Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 18 time winners, 18 times, come on, Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well this morning
Mark: So, Audi S4, these are a fun little vehicle, this is a 2004 with the V8 and there was a drive belt change. What was going on with this vehicle?
Bernie: Well the vehicle came to us with a couple of issues, actually the belt wasn’t the major one, it was, but we’ll talk about the belt anyways, but actually the major issue, it came in with some smoke coming out under the hood and the steering felt really stiff and it turned out that the power steering racket had a severe leak and also one of the hoses as well. So we replaced that, that was a very major amount of work in and of itself but we’re here to talk about the drive belt today. Basically, we’ll talk about the drive belt, there’s a bit of complexity involved in changing it.
Mark: I bet, this is a V8 crammed into basically into a vehicle designed for a 4 cylinder engine on the platform, how does that, how did that work?
Bernie: Well in order to get the, yeah, it’s very tightly fitted actually when you look down into the hood, you can barely see the drive belt, I mean, there’s no room to even put a tool on it. It’s wedged in extremely tightly, the clearance is probably like between the front place of the engine and the radiator, maybe an inch but no room to put any tools in.
Mark: So what needs to be done to get the belt replaced?
Bernie: Oh so that’s a really good question. So Audi has engineered in a solution and basically what you do is you remove the front bumper of the vehicle and then you, there’s several bolts that move the rad support forward and actually, the hoses, coolant hoses are all designed and anything attached, it’s designed to be flexed out a few inches so you can actually get in and access the belt area. So we’ll just share some photos at this point. Here’s our S4, it’s still a nice looking wagon, practical and certainly very peppy with that V8 engine in it. So there is a view looking down on, looking straight down into the engine compartment, there’s the pulley’s with the belt off, it’s not a large belt on this vehicle, it actually, this just drives the alternator and the AC compressor on the front, power steering is driven off the back of the engine which is another nightmare in and of itself. We won’t get into that one today but basically this is the actual, this is with the rad support moved forward so you can actually access the belt. I’ve got another photo to share here, this is a sort of view of the front, so the bumper’s off here and a kind of view looking at the engine but you can see even this doesn’t have a lot of clearance but there’s just enough to get in there.
Mark: so I there’s a lot of other services on this vehicle that need that same procedure, right?
Bernie: Well anything that requires work on the front of the engine will need that and a lot of Audi’s with timing belts, you actually have to do this too. So some of the V6 models with timing belts or even the 4 cylinders, you have to put it in the service position to pull the bumper off and slide it forward. I mean on this vehicle too, if you need to get the alternator out, you’ve got to get that. There’s a lot of things that need to be done to do it, so I mean, it adds a fair bit of work to every job but that’s what you get when you have an Audi.
Mark: So I’ve driven an S4 and ridden in the V8 model, I’ve even driven the V6 supercharged one, which is a later version of this, these things are little rockets, how are they for reliability?
Bernie: I’d call it a fair car, I mean you know, Audi’s are, there’s a few things that go wrong with these cars that are a little more than average and once they older of course, things will go wrong. The steering rack on this vehicle is a pretty expensive job based on the price of the part and there’s a lot of labour involved to remove it as well. So they’re complex vehicles when things do go wrong they cost a lot more to fix. They’re generally pretty reliable but some things that come to my mind on the various models and I’m not saying just specifically for the V8 but there are various models that there are things like crankcase breather issues which are common on a lot of European cars, ignition coils on Audi seem to die frequently and they’re actually one of the things that are pretty cheap to fix, the coils themselves are inexpensive and the labour is really easy. Yeah so, the ignition coils are mounted right on top of the engine on actually all Audi’s, the V8’s, the V6 is 4 cylinders and they remove extremely easily. So there’s one thing, even though they do fail, they’re extremely simple to replace, that’s a positive thing. But overall, I mean they’re nice cars you know, again and I say this with a lot of European, if you want to get a fancy European car you’ve just got to be prepared to spend more money to fix it.
Mark: And service becomes really important, regular
Bernie: Absolutely, I mean more important than any other car, it drives me crazy when I see someone who owns an expensive car like this, and they don’t change their oil regularly enough knowing what the cost of an engine replacement is on the car like this, you just don’t ever want to go there. So change your oil, do all the maintenance service, you just want to do anything extra, because extras will come along but just do whatever you can do to keep it maintained and lasting a long time. A lot of European car engines will last for 20, 30 years, you know there’s Mercedes out there even with 40 or 50 year old engines that are still running. So if you take really good care of your vehicle, it can last a long time.
Mark: So there you go, if you need service for your Audi, A series, S series, whatever it is, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, you must book ahead or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com or our YouTube channel - just search for Pawlik Automotive. Thanks Bernie
Bernie: Thanks Mark