: Drive trains are pretty reliable, but there are some transmission issues. Audi's use a variety of transmissions, they've got standards in a lot of vehicles, they've got that direct DSG, the direct gear shift box automatics, which apparently there's a lawsuit out around. We haven't seen any problems ourselves in our shop but there's certainly some issues going on with some of those. Clutch replacement we seem to do maybe a little more often than needed. I think things in the clutch, it's not so much wear but something will actually break or malfunction in the clutch and a lot of them use dual mass flywheel clutches, so they can be pretty expensive to fix.

Some standard transmission baring wear happens from time to time and the automatics generally are pretty reliable but the two wheel drive models use a CVT transmission and they can be very expensive to fix as well. But the all wheel drive systems are really quite reliable and I can't really think of anything we've ever done to fix an all wheel drive problem on an Audi, so they are also very good in terms of the way they distribute their all wheel drive in terms of driving, the way the distribution works to each wheel and providing the traction you need. But overall, that part of the drive train's pretty good, and I'm not saying transmissions are bad but there are probably more issues with them then a lot of cars.

Mark: What about the engine and cooling system?

Bernie: Engine and cooling system, that's kind of the big part and this is where Audi is probably, more issues happen than other things. I mean there are oil leaks that happen on a lot of different models, some of them can be pretty difficult to fix, there's an S4 model with a V8. Now the S4 it's like an A4 but they've actually crammed the V8 into this and it's a pretty spectacular vehicle to drive but when there's an oil leak in that, it's basically pull the engine out time to fix, so that can be very expensive to fix and all the engines do tend to develop oil leaks over time. The cooling systems, a lot of plastic parts, so they will develop leaks over time as well. Engines, generally the actual guts of the engine are pretty good with the exception of a couple models, like the Q5 comes to mind, there's a lot of oil consumption issues with those engines and to me, that's kind of a show stopper sort of problem.

Although, if you have to add a litre of oil every couple thousand kilometres it's kind of annoying but it's really not the end of the earth. Compared to the way cars used to be built a long time ago, that was not a huge amount of extra work but nowadays we kind of expect our cars to go a long ways without having to add any oil. But that to me is probably maybe of their more problematic engines, but generally the engines are pretty reliable, there are censors, things like oxygen censors that wear and of course the biggest thing that seems to go on in Audi's and Volkswagen's are ignition coils. But the good news about that is they're cheap. Audi's, sort of in the last decade or two, they've used the same ignition coil on their four cylinders, their V8's and their quite inexpensive, and generally easy to replace, they sort of pop out and they don't require a lot of labor to replace, so that's one edge that they've got, although they do tend to fail a little more frequently.

I mean, overall the engine's are good but there are some expensive things to do and timing belts are another area. So some engines have timing belts, some don't. A lot of them are chain driven, and it's important as an owner that you know which one it has because of course if it has a timing belt, you do need to replace that at the recommended interval. This just reminds in the early A4's when they came out, when they were really good, to me when they switched to an A4 that's really where Audi became a sort of decent vehicle, before that they were kind of a bit oddball and quirky but they kind of became a little more mainstream, and we had a client with one, the timing belt started making this clattering noise and they used more bizarre tensioning mechanism.

I can't really describe it here, but I looked at it and go, "This is supposed to be a highly engineered car, and it uses little ball socket joints on the tensioner," of course the replacement part was it was a regular style hydraulic oil filled tensioner and I don't know why they used that in the first place but every once in a while you find a strange thing like that but that was for the very early '97, '98 sort of model, so you'll never see that on anything newer, but as I say, if you got a timing belt, you need to know that it needs to be done. Timing belt is definitely a maintenance thing if the engine has one, and a lot of them don't.

Mark: Interior body and electrical system issues.

Bernie: Pretty good overall. I mean these are obviously nice, it's the luxury brand of Volkswagen, so there's a lot of fancier stuff but generally things seem to operate pretty well, we don't repair a lot of electrical issues with these cars. The power windows are pretty reliable, door locks, those kinds of things they're all pretty durable. With any car if you keep it long enough and it gets old enough something will happen, but it's not a problematic area for sure. Bulbs, on the models that have replaceable bulbs because this is starting to become a thing of the past with LED lights but those vehicles, bulbs tend to burn out. I had a client with a Q7, I remember every time he'd come in for service, it was at least a few times a year because he drove a lot, there would be five bulbs burnt out in the vehicle and of course the dash would be lit up like a Christmas tree morning, warning you that your lights are out. It's good having those warnings but it's kind of annoying because it always seems like there's something wrong with your car but electrically they're pretty good. Problems people might have would be more unusual than normal.

Mark: So, on all of these things, would you say that you see the S models, sort of the RS models a little more often just because they're more very high end, high performance range in the Audi series?

Bernie: We don't see a lot of RS models, I mean the RS's are even rarer. We do work on a few of them, the S's a little more, but I mean, more of the cars we work on are the regular. The lower end, the A line kind of models, but the S's are kind of the same thing that they just cram something a little more high performance in it and along with that comes more expensive repairs, so just so you know if you're going to buy that you're going to get a much fancier car, much faster, more fun to drive and more expensive to repair car, if that answers the question.

Mark: Absolutely. So, what maintenance service is required to keep all these Audi's running well?

Bernie: Well certainly regular service, so changing the oil as recommended and actually I'd suggest, not just as recommended by the manufacturer but more frequently because a lot of these, they're all synthetic oil changes. A lot of them they stretch the interval out along ways and it's better to do it probably ... We can discuss that kind of thing or you can discuss that with your service provider but more frequently than the manufacturer recommends I think is a good practice. Some other services, of course there's break fluid that should be flushed and engine coolant once in a while, there's other drivetrain fluids that need to be changed.

These aren't frequent services that need to be done they're in the 50 to 100,000 kilometre or 30 to 60,000 mile kind of range services. But fuel services are a really important thing, especially with a lot of newer generation Audi products, I say newer generation like last ten years even a little longer now use a direct fuel injection system and carbon deposits on valves can be a really big issue, so there's a cleaning service, it's like direct injection cleaning fuel injection cleaning service is highly recommended probably every 30,000 kilometres, 20,000 miles. It's really important to do that because if you get too much carbon build up on the valves, the engine can sometimes require disassembly to fix that, so this is a place you don't want to go and the services are not that difficult to do and not that expensive.

For the older models, before the GDI systems, the direct injection systems and Audi often calls them FSI or TFSI systems, a motor vac fuel injection type cleaning works really well to keep combustion deposits under control and keep the engine running well and of course, a part of good maintenance is using good quality gas and that doesn't mean necessarily premium gas as opposed to regular, it's good to use what's recommended, and a lot of Audi's will use premium because they're turbo charged performance engines, but using a top tier rated gas is good because they put the right additives in to keep the engine clean.

Mark: And how do you compare Audi with Mercedes, BMW and Porsche?

Bernie: Well, they're all kind of different. They all have their problems, they all have their issues. I'd say Audi's are a little more reliable and less problematic than BMW's. Maybe a little worse than Mercedes, it's kind of hard to say and it really depends from model to model, I mean they all have their goods, they all have their bads but they're all up there and I'd like to kind of call finicky German cars. They're in some ways, just a little bit overly complicated in many areas and a little more problematic but I mean, I'd say they're all kind of in the same realm.

Mark: And you're saying this as a Mercedes owner?

Bernie: Yeah.

Mark: And BMW owner.

Bernie: And a BMW owner, and I have to say I like the Mercedes better, I find it's a little more reliable, but it depends from model to model.

Mark: So there you go. Audi vehicles. If you need any service or repair on your Audi in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to book ahead, they're busy or check the website, pawlikautomotive.com, hundreds of blog posts and video posts on there about makes and models and types of repairs for many years and as well our YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair where we have hundreds of videos and of course we'd really appreciate you listening and watching the podcast and thank you Bernie.

Bernie: Thank you Mark and thanks for watching and listening.

2014 Electric Smart Car Maintenance Service and Brake Repair

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, producer of The Pawlik Automotive Podcast and video series, and of course, we're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 38 years servicing and repairing, maintaining cars in Vancouver, BC, Canada. And 20 time winner Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How are you this morning Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well. I was smiling when you mentioned the 20 year Best of Vancouver. It puts a smile on my face.

Mark: So today's victim is a 2014 Smart Car, which is an electric. It had a maintenance service. What was going on with this vehicle.

Bernie: So this vehicle came to us. It was due for maintenance service an also the owner had a complaint that the air conditioning wasn't working on the vehicle.

Mark: As an electric car what sort of regular service might this car require?

Bernie: Well there's not a lot. Obviously an electric car there's no oil to change. It does have a cooling system, but that requires very little service. And really, I mean there's a cabin air filter, brake fluid the flush once in a while. But the key part of a service once a car gets on a little bit in years is to inspect it and really on an annual basis. It's important to look over the vehicle on an annual basis. You never really know what's going on underneath the car unless there's a puddle of fluid of some sort or something's creaking for grinding. Of course that's the time to definitely have service. But on an annual basis have vehicle inspected. That's kind of the key part of our maintenance service on these vehicles.

Mark: So did you find any repairs that needed to be done?

Bernie: Yeah, so we actually found some issues with the brakes. And these are actually kind of applicable to all electric and hybrid vehicles. But yes, the front brake pads were basically seized in the, where the pads slide in the caliper bracket, they were basically seized up. The rear wheel cylinders were leaking some fluid. So there was some service and repairs required.

Mark: So don't brakes just last forever on electric and hybrid cars due to regenerative braking systems?

Bernie: Well yeah, I mean that's kind of the impression that we're led to believe. And the truth is they do. The actual usage of the brakes is far less than in an internal combustion engine car. Especially an internal combustion car with an automatic. I mean traditionally cars with standards with brakes have lasted substantially longer. Sometimes twice as long as cars with automatics. So we're kind of used to that kind of high wear of brakes. But with a hybrid or an electric vehicle there's regenerative braking. And that is basically the electric motor is used to actually slow the vehicle down. And actually in some hybrids, they actually switch the gasoline motor on to slow the vehicle down too, which is an interesting bit of technology. But anyways, this is a pure electric vehicle so the electric motor will do that.

But one thing that it doesn't prevent is corrosion from road salt and rain and the elements that basically attack brake systems as they do on any vehicle. So what happens is over time rust will build up on the caliper slider pads or the caliper slider pins will start to seize up and they need to be serviced. So doing a routine brake service on a vehicle like this, on a hybrid or a pure electric vehicle, is really critical to actually maximize the life of the brake pads. And in the case of this vehicle, the rear wheel cylinders were also leaking. This is kind of unique. It has drum brakes on the back. The brake shoes, by the way, look like brand new, but the wheel cylinders were leaking some fluid, so they need to be replaced.

Why don't we have a look at a couple of pictures here. Yeah, so there's a nice, cute little electric Smart Car. I'll just look at a few other pictures. Sometimes I take a few pictures for the sake of interest, but some cute little badging on this vehicle. You can tell it's an electric car.

I'm going to get right into the brakes. And unfortunately this, of all the pictures I took that should be clean and sharp this is not a very good picture. And I didn't realize until I edited it this morning. But you can kind of see enough information with this picture. Our technician, Chris, is holding the, is holding the brake caliper bracket with the brake pad basically seized in place. And you can see a lot of rust here. This is really where a lot of the problem was with this vehicle. You can see a lot of rust. This should be basically rust free metal and when we do the service we have a sandblaster. We actually sandblast all the rust off of this and lubricate it with a special brake pad lubricant so the brake pad moves freely. In the case of this vehicle because the pads have worn unevenly, you can see it still has a fair bit of meat on this pad, a lot of pad material. But the others were worn quite a bit more and there was a lot of rust developing on the calipers because they weren't contacting properly. Sorry, on the brake rotors. So we did new pads and rotors on the front and then completely serviced this area.

Also again, way out of focus, but this is a caliper slider pin and there's a, there's some lubricant inside here and we take that apart, clean and lubricate that as well. And this is an area where some moisture gets in. It will rust and cause it to seize. Again, if you leave it long enough it will actually, you'll need to replace the whole caliper. So, that'll cost you a little more money.

Just looking at a few more photos here. We can have a look at some of the electric drivetrain on the vehicle. So this is an under view of a, of the engine where the gasoline or the diesel engine used to be. This is the electric motor right here. And this is the final drive, the differential unit because it is not a transmission, but this is where the transmission would be. The housing looks kind of like the, you know kind of like the, a transmission housing.

And this is the a, again, there's actually, there's fluid to be inspected and serviced. There's, it's got the gear oil type of fluid in here. Again, you can see the electric motor over here. They've just taken the Smart Car, essentially it's the same, it's a large part the same as the internal combustion engine model and just adapted it for an electric drive. And it actually fits in quite nicely back here.

Here's a top view when you open the engine cover. This is an electrical inverter type unit I believe. The orange cables on an electric car basically signify the high voltage system. So they're clearly marked. You know it's an area, when servicing the vehicle you've got to take a lot of caution.

There are some coolant hoses here, by the way. As I said there is a cooling system, but it's nowhere like an internal combustion engine cooling system. And this here is the air conditioning compressor. So it actually takes up a fair amount of space in the engine compartment. And you can ... Of course, it's electrically driven so there's a high voltage wire to that unit as well. And there's our picture show for today!

Mark: So was there any other service that needed to be done other than the brakes?

Bernie: We flushed the brake fluid. It was due and of course made sense to be, made sense to do with the brake work we'd done. Really nothing much else at this time. Currently has 53,000 kilometres. It's driven very little at five years old. So that's 10,000 kilometres a year. Still in really good shape otherwise. But the air conditioning system was something that the owner originally brought the vehicle in for, but the brakes became a priority repair. So he chose to leave the air conditioning for now. And I'll be a, no doubt a discussion of a future podcast.

Mark: So is part of the reason that the brakes were that rusted is, you know, obviously our environment here, but also just the car hasn't been driven that much?

Bernie: Yeah, absolutely. Yup. Exactly. And the car hasn't been driven a lot, but obviously it's been outdoors. I mean if the car had been never driven in the winter and stored indoors the brakes last longer. It's partially a climatic thing. I mean if you lived in Arizona, for instance, you don't need, you still should service your brakes, but you're not going to be experiencing the same issues as you are somewhere, you know where, in Vancouver you know we get a fair, a lot of rain and a little bit of snow. And if you're in eastern North America, you know, Canada, U.S., where you get a lot of snow and salt, road salt, you're going to have even worse issues. So servicing the brakes is going to be an even more critical item.

Mark: You mentioned the air conditioning. Did you find the problem and diagnose-

Bernie: We didn't actually do anything with the air conditioning at this point. The owner had opted not to do anything with it. Actually service, diagnosing the air conditioning on this is a little more complicated than your average vehicle. The air conditioning service ports are kind of buried under the, I guess I'll call it the hood, the front piece. These cars, you know the engine, most of the business is in the rear end, but the front hood clips off. But the actual air conditioning ports where we hook up test equipment are, and refill and recharge the system, are very difficult to get to. So it makes for a more expensive service than your average AC system. And of course because it wasn't working there's likely a leak of some sort that needed to be diagnosed. So we left that one for now, but as I said, we'll be doing a pod, undoubtedly a podcast on that in the future.

Mark: And how are these smart electric drive vehicles for reliability?

Bernie: I would say overall good. And I say I would say because we don't service a lot of them. There's not a lot of them around. As far as I know they don't sell them in the U.S. so it's more of a Canadian only model, or elsewhere in the world. So they're not an entirely common vehicle, but it's pretty ... I mean so far there's really nothing that's gone on with this vehicle in this amount of kilometres. This kind of brake work is normal. The air conditioning, I guess, is a bit of an issue. But other than that so far so good.

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for service for your Smart Car and no matter what it's powered by, diesel, gas or electric, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to book ahead. They're always busy! Or check out the website, pawlikautomotive.com or YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. Hundreds of videos on there. And of course, thank you so much for listening to the podcast. We appreciate it. And thank you Bernie.

Bernie: Thank you Mark and thanks for watching and listening.

2014 Mercedes Benz C350 4Matic Front Brake Pads and Rotors

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, producer of the Pawlik Automotive podcast and video series. And we're talking cars. And we're with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. How are you doing this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: So today's victim is a 2014 Mercedes Benz C350 4Matic, long name, that had front brake problems. What was going on with this Mercedes Benz?

Bernie: So, the owner of the vehicle is a customer of ours with another vehicle. Had just had a dealer service done on this vehicle and they told him his brakes were nearly worn out, although they told him the fronts had about 40% remaining in the rears were getting less. So he brought it to us for a thorough inspection and to see what was going on with it.

Mark: So is 40% as a measure of the brake wear accurate or useful?

Bernie: I don't think so. A lot of shops from dealerships to independents to chains or specialists often use percentages in brakes. And it's a simple way to give a customer an idea of what they have left with their brakes, which is a good idea, but it kind of misses the mark in terms of accuracy. What is 40%? Is that 40% of the whole depth of the brake pad? And so, does that count that you really don't want to wear the brake pad to zero. There's a lot of things missing in that percentage recommendation. It's also something that's easy to do. A technician can kind of look and go, yeah it's about 40% left. Oh, it's like 30. So, it at least gives some information to pass onto the client, but it's not really entirely accurate.

Mark: So what's a better measure of brake wear?

Bernie: Well, the better measure is to actually use a brake measure gauge, and give a measurement in millimetres. Then that way you know. On this vehicle, a new brake pad usually starts out at about 12, for the front anyways, and the rears are about 10. Again, I'm being a little approximate here. So, if you give a measurement then you can kind of have an idea. Now I did a quick calculation. If the front brakes are 12 millimetres, 40% of that is 4.8 millimetres thick. So, that's still a fair amount of brake material. Usually two is considered completely worn out. Well zero is completely worn out, but two is really the longest you want to go with changing them. Let's get into some pictures here. I'll just show you some of the tools we use to measure things.

So there's are a 2014 C350, two door, nice coupe. Quick little car. This is our brake, this is our tool we use to measure brake pads. So, this isn't in the yellow ranges. This tool is kind of neat because it has green, yellow and red coloured bars, which kind of makes it handy. Once you get into three millimetres or two, which is as thin as it goes, that's a red bar. Then green is up six millimetres and up. But it's just kind of in the cautionary area. So you can see, if you look in this area here, this is the actual brake pad remaining. It's got four millimetres. And what I've found in experience is, once you take the brakes off, there's usually one pad that's probably worn a little worse than the measuring tool can see. So, if it says four millimetres, you've probably got something that's getting down to three. So, that's one accurate area of measurement.

The other thing we do is measure the brake rotors. Now, I'm not showing any rotor measurement here, but this is kind of typical of many European cars. The brake rotors, you can see some grooves worn in here. And to look at a closer photo, it's kind of hard to get the three dimensions here, and the photo is a little soft. It's not the sharpest picture I've taken. But you can see the original edge here where the rotor was.

And if you were to actually see this rotor and run your hand along here, there's a substantial drop. There's a lot of metal that's worn off this rotor. So, we do measure them. And what you'll find is if you compare to the specifications of the rotor, it's pretty much the rotor wear limit. So, it needs to be replaced as well. Now, there's not really any reason to rush out and replace these rotors if you're not doing brake pads at the same time, unless they're warped. And here's a comparison of our old and new brake pads. You can see this is the new brake pad at 12 millimetres. Our old one at four. And now, if you say 40%, to me it's a little confusing because I would think in my mind, okay, it's, the car's got 70,000 kilometres. I've got 40% of my front brakes left. That means ... Just doing some quick math here, they're a little less than half worn, I've probably got another 50,000 kilometres before my brakes wear out.

But that's not the case. They do need to be ... They're at the time where they can still last a little longer, but they could be replaced. And we actually did do them because the rears were worn substantially worse. So, it's not a bad idea to do them all at the same time. So there's our pictures show.

Mark: So, measuring the actual depth, actually taking the wheels off the car and measuring all the brakes, which it doesn't sound perhaps like the dealer did, is a more accurate thing than just giving an eyeball percentage?

Bernie: Absolutely.

Mark: Obviously.

Bernie: Yes. Yeah, it is. And now, there is a way. Sometimes on cars they have exceptionally open wheels. We can actually take a measurement through the wheel, but it's not very often you have a wheel that's that open that you can see through. So yeah, taking the wheel off is really the best way to do the inspection. And that way you can have a really close look at the inboard pad, the outboard pad, see if the calipers are moving property. If there's any other issues. It's the best way to do a brake inspection.

Mark: So, what service did you actually end up doing on this vehicle?

Bernie: So, we replaced the front and rear brake pads and rotors. As I mentioned earlier, the rears were worn worse. They were down to about two millimetres. And the owner could have left the front for a little while, but chose to do the fronts while the car was here. And then that way he's not going to need to come back for service anytime soon. I mean, he may have got a year more out of these brakes, depending on how much he drove. But I would say, it's not overly expensive just to do them now. But again, we leave the client the choice to do that. We also did a brake fluid flush at the same time. Brake fluid every two years on these vehicles. And according to his records, he hadn't done it. So we did that at the same time.

Mark: 70,000 kilometres in a 2014, it's not being driven all that much, but maybe driven kind of fast.

Bernie: Yup. Yeah. And that'll wear your brakes a little harder too.

Mark: Anything else that you need to do to service a 4Matic vehicle?

Bernie: Well, the 4Matic, so that's basically Mercedes all wheel drive system. So, there's a little more complicate ... Or I'd say a lot more complication to this vehicle. There are CV axles in the front. I mean, they don't need servicing unless something wears out. But there is a front differential. There's a transfer case unit, and an extra drive shaft. So there are extra parts and pieces, and just be prepared with a 4Matic that you will spend substantially more money when something goes wrong. Things like maybe an oil pan gasket, because the axle shaft goes through the oil pan. The front end is more complicated, and a lot of other, not this particular model, but certain 4Matic cars, the control arms are substantially more money, like by a magnitude of four or five than the regular non 4Matic model just because for some reason they just charge a lot more for the 4Matic part. So, that's what we've found on 4Matics. There are more expensive things to fix, but it's a nice car. And it's a good option, you're not ... the thing with Mercedes is you've got ... it's rear wheel drive otherwise. There are traction issues at certain times, and especially if you get a lot of snow. I mean, this isn't a great deep snow car, but for an average snowy road you could be stuck at home. But 4Matic will get you where you want to go.

Mark: And how are C350s for overall reliability?

Bernie: It's a good car. Really, there's nothing major about this. It's a 2014, so it's only five years old and there's really no major problems showing up with the car yet. I mean, given another five years, a few more things might crop up. But overall it's a good reliable car, and the owner of this vehicle has had no problems whatsoever.

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for service for your Mercedes Benz in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. And of course, you have to call and book because they are busy. Or check out the website, PawlikAutomotive.com. There's many years worth of posts on the blog about repairs and maintenance of all makes and models of cars. Of course, our YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair, same thing, over 300. And of course, thank you so much for listening to the podcast and watching, and we appreciate it. Thank you, Bernie.

Bernie: Thank you, Mark. And thanks for watching.

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