Chevrolet - Pawlik Automotive Repair, Vancouver BC


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2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Fuel Injector Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik repairing vehicles in Vancouver for close to 40 years. And he's the owner. The big boss at Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. They are 24 time winners of best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. They didn't just make it up. They won it. And of course they're the best auto service experience in Vancouver. We're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing went very well. 

Mark: So today's victim, we're reprising a 2001 Chevy Silverado 2500 that this time needed fuel injector replacements. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah, so this is the same truck we talked about in our last podcast where we replaced the injection pump. And unfortunately the injection pump repair didn't go quite as well as we'd thought. We delivered the vehicle to the customer on Friday after lengthy road tests. And everything seemed to be fine only to find it back on Monday with the crankcase still filling up with oil and kind of disappointing for everyone that that happened because we hate it when a job doesn't go well. But we had kind of speculated on this job that the injection pump needed to be done because a previous shop had changed the injectors and apparently verified all their work. So that's what we were faced with next. 

Mark: So what was your next step? 

Bernie: Yeah, so the next step was to call the owner of the vehicle and just have a good chat with them and say, okay, so tell us about the injectors that were put in, you know, what did the shop do? So is a bit of a learning curve for us. You know, we made some assumptions that the shop had done some good work and as it turned out, we found out that the injectors that actually have been supplied to the shop by the owner who'd ordered them online at a cheaper price. They're supposed to be Bosch rebuilt injectors. But they weren't as it turned out to be.

So at this point we figured, okay, the injection pump we bought from a reputable supplier, we never ever have a problem with their parts. So we figured, okay, at this point, obviously something at the other shop did, they didn't either know what they're doing or they overlooked something.

Or now the fact that they didn't actually supply the injectors and we didn't know what the source was, you know, they could be faulty. So our next step was to basically remove the valve cover. And figured, okay possibly leaks from the return line system. So we connected a smoke machine up, we figured this is the easiest way, we ran some air pressure through it. Didn't find any leaks. We hooked our smoke machine up, found no leaks. A smoke machine will pump smoke through a line or a pipe or wherever we send the smoke. And it'll show as a leak, which is a great way to find leaks, nothing showed up. So we verified the injection lines and the pipes were all in good shape.

I'll just pop up some pictures and we can keep talking.

2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Fuel Injector Replacement
2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Fuel Injector Replacement

But this is basically the view under the valve cover. What you're looking at here, these are the rocker arms. So that's part of the valve train. This is a fuel injector here. There's four of them per side. It's a V8 engine. The red arrow points to the fuel injection return pipe. And the yellow basically points to the bolt where this attaches to the fuel injector. And there's two copper washers on each side. So these are potential leak points. And these pipes actually go to the valve cover housing. There's plumbing that connects them up to the fuel return system. So, and again, you know, we tested with a smoke machine, verify that there's no leakage in this particular area. So that's kind of where what our next step in her testing was. 

Mark: So no leaks in the return system and what was next? 

Bernie: So what was next was basically, okay. There's no leaks there. We know the injection pump. We assume that that's gotta be good. So we authorized the client to remove the fuel injectors and send them off to our, I'll just name the name of our supplier, NW Fuel Injection. They're out in Surrey. If you're in the Vancouver area and if you actually are a do it yourselfer diesel person, we don't do these podcasts for that, but you are, this is the best place to buy your diesel parts from because the quality of their work is absolutely superb and everything they sell is good quality, high-end. You know, it's already OEM Bosch remanufacturer. They do some remanufacturing themselves, but I've seen their equipment. It's state of the art. 

Anyways they have injection testing. So we sent the injectors off to be tested and that revealed some very interesting things. And then actually in fact, found the problem. So I will...

Mark:  What did they find? 

Bernie: What did they find? Well, we found a very badly leaking fuel injector. First thing I'll do, and this is kind of boring writing, but I'll just leave this up on the screen for a minute, but I'll just talk it through. So they, they basically tested all eight injectors and they said, you know, five of them passed.

They all tested perfectly within factory specifications. Number two, injector failed. Significant over fuel at pre injection and pilot ignition injection. 28% above factory specifications. So that isn't going to leak fuel into the engine, but that is going to cause the engine not to run properly and the tests they do, I didn't show all the test reports, I don't have them on this podcast, but there's certain injection sequences is I believe there's five of them on these injectors. So they test every one of them. 

So number five, fail. Under fuel at full throttle, 4% below factory specs. I mean, that's really pretty minimal. You'll probably never notice that unless you're full throttle and even then you'd probably notice it. Then number seven, fail, leaking, at body. And this is the interesting thing which we'll show a video in a second. You can see what was going on. And then we found out why this crank case is filling up so fast with diesel fuel.

The other interesting line is the injectors are not genuine Bosch, which is obvious from the fact that they have no Bosch identifying numbers on the top. So, you know, we could've just put five of the injectors back in sold three more, but you know, once you get into this, the suppliers questionable, how long are these injectors going to last? There's three already failed and they're brand new. Theoretically brand new. 

So I'm going to get into the video which is the fun part. And if you watch this video, if you look around this area here where I'm running my mouse, you'll see everything is dry and you'll notice fuels starts to pool up and then it eventually starts spraying out in rather large quantities. It's a 20 second video, so just kind of watch carefully. I'll play it a couple of times.

You can already start to see some fuel pooling in this area here, which should it be none. Now there's a huge drop up there and now you can see it just spraying out all over the place. I'll just play that last few seconds of the video because this is the interesting part. Right there, you can see field spring out. Well, you can imagine running an engine and It wouldn't take long for a litre to get sprayed out after an hour's driving, maybe, you know, a few litres in an hour or so. There was our problem.

Mark: So, what happened next?

Bernie: So we replaced the injectors, the owner was kind of reluctant because he'd spent an awful lot of money on this vehicle already. And it kind of put us in a bit of a sticky spot because, you know, we'd said to him, look, you know, based on what you've told us, this is where we should proceed. And the injection pump wasn't a cheap job. So we did ended up compensating him and reducing the cost on the job much lower than we would have normally done on doing a set of injectors. But we did them and you know, it was good that he did them. We put them in and buttoned everything up and fired it up. And you can ask me the next question.

Mark: So how did it work after that?

Bernie:  Really, really good.  It was amazing because you know, the week before this vehicle is here for a couple of weeks, but after we'd done the injection pump, I remember taking it out for a good long road test. And I seem to remember it ran fairly well, but by the time we got back on the Monday, maybe because it was the crankcase was so full of fuel, it really ran badly. Felt like it was only running on seven cylinders. And you know, when we changed the injectors with the pump done, this vehicle ran like brand new. And I, I say that because I actually bought a brand new Duramax six months ago. And so I know exactly what a new one feels like and this truck, you know, 20 years old ran exactly like a brand new truck. Tons of power, pep, acceleration, no smoke. It was just a dream to drive. So ran great and we drove a extra long time. Triple checked to make sure the oil wasn't too full. And you know, there was no stored trouble codes related to any injection issues. 

And we did get a call back from the customer a few days later, he said he was super happy with the way it worked. So it's a happy ending. And I guess the good news, the vehicle did have a fair number of ks, two to 300,000 kilometre range, which is a fair amount of mileage. So changing injection pump was not a bad thing to do anyways, but it's too bad we didn't think of the injectors as a first thing, because that probably would have  saved a little bit of money for him.

Mark: There still was a leak in the injection pump, you saw that.

Bernie:  There was a leak in the injection pump, which we could see, but it wasn't really major compared to this injector and who knows. I mean, given time, maybe over a period of a couple of months, maybe it would have started to fill a crankcase up. So there was a leak, but certainly not to the severity of the injectors. 

Mark: So what have we learned? Don't use cheap parts. Use good stuff and use the place that's knows what they're doing, frankly, is going to question you on it, but also this is really important to keep a log of what actually has happened. What have you done? Don't try and hide anything from your service guys. Tell them the truth about everything that's gone on so they can fix your car, right the first time. 

Bernie: Exactly. Exactly. You know, people sometimes, you know, we often have to pry information out of people and I think people don't often think, well, maybe that's not important, but it is important to say, Hey, I bought this from this particular place. And you know, I think what we've learned as a shop is to really ask questions. 

 If you look back one of our other podcasts, we had a client with a Land Rover LR2 had a bunch of engine drivability issues that we solved. And in the end I ended up making a project. I go, look, I just want to fix this vehicle. So it was one of those things where we didn't charge them fully for the amount of time we spent on it. I just educated myself. And finally, at the end of the day, thought, he changed the fuel injectors. Where'd you get them from? We bought some cheap fuel injectors from somewhere.

And so you know, had he not done that he would have saved himself thousands of dollars on, literally thousands of dollars on, at least a couple thousand dollars on repairs and grief. You know, so. If you're buying parts, don't buy the cheap stuff, but if it's OEM and you know it, for sure, and it's cheaper that's okay.

But don't buy parts from someone who hasn't got the backing of a major manufacturer because you're just asking for trouble. 

Mark: And if you don't know, go to a shop that does know.

Bernie: Exactly, exactly. And bring all the information, lay your cards out on the table. Hey, you know, here's where I had it fixed. Here's the work I had done. I supplied the parts and this is actually another reason why we don't like to do work with customer supplied parts, because these are the kinds of issues we run into. You know, we bring it to us to do the whole job. Yes, you'll probably pay some more money. We guarantee the whole thing. Now, for this guy, if he has fuel, leaking into a system, We also changed all those fuel return pipes and seals and everything. If there's any leaks, we own that job now for the next couple of years. 

Mark: They have a warranty basically. 

Bernie: We have a warranty. Yeah, yeah. We back it. 

Mark: Sometimes ladies and gentlemen, let me give you the sad news. Sometimes the internet and Amazon are not your best place to get parts for your vehicle. 

Bernie: Exactly. Sometimes it is. And I will say something about prices and I don't, we should shoot Amazon, but you know, sometimes the price on Amazon, a lot of times, they're really good. And other times they're outrageously overpriced too. So it's like anything buyer beware. You got to know what you're buying. Not Amazon's fault. You gotta be a good consumer and just look into your stuff.

Mark:  If you need service for your Chevy, GMC diesel in Vancouver or Ford or Dodge or VW or Mercedes or whoever else makes diesels, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. Get all the details or you can book online Put all your information in there. They'll call you back. They'll investigate. They'll be ready for you when you show up. You have to call and book ahead. They're super busy. Check out the website Check out the YouTube channel. Pawlik Auto Repair, all makes and models and types of repairs for nine years. And of course, we really appreciate you watching and listening. Thank you, Bernie. 

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

2017 Chevy Bolt, Blind Spot Warning Repair

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 23 time winners of best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. We're talking cars. How you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: So a fresh electric car, 2017 Chevy Bolt that had a blind spot lane warning repair. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah, so the owner came to us. They apparently hit their back bumper on something and the blind spot warning and lane changing warning system stopped working in the vehicle. So they brought it to us to look at and see what we could do to repair it.

Mark: Now this is electric, so what kind of testing and diagnosis did you do? And was it any different than normal? The way you start. 

Bernie: For something like this? No, we basically hook up our trusty Snap-on scan tool, which has all the software for GM vehicles, including the Chevy Bolt. Do we say Bolt or Volt? It's funny how you can get confused with that. Anyways we hooked up our scan tool and interrogated the body system and found a store trouble code, which kept repeating for a communication error with the rear vehicle modules. So I can't remember the exact description of the code, but it kind of confirmed what we figured might be going on with the vehicle. So that was basically what we found through the scan tool part of it, which is again, as the initial part of the diagnosis. It's the basic starting point of the diagnostic. 

Mark: Gives you a general area where the problem probably lays basically. 

Bernie: Exactly. There's something communicating. There's a computer in the front or body control computer somewhere that's not communicating with the computer's in the rear of the vehicle related to the lane keeping system and blind spot warning. 

Mark: So what were your next steps? 

Bernie: Next step, pull the rear bumper, inspect the wiring. Now I'd mentioned they'd hit something. It was very subtle because the bumper wasn't crushed or cracked. There's a little tiny mark where it hits something. But we pulled the bumper off and we found a wiring connector that was just munched with all the wires you know, crushed and you know, popped apart, so we found the problem is pretty evident right then and there.

And I should probably just get into some pictures right now because that's where the interesting stuff lies. So there's our 2017 Chevy Bolt.

2017 Chevy Bolt, Blind Spot Warning Repair
2017 Chevy Bolt, Blind Spot Warning Repair
2017 Chevy Bolt, Blind Spot Warning Repair
2017 Chevy Bolt, Blind Spot Warning Repair
2017 Chevy Bolt, Blind Spot Warning Repair
2017 Chevy Bolt, Blind Spot Warning Repair

So this is a little bit of damage on the bumper. You can barely see it. There's a tiny little crease right there and a little mark there. You know very minimal amount of damage.  Fortunately didn't damage, these are parking sensors, these round dots didn't damage any of those, didn't damage any lights. It kinda makes you wonder what with all these controls, why did he even hit something? But you know, I've got vehicles that have those and it's, I don't know, you can still hit stuff, it still happens. 

Broken wiring connector.  There's basically what we found.  So this is like a two in one connector. These pins and pieces are all popped apart. You can see this is like the weather seal. Very important to have these sealed, obviously because they're in the outdoor environment. And there's another picture here this shows another piece of the connector that's all munched. So you can kind of see what we're up against. 

Mark: Okay. So let me ask you a little bit of question. Perhaps we haven't prepared for, which is why in the heck did this happened from such a small little bump. 

Bernie: Well, what we believe happened and I'm not sure if I have a picture. Well, you know what, I'm going to jump ahead. This is the repaired connector, but this big aluminum plate here, this is the actual bumper. That other piece that has a little crease, is the plastic cover. And there's some foam in there. Behind this piece, there's a clip where the wiring connectors, this wiring connector that's all munched up is supposed to go. And it basically hooks in behind there. So it shouldn't ever get hit by anything, it's protected. But for some reason, what we conclude happen is as the person's backed up, this wiring connector was in behind in between the bumper, that metal piece and the plastic and just got crushed.

So bit of crappy luck for these people, because you know, this is only in one location. Had they backed up even a few inches over it wouldn't have cracked this, but for some reason it did. So that's basically why it happened. And when we repair it, of course, we ensured that everything was on the proper side.

So if something like this were to happen again, the wiring connectors out of harm's way. Now, why it was like that, it's hard to know. Was it a sloppy installation at the factory? Was this bumper off previously for some other repair or did somehow when it hit pull the thing apart and in a sort of two-part process of creasing in it it pulled the wiring connector apart and crushed it. It's kind of hard to know. Nonetheless, it was broken. So bit of crappy luck for the owners of this vehicle is what I can say.  

So as for repairs. Yes. There was a couple of options. One was to get new wiring harnesses from GM. I believe it was over $1,800 for the, they don't sell the connectors or plugs. You have to basically buy the whole wiring harness. So the wiring harness...

Mark: Wait a minute, wait a sec, $1,800 for a wiring harness?

Bernie: Yes. It's not an outlandish price but that's only one end of it. The one in the back bumper was I believe about $300. So the back bumper is complicated because it's got two radar sensors. I should have taken some more pictures, but it's got two radar sensors on the corner of the rear bumpers.

Plus it's got the parking sensors and of course it's got a light, so there's quite a few items as you can see. This is the body side of the wiring that we repaired. But you know, of course it's way too much money, but the $1,800 wiring harness, is a very, very complex piece of wiring. It's obviously not just a few wires. It's this plus it goes through the whole vehicle. We figured a much better, faster, and way more, way more cost effective way would be to put new wiring connectors, not an easy job, but we used these Deutsch connectors. These are a really high quality connector. They use a special crimper to crimp the wires on much like you get in a factory. I mean, it's OEM factory quality. All weather sealed. Available in a variety of sizes for different wire gauges and yeah, it's a great quality repair. 

So quite a few hours worth of work to take everything apart and do it right. But you know, the amount of time it took us to do that would probably less time than changing the wiring harness to the front of the vehicle. The only downside of course, if the back bumper ever got, you know, really destroyed whoever would be doing the future repairs would have to customize the wiring harness, but that's not a big deal in the greater scheme of things. 

Mark: So with all these electronic fanciness in there, that adds a tremendous amount of complexity, but in this case, because a lot of that stuff wasn't damaged particularly, it's just the wiring end of things that you're having to repair.

Bernie: Yeah, exactly. But there's a lot in there. I don't know the price of these radar sensors, but I mean, there's a lot to them. I bought a new GM truck recently.  It's a nice for trailer towing. It's got all sorts of cameras and sensors and warning lights, and led lights to shine down the back to look at your cargo when it's dark out and just all sorts of stuff. But I cringe to think how much this mirror would cost to fix you know, oh and it tilts in, it's a little fancier. 

So I read an article just recently about, you know a Subaru that had a headlight problem and it was like $6,000 for a new headlight for a Subaru. I mean, that's, you know, we just don't expect those kinds of things out of an average kind of car that was $6,000, maybe on a Mercedes, but not a Subaru. And, you know, there's, if you get the Mercedes and BMW, it gets even worse. So, you know, with all these fancy features that we have on cars, there's a price to be paid and trying to avoid hitting something is really important. Of course, these things are supposed to prevent you from doing it, but it's, I don't know.

Mark: We can keep out smart anything.

Bernie:  Exactly. You know, it's not hard to do sometimes, so they help out. So yeah there's a lot of added complexity for sure. 

Mark: So the Chevy Bolt is a fully electric vehicle. What do you think of them? Are they reliable? 

Bernie: Yeah, I think they're really awesome. I mean, there are fairly new, so, I mean, there's not many repairs that we do on these kinds of things at this point in time. I would say though, there probably will be very little as there's not much in the way maintenance. And that's what kind of brings people back often, other than repairs or things breaking.

 We'll just look at some more pictures of the vehicle. Some under hood shots because I find it always interesting and looking at these things. There's a good under hood view.

2017 Chevy Bolt, Blind Spot Warning Repair
2017 Chevy Bolt, Blind Spot Warning Repair

This is what you find in the engine compartment. I guess it's the motor compartment now of the Chevy Bolt.

So what's familiar. Well there's brake fluid here, the brake master cylinder, but a lot of this is all electronically controlled now. You've got computer modules here that you'd find. There's the 12 volt battery there which powers and runs all the other accessories. I believe this is an inverter I be wrong here. I didn't really research enough of what all the bits and pieces are under the hood of this vehicle. But everything with orange cables is high voltage, and this is all high voltage cabling.

The electric drive motor and unit will be down below here. You can see there's two coolant reservoirs here as well. There's some AC or heating pipes here. So again, I'm not sure how the system works and a lot of these things I tend to learn on an as needed basis. So I can definitely see an AC fitting here.

So a lot of electric vehicles will use the AC system for heat and cooling as well. So you know, there's some stuff that looks the same and a lot of stuff that's different. And then of course, repairs will be substantially different to do than you would normally do. As a matter of fact, I could see three coolant reservoirs here. So interesting.

The other thing I found interesting is this is the radiator cap. The radiator cap is like, there isn't even really a radiator there. They're so small. But what's interesting, it's only five PSI pressure, very low pressure. I mean, most internal combustion engines are up around the 15, some of this highest 18 PSI range because there's a lot of heat and pressure.

So again, these are very low pressure systems. So leaks, they won't occur as easily as they would on an internal combustion engine. They just don't have the same amount of heat generated as you would. 

Mark: Is there any other maintenance other than just maybe topping up fluids and brakes and suspension systems on an electric vehicle? 

Bernie: It's pretty much it. They have tire pressure warning, so. You know, I don't like to recommend that people just drive a car without having it inspected every once in a while. But when a car is brand new, you know, you can probably honestly drive one of these cars for a couple of years without even taking it in for service. You can top up your washer fluid, it'll have a cabin air filter that needs to be changed. I mean, there's no engine air filter anymore. The cabin air filter if you're a somewhat handy, is probably not difficult to do yourself. Rotating tires is an important thing to keep the wear even. 

And I think, you know, once the car gets a few years old, having an annual inspection will be an important thing because you never know, things do start to where at that point. You've got weather issues, road salt and that kind of thing. If you live in that kind of climate, getting it on your brakes. So brakes will need service from time to time, even though they will last a long time. Having service on brakes depending on where you live is going to be an important thing to do once every year, once every couple of years. Rotating your tires on a regular basis and just inspecting the steering and suspension, make sure there's no loose parts. It might be computer monitoring for all your fluids and tire pressures, but it doesn't monitor things like ball joints. 

There might be some kind of technology around that with nanotechnology in the future where everything will be told to you. But I think that's a little ways out. Give it five years. Yeah. But I think the key thing is when a warning light comes on, there's something that's going to need to be addressed. And that's when something will need to be repaired. I think it's hard to know what electric vehicles, what the issues are, because they're pretty new. You know, in Teslas, I mean, they've been around for over 10 years and they kind of keep to themselves. There's not so much published information out there. You know, but things like bad connections and corrosion will certainly be an issue, especially in areas where there's a lot of harsh winters and road salt. I think those things will start causing problems. Places like Arizona, where you got none of that, maybe nothing, hard to know.

Mark: If you need some service on your electric vehicle. They've actually serviced quite a few. The guys to call are Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, (604) 327-7112. They've worked on Teslas. They've worked on pretty much all the electric vehicles. Not a ton of them, because they're not a lot of them on the road, but they have worked on them. They're trained up. They're up to speed. They're experts in these vehicles. They've worked on a lot of them. Give them a call (604) 327-7112. To book your appointment. You have to book ahead they're busy. Or you can go to the website You can book your appointment on there. They will call you back, find out what exactly what's going on with your vehicle. You can also look at over, I don't know, 500, 600 videos on there of all makes and models and types of repairs, including electric vehicles. Check out the YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair. Thank you so much for watching and listening. We really appreciate it. Thank you Bernie. 

Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching and listening.

Chevy or Ford Van?

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

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: So big showdown Ford Econoline versus Chevy Express. And I guess there's a GMC Savannah in there as well, which is the better van?

Chevy or Ford Van?
Chevy or Ford Van?

Bernie: Which is a better van, while we're going to talk about a few issues of these vans, but I I'm clearly not going to come out and say one is better than the other. So if that's what you're looking for, you'll have to wait. 

Mark: So what are some of the differences between these two brands? 

Bernie: Well, they're essentially the same vehicle. I mean, they fit in the same category. They make cargo vans and passenger vans. They also make cutaway vans. And the cutaway is basically you have the front of the van and the frame, and then you can put a cube van box on the back or sometimes they'll put a bus chassis on the back, or even a motor home. Ford seems to be a little more popular in that area. They seem to be a little more utilized in that area, but, you know, those are some of the uses, but they're essentially the same category of vehicle. 

Mark: So, well, let's start with engines then. What issues do you see in between these two vehicles? 

Bernie: Yeah. So let's talk about engine and actually just to define that the model years, we're going to start from 2000 and up, you know, I mean, these vans have been around for a long time. The Econoline has been around since 1961. And, you know, for a version of a Chevy van has been around since, you know, around that time too. So we're not going to get back into, into the earlier stuff. Since 2000, I mean, Ford's, you can get these with V6 engines or V8s. V8s are much more popular and I wouldn't really recommend a V6 engine. It might be appealing in terms of, you know, better fuel economy, but they're really, they're generally overstrained and the Ford version, they had a 4.2 litre V6, not a good engine, head gasket problems, expensive, you know, not worth having. 

The GM 4.3, probably a better engine, but, you know, again, kind of underpowered so it'll generally wear out faster unless you're hauling really light loads. So again, the question is like, which van do you want to get? Depends on what kind of loads you're hauling. And we'll talk more about that as we get on. 

But let's talk about the V8. So, you know, Fords, and most of them come with the Triton V8. There's a lot of issues with these engines. In the earlier 2000 spark plugs with blow to these engines, because they didn't have enough threading in the spark plug, which caused problems. And often that would happen when you might be in a 15 passenger bus going up a hill with a load of people and all of a sudden boom, a spark plug pops out and you're stranded.

So not a good scenario. Nothing that's really in the maintenance world that you can take care of. It's just, it just happens out in the road. Then they fixed that and they put in spark plugs of a very unique design that would break off when you service them in the vehicle, costing a lot of extra money and grief. And then finally in around the later 2000s, they put proper spark plugs in and the problem was solved. So if you're buying anything from probably 08 and newer, you're not going to have that kind of spark plug issues. 

Other areas though, with the Fords that we see, intake manifolds will leak, they'll develop coolant leaks. It's a plastic manifold usually you have to replace the whole thing. Can be kind of an expensive repair. And there's some issues, the Ford engine I have to say in their favour, because I'm talking about problems, it's a more sophisticated engine. Overhead cam, so you're getting more power and performance out of the engine than you would on a Chevy, which is a simpler design with push rods.

But there's more complexity with the overhead cam is variable valve timing, and they have problems with the cam phasers in that system. So, you know, if you're really good at changing your oil and doing good services, chances are that'll be fairly trouble-free, but usually, you know, by the time you hit a couple of hundred thousand kilo-meters, it's probably pretty near game over for one of these engines. So not quite as durable. 

The Chevy's on the other hand, not all of those problems I mentioned, none of the above. They're just really pretty good, durable, solid engines. You know, being a van, of course, you know, doing any service on them is more complicated because you've got to remove that cover and get into servicing in strange ways. But things like spark plugs last an awful long time, so they don't need to be replaced very often. And I say, you know, as far as engines go, I would give the Chevy my winning vote. 

Mark: Can you buy these vans with diesel engines? 

Bernie: You can and we do service a few of them. I can't think of if we've ever done a Chevy, but Chevy, they're available from 2006 to 16 with a Duramax diesel. The Fords have had diesels in them for a long time, like way back before the 2000 model year. And, they actually have the 6 litre up to, I think it was 2014, which is, you know, they discontinued the trucks after 2008. So, you know, that's still available. I would not recommend a diesel unless you're hauling exceptionally heavy loads. Diesels need to be worked. That's really the bottom line with a diesel. 

So if you're a say, I don't know, I'm just going to say a plumber and you've got like a lot of heavyweight inside your van and you're towing a trailer behind it, that would be a really good use of having a diesel powered van. But other than that, I really don't see a lot of reason for it. In all fairness, it seems like the diesels are, they seem to have less problems in vans than they do in the trucks. Probably because they aren't worked so hard, but when things happen, they're really expensive to fix. 

We've got a lot of videos and info about diesels, especially the Fords. There's a lot to go wrong and they're more complicated in a van because they're harder to access. So you really need to think twice about getting a diesel in a van. That's my recommendation.  

Mark: Yeah, so fit for purpose, make sure that you're fitting the engine that you're buying for the purpose that you're endeavouring to fulfill. 

Bernie: Yeah, exactly. And I will say, Chevy is pretty much limited to V8 engines, but Ford has a V 10 engine as well, which is a monstrous gas guzzling engine. Now again, if you bought a cutaway van, you know, like putting the diesel in there, if you have a big cube van on the back, it makes more sense.

But if you're, and again, we're just talking about kind of a straight, regular cargo van here. The diesel definitely isn't the best option. Look at your purpose, your usage, how much weight you're hauling and that'll help you make the decision. 

Mark: What about the transmission and the rest of the drive train?

Bernie: They're pretty much equal. I don't see a lot of problems with one being better or worse than the other, you know, they're both pretty durable. One thing that we haven't talked about here is what kind of van. These vans are, and it depends on what model, they're available ever from half ton to one ton chassis and actually some of the cutaway vans are actually even more durable, like, you know, 450s and 550s for say the Fords. But it really depends, you know, like what kind of a chassis you're buying, what kind of weight it'll haul and we can talk about that a little more in the steering suspension. But generally the drive trains, you know, I find them to be pretty much equal. 

Mark: So let's talk about steering and suspension. How do they compare? 

Bernie: You know, I'm going to give the edge to Ford on this one. And the reason for Ford is that it's a little simpler. They use a twin I-beam suspension, it's a simpler system. There's less steering linkage involved in a Chevy. So there are less parts to wear out. They do a ball joints that wear out. So do Chevy's, but it seems, and the Chevy's probably last a little longer than the Fords, but the, you know, the steering linkage is much less complicated, so there's less parts and less items to wear out. Not quite as sophisticated. The ride in a Ford is probably a little more truck like but I don't know if you'd actually ever really noticed a difference between the two. It seems like their components are a little tougher on the Ford than the Chevy. 

Mark: What about brakes? 

Bernie: Brakes are pretty much the same, but I will say that it seems like with Fords, the way they build their brake calipers, that they tend to need to be replaced almost every time you do a brake job. And the reason is not because the caliper seize up, but because the dust boots that they use on their brake caliper seem to be ripped. For some reason, they seem to last for one brake job. And then a lot of times we take the brakes off and say, Oh, the dust boots torn, and so the caliper needs to be replaced.

So I think on a Ford and you can expect to spend a little more money on brakes and you can on a Chevy. Although the calipers on Chevy's do need to be replaced from time to time as well. But you know, pads and rotor life is probably pretty much the same between the two vans. 

Mark: Alright, let's go into fit and finish, how everything is put together, how it all feels and how about things like the doors opening and closing? How is that compare between these? 

Bernie: Yeah. Doors are kind of important on vans because those are the kinds of things that are used a lot. And I can, I'm going to digress back before the 2000 model years, there were some Chevy vans that had really bad doors. I mean, the sliding doors were crap, you know, really badly built. As a matter of fact, I would say that if you are even looking at something older, it seems like Chevy and GMC vans really and their trucks in general really took a leap forward in quality around the 2000 model year, because there was a lot of stuff where the brakes for instance would not last very long at all. So they were really under sized for braking, whereas Ford really had a big edge back then. 

But if we're looking at the 2000 newer, I mean, I'd say they're both probably pretty much equivalent in quality, fit and finish, you know, some of the passenger vans, of course we'll have nicer appointments than the cargo vans. But I can't say that one of them stands out to me a little more than the other. 

Mark: Alright, so we've kind of covered everything. Which one would you buy? 

Bernie: Well, just before I say that, I do want to just talk about drive train too. So there are half ton, three quarter and one ton versions available. And actually Chevy's, since I believe it's 2014, they don't sell half ton vans anymore. So, the question is like, what are you going to be hauling? That's the other thing to look at. If you're buying a half ton and you're going to be loading it with, 2000 pounds worth of weight, you're going to wear your brakes and drivetrain and everything out a lot faster than if you buy a one ton.

So just look at what you're hauling and that'll help you make a decision as to what you're going to do. Of course, if you buy a half ton and you decided to throw 2000 pounds worth of plywood in every six months. It's probably not going to hurt the van, but if you're doing it regularly, that's going to make a big difference.

So just something to look at. So which one would I choose? If I was going to buy a van, I'd probably buy a Chevy because I like the engines better. And that's my one thing. I'm a little more, a little more biased in that area, but I'm not saying you should buy one over a Ford. The key is just do your research. See what you like. You may have a preference to Ford, and there's really nothing wrong with that. But I think you might spend a little bit less money with a Chevy van than you would with a Ford. It's kind of marginal though. But you know, having a good reliable engine does make a big difference to me. It's one of the more expensive components in a vehicle. 

Mark: I guess, as always, it depends on the vehicle you're looking at as well. Since we're talking about used vehicles, how's it been looked after? What kind of shape is it in? How beat up is it? Would make a big difference into what your choice is. And so it becomes really important to get a pre-purchase inspection so, you know what the heck you're getting into right? 

Bernie: That is absolutely the most important thing for sure. Look at what you want, decide what you want, do your own research and then get a pre-purchase inspection to see if the is good, because it might not be. And if you can buy a vehicle that's got maintenance records as well. That makes a big difference too, because if you know the vehicle is well-maintained and someone's taking care of it, that can make a big difference to how much money you're going to be spending in the future on fixing things. 

Mark: So there you go. If you want honest opinions that cut through all the baloney, all the we're better than they are, blah, blah, blah, Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to get maintenance and repairs and book your appointment, come in, all makes and models of cars. If you're not in the area or you just want more research,, hundreds of videos on there on all makes and models of cars and trucks and all kinds and types of repairs and maintenance. Or check out the YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair, same thing, hundreds of videos on there. Thanks for watching and listening to the podcast. We really appreciate it. Leave us a review if you like what we're laying down. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching and listening.

2006 Chevrolet Uplander Front Strut Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert producer, the Pawlik automotive podcast. And of course we're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver servicing and repairing cars for 38 years in Vancouver, 19 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And of course we're talking cars. How are you this morning Bernie?

Bernie: I'm doing pretty well.

Mark: So we're speaking about a Chevrolet Uplander. This is a little bit of a rare model, I guess, a minivan. What was happening with it?

Bernie: Yeah, well they're not entirely rare, I mean, this was actually the Chevy's replacement for the Venture van, but I think Ventures were horrible vans. They were like one of the worst products GM's put out in a long time and we can talk about those in another situation. But the Uplander is definitely a huge improvement. But yeah, I don't think they sold tons of them. I don't have the specs, but you certainly don't see as many as you did with the Ventures. So this van basically had a really bouncy ride to the vehicle. It's a regular customer, we've been servicing this vehicle for many years. And I do a service of picking this vehicle up at the person's house or the business. So I tend to drive it a little more often, and you notice right away the ride of the front of the vehicle is very bouncy, it just didn't feel quite right.

Mark: You had to replace the struts, is that what was going on?

Bernie: Yeah, exactly. So the front struts were worn out and basically, so I was saying the ride was bouncing. You know, people often wonder, well how do I know if my stress or shocks are warn? And by the way a strut has a shock absorber in it and that's the primary wear component is the actual shock absorber. How you can tell, I mean you can just feel it in the vehicle when you, when you come to a, especially if you come to a stoplight, the vehicle should, you know, you push the vehicle, you hit the brake, you come to a stop light, the front end of the vehicle dips and it bounces up once and stops.

And you know, if it bounces even a slight bit more, you can tell your struts are worn out, but you can also just get a general feel that the vehicle. Just doesn't feel like it's really gripping. I don't say gripping the road, but it just feels like it's a little out of control. Now we've been fixing cars for a long time so I have a feel right away. But if you have a vehicle that feels like that might be an indication your struts or shocks are worn that that extra bounciness is certainly quite noticeable.

Mark: So I'm sure there's probably a recommended interval to change struts, what is that?

Bernie: Well, there used to be an a recommended interval and this came from strut and shock manufacturers replace your shocks every 80,000 kilometres or 50,000 miles. And you know, over the years of working on cars, I've always thought that just seems ridiculous. Like I've had vehicles where the shocks and struts have gone way longer than that for years and years and years. Now of course, because I'm sure they've got a lot of pushback and negative comments about that, the recommendation for the last few years is check your struts at 80,000 miles, you know, have them inspected. So which is a much fairer idea, but really, as I said, you can tell right, most of the time right away by driving the car. There's also the bounce test you can do, which is you basically bounce the vehicle up and down a few times. Difficult to do on an F350, by the way. But on a one ton truck, like if I say not as difficult, impossible, but on an average car, even a minivan, you know, you can bounce the vehicle up and down and if the vehicle will bounce up after you let your hand off the vehicle and it'll drop down to a certain point, if it does any more bouncing then the shocks are struts are worn. So that's a, that's a good test.

But anyways, as far as the interval, you know, I really believe you just need to drive the vehicle and see how it goes. This particular van, it's a 2006 so that makes it 12 to 13 years old at this point and it's got about 150,000 kilometres I believe. So quite a lot over the 80,000 that was recommended. The thing about shocks and struts too, they're not like you know, if you don't do them you're going to create a lot of extra damage. I mean sometimes your tires can wear funny and sometimes you can actually have shock or strut wear and not even be aware of it and all of a sudden you'll have your tire's worn funny. There's some interesting issues that happen. We can talk about that another time.

But that's fairly rare. Not entirely common. So you know, replacing them at a certain set interval, like a maintenance item, it really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I think you're better to keep your money in your pocket and wait until the time when the wear is actually more applicable.

Mark: What's involved in replacing the struts on this van?

Bernie: So this vehicle, there's a couple of different ways to do it, but let's just get into some pictures while we're at it.

2006 Chevrolet Uplander Front Strut Replacement
2006 Chevrolet Uplander Front Strut Replacement

So there's the van, it's an '06 Uplander and that is the strut that we replaced. So there's a couple of ways you can do it, what's pretty common nowadays is what's called a quick strut, that's Munroes brand name, there's other brands around that do the same thing. But essentially what it is, it's a complete assembly. As I said, the main wear part when a strut wears out is the actual shock absorber portion, which is sort of inside this tube in the middle of the tube. This coily piece here is basically a dust protector and if you remove it, you'll see a nice shiny shaft and this is what moves up and down. You can see the the spring and then at the top to the spring seat and strut mount bearing.

That's also another part that tends to wear fairly frequently too, causing on some cars and creaks and clunks and noises and things. So the nice thing about a quick strut, again using that brand name, is you replace this whole thing. There's nothing left over to wear out and it's a little less labour intensive. You just unbolt it from the vehicle, you bolt the new one in and away you go. Whereas if you're just to replace the strut and maybe the bearing plate, we have all the tools to do it, you need to disassemble it because the spring is under a lot of pressure, and then change the parts over and then put it back together. So that's kind of the way it goes. I mean in the olden days too that a lot of struts, you could actually change the cartridge, the piece right inside, so you'd actually keep the tube, that's really old fashioned nowadays. So that's going back at least two or three decades now for that technology, so this is what we did on this vehicle.

Mark: So when you've replaced the struts like that, is a wheel alignment necessary?

Bernie: It is, on the rear, not necessary, not usually necessary. Sometimes it is, but on the front, absolutely because it does affect the steering geometry. Then the MacPherson Strut is one part of the steering geometry, it's kind of like the upper control arm and spring and everything built into one. So it kind of a neat feature, you know, neat design in terms of minimizing the amount of components in a front suspension. But yeah, it's critical to do it in alignment.

Mark: And how reliable are Chevy Uplanders?

Bernie: Well, as we talked earlier, I was talking about Ventures, I mean they're not bad, we've serviced this vehicle for quite a few years. This is a really good maintenance customer. You know, we've had others that we've serviced, they're actually quite a reliable vehicle and you know, GM did a good service compared to the Venture, we can do a whole podcast about all the things that went wrong and those vehicles, but we don't seem to see them as much on Uplander. So it to me this is a pretty decent minivan. Of course getting old now, you know, they haven't made them in awhile.

Mark: So there you go. If you have a Chevy that you need some maintenance on, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive, you can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment, or check out the website,, hundreds of videos and articles about all kinds of makes models, repairs, maintenance items. As well there's hundreds of videos on our youtube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair. And of course thank you so much for listening to the podcast and thank you Bernie.

Bernie: Thank you mark. Thanks for watching. We totally appreciate it.

1975 Chevrolet Corvette EFI Conversion

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert. I'm the producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast here in lovely, rainy Vancouver. And we're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best automotive experience. 19-time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. 19 times. And we're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik. How are you doing this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well other than it's rainy and extremely rainy.

Mark: Well, welcome to 1919. So, 2019 I guess.

Bernie: 2019.

Mark: Let's get in the right century. Although we are going back in time. We're talking about a 1975 Chevrolet Corvette that had an EFI conversion. What was going on with this classic vehicle?

Bernie: So this vehicle was pretty much stock Corvette. I mean, the engine had some work done on it. Not sure if much in the way of modifications, but essentially stock Rochester 4-barrel carburetor, HEI distributor. The client's concern was that the vehicle would tend to get flooded and it was hard to start, if not impossible. So we did some adjustment on the choke. Got it set up as best we could, but it still was never a really good experience. You start the car up, it would run for 10 or 20 seconds and stall. There was wear in the choke linkages and things. It was just things that wouldn't really allow us to get everything set up perfectly.

So that was basically the best we could get it and between cold start and a hot warm up and we're talking like 15 minutes driving, there would be some stalling issues or it would idle too high. Never quite perfect. That's kind of the best we could get it was to prevent it at least from flooding.

Mark: And so what did you do to repair this concern?

Bernie: Well, I talked to the owner about it and he said, "well, you know, I'm not super happy with that idea." He goes, "why don't we do an EFI conversion." Basically converting it to fuel injection. I said, "hey, what a great idea. You know, that'll eliminate all of those issues and bring the benefits of a modern fuel injection system to the vehicle." So that's exactly what we proceeded to do.

Mark: So what does that involve?

Bernie: Well, what that involves is removing the old fuel system. So we removed the carburetor, the old mechanical fuel pump, and then install a fuel injection unit. It's a throttle body fuel injection unit. It's made for quadra jet carburetor. Quadra jet carburetor has a smaller primary openings and larger secondaries. It's a unique GM feature. Anyways, this is a bolt on quadra jet conversion, so you bolt on a throttle body unit. Then there's a few sensors that need to be installed. A coolant temperature sensor. An oxygen sensor in the exhaust. And it need to be attached to the ignition system, to get an RPM signal.

Powers and grounds, of course. And then, the sort of larger part of the process is providing it with high pressure fuel. So, the gas tank has to be removed. A new fuel strainer put in. High pressure pump needs to be installed with fuel filters and then a return system also needs to be installed so the pressure can be regulated to the proper level and returned back to the gas tank.

Mark: So a lot of work basically.

Bernie: Yeah, a lot of work. I mean, it was a couple of solid days worth of work to do the job.

Mark: And how did the job go?

Bernie: Really well. It went fantastic. I mean, it just step by step, and the fuel tanks are kind of a pain to remove in this vehicle, but it was good mounting locations for the pump. The one little hiccough we ran into, for the fuel return line, fortunately there was actually two metal lines in this vehicle, the main fuel line and there was also a small, quarter-inch diameter fuel vapour line that ran parallel with the fuel line back to the vehicle. It hadn't been used in a long time. It was sort of just kind of disconnected, that emission piece so to speak. But the fuel return line was there, so we were able to tap into that. Unfortunately, when we fired the vehicle up, the return line had a big rust hole in it. 1975 car, you know, it's got quite a bit of miles on it and anyways, there was a rust hole, so we had to replace a couple of sections of fuel line. But other than that, flawless.

Mark: And do you have some pictures?

Bernie: I do. I got some pictures. We're going to start with a video here. This is ... I had a few videos I wanted to show, but due to technical difficulties, we'll just show the video here. This is the, you can see this okay?

1975 Chevrolet Corvette EFI Conversion
1975 Chevrolet Corvette EFI Conversion
1975 Chevrolet Corvette EFI Conversion

Mark: Yep.

Bernie: This is the completed job, more or less completed job. It's a Hawley Spider, that's the EFI unit installed on the vehicle. You can see down the barrels. The fuel and return lines are installed here. There's a cooling temperature sensor down around ... sorry I'm kind of moving the camera around too much. I'll just click back here with this look again. Cooling temperature sensor right here. Maybe just pause the video. You get a good view here. This cooling temp sensor here. And all the computer controls for this unit are actually all inside the throttle body except there's a little console piece that you have to install inside the vehicle so you can do all the tuning and adjustments.

But, it's really pretty much all takes place inside this unit right here. So that kind of gives a good idea of that. So this is basically the way it looked after the installation. For some reason, somebody put this chrome air clearer on top of the snorkel piece originally, but it worked fine. That's the way it looked on the carburetor when it came in and it pretty well, you can't really tell it's got a throttle body fuel injection unit underneath. That's the old system, of course, with the old carburetor.

Again, you know, not a huge amount of difference, but certainly the newer unit looks a lot cleaner. And as I said this little photo of the original tag L-48, 8-1/2 to 1 compression. This is a 1975, really probably one of the worst years in the US for performance cars with all the emission equipment they were forced to put on. I think, I looked at the specs and this engine has 165 horsepower. Whereas four or five years earlier, it would have had 300, 350, somewhere in that range. A huge drop in horsepower, so this fuel injection unit actually helps out a lot.

Mark: And how did the car run and drive after the conversion?

Bernie: It was awesome. As I mentioned, I mean, the owner's main concern was, you know, you start the car and it would tend to stall and just was fiddly. The moment we ... there's a few little tuning procedures you need to do before you start it up. We fired it up, started it up and it ran, like, perfectly the whole time. Just stayed at a nice steady RPM. I was kind of waiting for it to stall and it never did. Just expecting it to, but just like perfectly smooth the whole way. Went out and drove it. Tons of power. To be honest, I never really drove it before to kind of get a feel for the amount of power, but for certain it's going to have a lot more power than before. I would imagine the fuel economy would definitely be better, too, because now it also has it oxygen sensor monitored, so it's tune to the right, optimum air/fuel ratio.

As best as you could get out of an engine like this, that's exactly why it's going to have. Yeah, really fantastic. I was really thrilled with the result, and highly recommend it for anyone who has an older car that wants to get the benefits and feel of a more modern vehicle. And yet it still sounds like a '75 Vet, which is cool.

Mark: So any downside to installing an EFI system on an old car like this, other than perhaps the cost?

Bernie: Yeah, cost is ... it's not a cheap job. But I say, none, other than, if you want you car to remain stock all the way through, then there's an issue with that. But otherwise to me it's just a no brainer. If you like the car, you want to drive it around a bit and you want it practical, this is just the best way to go.

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for some repairs or maintenance on your old classic vehicle 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 ahead and book ahead, because they're busy. Or check out the website, YouTube channel under Pawlik Auto Repair, hundreds of videos on all makes and models and years of cars and trucks. Or, thank you so much for listening to the podcast. Thanks, Bernie.

Bernie: Yeah, thanks Mark and thanks for watching.

2013 Chevy Volt, No Oil Pressure

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, Producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast and Video Series, and we're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Vancouver's Best Automotive Experience. 19-time winners, of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How are you this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: We're going into the land of electricity today a little bit, dipping our toe in. We're talking about a 2013 Chevrolet Volt. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: This vehicle was brought to our shop, driven in. The electric motor works fine, but what would happen with this vehicle, as soon as the gas motor would run, within a few seconds the low oil pressure warning light would come on, and the engine itself definitely sounded noisy. Basically, there was no oil pressure in the gasoline engine.

Mark: Okay, that's not a good sign. What tests and diagnosis did you need to do?

Bernie: Well, this one was pretty simple. The owner had changed his own oil and filter and had mentioned, by the way, there was no oil. He said, "There's no oil in the filter." Which we pulled off and verified that was, in fact, the case.

Normally, when there's an oil pressure problem, we would often do a test and verify with a gauge, but it's very apparent when you start an engine, the little oil warning light comes on. You can hear the timing chain rattling that there is, in fact, no oil pressure in the engine. From there, it was just time to do exploratory ...I was gonna say surgery. Exploratory dismantling and find out what had actually happened. We suspected probably the oil pump had come apart for some reason, but that's where we figured, so we started by removing the oil pan.

Mark: You did some disassembly. What did you find?

Bernie: The first thing we started with was removing the oil pan. It was the simplest and first logical step, and once we removed the oil pan, the oil pickup assembly is actually integrated with the oil pan. It's kind of a smart idea. Usually, it's a separate metal tube. Inside the pickup, there's a little screen to protect large particles from getting into the oil pump, and sitting on top of that screen, is kind of a V-shaped screen, was a piece of what looked like an impeller blade from the oil pump.

So, we figured, "Hey, it's got to be the pump that's come apart." So, from there, we removed the timing chain cover and discovered that the oil pump was, in fact, I'd say blown to bits would be a good word. But, kind of broken to pieces. So, why don't we just have a look at a picture of that right now?

2013 Chevy Volt, No Oil Pressure

So here's our oil pump. This is the timing chain cover over here. And the crank shaft goes right through here, and the oil pump sits here and there's a little ... It's a bit elongated, or sort of a couple of flat spots in the circular area that rub against, that attach to the crank shaft and that drives the oil pump.

You can see that the red arrow here points to a very large crack, but you can see this whole rotor here is completely broken apart in several sections. One, two, three, four. These are the little impeller blades. As I mentioned, one of these was found inside the screen. Once we removed all this, we found the other ... how many more are we missing? Two more, lodged in behind the pump.

Pretty important to find that stuff. You don't want that floating around inside the engine and ... So, anyways, we found all the missing bits and pieces. Now, this is an interesting oil pump. It's a variable displacement pump. Pretty common in a lot of modern engines.

You know, with any gasoline engine, they're looking for maximum efficiency. Excuse me. And one way to get that, is to vary the displacement of the oil pump. The oil pump draws energy to pump the oil through the engine, so if ... and it's doesn't always need the maximum amount of flow and volume, so by varying the displacement of the oil pump, you can save fuel and still provide the proper amount of lubrication. So, that's what this big spring here is part of, and this whole section here will rotate and vary the displacement of the oil pump so it'll pump lesser or more volume depending on what position this is in. And this is common to a lot of, I say, a lot of modern car engines.

Mark: So, this is a very involved job. How does the fact that this ... Does it affect anything, that this is an electric vehicle, as well?

Bernie: Well, it does to a certain degree. I mean, the gasoline motor's separate on the passenger side of the vehicle, but there are some common shared components with the electrical system, the electric drive system, such as the air conditioner. And so, these components need to be de-energized before we disconnect wires. It adds a little bit of extra work to the job. You don't wanna have your hands anywhere ... The voltages are very high, and potentially deadly.

So, you have to de-energize a few components, but other than that, it's pretty much like any other gasoline engine Chevy vehicle would be.

Mark: Was there any other damage from those parts floating around, from the oil pump failure?

Bernie: Well, no damage from the parts floating around, but of course, one serious issue is when you have no oil pressure in an engine, it can damage it pretty quickly. The owner said he never ran it for more than a minute, once the light came on, and of course, changed his oil and started it and found it wasn't working.

We ourselves ran it a couple of times for a few seconds, which is not a lot of time. As part of our service, we removed one of the connecting rod bearing caps, inspected the bearing; looked perfect, as good as brand new. So, that's sort of one of the highest wear items in the engine, the connecting rod bearings, due to the forces and there's nothing that we found. So, figure it'll be ... We haven't actually put the vehicle back together yet. It's actually ... It's waiting for parts. It takes about a week to get the oil pump, which is part of the timing chain cover, and once that's back together, I'm quite confident it'll all work just fine.

Mark: So, how are Chevy Volts for reliability?

Bernie: Well, to be honest, we haven't ... we don't work on a lot of them. There's not a lot of them around. We're more than happy to do so, but the ... you know, as far as I know, the reliability is pretty good with them. I did a little online research just to see if there's any complaints. There's a few for a variety of things, and they seem to say this, 2017 models might be among the worst.

But, of course, these'll all be covered under warranty 'cause they're near new. But I'd say, you know, I do know a couple people who own them, they've been pretty reliable vehicles, so again, there's a lot of complexity with this vehicle because you've got electric plus a gasoline motor, and it's interesting how, again, the failure with this vehicle is on the gasoline motor side of things.

Mark: And this is ... the gas motor charges the battery, which drives the electric motor, is that ...That's how this, if I remember right, that's how this vehicle works?

Bernie: It does exactly. It's a plug-in hybrid, so you ... Not a plug-in hybrid. It's a plug-in electric vehicle. So, you plug it in, and then it has the gasoline motor as a backup. Which is actually an excellent combination, when you consider, you know, you can really take this vehicle anywhere you wanna go and never worry about running out of either electricity or gas.

I don't think the range is fantastic compared to, well, certainly nothing compared to a Tesla. But it's got good enough range to ... for most daily commutes, and you might never, almost never run the gasoline engine. But if you do, decide to go out of town and you want to keep driving, you can just keep putting gas in it. And it's a pretty efficient gasoline engine, so ... But, yes, that's exactly what happens. The gasoline engine charges the batteries.

Mark: All right! So, there you go. If you're looking for service for your Chevy Volt, Bolt, whatever they happen to be making next, 'cause the Volt is now discontinued in 2019, as are all sedans in North America by Chevy, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You must book ahead, they're busy! Or you can check out their website, We have hundreds of videos on YouTube, Pawlik Auto Repair, on all makes and models of cars, all kinds of repairs. And of course, thank you so much for listening to the podcast. Thanks, Bernie!

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

2002 Chevy Silverado-Transfer Case Overhaul

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast. We're here in Vancouver this morning in an increasingly chilly October, with Mr. Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. How are you doing this morning Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: So we're talking trucks today, 2002 Chevy Silverado that had a transfer case problem. What was going on with this Chevy truck?

Bernie: So this vehicle came in for service. We do a lot of work on this particular truck, and the owner had taken it on an exceptionally long trip across Canada and back. If you look on a map, you'll see it's a long ways. It's a lot of driving. He came back, there was a few issues with the truck. We looked at it, and one thing we found was that there was a leak in the transfer case. There was an actual fluid leak in the transfer case, and the fluid level when we checked it was exceptionally low pretty much right off the edge.

Mark: So where was the fluid actually leaking from?

Bernie: Well interestingly enough, we found a little hole in the transfer case near the top there was an actual hole, and we'll look at some photos in a minute and I'll show you that. But that's basically where the fluid was leaking, it was actually a hole in the case housing.

Mark: So how do you think a hole like this could develop?

Bernie: Well we'll look at that in pictures in a minute, but there are a number of ways holes can develop. You could hit a rock, you could actually hit something with the transfer case. Or a strange circumstance, a rock could actually fling up. It's pretty thin aluminum. The case of this one, it was actually wear from a part inside that had been moving back and forth over, this truck has 300,000 kilometres, so over 300,000 kilometres this part, it's the oil pump, was moving back and forth back and forth, and eventually put a hole through the side of the case.

Mark: So once you opened it up, was there any fluid in the case itself?

Bernie: Pretty much nothing. As I mentioned, we check the fluid level and we basically found nothing in there. When we took it apart there was oil in it, but no appreciable amount. There's supposed to be two litres of fluid in this case, there was probably if you could scrape very drop of oil off the bearings and everything, there's probably a couple of tablespoons at most. It was basically surviving with just lubrication that was on the bearings themselves.

Mark: You have some pictures.

Bernie: I do. Let's go right into those right now. To start, there is the rear cover of the transfer case. You can see that okay?

2002 Chevy Silverado-Transfer Case Overhaul
2002 Chevy Silverado-Transfer Case Overhaul
2002 Chevy Silverado-Transfer Case Overhaul
2002 Chevy Silverado-Transfer Case Overhaul
2002 Chevy Silverado-Transfer Case Overhaul

Mark: Yep.

Bernie: Now if you look, it's an old dirty case, but if you look in this are a specifically you can see it's a little cleaner, there's a little more dirt and it's got some clean patches. So basically the hole is right over here, and I'll just close in a photo that shows a better view of that hole, which is right there. There's our hole. Tiny little, almost looks like it's meant to be there in terms of how nicely shaped it is. But that was our hole, that's where the fluid leak. And it was at the top of the case, which is fortunate because it had probably been leaking for a while and splashed out over a long period of time. So we'll go back into some other photos. So here's the inside of the transfer case. This is after reassembling it, so this is the transfer case chain. This is one of the main components of a transfer case, this is the chain that basically allows the drive to go ... This shaft here will go to the rear wheels. This connects up to the front drive shaft to drive the front axle, so that's how the. Again, the chain and these gears are one of the main components of the transfer case once you switch into four-wheel drive. To switch from high to low gear, down in this area of the case there's a planetary gear there's a shift fork and that'll make an adjustment. So that gives you the low gear range that transfer cases, most of them have.  Here's the inside of that new housing. We were able to replace this housing. And the wear was basically occurred in this region here, from the oil pump, which sits in these four places here, it just has a little bit of movement and over time, 300,000 kilometres, it just moves around a tiny bit, tiny bit, tiny bit eventually it just wore a hole through the case. This replacement case is actually made of a better grade of aluminum than the original, so it theoretically should never happen again. But the ironic thing is they actually put these clips in, and we found one that was broken apart. There's a couple clips, they're called case savers, and they're actually meant to prevent this from happening. But strangely enough, they don't. It actually slapped around enough and wore the case saver and a part, and then just wore it through the case. So this is kind of a useless piece, it's not really important to replace. It doesn't come with the rebuild kit, you can get them but they're really not an important item to use.

Mark: So how could the unit survive without fluid in it?

Bernie: Well gear boxes do, they do get hot they get warm, but they're not hot like an engine, so they can survive with just lubrication that's on the surface. It's hard to know how much longer this case would've gone, but they can survive for a long time without actually being full of oil. We've run into a number of transfer cases over the years where a customer brings a vehicle in, it's basically got almost no fluid in it whatsoever, and we fill it up and away it goes and it's no problem. I'm not saying I recommend that at all, you should always keep it full because of course there was some wear inside this case, nothing major though. We replaced all the bearings of course because we were in there, but there was nothing major worn. All the gears were in good shape, the chain was in good shape. We replaced it anyways because it's a good thing to do with that kind of mileage on it, it'd be kind of crazy not to change the chain because they do stretch over time. But nothing really severely worn. The only other major component we found, was one of the shift forks was worn and it has plastic tabs on it. So over time that had worn, it's hard to say whether, chances are it was well lubricated it probably would've been in better shape, but you never know if we would've taken it apart we might have found it was still equally worn.

Mark: So what are the most common problems you find with transfer cases?

Bernie: There's a variety of things that happen, and there're different types of transfer cases. So this one, for instance, is a fully manual two speed transfer case. It's kinda common on a lot of heavier duty type of trucks. So this is the one that has the shifter on the floor where you have to mechanically move the shifter. A lot of transfer cases are electronic. There are some, let's say you got a BMWX drive vehicle like an X5 SUV, that has a transfer case that's very similar but it's all electronic. You don't even push buttons. It's all computer controlled, so it'll shift the four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, it'll make adjustments computer controlled. And then there are other versions that are sort of semi-automatic. I've got a Suburban and it has basically a push button, you push a button on the dash, it'll switch into four-wheel drive. And then you can switch into low range, and again it's push button. And the way that's done, instead of having the lever on the floor it basically has a motor. It looks kind of like a windshield wiper motor, and it basically actuates the, moves the forks back and forth. That's actually a pretty common problem. The actuator motors will go bad. The chains will stretch. Those are common things, and from time to time bearings will wear also. But fluid leaks are probably the most common we see in it and repair. And of course, if you fix a fluid leak you're preventing other damage. This is surprising we caught this transfer case at the right time. Had he driven it for another few months, it for sure catastrophic damage would've occurred.

Mark: And are there any transfer cases that are worse than others?

Bernie: They're all pretty much, I'd say they're all fairly equal, at least as far as if we think of a North American truck style transfer cases. A lot of them are made by New Process, which is a transfer case manufacturer. So there're different grades in these transfer cases depending on if you have a half ton, three quarter, or one ton vehicle. There are other brands as well, but there doesn't seem to be any particular, Chevy's are better than Ford's or Dodge's, they're all kind of created equal, even amongst the imported vehicles. But when things go wrong say with those BMW type of transfer cases, they're much more expensive because the gear mechanisms are the same but the intricacies of how the other components work are the shifting mechanisms are much more complicated. So I'd say they're all, if you're thinking I'm only going to buy this vehicle because the transfer case is better, then don't worry about. They're all created pretty much equally.

Mark: So there you go. If you've got any issues with your four by four 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 our website,, we have hundreds of videos on our YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair. Thank you very much for listening to the podcast. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark, and thanks for listening and watching.

Chevy Suburban Oxygen Sensor Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert here, producer of the Pawlik Automotive podcast, here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik. We're talking cars. How you doing, Bernie?

Bernie : Doing very well.

Mark: So, we're talking about a Chevy Suburban, had a oxygen sensor replacement, which is a pretty common issue. What was going on with this large SUV?

Bernie: Well the check engine light was on. We scanned the vehicle computer. There was two codes for heated oxygen sensor circuits, for the front two oxygen sensors.

Mark: So, what does an oxygen sensor do? I know we've talked about it with other vehicles. How does it work?

Bernie: So there's a couple of functions for oxygen sensors. This vehicle is a 2001. It's a little older, but the technology is the same, even right up to brand new. Essentially, what the oxygen sensor does, is it reads the oxygen content in the exhaust and sends a signal to the vehicle computer. With that it can do a couple of things. There are your front oxygen sensors. These are located in front of the catalytic converters, right at the downstream of the engine. It'll read, is the engine running rich or lean. It sends a signal to the computer, it's rich. The computer leans out the fuel mixture, gets a signal it's lean, it richens it up and this cycle happens very quickly, like imperceptible. It richens and leans the mixture, so it makes quick readjustments for optimum fuel mixture, based on what the computer wants. The rear oxygen sensors are located downstream of the catalytic converters. What they do, is they monitor the efficiency of the catalytic converter, to make sure it's working. Essentially, modern vehicles ... used to be in Vancouver, we'd have air care and a lot of the testing was done with a dynamometer, with gas analyzers. You don't need to do that with any vehicles that are built after 1996. They're all self-diagnosing vehicles, because it has an oxygen sensor downstream of the catalytic converter. That's essentially what an oxygen sensor is, and how it works is it basically generates a voltage based on how much oxygen is in the exhaust system, so basically kind of a self-generating piece.

Mark: So mainly, let's just dig into a couple things. So rich and lean is referring to how much fuel there is in the air/fuel mixture?

Bernie: That's exactly what it is. There's a certain ideal ratio, about 14.7 to 1. It depends on what condition. If you're stomping on the throttle, and you want to go really fast, you want a richer mixture. If you're coasting down a hill, it goes leaner, but the vehicle computer's programmed for whatever that optimum mixture is. So yeah, it's a air to fuel ratio.

Mark: When you were mentioning downstream, you're talking about what's coming out of the exhaust, going out the tailpipe.

Bernie: Exactly, yeah. Downstream is like from the engine. If you can imagine, the exhaust is like a river. It's going down ... I don't know, river, downhill, exhaust, the stream exhaust goes out of the engine, goes back to the tailpipe and out into the air.

Mark: All this is an aid of basically the vehicle running good, but also it's an important factor in removing pollutants from the exhaust stream. Is that right?

Bernie: Absolutely. Absolutely. In the olden days, when cars had carburetor and they just kind of calibrated everything as best they could, there was no oxygen. It actually went to a feedback carburetor, which actually had an oxygen sensor and it would actually readjust the carburetor, but it was very crude. There's only a certain, limited amount of adjustment you can make on a carburetor versus a fuel injection system, which is why everything's fuel injected. So much more control.

Mark: Are there any other types of sensors in the exhaust stream that are part of this process of making sure the engine's running right?

Bernie: On a gasoline engine, there isn't, but we say oxygen sensor, there's actually a lot of vehicles use what's called an air/fuel ratio sensor. This Suburban is kind of older. It's a 2001. It uses an oxygen sensor in the front, but a lot of newer vehicles will use what's called air/fuel ratio sensor. It performs the same basic function, but it works differently. It's able to make adjustments to the fuel system much quicker and over a wider range. It's often called a wide band oxygen sensor as well. It works a little differently, but essentially the same function. They usually cost a lot more money than an oxygen sensor. Other than that, that's the only two ways they do it.

Mark: How often to oxygen sensors wear out?

Bernie: Well, this Suburban that's actually got over 300,000 kilometres, and the sensors have finally worn out, but they'll typically last 100,000 to 200,000 kilometres. Just a little history, in the olden days the oxygen sensor used to be a single wire, and it would self-generate its own electricity. Electric voltage signal, usually from zero to one volts, based on how much oxygen was in the exhaust. It would have to warm up and be at a certain temperature. It would often take a few minutes of engine running to get that sensor warmed up. In the meantime, the fuel system is what's open looped. It's pumping a lot of pollution, so what they did is they created a heated oxygen sensor, which everything has been for a long time. Heated oxygen sensors not only work almost immediately, like within a few seconds, but they also last a lot longer, so a single oxygen sensor in the past would never have lasted as long as the ones in this Suburban.

Mark: How would I know if the oxygen sensor were worn out on my vehicle?

Bernie: Normally, it's a Check Engine light issue. The Check Engine light comes on, and through diagnosis, we find the oxygen sensor's worn out. Occasionally, you'll have a physical problem, like the sensor will actually break apart. Maybe they'll be an exhaust leak. Not very common. Usually, 99% of the time, it'll be through the Check Engine light deal and diagnosis, so that you'll know that sensor's worn out.

Mark: Is this a large job, to replace these sensors?

Bernie: Well, it can and can't be. The Suburban was absolutely miraculous and beautiful. Oxygen sensors have bolted in the exhaust, and as you can imagine, there's a lot of heat that takes place. There's a lot of rust that occurs. Often, when we go to remove them, they won't come out very easily, but when you install a new oxygen sensor, you also put some Never-Seez, which is a compound that supposed to prevent the threads, as the name implies, never seize. They obviously did well with this vehicle, because all four oxygen sensors requires a little crack with a wrench, and I was able to spin them all out by hand, which is kind of miraculous. We have a lot of vehicles, where you go to undo it, and it takes the threads out of the exhaust system, involves a lot of extra repair.

Mark: So, what do you do in that case? Are you welding in a new piece, into the exhaust system? Can you even do that?

Bernie: Yeah, you can. Actually, you can cut the old piece off. It's called an 02 sensor bung, and we can just weld another one in and away it goes. It's a bit of extra work. Now, depending on where it's located, it might actually be a lot of extra work, because some oxygen sensors are buried way in the engine compartment. There's no room to move, and so it can be a lot of work.

Mark: And this Suburban, as you mentioned, is getting on a bit in age. Is it still a worthwhile vehicle to keep on the road?

Bernie: Absolutely. Again, it's all about maintenance, but like a 2001 Suburban, it's kind of when they changed this newer style of vehicle. I think GM has done a great job with these Suburbans and these pickup trucks of this era. They are far more reliable than they used to be in the past. Brakes last a long time. The engines are really good. Overall, a really good vehicle. I recommend them. Just keep them going. Just do the maintenance as things need to be done and the repairs. It's a good vehicle, last a long time. I realize we've been talking a lot. We haven't shared any pictures, so let's go to look at a couple of pictures.

These are the four oxygen sensors that were removed from the vehicle. The front and rear are actually different sensors, but the function they perform is the same. There's some calibration, there's something that's a little different between that two of them. So these are the four sensors that have been removed. You can see that these are plugs have been connected into the wiring harness. This is the end that screws into the exhaust system, over here. It looks kind of crusty and old, because it is. The next picture we'll go to, this is a close-up view of the wiring connectors. I mentioned, in the olden days, there was just a single wire oxygen sensor. Usually, on the GM it was a purple coloured wire. One of these wires is a ground wire, to make sure there's good ground to the sensor. Then the other two wires are for the heating circuit. So the heating circuit's monitored by the vehicle computer, and as I mentioned, there was a trouble code for this. If something goes wrong with the heating circuit, which is a frequent problem in these sensors, it'll set off a trouble code, saying the heater's not working. Finally, a view of a 2001 Suburban. There we go. Still in good shape after all these years.

Mark: Awesome. So there you go. If you're looking for service for your Suburban, or for an oxygen sensor replacement in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112. Or check out their website, Or our new podcast and channel on YouTube. Check us out. There's hundreds of videos on there. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

1969 Chevrolet Corvette; Headlight Repairs

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a classic some people would say, other people would say a strange vehicle to begin with but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this is a 69 Chevrolet Corvette that was having some headlight issues. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well basically the headlights on this vehicle, sometimes they come on, sometimes the high beams would work, sometimes the low beams would work, sometimes they just shut off completely. So there’s quite a few issues with the headlights on the vehicle but not reliable that’s for sure.

Mark: So it sort of sounds like a vintage English car but I guess, this is a 69 so it’s got the hideaway headlights, I bet that was fun! How was that to deal with?

Bernie: Well it definitely adds some complexity to the repair but in this case, this was a purely an electrical issue. Hideaway headlights are kind of neat in this car but that’s a complete vacuum operated system which is kind of a, I don’t want to say a nightmare of it’s own, but it has a vacuum system, basically it uses the engine vacuum, there’s a little storage tank and a bunch of switches and valves. So when you turn the headlights on, it actually pops the lights up and it closes them down when you shut the switch off and you can also flip them up manually to leave them up all the time. This car is a bit of a, you know not perfect, it needs a bit of work. So the actual headlights have to be operated up and down with the manual switch but there’s not much crossover between the electrical and the vacuum system, they’re separate, so when the lights actually don’t illuminate that’s actually an electrical problem.

Mark: So what do you do to start diagnosing this kind of issue?

Bernie: Well, I’ll start, within the electrical problem,you got to start at one end and you know just from experience, pick which end you want to start with is it the end where the headlight is or is at the end where the switch is and it’s a lot easier to access the headlights and the owner had just bought this car and there was a box of new headlights in there that the previous owner had said, hey you should change these lights. So I thought well, he want them done anyways so we start with the headlights, pulled everything apart and what we first of all found, a few of the headlights were actually broken so that was part of the issue but in being able to take the lights out, we were able to test the wiring and found that there was a bad ground to the lights and in fact, a lot of the front lights didn’t work as well. So it’s a matter of finding that common ground wire and why that connection, and why that end of it wasn’t working.

Mark: So what else did you eventually find that was the problem and how did you fix it?

Bernie: Well what we found is the ground wire is located near the front of the vehicle, near the headlights on a metal tab, interesting thing about a Corvette is it’s a fibreglass body car, so there’s lots of metal around that it’s not as plentiful as an average car which is all made of steel, so you have to hunt around for your ground wires. The wiring, there is a little more wiring on a Corvette than it would be on an equivalent 1969 car because the body isn’t a complete ground. So once we found the ground wire, found the bad connection, but the connection actually ended up not being repairable so I ended up finding a new ground source and repaired that. So I’ll just share a few photos while we’re at this juncture here and here’s a of view of the hideaway headlights. This is the passenger side, you can see that there’s a covering around the headlight and the drivers side, here I actually took this picture when it was partially apart. I don’t have any fancy videos or things going up and down, it is kind of cool to watch but we’ll do that at a  later date. Here’s the passenger side of the cover, there’s a cover that lifts, a few screws you remove and then you can get at the lights and remove them. What is kind of neat about this cover, it’s a 69 car, the cover which on any modern car, even you know a few decades old, would be made of plastic. This one’s made out of like a thin, tinny pot metal. So it’s kind of neat working on this kind of stuff, it’s kind of like working on a museum piece in a way that still drives down the road. The wiring problem, there’s our ground wire, it’s a close up view, that’s the actual wire that was bad. I cleaned it up first of all, this is the hole where it screws into, you can see it’s a fairly thin gauge piece of metal and when I went to screw it back in, it just wouldn’t tighten back up which happens. It’s probably really good for one or two, in this case only one shot, it’s probably never been removed since the factory but there’s basically corrosion that built up in this area and just wouldn’t allow the ground connection to happen. So we’ve got a better source elsewhere.

Mark: So we don’t really have, we haven’t often spoken about cars this old, do you work on a lot of vintage cars like this?

Bernie: Not too many and to be honest, we try to avoid them in our shop. It’s tricky to get  parts for old cars but I will say that we seem to work on a lot of old Corvettes and a lot of older Mustangs. These are two cars where you can actually get a lot of parts fairly easily. I mean things like, I should say on this Corvette there’s a couple other problems with the lights too, the high beam-low beam switch which is located on the floor was broken and these are parts that you can still buy quite easily. So some of these parts I mean, they just made millions and millions of them. Same switches used on GM cars for, as I say, like millions and millions of them. So there’s still the demand to make parts but you can pretty much buy anything you want for one of these Corvettes, unfortunately a lot of it is cheap made in China junk, which is kind of unfortunate. So it’s a little bit of work to find the right parts, but there’s a few select vintage cars we will work on in our shop and they’re kind of fun. Although I’ve kind of made myself the vintage guy here now because I kind of grew up with these cars, a lot of my newer, younger guys are like, oh how do you fix that? I go, I’ll just take care of it, it’s easier.

Mark: So some fun.

Bernie: Yeah exactly

Mark: So if you have a vintage car in Vancouver and you want Bernie to work on it, bring it into Pawlik Automotive, he’ll look after you. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out our website, tons of videos on there, Youtube channel, got four years plus of videos, lots of controversy, check it out Top Local Rankings, sorry Pawlik Automotive on Youtube. Thanks Bernie 

Bernie: You’re welcome Mark

2007 Chevy Monte Carlo Automatic Transmission

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive, Vancouver’s best auto service experience. How’re you doing this morning Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a 2007 Monte Carlo that had an automatic transmission problem. What was going on with this Monte Carlo?

Bernie: Well, first step of course is always for us to road test the vehicle, the client was experiencing some shifting problems, I drove the vehicle and definitely noted there’s some shifting issues. At first it seemed to be fine and then there was the odd, a sort of three four, third to fourth gear type shift there was a kind of a weird feel to it and then I noticed after a while of driving, I’d stop and go to start and it would jump out of gear and then jump back in again. So that was clearly a pretty significant problem.

Mark: So what kind of diagnostic steps did you do to narrow down what the problem was?

Bernie: Well first thing of course is a road test to verify the concern, which we did, second plug a scan tool into the vehicle, I mean this is an 07 there’s lots of computer controls in the transmission, plugged the scan tool in, see if there are any trouble codes, that gives us an area to look and there was actually none. And my kind of initial, my gut feeling from driving it is maybe there’s a fluid problem, maybe the fluid level was low and sure enough, the next step was the check the fluid level. This vehicle has a dipstick which surprised me because a lot of GM’s of this vintage don’t have dipsticks and you can still check the level, it’s just a lot more work. Put the dipstick in, pulled it out and the fluid wasn’t even reading on the stick. It took two litres of fluid to actually get the reading close to normal. From there we road tested the vehicle to see how it works and it shifted fine which I kind of suspected it would.

Mark: So what else did you do?

Bernie: Ok so from there, basically the next step was to, we could of let the vehicle go at that point because it was working but the fluid was discoloured and it makes send to look inside the pan and see if there’s any damage. Also of course, why’s the fluid level low? So we looked underneath, did an inspection and found the leak was coming from the transmission pan gasket and you know, that’s a pretty common spot for a leak. So we pulled the transmission pan down, inspected inside, fortunately there was absolutely no filings, materials like particles of any sort which is really good news for the owner of the vehicle. Yeah, so that’s basically what we did from there.

Mark: So how did if work after the service?

Bernie: Oh it was awesome. So what I should add is in addition to changing the pan gasket and filter, we also did a transmission fluid flush because the fluid was old and discoloured. So yeah it was great, road tested the vehicle, worked absolutely fabulously and I want to share a few photos while we’re at it because it’s interesting, so where were we here, so here’s our Monte Carlo, good vehicle. I know for quite a few years they built this car looking at the same type of design of vehicle so it actually surprised me it was when they got it it was actually new as it was, I thought it was a lot older. Anyway so here’s the transmission pan that we took out. Now I’m going to share a couple photos of this pan. So this is the pan, and this area here, someone has used a cork gasket and put some silicone or some Right Stuff Gasket Sealer on there, probably nothing really wrong with it, it’s not exactly the right gasket, but they tightened it way too tight and this area here, it’s actually the middle of the pan they tightened it so tight that the cork is squished right out and that was one of the causes of the leak. And now I’ll share the other photo, this is the proper pan gasket that’s supposed to be in there, you can see it’s a very elegant, thin gasket. This is like a metal cored gasket with molded rubber and it’s actually supposedly a reusable gasket, we normally change them but you can take them off and reuse them. They’re meant for multi purpose use. So again, we put the proper gasket on with the filter and it works fine.

Mark: So we don’t see a lot of these Monte Carlos, how are they?

Bernie: Pretty good cars, as I say, yeah we don’t really see many of these cars, I don’t think they made a lot of them but when you open the hood, it’s a typical GM vehicle of that vintage, I’m trying to think of others but there’s other Chevy’s, there’s Pontiac’s and Buick’s that if you look under the hood they have the same engine configuration, same transmission, generally a pretty reliable vehicle. A few problems here and there but overall pretty good car.

Mark: Alright if you’re looking for service for your GM vehicle, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

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