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2012 Ford Transit Connect EV, Charging Issues

Mark: Well, hello there, internet people, it's Mark from Remarkable Speaking. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. And we're going to take a little journey into the pioneering age of EVs with a 2012 Ford Transit Connect EV that had some issues. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well. 

Mark: So what was happening with this not very common EV? 

Bernie: Yeah, so the owner had a, his main issue was that the vehicle wasn't charging sometimes. It was unreliable. He'd plug it in at night and come back the next morning, the vehicle wasn't charged, which is obviously not a great thing on an EV. You want to make sure you have a full battery of fuel, so to speak, to get on with your days journeys. 

Mark: So 2012 that's about when EV started to get a little bit more mainstream at the very, very beginning. How much range does this vehicle have? 

Bernie: Not a lot. This thing is probably, it's advertised to have about 90 kilometres range and you know, of course those are under good conditions. I noticed in the servicing of this vehicle and you know, when it's fully charged there is an actual range meter, it reads a bit under 90 fully charged. So I guess if you go down a lot of hills, you'll get a little more, you get a little more juice. 

Mark: So what's unique about this vehicle?

Bernie: Well, this vehicle, even though it's a Ford Transit Connect, it's a Ford van, but the EV drive unit is not made by Ford. It's made by a company called Azure Dynamics. It was actually a British Columbia company, British Columbia, Alberta spent some interesting kind of multi-country, I dunno, multinational. It's not a multinational. Never made it that big, but anyways, it was made by Azure Dynamics. They made the motor unit and customized the vehicle. Never made a lot of them, probably. I don't know maybe there's a thousand made, maybe two at the most before they unfortunately went out of business.

Mark: So with this being an EV and an early one, how do you perform the diagnostics on it? They're not using the Ford system, are they? 

Bernie: No, they're not. So if you plug in, it has an OBD 2 Connector, like every other vehicle. But when you plug into it, of course you don't get any information on the EV unit. You do on the ABS brake and that kind of thing, but you don't get anything on the EV. That requires a special scan tool, which we have been able to acquire and very helpful for the diagnosis on this vehicle. So yeah, it's actually a pretty decent little scan tool. It works off a laptop.

And we can get into some pictures here. You can ask me some more questions and I'll get up the picture show. So this is the vehicle here. It' s actually owned by a company called The Silent Gardner. They've been in business for quite a few years, and he started the business before EVs were even popular or electric gardening tools were a thing.

2012 Ford Transit Connect EV, Charging Issues

And I think the technology has actually kind of nicely come up to match his business. You know, back in the day gardening tools like a weed eaters and lawnmowers are electric. But back when he started, I'm sure there were a lot of push mowers and hand tools and things. And so the EV works really well for his style of business. He actually owns two of these vans.

2012 Ford Transit Connect EV, Charging Issues

So a diagnosis scan tool. So as I mentioned there was a charging issue with the vehicle, but there was also a warning light on the dash. There's a light that, it looks like a wrench. On different vehicles and regular connect that that's usually a maintenance warning light. But on this vehicle, that wrench light, there's a problem in the vehicle system. So what we found testing it through our scan tool was that there was a code for an ambient air temperature sensor, and I've just got this big arrow here pointing to the actual reading on the scan tool, which was reading 31 degrees Fahrenheit while it was sitting in our shop and it was probably at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the shop. So clearly that was way out of whack. And then at some point when I was monitoring it and looking at it, it would go down to minus 40 Fahrenheit, which is usually a clear signal that the sensor is definitely not good.

So that was one part that we replaced. Did a little further testing on the circuit to make sure that it wasn't any other issue and then replaced the sensor. I can talk about that in a couple of minutes. But this is basically, you know, you said, Oh, how do we diagnose things? This scan tool is really kind of critical to the system.

Now, the interesting thing about the charging problem is we actually never had any trouble in our shop charging it. We plugged into our charger. There's two items that kind of effect the charger. There's this module called awake on control module. And there's the charger. You can see two items here, the wake on modules, basically when you plug the charger into the vehicle, the computer gets a signal, hey it's plugged in, let's turn the charging system on. And there's a thing called the control pilot, which is some wiring it's part of, if you look at the pins on a level two charger, or even a level one or two charger, it has these, a couple of the pins control this control pilot.

2012 Ford Transit Connect EV, Charging Issues

So what we noticed right away, as soon as you plug it in, the control pilot comes on. Good sign. Wait command on. We get a little further, that turns the charger on. What we noticed with this vehicle is it actually took about three or four minutes for the charger itself to actually turn on.

So we're still, to make a long story short, we never actually found a problem with the system, but we spent a lot of time learning how it works, because there's really not a lot of great repair information. We do have a manual with wiring diagrams, but fortunately Sheldon had a, from Silent Gardner, had a second one of these vans. We were able to actually plug in to the good van and see how it operated. And we found they both operated just fine. Even went to the point of driving to his house to make sure there wasn't an issue with his charger. He has another EV that he plugs in and never has a problem. Tested it out, seemed to be fine.

So the only thing I can assume is there was an intermittent problem, but we did repair a brake light switch earlier, a couple of weeks before this repair. I doubt that had any difference, but who knows? So make a long story short, we were able to get some good data out of this vehicle, but the air temperature sensor, just to cut things short here.

2012 Ford Transit Connect EV, Charging Issues

This is a, this is the ambient air temperature sensor they use in this vehicle. You know, this vehicle is very customized. This is actually a map sensor. So it does air temperature and pressure. It's from a Ford Fiesta European model only. So a very unique part. You got to do a lot of hard work to find parts for this vehicle, which we can talk about a little later, but this is the ambient air temperature sensor that we replaced. Strangely located, it sits outside just reading the air temperature, but normally these are inside an air box protected from the elements with an air filter. So it's 10 years old. That's had a lot of dust and dirt and water, that it's probably not really supposed to get, but it survived for 10 years before it went bad. So that's our picture show. 

Mark: So a lot of diagnosis, no clear definition of what the charging problem was. How did the van work after the repairs you did do? 

Bernie: Yeah. So as I mentioned, there was that wrench warning light on, the moment we put that sensor in, the wrench warning light was gone. Cleared the codes, did a road test, the lights stayed off. The temperature readings were normal. So that end of it was good. And you know, the thing with the charging is we, we don't know yet still what may have been happening, but at least we learned a lot about the system. We've got good readings now. So should the problem reoccur, we have scan tool readings. I didn't show another screen on the scan tool showing the charging, but eventually when the charger comes on, you can see how much current and voltage is flowing in and out of the charger. So there's lots of information there.

But without the scan tool, it's kind of difficult to tell. There's also you know, because these things like the battery chargers made by this company called Bruce, I believe it's a German company. And if you look under the charger, it's hidden under the vehicle, there's five LEDs on the charger, you think you're supposed to light up, but only one of them comes on and you go, okay, well, are these other ones supposed to come on? Is there something wrong? So having two vans was a real godsend in terms of us being able to define what was right and what was wrong. 

So, if there's anything to be told about the story, you know, we do go through some great lengths to try to figure out these vehicles, to help our clients out. And you know, EVs are, it's an upcoming thing. You know, given 10 years down the road, we'll be working on an awful lot more of these vehicles. Not this vehicle, but other ones. 

Mark: How are these Ford Transit EV vans for reliability and repairs?

Bernie: Well, I think for reliability, they're pretty good. I mean, we actually only have two clients with them. I mean, they're exceptionally rare. But as far as repairs and, you know, just doing a little bit of research, I mean, finding things like chargers, I was able to order the sensor from someone I know in Massachusetts who, who works in the odd one of these. He bought five of them or six of them in a bulk order. So he had one extra for sale. You can find them on the internet from various sources, but things like the charger. I mean, I looked into. Where we could buy one, they're difficult to find. And so I think at some point for those who are committed to these vehicles, customization is going to be the thing to do.

It might be that we can get the charger rebuilt if it needed to be done, or to actually get a different charger and wire it in. So it actually works. I mean, that's what Azure Dynamics did in the first place. So as long as it meets the same engineering specs, it should be something that we do. 

Mark: And finding repair parts is obviously going to be a bit of a challenge on these first-generation sort of EVs that are cobbled together from all over the place. 

Bernie: Exactly. There's not many of these around, I mean, I think Azure Dynamics did some vans, I think maybe for UPS or Purolator. I live right by the airport. There's a Purolator facility there and I see their vans driving over a bridge that I drive over. And I remember seeing Azure Dynamics EV, or they may have been hybrid powered. I'm not sure of them, but they did a few, but the company only lasted for a few years. So they're, you know, it's gone. Sadly.

Mark: If you need some repairs on your older generation or new generation EVs, and you want certified experts who will go the extra mile and make sure your vehicle's repaired properly. In Vancouver, BC call Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them on their website pawlikautomotive.com. You can book on there or give them a phone call (604) 327-7112, if you're in Vancouver. Check out our YouTube channel. Pawlik Auto Repair hundreds of videos on there all makes and models, all types of vehicles from diesels to electric and hybrids, et cetera, et cetera. And of course, on the website itself, all those same videos are up there with the transcripts. You can read them. And thank you so much for watching and listening. We appreciate it. And thank you, Bernie. 

Bernie: Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching and listening. It's always fun.

2008 Ford Edge, Driveshaft Replacement

Mark: Well, hello there internet people. It's Mark from Remarkable Speaking. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience and 24 time winners best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. We're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: So today's victim is a 2008 Ford Edge that had a driveshaft issue. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah, so this vehicle came to our shop. The owner's complaint was there some vibrations when driving the vehicle. And so we proceeded to do some testing and diagnosis on that particular issue.

Mark: And what testing and diagnosis did you do? 

Bernie: Well the first step of course, in this case is to do a road test on the vehicle. Feel the client's concern, get a sense of what might be happening. So we did that and then we did a hoist inspection and we found the centre bearing, there's two centre bearings, actually in this driveshaft, one of the centre bearings was warned so badly that it was causing the driveshaft to flop around. And that was causing the vibration. 

Mark: So, did you just replace the bearing or was there something else involved? 

Bernie: Well, we would love to have just replaced the bearing, but unfortunately Ford only sells this bearing as part of the drive shaft complete. And it was only available from Ford. And yeah, so it was a complete drive shaft replacement kind of the way it was manufactured.

We'll get into some pictures here cause there's a cool stuff to look at. So we'll just start right off with a video of the bearing. If you just have a look right around this area here you'll see what was going on. As you can see that rubber piece is completely broken apart. That's what holds it steady. Just play it one more time, just in case you didn't catch that. It's impossible to miss. So that's basically what we found was worn out. 

2008 Ford Edge, Driveshaft Replacement

Here's a photograph. You can see from the picture, the arrow kind of points to the broken section on the shaft.

2008 Ford Edge, Driveshaft Replacement

So we were not able to replace the whole piece. It comes complete as a unit. And I'll be honest, I'm not sure which of these two bearings, I think was worn out, actually you can see, there's two of them. It's pretty complex drive shafts. Three universal joints, plus a flexible CV joint type coupler on one end, two centre bearings and with these shafts here now, if you look closely at how it's manufactured and as a matter of fact, I have another picture. That's a little more of a close-up of this. 

2008 Ford Edge, Driveshaft Replacement

You can kind of see that this is just put together as one piece and there's no way you can actually take it apart. Normally in the olden days there'd be a slip yoke or something that would come apart. You'd be able to take the centre, bearing off, put a new one in a way you go, not a huge amount of money, but with this unit here, you're left with the new style of manufacturing, which has it all as one complete piece. And a very nice piece, I might add.

2008 Ford Edge, Driveshaft Replacement

Mark: So how common is it to have to replace whole assemblies compared to individual components? 

Bernie: It's getting more and more like that. And yeah, it's getting harder and harder to find parts that are, you know, like, like things used to be manufactured in the past where there'd be individual pieces and, you know, I sorta wonder why is that?

Well, this is probably a more compact design than a traditional type of drive shaft. And the Ford Edge is a vehicle that's offered as a front wheel drive or an all wheel drive. So a lot of times they have to kind of shoe horn in the drive shaft, and there's a lot of tight spots to put things. So it might just be with the compactness of the design that they make them so you can't replace them. You know, when I think about it, this isn't really entirely new. 

I mean, Japanese cars for probably at least three decades, maybe even four have had it such that universal joints aren't really replaceable. It used to be, you know, on some American trucks you can hammer the U joint out, put a new one in, but Japanese a long time ago had U joints where they're kind of staked into place. They're kind of part of the drive shaft assembly and weren't replaceable. So it's not entirely new to have it like this, but it's a little surprising on a Ford to see that.

Mark: And so after repairs, I guess the Ford Edge was a joy to drive again.

Bernie: It was. It was really good. And it was going to say, you know, as much as I sometimes complain about you know, all the costs of, you know, because it's a lot more money to buy a drive shaft. This vehicle did have, you know, close to 200,000 kilometres. So that's a pretty decent amount of driving and a decent amount of distance. And, I guess it's fair at that point that this part would be worn out. Unfortunately makes for kind of an expensive repair on an older vehicle, but the owner takes pretty good care of this vehicle and it's in good shape. So why not keep going with it? It's cheaper than buying a new one. 

Mark: If you're having any drive shaft issues or you need repairs on your Ford, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at their website pawlikautomotive.com. You can book your appointment right on there. They'll get back to you. They'll find out what's going on. They'll get ready for your appointment. Or you can call them at 604-327-7112. Again, that's in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Check out our YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair, close to a thousand videos on there. All makes and models and types of repairs. Of course, if you want to read the blog, same thing, they're all there. All the written stuff is there. Enjoy it. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, Not Starting

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

Bernie: Doing very well today. 

Mark: So 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid that wasn't starting. What else was going on with his vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah, so the vehicle was towed to our shop. It wouldn't start. It's been cold in Vancouver for awhile. It, it had warmed up, but the owner went out to start the vehicle and it wouldn't crank over. Nothing happened when he turned the key. 

Mark: So why wouldn't the engine start?

Bernie: Well, I mean, obviously you think, Hey, the battery has gone weak under the hood. So he did try to jumpstart it and it wouldn't start. So on this type of hybrid, which is the same as a Toyota Prius, by the way, the high voltage battery is required to actually start the engine. So that has to be in the right amount of state of charge to start the engine. If it's too low in voltage or the battery has gone dead, then your internal combustion engine won't start. 

Mark: So is that how you know that the high-voltage battery was the cause of the problem. 

Bernie: We did, but I mean the first step of course is to make sure that 12 volt battery is in at least decent shape. So our diagnostic procedures starts with testing the 12 volt battery, making sure it's got an adequate state of charge. Then we scan the vehicle computer to see what kind of trouble codes are there. And there was, I can't remember the exact code, I don't have it in front of me, but it was basically related to the high voltage battery being too low. So at that point we knew we had to address the high voltage battery and then deal with the issues there. 

Mark: So can the high voltage battery be recharged or is it just it's cooked? It needs to be replaced. 

Bernie: Yeah, no it can be recharged, but it's a very specialty process. Chargers are kind of unique. We actually purchased one from a company in Wister, Massachusetts, where I did some EV training and they're not really readily available. It's it's a very unique device and the procedure is kind of time-consuming, which we can talk about in a minute. 

Mark: So you're not going down to Lordco to get a charger for this high voltage battery. 

Bernie: You are not. You're not going to any sort of regular auto repair. And if you're watching this from somewhere else, Lordco is a large auto repair parts company in British Columbia, expanding into Alberta.

But yeah, you're not going to any sort of auto repair shop to buy these kinds of chargers. This is a very highly specialized service and repair. And in fact it involves us removing the battery pack. We'll look at some photos in a few minutes. We actually have to take the high voltage battery out of the vehicle, partially dismantle it to access the terminals to actually do the charging. 

Mark: Okay. So that sounds really like not very great engineering. So why wouldn't Ford make it a lot easier and maybe the other hybrid manufacturers the same way, make it a lot easier to charge these batteries because they must lose charge sometimes. Life happens. 

Bernie: Well, it's funny that you mentioned that. So I will say, this vehicle is very similar to a Toyota Prius and Toyota doesn't have any way to charge the battery simply either. You have to do, you know what we're doing if your Prius battery goes dead. But Ford, up until, in the Escape, up until 2008, actually had a switch in the back of the vehicle if your high voltage battery went too low. You could click a switch and charge the high voltage battery through the 12 volt charging system. 

But for some reason, 2009 and newer, they decided, you know, we don't really need that thing, so they didn't put it in. So the customer is now faced with a very large bill and a lot of inconvenience to have to fix this. I assume they must have figured, Hey, we can save a hundred dollars or a couple of hundred dollars per car. Why bother putting it in? So thank you Ford. But you know, keeps us in business. 

Mark: What's involved in actually charging this battery? 

Bernie: So we actually have to remove the battery, which is located in the back of the vehicle. I'm going to start showing some pictures while we're talking here. But we have to remove the battery from the vehicle. We have to take the cover off, remove a few components. We'll just look at that right now. So there's our a 2009 Escape Hybrid. 

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, Not Starting

And a kind of unique feature of this vehicle. You can tell it's a hybrid model from a regular one by this little vent here. If the rear glass here actually has a little opening and that's an air vent to actually cool the battery. Which is very important in keeping the battery alive for a long time.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, Not Starting

 So there is the high voltage battery removed from the vehicle sitting on a tray. There's a big orange plug here. This basically shuts the voltage off. Makes the battery safe when you remove it. And you'll see it in a second here, but this is kind of an important thing. It basically disables the high voltage battery. Of course the battery is still alive inside. You have to be very careful. We use high voltage gloves, very critical component. You know, the battery voltage, and this is sort of like three to 400 volts. So there's a lot of power in here. 

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, Not Starting

So the cover needs to be removed. These are the high voltage terminals. This is the contactor packs. So this basically switches the voltage on to the vehicle or switches it off when it's not needed. So the high voltage system is not live while the vehicle sitting.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, Not Starting

We have to access all these components to basically connect the charger. And here's a view of our special chargers I mentioned. So this is actually in the process of charging. So it's at 329 volts at this point 400 million amps of current is going. So it's a very slow charging process, takes hours and hours. We actually did over a period of a couple of days to get the power back into the battery. There are probably chargers available that'll do it way faster, but this is just kind of what we have available. And it's kind of unique. 

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, Not Starting
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, Not Starting

This is the battery back in the vehicle. This is that air vent I was showing you. This is where the air kind of gets hooked in. And there's a fan that blows air through the battery pack to keep the temperature at the right spot. 

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, Not Starting

The under hood view. There's the 12 volt battery. The internal combustion engine. Then the motor generator unit's over here, basically the transmission, which drives the vehicle. And one last picture to look at is after our repairs and road test. This is what we do after the repair. Road test the vehicle. Look at the scan tool. See what kind of information we've got.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, Not Starting

So at the time of me taking this photo, there was 354 volts in the high voltage battery pack. And the good thing for the customer is the battery was in good shape because it says no fault cell failure, because if the cells are bad, this will show up as a fault. And then the battery will need to be replaced.

I mean, there are other things that could need it, but that's a surefire indicator that at least the battery decent. And average state of charge, this fluctuates too, depending on if you're going down hills for a long time, this state of charge will go way up. If you're you know, going up a hill and really booting it, the state of charge will go down. So at this point, this is what we're reading and there's our picture show. 

Mark: All right. So why do you think the battery lost charge in the first place? 

Bernie: Well, I asked the owner, I said, how long has the car sitting? You know, last time we've had a couple of these where people have left them for months and then when gone to start them and they wouldn't go. This one, he said it was probably off for 10 days, maybe a little longer. 

We figured it was very cold in Vancouver, like down to about -10, -12 Celsius, which is pretty cold here. It sat for a while. It might just be the combination that when he parked the vehicle, the state of charge was a little low and just the temperature caused the battery to run down.

So that's all we can figure. It seems a little on a short timeframe because you know, people have Prius's have left them for six months and they fire up. But you know, I think it's a combination of when it sat and the temperature, it just kind of, for some reason, the battery pack was discharged.

Mark: And the high voltage battery in the vehicle is charged by the motor generator.

Bernie: It is. Then they kind of work together. So if the high-voltage battery's dead, the internal combustion engine won't start, to charge the battery. So it's kind of a vicious cycle, but nonetheless, if you can get it started, then the internal combustion engine motor will drive the motor generator to charge the battery pack.

Mark: How did everything work after you charged and installed the battery? 

Bernie: Yeah, it was good. It actually worked fine. Started up right away. We retested the 12 volt battery that tested fine, and we went for a couple of good road tests. And I usually like to verify that everything works well and it's getting the motor generators charging the battery, the battery is driving the motor generator. It's all working. So that was a picture I showed with the scan tool. And as I said, it fluctuates. But yeah, happy ending after all. We never know when we go to take this charging process, whether the battery is actually going to survive it or not.

So we can tell, of course, once we hook the charger up and how the voltage comes through with whether the battery is going to be good or not, but at least at this point it's out and then the customer can opt for a new battery. By the way, a new battery for this is, I don't even know if he can buy one from Ford anymore, but I think I priced it, it was like $24,000 or something insane like that.

It's something crazy. It might be less, but I think last time we looked at one it was something like that. So there's lots of good used batteries out there. That's what I would recommend because they're generally pretty reliable. 

Mark: So how are these Ford Escape Hybrids for reliability? 

Bernie: I mean, generally they're pretty good. We've run into a few of these where the batteries have discharged, but overall it's a pretty decent vehicle. This one's now what 13 years old. I think it's got some pretty good life left in it. 

Mark: If you're looking for some service for your hybrid in Vancouver, the guys who are experts are Pawlik Automotive. They have all the tools. They have all the equipment. They know what they're doing to fix your vehicle. They're trained up and know how to fix your vehicle the right way, the first time. Pawlik Automotive. You can book on the website, pawlikautomotive.com. Or you can check out hundreds of videos, all makes and models and types of repairs are on there. There's our YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. Same story. We've been doing this for 10 years. Or you can call and book your appointment. (604) 327-7112. They'll talk to you. They'll get ready for when your service appointment is. They'll be ready. They'll look after you. They'll get it done right the first time. Pawlik Auto Repair. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching.

2009 Ford F350 6.4L – Cab Mount Replacement

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

Bernie: Doing well? 

Mark: So today's victim is a diesel 2009 Ford F350, a biggie 6.4 litre diesel had a cab mount replacement. What was going on with this diesel beastie?

Bernie: Yeah. So there was a couple of things going on with the vehicle. One was a drivability problem that the engine had some performance issues, did some diagnostics and determined that the high pressure fuel pump had an issue. So that was what needed to be replaced. 

Mark: So where is the high pressure fuel pump?

Bernie: So that high pressure fuel pump is located in the valley of the engine, underneath the turbocharger. The 6.4 litre is a little different than the 6 litre in that it doesn't use high pressure oil to boost the injection pressure. And what they did was where the high pressure oil pump was located they actually put a high pressure fuel pump instead. Smarter idea, less complexity I think. Even though it is still a complex engine, but nonetheless high pressure fuel pump's located way buried deep in the engine and requires the cab to be removed. 

Mark: So did Ford design these trucks for easier cab removal, since it seems that so many, these are complex engines, this is a common way and easy, fastest way to get at everything. So did they make it easier? 

Bernie: Well, what I can say is that on the 6.7 litre, which is I think a year after this 2010, it was introduced. They definitely designed the cabs to be easier to remove on those vehicles. And I'm not sure on this particular model, but I mean the six litre, we do lots of them and we have the cab removal procedure down pretty well. But the newer ones, they definitely designed with that idea in mind because they realized, you know, anything needs to be done, the cabs got to come off. So it's not really a huge job for us to take these off even though it's sounds incredibly intimidating. There's a few items to remove and they have made it easier. I just can't say this model year, whether it's easier than say an 07.

Mark: How did the cab removal process go? 

Bernie: Well, removing it was a bit problematic on this vehicle. Several of the bolts, actually, most of the bolts were seized and we had to cut the heads of all the bolts off so we can pop the cab off and then sort of deal with whatever was going on with the seized bolts after. What they do with the bolts is they, we'll look at a picture in a minute, that the bolts are actually Loctited in place, so they don't come loose. And so the lock tightening had basically kind of seized up and they use a, it's like a captive nut on the frame. So it was not really welded in place it kind of floats freely. And so there was a tendency for it to spin, which obviously would have been a disaster. You know, so we cut them off and figured let's deal with it later. So that's kind of how it went. 

Mark: So when we're talking about removing the cab from a truck, basically there's a frame underneath the truck, the cabs and bed on top, and you're taking the whole top of the truck off. 

Bernie: Yeah. You basically remove the top where the where the hood and engine compartment fenders the passenger compartment is a four-door truck, which, I mean, almost all trucks I realize nowadays are. And you basically just lift that all off the truck. A lot of on frame vehicles, they're really not as difficult to remove as you think. It just seems like kind of a freaky concept. Actually let's just look at it, the pictures right now and we can keep talking. 

2009 Ford F350 6.4L - Cab Mount Replacement
2009 Ford F350 6.4L - Cab Mount Replacement
2009 Ford F350 6.4L - Cab Mount Replacement
2009 Ford F350 6.4L - Cab Mount Replacement

So the other issue we did find is the cab mounts were really badly worn. That's why we're doing this podcast. I mean, we lift a lot of these cabs off and we don't normally find cab mounts worn, but you can see this rubber here is completely disintegrated.  

This is the bolt was left over that we cut off. So you can see the Loctite on the top of the bolt and what we ended up doing this sort of heating the bolt in such a way so it kind of freed the Loctite and then we're able to remove the bolts. It took a lot of extra time to do this, but we were able to successfully remove it. Now you can see the frame is welded in solid, so there's no way to change the captive nut short of cutting the frame open. So it was kind of like one of those things where we had to make sure we did it properly.

Mark: It's a threaded bolt that goes into the nut that's on the other side of the frame that we can't see. 

Bernie: Exactly. We're actually looking up into the cab of the vehicle here, cause the frame of the vehicle, this is where this would be sitting. So this is like the frame of the cab basically.

Let's look at a couple of other pictures. So this is another view of a different mount that's all crushed out. I mean, they all kind of look the same, but it's kind of surprising. 

Mark: And the body sits right on top of those. 

Bernie: Body sits right on top of these. Yeah. Yeah. So this is a cushion mount. So because if it wasn't cushion, you'd feel every bump, every bump and rattle, it would be felt throughout the inside of the vehicle. It would be exceptionally rough, even though, you know, it is a one ton truck it's obviously going to be rough to begin with. There's a picture of our new mount, so you can kind of get an idea. What does it, what does it look like when it's new? Well, that's what it looks like when it's new, you can see a nice, perfectly symmetrical piece of rubber. That's not all mushed out and destroyed. One last comparison. Old. New. 

Mark: Was there any other issues that you ran into when you were changing the damaged, after the damaged bolts were replaced? 

Bernie: No, the mounts themselves are pretty easy. They just kind of stick on top of the frame. And then they get squashed in as you drop the cab down and then bolt it up. So once we got the bolts removed from the cab, everything else was pretty straight forward. 

Mark: Were there any other issues once you had the cab off and were working on the fuel pump? 

Bernie: No, the fuel pump went successfully. Well, that replacement was successful. We did that. One other issue we did run into afterwards though was that the vehicle still had some running issues. We change fuel filters. There's two fuel filters, one under the hood and one under the vehicle, which was kind of easy to get with the cab off. It's usually kind of a pain to access.

There's a lot of guck in that filter. Anyways to make a long story short, it turned out that the actual low pressure fuel pump had gone bad also, which is located in that same areas that lower fuel filter. It's called the horizontal fuel conditioning module. I always love saying that. The HFCM. I don't know where these engineers come up with these weird words, but the horizontal fuel conditioning module, it's basically a fuel pump, a water separator, and a fuel filter. It's a fuel conditioner. It's really weird. Anyways. 

Mark: So its job is basically taking fuel from the tank, the fuel tank, transferring it through the vehicle, up to the high pressure fuel pump. 

Bernie: Exactly. That's exactly what its job is. Yeah. And then in addition to that, so we replaced that and everything is running fine. And then out in the road, it kind of bogged down again on us. We figured maybe we have a fuel, because of this guck that's in the fuel system. Maybe there's a an issue in the tank. Maybe there's some contaminants. Because it certainly looked like it. So we pulled the tank out, cleaned it out, found the fuel strainer was partially plugged to. So clean the tank out, replace the strainer, put all back together, ran like a dream. 

So I guess we're drifting a little off of the cab mount situation here, but you know, we think the high pressure fuel pump probably was damaged by the lack of proper fuel pressure from the low pressure pump and the guck.

So it's always important in a diesel. Get good quality fuel. Make sure you change your filters. And this customer is actually a pretty good maintenance client. So it may be that he picked up some bad fuel somewhere along the way. That does happen from time to time. 

Mark: Somebody doesn't grind the bones quite enough in that dinosaur juice. 

Bernie: That's right. Yeah, exactly. That the distillation process didn't quite work so well. So anyways you know, we don't see fuel problems like I've talked about like a lot of gasoline engines don't even have a fuel filter anymore like they used to. And you know, it tells me that at least the process of fuel manufacturing and distribution is very clean compared to what it used to be 30 years ago. But you know, diesel, it's subject to crap forming inside it too. So you gotta be careful. 

Mark: How are the 6.4 litre diesels compared to other Ford diesel engines? 

Bernie: Yeah, I think they're pretty good. I mean, they are definitely less problems in a six litre. I mean, vehicle is about 220,000 kilometres, I think when we did the service. We've serviced this vehicle for many years for this client. This is the first major problem he's had with anything. So that's pretty good. If you consider a six litre up to 220 Ks, you may have spent, you know, 10 or $20,000 on repairs. Maybe. And some people with six litres have spent nothing even up to that deal, but those are the rare exceptions. And I think the 6.7 is a better engine than a 6.4. It's pretty decent. 

Mark: If you need some service for your diesel, any make or model of diesel in Vancouver, the guys to see, the experts are Pawlik Automotive. You can book online pawlikautomotive.com. We have hundreds of videos on there. Check them out. They're good. We've been doing this for. 10 years. 10 years we've been doing this. Almost a thousand videos, all makes and models and types of repairs. Or you can call (604) 327-7112. Almost always they answer the phone. Sometimes they get too busy, but most of the time you'll actually have somebody to talk to. No voicemail jail. Yay. Call them and get booked. They will ask you some questions. They'll make sure they're ready for when you show up for your appointment. You can check out our YouTube channel. Pawlik Auto Repair. All the videos are on there as well. We thank you for watching and thank you, Bernie. 

Bernie: And thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching and listening. We appreciate it.


2012 F150 Heater Hose Repair

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. 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 or trucks in this case. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well? 

Mark: So 2012 Ford F150 had a heater problem. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah. So the owner was complaining. There was no heat in the vehicle. And of course it's winter time in Vancouver and it's been a cold snap. So heat is very welcome. And yeah, there was no heat blowing in the cabin of the vehicle. 

Mark: So what, how do you test and diagnose that once it, once the vehicle's in the shop?

Bernie: Oh, it was a few things. I mean, the first thing we did was sit in the vehicle and test the heater controls on the dash and see how things were operating and everything seemed to be in good order. So our next step was to look under the hood and see, you know, check the coolant level. And we found the coolant level in the overflow tank was down a bit, not empty, but down below the full level.

And did a little further testing, did a cooling system pressure test because the level is down and found a leak from one of the heater hose connections, right at the heater core. So figured just that little lower level of coolant was enough to cause the heat not to work. And that's not an uncommon issue.

If you have a vehicle where your heat's not working, checking your coolant level is definitely a good first thing to do. I was surprised that this didn't have a warning light on the dash because I would assume most of these vehicles of this vintage and being a platinum model as well, should have had a warning light, but it may be that the level was not quite low enough, or it might be that this vehicle isn't equipped. I should probably know that doing this podcast, but I don't. 

So if you have a Ford F-150, check your owner's manual and see if that actually has a warning light to that kind of thing. For low coolant level, I for low coolant level. Yeah. That's an important thing to heat. And, you know, had that light been on the first thing, we probably would have done those, pop the hood and looked at the cooling level, but you know, we just take things in sequence.

Mark: So how sensitive, like coolant levels dropping. Is there any normal reason in regular use that that would just go down or is there always some sort of problem that's causing that? 

Bernie: Well, always a problem. Unless you have like a 1960s vehicle that doesn't have a contained overflow tank cooling system, because those will actually blow a bit of coolant out as the engine warms up and the level will sometimes drop. But yeah, coolant levels should never go down. So it'll go up and down depending on temperature, but it'll always stay between, you know, a low level and a high level. So if it's actually disappearing, you've got a leak somewhere.

Mark: So what repair did you actually end up doing? 

Bernie: Yeah, so we ended up replacing one of the heater hoses. There's a connector and I'll just get into some pictures right now. So there's our F150, it's a platinum edition.  This is like a top end model. Nice wheels, tires, you know, fancy interior though, the whole nine yards. It's a nice pickup truck. 

2012 F150 Heater Hose Repair
2012 F150 Heater Hose Repair
2012 F150 Heater Hose Repair
2012 F150 Heater Hose Repair

This is the hose that we replaced. So pretty fancy hose. There's a connector on this end here. This is where the leak was. It's a quick connect connector. And this is a closeup view of the connector. There's not much to see in terms of anything being bad, but there's an O-ring seal inside there that fits onto a special fitting on the heater core and clips in, and it's held in by clips.

So really easy to assemble and disassemble. Actually, you know, once it gets old, sometimes it can be a bit of a pain. Here's a view of the engine compartment. And that heater hose is just over here where I'm circling my mouse pointer. So it's at the back. There's two heater hoses. The other one was fine. We retested it after a repair and found no further leaks coming from that area.

So this hose runs way underneath here and around. It makes a couple of connections and connects to the bottom of the overflow tank.

Mark: So you mentioned that's a fancy looking hose. So the days of just extra hose, a red, rubber hose, basically from the firewall to the, to wherever, to your radiator. Are different because of how cramped the engine space is. Is that basically why? 

Bernie: Yeah, I'd say that's pretty much it. We still have bulk heater hose in our shop and we do use it from time to time, but it sells less and less frequently because you know, most heater hoses now are all molded with special connectors.

So some of it is a cramped engine compartment for sure. But the second part is it's manufacturing it's I would say it's a lot easier to have a hose connected up to an engine that has a clip on it. And as it goes down the assembly line, I don't know if it's a human being or a machine, but you just go bing clip, and it's done, as opposed to having a clamp where you need a plier to pinch it, or you need a screwdriver or something to turn the screw.

So I'll actually just go back to this picture, cause it's kind of interesting conversation. You can see this hose here, does have a pinch clamp, but this is attached to the engine. And this one, it goes to the overflow bottle. So when this engine would come down the assembly line, this would probably be all attached and hooked up to it.

And as the engine is put in, then there's, this a snap this and snap that kind of thing. So I really think a lot of it is all manufacturing. Now what you're going to do in this vehicle is 20 years old, you know, to get this hose Ford decides to discontinue it, there's going to need to be some customization for sure.

But the areas that are going to be challenging of course, are these ones with the heater core because they're special fittings. Whereas this could be, you know, you can buy these kinds of T's, that's an easy thing and a straight piece of hose. You can always bend stuff. There's there's lots available you could probably do. But again, I was thinking to myself, 20 years down the road, trucks will probably all electric and most people, unless they want a vintage vehicle, probably won't be repairing this thing anymore. 

Mark: Absolutely. So you mentioned this is an eco boost engine. What's that? 

Bernie: Ford started these a little over 10 years ago. It's sort of the best world of economy, performance and emission. So this is a 3.5 litre V6 engine, it's got twin turbochargers. So it's got pretty impressive specs, like 365 horsepower, 420 foot pounds of torque on this particular engine.

 And there are more modern models and other models with more performance. That have like far better horsepower ratings even than this. So it's pretty cool, but you know, essentially there's much better gas mileage, cause you're not hauling a heavy V8 around and you've got the benefit of of the extra power with the twin turbochargers. You know, on the downside, what I don't like is, there's more complexity, it's not simple. A V8 engine is much simpler. Whereas this you've got a couple less cylinders, but you've got two turbochargers to potentially go bad. And it's direct fuel injection, which causes some issues as well as the maintenance services. 

Pretty reliable, but, and good for economy. But they're definitely more complexity and more to go wrong. So keeping up your maintenance schedule, oil changes. Some direct injection cleanings on a regular basis will keep the engine running along time. 

Mark: And how are these EcoBoost F150 is for liability? 

Bernie: You know, so far at our shop, we haven't really seen any problems with them. And I don't really know in the overall world I mean, I haven't heard a lot that they're a really problematic engine. So I think Ford has done a pretty good job with them. That being said, you know, we don't see a lot of them at our shop. So most of the trucks we see have V8s or diesels but I think they're good. They seem to have been working on, I mean, this truck is 11 years old now, no nine years old getting ahead of myself. There'll be 11 years old in a couple of years. So yeah they seem to be pretty good so far. 

Mark: So there you go. If you need some service for your EcoBoost F150 or any Ford product guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment, you got to call and book ahead they're always busy. Or check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. Hundreds, no exaggeration, hundreds of videos on there. We've been doing this for nine years. All makes and models and types of repairs. YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. And thank you for watching and listening we really appreciate it. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching.

2002 Ford Windstar, Rear Axle Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. 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. That's insane. 23 times Bernie we're talking cars. How are you doing?

Bernie: Doing well? 

Mark: So today's victim is a 2002 Ford Windstar that had a bit of an actual problem. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah. So this vehicle, actually the rear axle was broken in the vehicle, making some pretty horrific noises when the owner was driving it. 

Mark: That might be a problem. What type of rear axle does this vehicle have?

Bernie:  So this a front wheel drive vehicle. It just has a solid beam axle on the rear, basically just a big metal bar that connects one end of  the left wheel to the right wheel to the spindles. And that's basically the axle. It's a pretty simple design, just a big gigantic chunk of metal. You know, obviously machined to precision for somewhat precision, but no moving parts or anything mechanical, just a solid beam of metal. 

Mark: So how do you bust that? 

Bernie: Very good question. I'd say it probably just metal fatigue. Let's just get into some pictures right here so we can see what's going on.

2002 Ford Windstar, Rear Axle Replacement
2002 Ford Windstar, Rear Axle Replacement

So this is the back of the vehicle. The camera's pointing forward, you can see the fuel tank up here. You can obviously see right away there's a big broken chunk of metal here. And again, as you can see, it's a big solid axle. There's a stabilizer a rod that connects from the body to the axle to keep it from sideways movement.

You got your coil springs and then of course there's arms that go forward as well, trailing arms. We'll get into a closer picture here of the crack. There you can see the crack. So there's obviously, you can see some rust on the metal and it's, I guess what happened at some point a slight crack developed, and as this happens, it just gets worse and worse over time until it finally breaks. But why, kind of hard to say for sure. I mean, it's a pretty solid chunk of metal. Never, never actually seen something like this break before, so there's always new and fun stuff in our trade and this is one of them.

Mark: So what'd you do to repair this issue? 

Bernie: So we basically just got a used axle assembly, which came with the trailing arms and removed all the pieces as we needed to and just swapped it in. It's a perfectly good use part to buy because of course it's a solid piece of metal. We can look at a visually, make sure it all looks fine. And being a 2002 and a Ford likely they wouldn't even sell us part new anymore anyways.

Mark: So, is this a pretty time consuming or complex job? 

Bernie: Not too bad. You know, simpler than an actual rear end with with moving parts in it like an actual differential type of rear end. You know, there are brakes to bleed, brake hoses to disconnect, brake parts to swap over, you know, being, we're getting it from a used axle.

 It's definitely a good chunk of time to do the job, but not really crazy. 

Mark: So this is an 18 year old van. Windstars, they're not even made anymore. Not very many of them around how are they for reliability?

Bernie: You know, they, weren't the greatest vans. I would put them on one of the lower end reliability vans. I mean, like you said, there's very few of these left. They were very popular for a long time, but a lot of them didn't have the best engines. They had head gasket problems, a number of things I would say they weren't the greatest in terms of reliability.

In 2002, there was a lot of American minivans that really weren't very well built. Weren't very reliable, and this was definitely among one of them, but this one has survived. And you know, it keeps on going. So, you know, the thing that the cracked axle, of course, it's just a weird, bizarre kind of thing, but not really indicative of the reliability of the van. There were other issues. Transmissions were problematic too on these, electronic items and things. It wouldn't have been on my most recommended lists. 

Mark: So was it worth repairing? 

Bernie: Yeah, it was worth repairing. I mean, the owner has been a customer of ours for a long time and takes pretty good care of it. So, you know, it was still worth repairing for him. Some people may have given up. It really depends on your circumstances, but for this one, it was okay.  

Mark: If you're looking for some service for your vehicle in Vancouver, the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment, you have to call and book ahead. They're always busy. Check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. Hundreds of videos, almost nine years worth of videos of us doing this all makes and models and types of repairs. The YouTube channel is Pawlik Auto Repair. Again, hundreds. Not exaggerating hundreds. And of course, thanks for listening to the podcast and watching. We really appreciate it. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching.

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, pawlikautomotive.com, 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.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, HV Battery Recharge

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 22 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And we're talking hybrids today. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well.

Mark: So Ford Escape, 2009 hybrid had a problem with this high voltage battery. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah, so the vehicle was towed to our shop in a no start condition. The owner had left the vehicle sitting for a while. Found the 12 volt battery had drained completely. So he'd replaced it. That restored power to the vehicle, when you turn the key on things would light up on the dash, but the car still wouldn't start.

So at that point, he'd figured maybe the high voltage battery discharge or something else is wrong. Had it towed to us and we had to look at the vehicle. 

Mark: So what testing did you do next? 

Bernie: Well, of course, looking at the high voltage battery was the next thing. The internal combustion engine starts through a motor generator unit and that's powered by the high voltage battery. So on most hybrids, you need a good state of charge in the high voltage battery. Has to be at least above the minimum acceptable amount. To crank the engine over. 

So next test of course was to scan for codes. We found a few for high voltage battery issues, along with looking at the scan tool data for the battery indicated the state of charge was at zero.

So, that was a clue that the problem lie either in a defective discharge battery or defective battery, one of the two. 

Mark: So without a decent state of charge in the high voltage battery via electric motor generator, won't start the combustion engine on the vehicle. 

Bernie: Exactly. And this is true for most hybrids or there are a few older generation, I'm thinking Honda's that actually have a starter motor, so they can start. All Prius's they all have to have a high voltage battery to start the vehicle. 

Mark: So how do you charge a high voltage battery? 

Bernie: Yeah. Well, so you need a special charger. We bought a specialty unit from a person I've done some training with. In this case of this vehicle, we have to remove the battery from the vehicle to access, you know, open the battery pack up to access some connectors where we can actually charge the battery.

It's a very slow charging process. We had it on for a couple of days. It puts a very minimal amount of current into the battery. It's not a fast charge. We just put enough in there to get the cells balanced out and put enough energy in so the vehicle will start. And from there, the motor generator unit will take care of the rest of the charging of the vehicle.

Interestingly enough, on a Ford Escape, if you have one that's a 2008 or earlier, there's actually a capability to charge the high voltage battery with the 12 volt battery system. There's a switch. Can't remember exactly where it's located, but if you look in your owner's manual, you'll find it.

You can switch that up and it'll divert power from the 12 volt battery to the high voltage battery and charge that battery up enough so you can start to vehicle. A very smart idea, which they decided to discontinue in the 2009 model year.  Makes for a much more expensive process to fix after 2009.

I guess they assume that the cost of the charger was too high versus how often this battery would potentially go dead. So interesting choices they make as manufacturers, but this is what we work with. 

Mark: When you were mentioning high voltage, how high a voltage is that battery pack?

Bernie: It's  around the 400 volt range. It's funny how fast my memory fades sometimes. Cause I remember looking at this voltage gauge and seeing what it was. I do remember that when we started the process was that 255 volts. That was too low on the scan tool that we have that 255 volts red, zero state of charge.

So clearly the battery was not dead. The 255 volts is way below the threshold of what the vehicle needs For the motor generator unit to work? I think when we finished, it was like up and around the four, four 50 volt range. It certainly wasn't fully charged when we put it back in the car out probably would have taken a couple of weeks at the rate we charged it or at least a week. It was , sufficient to start the vehicle. And then we had the, drove it to get things going from there. 

Mark: Like all batteries, it gets slower. The charge increase slows down the closer you're getting to full. Drastically close you're getting to full. So this is, this is obviously not at that kind of voltage. This is not a charger you can just apply it  at your local auto repair place. 

Bernie: No, no, because all those charges are 12 volts. At most 24 volt charging system is what's found on trucks and the odd Toyota Land Cruiser. That's the only vehicle I've ever worked on 24 volts, but trucks have 24, but that's far below what we need.

So this is actually a specially built charger. The whole idea behind this charge, actually was not just to charge the battery, but because it puts a very low rate. It puts  only a half an amp current maximum into the battery. It can be used to balance the cells out in the nickel metal hydride battery pack.

Sometimes an older, especially older Honda's the cells go out of balance and, there's  issues with the vehicle. If you charge it, you know, with this charger, it'll actually rebalance the cells because it's putting everything in at a very slow rate. So that's kind of the design behind it, but very handy for these kinds of issues where it's either  what do you do with the vehicle? Get a new battery pack, which is a lot of money, huge amount of money. Not worth it for the value of the vehicle. 

Mark: So this isn't a service that's available at every auto repair shop. You gotta be trained in high voltage electrics, basically in vehicles to be able to do this. Do you have any pictures? 

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, HV Battery Recharge
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, HV Battery Recharge
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, HV Battery Recharge
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, HV Battery Recharge
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, HV Battery Recharge
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, HV Battery Recharge

Bernie: Yeah, I do. I do. You're getting tired of hearing me talk? Yeah, the answer is yes. I mean, I know of only one other shop around the greater Vancouver area that does a lot of hybrid work that I'm sure has one of these chargers, but I don't know of anyone else who does. I'm not even sure what the dealers do.

They may have something. I know Toyota's. You know, their dealerships didn't even have chargers, you know, in this kind of situation, they'd have to send some tech rep out from Toyota if your Prius ever went dead. So, you know, if you have a Prius, we can resurrect it. If the battery is decent.

Okay. Pictures, there's our Escape Hybrid , still dirty from when it was brought into the shop. What else have we got here? Let's have a look under the hood. So there's the view under the hood. There's the internal combustion engine under this nice hybrid cover here. 

The motor generator unit's located underneath here. The interesting thing, I wasn't able to take a picture of it. There's a lot of space back here. The way that the Escape is designed, a lot of them have V6s. So there's a lot of room and  back in the engine compartment here. Surprisingly with the complexity of a hybrid there, but there's a lot of room. Anyways, these are a couple of the major components of the vehicle battery pack. 

Mark: Is this a four cylinder? 

Bernie: It's a four cylinder. Yeah. I can't remember the size of the engine off the top of my head, but you know, it goes good. I mean, drive it it's it's decent. Of course. It's got the boost of the motor generator unit while you're driving. So you have like two power plants moving the vehicle forward. So you don't need a, a humongous engine where it works well. 

This is the battery pack. This sits in the back underneath the cover. As I said, we have to remove this and then take all these screws off of here and inside this area here that are kind of moving the mouse over.

This is where all the battery cells sit. There's a number of electronic modules and pieces as well. This was the service plug. You can switch the power off to the vehicle through this plug here and, you know, it's a critical part in any time servicing the vehicle, you switch it to this position, it basically cuts the power to the rest of the vehicle, so it's important. 

But one thing that does happen is once you take this cover off, of course everything's live inside, so you still have the full voltage available to do nasty things should you ever touch anything. You gotta be careful around these things.

Here's a bit of scan tool data. So after we put the battery in, took it for a drive, this shows the state of charge. I went out for a long drive just to see, probably about 10 miles type of drive. This is the start of the drive.

So this is after we put the battery pack in and ran the vehicle for awhile in the shop, 44% state of charge and that kind of fluctuates. But after,  again, this is a critical thing. Like when we started the process that says state of charge zero, so we knew something was going on. There's a lot of important data that we can see here on this, like the battery pack, integrity pack. Okay. I'm not certain how it determines that, but you know, of course, if it wasn't okay, that would be an indication, was time to change the battery.

This is that same sort of data, but we can put it into graphing mode on our scan tool. Apologize for all the weird lines here. But you can see this is after a long drive the battery's now up around the 59, 58% state of charge, but did it go as high as 62? So it fluctuates depending on if you're driving down a hill with your foot on the brake, then the charge starts going up quite a bit. Could probably charge the battery up to 80% pretty easily if we just had a long enough hill. 

What else have we got here? Oh yeah, then the dash. So there's a couple of features on the instrument panel that you'll find on an Escape Hybrid that you won't see on the non-Escape. There's a charge and discharge gauge. If you boot the gas pedal really hard with the internal combustion engine and the motor generator unit driving you, this gauge will go way up in this direction. If you're kind of just cruising along normally it'll probably be around this part here, maybe even in the mid range.

And once you put the brake on and the charge goes into the charge range. This situation here, this will show you whether the engine is actually running. So of course, once the internal combustion engine starts, the RPM gauge comes on. Say stopped at a light where  it just switches the engine off, you can see the sort of state of charge of the battery. the thing required an oil change too. So that's a service where we've still need to do. And there's our picture show.

Mark: So you mentioned a high voltage batteries can become discharged on other hybrids as well. 

Bernie: Yeah. I mean, any battery will discharge over time. You know, it's an important thing to make sure that you start your hybrid every once in a while. The times we're in right now with COVID some people have parked their cars, they've left them, or they're not driving very often. Critical. If you have a hybrid, make sure you get out there, start it up, drive it around a little bit. It's very important because otherwise, , it won't start and high voltage battery is dead.

 Of course we can, can definitely get it back in a state of charge that you can use the car, but it's an expense you'd probably want to avoid if you can.

Mark: And how are these Ford escape, hybrids for reliability? 

Bernie: Pretty good. We don't see a lot of them because there aren't a ton of them around, but so far they've been pretty good. They're actually built the same, it's the same platform, not the same platform as a Prius, but same type of design.

I think the quality of the materials and part components are pretty good. So you know, underneath the vehicles, very little oil leakage from the engine. It's a 169,000 miles to the U S model well car. So that's a fair amount of time and the vehicle ran really nice.

So, I'd say, yeah, it's pretty good. If you do need a battery pack, they are expensive to buy new. There are ways to fix them for less money, or even there are some good used packs available as well. 

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for some service for your Ford Escape Hybrid or any kind of hybrid in Vancouver area, the guys to call her Pollock automotive, you can reach them at (604) 327-7112.

To book your appointment, you have to call and book ahead. They're busy. They're really busy right now. Everybody's getting ready to travel this summer. Little local tourism. You can check out the website. Pawlik automotive.com. There's hundreds of videos and articles on their repairs of all makes and models of vehicles. Pawlik auto repair is the YouTube channel. 

Of course, thank you for watching, listening to the podcast. We appreciate it. Leave us a review on Apple podcast. If you are enjoying what we're doing, if you're grooving on what we're doing, what we're laying down. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark. And thanks for watching. It's always a pleasure.

2008 Ford Edge Fuel Injector Repair

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 22 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver. And of course we're talking Fords today. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: So a Ford Edge, 2008, that had a fuel injector problem. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie:So the vehicle came to our shop with a couple of concerns and one of them was that the engine was running rough and the check engine light was on. 

Mark: So you did some testing and diagnosis. What did you find? 

Bernie: Yeah, so we, of course our first step in testing is hooking a scan tool up to see what trouble codes we have. There was a code P0301, which is a cylinder one misfire, and there was also a code for a misfire on startup. So clearly the problem was you know, indicated which cylinder it was. We did some tests and verified, in fact, number one cylinder wasn't firing properly, not completely dead, but partially dead.

The testing and diagnosis on this was interesting because a lot of times, you know, it'll be a bad ignition coil. A lot of these, they have an ignition coil per cylinder. They tend to fail quite frequently. And so we often come into our diagnostics with assumptions. Oh, it's probably that, but in fact, that coil had been replaced about eight months ago at another shop. Still doesn't mean it wasn't a problem. So we ran some tests. We have a lab scope where we can actually get a pattern, like a firing pattern on each coil. So we tested the coils that we could, the rear cylinder bank is a little difficult to access on this vehicle because the intake manifold hangs over the back of the rear cylinders.

And number one cylinder just happens to be in the back where it's not so easy, but the coil was visible and we were able to at least test the pattern on the coil seemed to be fine, but just a verifying testings further, we remove the intake manifold as much as we needed to. Pulled the coil out, swapped it with another cylinder, verified that in fact that coil is good, inspected the spark plug. It was good. Did a compression test on the cylinder. It was good. So that kind of narrowed us down to either a major vacuum leak or a fuel injector. So we went and performed some tests on the fuel injectors. 

Resistance tests were the first, well, actually the first test we did was we can listen with a stethoscope. We could hear the injector was clicking, so it was actually firing, but still doesn't guarantee of course the injector's perfect. I'll just go some pictures because this is where we find the actual issue. 

2008 Ford Edge Fuel Injector Repair
2008 Ford Edge Fuel Injector Repair
2008 Ford Edge Fuel Injector Repair
2008 Ford Edge Fuel Injector Repair

So there is our Ford Edge, 2008, 12 year old car now. Still in good shape about 180,000 kilometres, I believe on this vehicle and after we fixed it, of course ran well. There's a picture of the fuel injector. These are quite compact compared to what they used to be. Although I don't have anything, you know, size to compare it to. But just a couple of things, this is where the electrical connector hooks up. The actual fuel's injected out of this area here. So this sits in the intake manifold, and this is where the fuel rail connects up where the high pressure fuel sits. This is a port fuel injector, so it fires the fuel into the intake manifold as opposed to a direct fuel injector, which fires directly into the cylinder, which is a different technology.

So this is one of the fuel injectors. This is a tested with an ohm meter. So we're testing the resistance through the fuel injector, 12.2 ohms. That's a normal amount. I could show you the other five injectors, but we'll just go to the bad one, this is the bad one, 105 ohms. Immediately we knew there was something wrong with it. Now interestingly, when we first tested it in the car, we actually found that the resistance was only about 30 ohms, which was still three times what it was supposed to be. But, as we tested it a few more times, for taking this picture, I found that the resistance would vary from 40 to 105. Sometimes it hit 200. So clearly there was a problem. And that's what we found. So sometimes resistance tests are kind of useless, but in the case of this vehicle, this was clearly what helped us confirm our problem.

Mark: Did you fix the issue? Did you just replace one injector or did you have to do all of them? 

Bernie: Well, that was the discussion we had with the client, because obviously there was only one that was bad, but the vehicle has 180,000 kilometres, it's 12 years old, one injectors died. What are the chances that the other five are going to go in the next week, month, six months a year, and this is not an entirely uncommon wear out part on this particular engine. Fuel injectors do wear out fairly commonly. So we had a discussion with the client. Here's the cost to do one here's the cost to do all six. He chose to do all six. Smart move. You know, the labor to actually change one of them is the same as changing all six, because you have to remove the whole injector rail. Remove the intake manifold remove the whole injector rail. So they all come out of the engine. It's just really a matter of do you change one, or do you change the others?

And so had he not chosen to do them because that does add a bit of cost. These are fortunately not the most expensive injectors out there, so they're reasonable, but it's still six is a lot more money than doing one. But the consequences of not doing it would be, say a month from now, the engine starts running rough again. We have to go through the whole diagnostic procedure and all the costs associated with that only to find, Oh, another injector's died and then you have to pull the whole fuel rail off. He pays the whole labor cost again to change another injector. So it just makes sense to do all of them at the same time.

But again, these things, you know, we need to evaluate, you know, as to how difficult the job is. If it's easy to just change one at a time, then you can go that route. But we found in the past, a lot of times we get an engine where one ignition coil's bad, we change one and then a few months later, the next one dies. So it's often better to do all of them, but it really depends on costs and the work involved. 

Mark: So, how did it run after you completed the repairs? 

Bernie: Kind of like brand new. It was awesome. Yeah. Ran really well started great. Ran smooth. So yeah, really, really good. 

Mark: And how are Ford Edges for liability? 

Bernie: They're pretty good. We've got a number of clients with them from, you know, people who drive them very little, to you know, people who've got fairly high mileage on them. They seem to be pretty good overall. I mean, this is not an unexpected repair for a vehicle of this age. So overall I'd say they're pretty good. They're not a super high priced vehicle, so they're, I think a pretty good deal, but you will probably do a few more things than you would on a Toyota, but that's all as the benchmark standard. You'll probably hear me say that all the time. It's going to sickening and annoying, but not as reliable as a Toyota, but still pretty good. And generally the price point on them to buy is good. 

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for service for your Ford product in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. Again in Vancouver, BC, Canada. You can also check out the website, pawlikautomotive.com. Our YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. On both places, hundreds and hundreds of videos, articles on all makes and models of vehicles and all kinds of repairs. Thank you for watching the podcasts and listening. We appreciate it. Leave us a review and thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching.

Truck Thieves Target Parked and Locked Ford F250 & F350’s

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 21 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And of course we're talking cars. How are you doing today, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing well.

Mark: So Ford trucks. Last week, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which they do every year, announced the most stolen car list. So kind of stuck out. Out of the top ten, eight of them were Ford trucks. Why are Ford trucks being stolen so much?

Bernie: Yeah, this is awesome for Ford. I mean, they've got like 80% of the top 10. That's really not a very good thing. But the reason they were stolen, and there's very specific model years in that top 10 and they range from 2002 to 2007, their F250 and F350s. All of those vehicles do not have an immobilizer system. So you can basically go in there with some pliers or a screwdriver bang it in to ignition lock, give it a twist and truck is yours.

Mark: So there must be a lot of other older vehicles that don't have immobilizers, because that was something that was legislated later on in the 2000s. So why F250s and 350s?

Bernie: Excellent question. And I think the reason is probably mostly used for smash and grab theft, you know, the trucks are awesome. You steal the truck, of course you're not using your own vehicle for the theft. You're using something else. That makes two crimes. But you can go around with a truck and it's a big heavy duty beast. You can go bash, you know drive into say, a warehouse, just drive right through the front door, drive in, grab some stuff, take off, leave your merchandise, abandon the truck somewhere later. And of course, the truck is kind of used for the theft.

The other thing that I didn't mention, there's a top 50 list, and out of that top 50 list, 30% are Fords ranging from 1999 up to 2007. Interestingly enough, after 2007 there are none, which we'll talk about later. But you know, so if you have an F150 and you think, oh, no one's going to steal that, well they're there in the list too, they're just a little further down. But the heavier duty ones are, there's more appeal to those. And there might, yeah, there might be some parts stolen too as well.

Mark: So have you personally seen or repaired any stolen Ford trucks?

Bernie: Yeah, we actually, you know, we fix a wide variety of vehicles at our shop and Ford trucks are among one of our more popular vehicles, and we actually have had a couple of customers' vehicles stolen. We have a road behind our shop. It doesn't happen very often, but over a period of a few years, we've actually had a few Ford trucks stolen. And you know, they're easy to steal. Had a Ford van as well, where someone had, fortunately not stolen the vehicle, but they snuck into the vehicle and broke the ignition lock. I guess they got spooked or something because they never got away with the vehicle. But you know, this is, you know, it's obviously well known for thieves that these are easy vehicles to target. I'll say in one case, one of the trucks that was stolen was actually in for a head gasket job. It was a six litre truck and the owner wasn't too sad that it got stolen because it saved him, you know, he was committed to doing the job and it would be very expensive, but it's like, Oh, well, let's do bad, I'll just get another truck. So sometimes you know, thievery works out, but you know it still ends up costing us all money in the end cause the insurance company ended up paying for that vehicle.

Mark: So is there anything that a Ford truck owner can do to prevent this kind of easy theft?

Bernie: Well, there's definitely a couple of things you can do. So the first and the simplest thing you could do right now, you know, if you hear this and you don't have any theft prevention, you can get yourself a club. You could go to an auto parts store, you can buy a club. It's one of those pieces you stick on the steering wheel. Locks the steering wheel from moving. Or you can get ones that also lock the brake pedal to the steering wheel. You know, those are a bit of a pain in the butt because every time you get out, you've got to do it. But, you know, it shows that, hey, this vehicle is protected and it's going to make yours, it makes yours a harder vehicle to steal than the next one. Can those things be cut off? Sure they can, but it's, it's a lot of extra work. Thieves will have to take extra tools. So if there's two trucks sitting side by side, guess what? The one without the club is the one that's going to get stolen. So that's the easiest thing that you can do. You can order it online, you can go to an auto parts store. The second thing that's probably better, but more work and more cost is to get an alarm or an immobilizer installed. There's a wide range of these. Again, you could buy it online and do it yourself if you know what you're doing or take it you know, probably the best thing to do is find a reputable car audio place. Those are usually the places that do an installations of alarms, find a good one, get something put in, a good immobilizer, good alarm. You know it's a classic thing. You know, where alarms go off and people ignore them. But the thing is for a thief, once the alarm goes off, if it has no immobilizer, the vehicle won't start. It makes a lot of noise. And again, it makes it hard to steal. So those are kind of the two things you can do. And this doesn't apply just to a Ford truck. This applies to, to any vehicle, but you know, now that these are known to be, you know, high theft items, I mean, if you value your vehicle, you'll want to do something about it to protect it.

Mark: Is there any good news here for Ford truck owners?

Bernie: Well, the good news is if you have a Ford truck after 2008, they all have an immobilizer systems in them, so they don't even make the top 50 list after 2008. So you have an 08 and newer, you can rest easy because your vehicle has an immobilizer system in it. It doesn't mean it couldn't be stolen, but it's just not very likely.

Mark: So what other vehicles are in the top 10 and top 50?

Bernie: Well, there's only two other vehicles in the top 10 list. One is, I believe it's around the 2017 model year Lexus, the SUVs, the RX350-450 hybrids. Those are, I believe, number 7. I know these were stolen for different reasons. We're going to talk about this in a separate podcast. And then the other a in the top 10 is a 1998 Honda Civic SI model and again, different reasons for stealing those. That's kind of an old vehicle, it's a car, but they're specific reasons. So we'll do another couple of podcasts about this because they're again, they're things to talk about. Now, of course, those Lexus vehicles, they already have immobilizers and high tech security systems. So why they get stolen, we're going to talk about that. It's a different subject.

Mark: And what about other vehicles in the top 50?

Bernie: You know, a lot of them, a lot of them are, Honda's a huge, a huge number are Honda's. I'll just give it away right now. There are a lot of them are older ones. They have a certain engine that people like. So these are stolen basically for the engine, that people can put into for hot rodding other Honda's. I'd say that's the main reason and the others on the list are a luxury SUVs, there's a lot of Lexus, there's some Toyota Highlanders and Range Rovers. Range Rover Sport are in there too so.

Mark: And what about protecting your key fob because key fob cloning is a thing. What about, is that something that's worth doing?

Bernie: Absolutely you know, this is actually only something that's sort of come to my attention recently over the last couple of weeks, I think since these articles have come out and people been talking to me about it. And the one thing I can say, and we're going to do a little more research on this, but they say, never keep it close to your door because, there's a way that thieves can actually, with electronic systems, can actually clone your key fob and then they can actually start your vehicle and take it, which is probably how these Lexus vehicles are being stolen. But also, you know, any vehicle that has a key fob when you're, when you're walking away say, in a supermarket parking lot, you walk away, you lock the car with the key fob. There are ways that that key fob can be cloned and then people can break into the vehicle and steal things and then of course, eventually steal the vehicle. So it, what's recommended is to actually use the manual lock button in the vehicle when you're walking away. That way he doesn't send a radio signal out. That's not, I don't know if that's possible to do with every single vehicle, but if you're able to do it, I mean, I have an older Suburban and you know, that has a, I’ll walk away with the fob, but I usually just lock it with the lock button. And that sets a security system off and everything too. So if you're able to do that, that's a, that's something, and that's been talked about for many, many years that, you know, so that's one thing I just leave you with, but we'll do more research on this.

Mark: What we can do to protect ourselves from being cloned.

Bernie: Yes, exactly. That's right. Well, it's you know, they make cars more difficult to steal, which is awesome. But, you know that just ups the game for a smart thieves.

Mark: So there you go. If you have a Ford truck and you want to get some advice about making sure it's hardened up a little bit, to not be such an attractive target, give Pawlik Automotive a call 604-327-7112.Check out the website pawlikautomotive.com hundreds of articles on there. Pawlik Auto Repair is the YouTube channel. Thanks for much for so much for watching. Give us a like, rate us on YouTube or on iTunes. Thanks so much for watching us on YouTube and thanks, Bernie.

Bernie: Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching. It's always a pleasure.

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