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Hyundai-Kia Engine Recall

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

Bernie: Doing very well this morning.

Mark: So Hyundai and Kia, we spoken about this before, they have a pretty massive engine recall in, I probably bet it's worldwide, but I know for sure it's North America and CBC Go Public show just did a big program about this, talking about Hyundai and Kias engine problems. Do you have any new thoughts about this situation based on the program?

Bernie: Well, it's obvious that Hyundai and Kia are not doing a very good job of satisfying their customers because now of course, there's a huge, Go Public show and their class action lawsuits are in full force. So there's a definite problem, huge. And a lot of unsatisfied customers.

Mark: So the gentleman that was in the program, featured early in the program was, basically had his engine fail, was not aware that there was a recall, the repair shop that he went to offered him a used engine to be put in and after paying for it out of pocket and getting the new engine in, which was not cheap, then that engine failed. And Hyundai, now that there's a recall, says they're not paying for anything. So what do you think about that?

Bernie: Well, I think for the owner of that vehicle, it's a horrible situation overall and it's too bad he didn't know about the recall and I think Hyundai must've done him a big disservice not informing him that there was a recall. I mean, I just find that just incredibly slimy and why people hate dealerships and why it's probably actually good for my world, being in the independent auto repair shop business. But I do have to say that, you know, for this owner, he made a choice based on finances, you know, that a used engine would be a better option financially, but I would never put a used engine in a vehicle that has a recall or a problematic engine. Like I'm always very cautious when we put used engines in vehicles to find out what, what's the track record of the engine.

Recently we had a Toyota Echo, we did an engine job on. Toyota Echo nothing ever goes wrong with those engines. This vehicle had about, you know, 350,000 kilometres. The owner loves the vehicle. The engine wore out. We've got a nice low mileage engine. To me, that's a good deal, but when you get something like a Kia, which has a reputation, Kia or Hyundai with a reputation recall, you know, on an engine that that blows up, well that shop should never even given that customer the option, said, look, you know, we don't want to do this because it's too risky. You know, short of dismantling the engine may be looking at it, but then by the time you do that, the economics of changing the used engine are a kind of out the window. So, I mean, unfortunately that's the choice he made and unfortunately Hyundai is not stepping up to the plate because they really should, maybe not compensate him for the used engine because they never sold that to him. But at least, you know, get him a proper engine in his car that should have been done in the first place.

Mark: So what about Hyundais claim? They've come back and why they, they're denying his recall, paying for the first engine essentially because he didn't do proper oil changes. Or could not prove he'd done his, possibly he did his own oil changes. What do you think about that?

Bernie: Well I would say under a warranty situation, you know, covered by the vehicles warranty. You know, they have every right to demand the oil changes are done properly with the proper oils at the proper intervals. I mean, that's proper maintenance on the vehicle. It's not just about dealerships or the auto repair industry, you know, trying to get money out of people. I mean, it's a machine. It needs proper maintenance. So, you know, to me that's a pretty, that's a very legitimate thing to claim.

But this is a recall. This is a different situation. It's a known manufacturing defect. And I would think that they don't actually have the right to demand that. I don't know, I'm not a lawyer. I tried looking up some details on it. I wasn't able to find anything, but, so don't quote me on it, but I think, you know, this is why there's a class action lawsuit because they're obviously not satisfying their customers in ways that they could be.

And doing things like this is just, I mean, will this guy ever buy another Kia our Hyundai product? No. Will he ever tell anyone to buy one? No. So, I mean, they're just wrecking their own reputation along the way.

But I can't say enough of how important it is, we've talked a lot on our program about how important it is to change your oil at regular intervals. Hyundai claims, you know, every 12,000 kilometres, which to me is probably at the very edge of the limit of how often you want to change oil in a car like that because leaving it too long, just starts causing engine damage. But again, in this case, it's a recall for a known manufacturing defect. So I think it's a different situation.

Mark: So what about the slow delivery of the recall notice?

Bernie: I don't know what to say. I mean, that's just, you know, again, it's just foot dragging and really bad customer service. I haven't actually listened to the article. I've only read the transcript of it and they have quotes. I mean, you know, from someone who says they just don't care, you know, it's really, the truth is they just don't care is what I, is what I get out of it.

Mark: So they also speak about a couple with a 2013 Kia that had a similar engine explosion essentially, destroying the engine, but it's not covered by a recall because the engine is different and Kia claims that it doesn't have the same issue. And yet it actually responded the same way as the later engines are destroying themselves? What's that all about?

Bernie: Well, I think there's millions and millions of dollars at stake here, and I think they just want to you know, cover themselves, not pay any more money than they have to. So, you know, they've identified some as being problematic and I guess they found others that supposedly aren't. But again, when something like this happens and if it happens to enough vehicles with that same engine, perhaps they haven't cast the net wide enough, to actually bring in the problematic engine. So I can't say for sure. I mean, it could be for those people, it could be a one off issue. I mean, engines do have bearing wear and throw rods, and you know, it's possible. It doesn't say anything about their maintenance. I don't want to, I don't want to say anything. They've been very excellent maintenance customers and occasionally, something bad will happen.

But if this is starting to happen on these other engines, of course there should be a recall on that too, because the problem is wider than they think. But you know, auto manufacturers, I mean, we've just seen it with Volkswagen with diesel gate and the things that they did to cover up what they were doing, or even the Ford Pinto. I mean, apparently that fix for the Ford Pinto was a $3 metal ring around the gas tank filler. And yet, you know, when they were manufacturing, they actually knew it. They didn't do it. I mean, think like human lives. People died and they just, and people said, nah, it's three bucks, too much money over a million cars. So these are the kinds of people we're dealing with sometimes.

Mark: And the actuarial decisions of a few lawsuits is cheaper than us actually fixing everything. So one of the things they mentioned in the article and that we talked about before was that there might be a metal filings leftover from the manufacturing process in the engines, and that's what's causing these failures. What do you think happens with these engines that they fail so frequently?

Bernie: I actually haven't seen one or taken on a part you know, so I haven't seen it first hand, but there seems to be basically three recalls with Hyundai, three issues, major issues that are going on. And one of them is, you know, these engines just starting to knock suddenly and then basically blowing apart. They throw a rod, the connecting rod in the engine of the bearing wears out and it basically throws the rod through the side of the engine. That's what the hole is all about.

So anyways, the claim is some metal filings or some material were left behind in the manufacturing process and that gets into the bearings. I mean, these are very precision fit parts and it gets into the bearings, wears them out. It actually surprises me that they last as long as they do, if that's the case. That seems to be the main issue. But there seems to be a couple of other recall issues. There's an issue of a sudden fires occurring in some of them. And I believe there's two issues at hand here with those. One of them is oil leaks that occur and they happen right sort of over top of the hot exhaust system and that can cause a fire. So that's one issue.

And then the other, so that's not the same as this recall's being talked about here. But the other issue there's sudden engine fires that are caused by a fuel leak. And these are claimed to have happened after the engine recalls been done. And what is likely happening is that there's a high pressure fuel on these use a direct fuel injection system. The fuel pressure is extremely high. It's in the, you know I'm going to say 10 to 20,000 PSI range. So this is a huge high pressure fuel system, and the slightest amount of leakage, especially under high pressure, can cause a fuel to combust. So that's a, that's an issue. I think that there's a fuel line a lot of times when you do a service on vehicles with a direct fuel injection there's certain lines that are supposed to be replaced because they're just a one time use. They can't be torqued down properly again or be reliable. So I believe what's happening is they don't replace the line and then that causes a leak. So that's sort of the third recall. And again, they're not applicable to all the vehicles, but those kind of the three things that Hyundai and Kia are playing with right now.

Mark: I bet they can't wait for electric vehicles to come along soon enough. What are your final thoughts about this whole engine recalls situation, which applies to all manufacturers, in fact?

Bernie: Yeah, I mean, it's just a sign of, it's just poorly handled situation and like you're saying, the actuary, you know, there someone looks at and goes, well, it's cheaper for us to do this. And you know well, I've just seen it over the years. So many things. I mean, I'm surprised sometimes at Ford's still in business with, you know, some of the engines they built them and they built some good cars and they built some real garbage. And they seem to have somehow just survived, you know, some way. But, you know, my final thought is, you know, this is really bad, you know, bad PR for Hyundai and Kia. Bad customer care and you know, you pay for it in the end. If you take care of your customers, they'll come back. If you don't, they'll go elsewhere. There's lots of competition in the car world, so people will be going elsewhere.

Mark: So there you go. If you've got issues with your Hyundai or Kia in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. They'll look after you. They'll give you the honest truth, and they'll fix your vehicle and do it properly. 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 their website, pawlikautomotive.com there's hundreds, over 600 articles on there, about all makes and models and types of repairs. Over 300 videos on our YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair. Check it out, and of course, we really appreciate you watching the podcasts, listening to the videos, watching the videos. Leave us a thumbs up or leave us a good review on iTunes. We really appreciate it. Thanks, Bernie.

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

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Maintenance Service

Mark: Good morning. It's Mark Bossert, Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. And this is the Pawlik Automotive podcast and video series. And we're talking cars. How are you doing this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing well.

Mark: So this week's victim is a Hyundai Sonata hybrid that came in for maintenance service. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: This vehicle was due for a maintenance service, and we performed a B service on this vehicle. So the B service is basically an oil and filter change, and then it's a full comprehensive inspection. So what's included in that? A thorough checklist where we inspect the brakes, steering, suspension, cooling system, electrical system, scan the vehicle, visual inspection underneath the vehicle, looking for fluid leaks, worn belts, hoses, that kind of thing. Suspension components, as I mentioned. It's a very thorough checklist, and we do ours at our shop electronically. So we actually email or text message an inspection where you can actually look over the details and it'll break things down into what's good, what's something to watch for, and things that are actually needing immediate repairs.

Mark: So did you find any other repairs needed?

Bernie: No, this Hyundai was good. It's a 2016, so not very old, and I believe it's around 60,000 kilometres, so it's still pretty young. Nothing required at this point. And the vehicle would still be covered under warranty for a lot of items. So anything we would see, depending on, I guess we'd check with the manufacturer on the warranty, but anything that's warranty needed we'd send back to the dealer to get repaired.

Mark: So this is the first Hyundai hybrid that we've talked about. Is there anything unique about Hyundai's approach to making a hybrid vehicle?

Bernie: Yeah, this vehicle's a little different. I mean, the Toyota Prius, the Toyota technology is kind of the most common that we see. And it's proven, it's durable. The Hyundai's a little different. I mean it's a hybrid, and I'll just get into some pictures and we'll discuss some of the technology and look at some pictures under the hood.

So there is our vehicle, this one's been a little customized. It's got a bit of a body kit, some nice wheels on it. It actually looks really sporty. It's a pretty cool-looking vehicle. As far as other items, you can always tell the Hyundai, they've got this blue symbol here, which is their hybrid technology symbol. The little green leaf, supposing it's ecological. So there's the view of the engine compartment from the top. So the gasoline internal combustion engine as we now like to call them, we just called them engines in the past, but now there's a new name for them. So the engine located here. This actually has a six-speed transmission, unlike some other vehicles that don't actually have a full transmission. This has one electric motor, one electric drive motor located probably around this area here. And then it has a transmission. It has a clutch that will disconnect the engine and transmission.

So it's a little different than some other designs of hybrid. Back here we have the braking, the master cylinder and braking components. I'll talk about those in a minute. We've got basically two cooling systems in this vehicle. This is an HGV, and so this is for the hybrid system. And then there's a cooling system over here for the engine. And we can talk about that one again in a minute too. I'll get into a couple more pictures. So this is a view, you can see the passenger side of the engine compartment. So there's a separate cooling system for the engine over here.

And this is kind of a unique component here of the hybrid system on this vehicle. This is actually a motor generator. So this is kind of like a starter motor and alternator at the same time. So this will charge the 12-volt electrical system and this will actually start the vehicle via with a drive belt. So it's gotta be a pretty skookum arrangement. You know, in the past of course the starter motor would engage and a gear would, I would say jump, but a gear would be engaged with the ring gear on the flywheel. But in this case it doesn't have that system. It has a belt drive start. So keeping this belt in good condition, of course, is going to be a very important item. And this is a water cooled unit as well. So again, when I look at this, I go, there's an expensive repair. The only other vehicles that I know off the top of my head that use a water cooled alternator are BMW, and it's a very expensive part. So I would expect this one would be equivalently expensive at the time that it goes bad.

Here's a view of the hybrid cooling system, which this is found on the driver's side of the vehicle. So again, there's two cooling systems to service, but given time, antifreezes last a long time. It's not like it used to be 20 or 30 years ago, where you have to flush your cooling system once a year. These antifreezes will last for five years or longer. So good long life, not much service required on these.

Mark: And that's for cooling the batteries, basically?

Bernie: That's for cooling the batteries. That's for cooling the motor generator section. Actually, not necessarily for cooling the batteries, 'cause the batteries are in the back, and they will more likely use the air conditioning system to keep them cool.

But the hybrid cooling system keeps the motors and inverter area cool. So the electrical components under the hood. This is the brake master cylinder. And what's kind of unique about it, it doesn't have a power brake booster as you would traditionally have in an internal combustion engine type of vehicle. A lot of electronics attached to this piece. It doesn't really show the full gamut of this piece, but when I look at it, I go, this is a unique component compared to what braking systems normally are. And of course it's a hybrid vehicle, so it uses regenerative braking. And how regenerative braking works is, as soon as you hit the brake pedal, it turns the electric drive motor into a generator, and that will use the, that'll basically slow the vehicle down and recharge the battery.

So that's really a huge advantage of a hybrid or electric vehicle, is you're using the braking energy to recharge the battery. There's a lot of complexity with this piece. When I look at stuff like this, I go "Well, that's a lot of money to fix," 'cause that's kind of where my life goes sometimes, since we're in the business of fixing vehicles. But hopefully like a lot of ABS type brake components, it'll be durable and have few problems. And it has a regular hydraulic system as well. So again, with this unit the electronics here will separate whether, how much is applied to the actual brakes at the wheels versus the ...

Mark: Generator.

Bernie: Generative braking. Thank you, Mark. Okay. What else do we have here? We've looked at this, the motor generator, the engine. I think we've looked at it all.

Mark: So I'm sure that this vehicle has a fuel savings. What do you think of it as a worthwhile purchase?

Bernie: Well, you know, I've been reluctant about hybrids for a long time. When Toyota came out with the Prius I was going "Oh, that's just way too complicated technology." And I always advised people don't buy it, there's too much stuff to go wrong. And actually, there is a lot to go wrong, but Toyota's proven the hybrid technology is very reliable, because nothing, very little ever breaks down on it, which is good. Battery, even there's actually a statistic that I read that apparently 95% of Toyota hybrids have never had the battery replaced. Which is pretty amazing, because that's people's biggest fear, is when the battery goes, it's a $5,000 or $6,000 replacement. But it doesn't happen very often. So that's a good thing.

Hyundai, we don't know. This technology's a little different. I see a lot of expensive items. Hyundais are generally pretty reliable. But as you and I talked before this podcast, they do have a lot of engine problems. We don't know how good the internal combustion engine is in this vehicle. And all it takes is one problematic component to really make the whole vehicle too expensive to repair given some time. So hopefully this will prove out to be a pretty decent vehicle. It's certainly, you know, the specs are 40 miles per gallon on the highway, which is really pretty awesome. So if it's generally like most Hyundai products, it's good, but hopefully they've done their work and built everything properly in the first place.

Mark: And do you have any, what's the range on electric only? Is this a plug-in hybrid or is it ...

Bernie: Yeah, this is not a plug-in hybrid. So I don't know. I don't know if the newest models, the 2019s, are plug-ins or not. Though that certainly makes it a more worthwhile vehicle too, I think, a plug-in hybrid is a much better option than just a regular hybrid. Not a lot more complexity to it, just to plug it in. And the advantages are huge.

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for some service for your Hyundai in Vancouver, even the new ones, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call ahead and book because they're very busy. Or check out the website, PawlikAutomotive.com. YouTube series at Pawlik Auto Repair on YouTube, hundreds of videos on there on all makes and models of cars, all types of repairs. And of course, thank you so much for listening to the podcast. We appreciate it. Thanks, Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks, Mark. Thanks for watching.

2017 Hyundai Tucson, A Service

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, working on cars for 38 years in Vancouver, and 18 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver. How are you doing, Bernie?

Bernie: I'm doing very well.

Mark: We're talking about a 2017 Hyundai Tucson, which is an A Service that was done on this vehicle. I've got a couple of questions. First, are a lot of fairly new or brand new vehicles coming to see you for service?

Bernie: We do some. We don't do a lot of them. A lot of people seem to go to the dealer because they feel either obliged, or that's where they should take their car. But we do a lot, we have a number of clients who have new cars that bring them to us. We provide every bit as good service if not better. It's all warranty approved. We use all the right oils, the right filters. Whatever needs to be done. If you're concerned, "I should take my car to the dealer because of warranty", the only thing you need to do is provide receipts that you've done it. I think do it yourself receipts are not valid if you're a do it yourself kind of person, but as long as you have the service done somewhere with the proper fluids, it's all covered.

Mark: An A Service. What is that specifically referring to?

Bernie : An A Service, and we use that term in our shop. I'm actually not sure if Hyundai refers to it as an A Service, but an A service is basically a level one maintenance service. It's an oil change with an inspection. With a basic inspection. That's sort of, generally with car servicing you want to do an A service and a B service. A lot of manufacturers have C, D, Z, and all sorts of things. We won't get into that. But essentially all those other letters add in different items. Hondas will use a B One Two service. The one and two might mean, a one might mean a tire rotation, a two is a brake fluid flush or something. A lot of these things are automated. But for our purposes here on this Hyundai, an A service is a basic maintenance service. An oil filter change, adjust the tire pressure, inspect the lights, inspect all the fluids, and a visual inspection of the vehicle.

Mark: Pretty straight forward in a brand new car?

Bernie: Yeah. There's really not much that needs to be done. We don't ever, I think of all the new cars we service, we don't ever find fluid leaks or anything like that. Although if we do, we can certainly refer you right back to the dealer to have it repaired. But it's really pretty basic.

Mark: What sort of service would be needed on this vehicle going forward?

Bernie: Again, with modern vehicles there's not a lot that needs to be done, as I mentioned. The A service we've done, now I think this vehicle has about 13,000 kilometres. The next service would be a B service where we would do a brake inspection, possibly a brake service. Cleaning and lubricating the brake parts. Rotating the tires. That's sort of going forward. One other item going a little further forward, and this engine, I'll share a few photos in a minute. It's a gasoline direct fuel injection engine. Doing combustion chamber cleanings on these things at a regular interval is really critical to prevent carbon buildup in the engine and on the valves. It's something that happens over time. The nature of direct injections, it actually sprays fuel right into the cylinder, like a diesel engine, which gives these engines amazing efficiency. But the drawback is that you don't have any fuel being sprayed on the back of the intake valve like with traditional, so the carbon buildup will develop and cause performance issues. We can talk, just share a photo here. Here's our 2017 Hyundai Tucson. Good looking vehicle. They've been making this model since 2015, and design wise it's still pretty much the same. The engine, this one has, is says 1.6 litre turbo gasoline direct injected engine. It's got all the nice bells and whistles of modern technology. Variable valve timing. Twin scroll turbocharger. Direct fuel injection. This thing is, for 1.6 litres it's got, I believe, I looked at the specs, it's a bit under 200 horsepower, 185 horsepower or something, which is pretty darn good for a little car like this. I would imagine the fuel efficiency is awesome. Anyway, there's a little view of the engine.

Mark: That carbon buildup sounds like a pretty serious concern. Are there other vehicles that need this kind of service?

Bernie: Yeah, actually there is. There's a lot of engines that use direct fuel injection these days. Some Toyotas actually for the last while, they use a combination between direct fuel injection and, for some reason the name alludes me, but the regular fuel injection system in the intake manifold. They actually used a dual fuel injection system, which is going to be fantastic, but will be extra complicated when things start to go wrong. But being Toyotas, they're pretty reliable. Gasoline direct injection is extremely popular. This is why a lot of cars that have been built in the last few years have extremely high fuel economy, because of the direct injection. But the combustion deposits can create a huge problem, because as they build up over time, if you leave it too long you actually have to dismantle the engine. Take the cylinder head off, take the valves apart, and have the carbon actually physically removed from the engine. You may want to ask, "What does one do about it?". We have a fuel system cleaning service that we can do. I would say about every 30,000 kilometres is a good time to have it done. That's about 20,000 miles if you're in the US. That's a good interval. It's not a very expensive service. It's easier to do than the motor back fuel injection cleaning that we've done on the traditional fuel injection systems. It's easier and less expensive. It's something that you should do. Also, use good gasoline. There's a greater gasoline, it's called Top Tier Gas. If you go to somewhere like Chevron, any name brand gas station uses that kind of gas. They put additives in that prevent carbon deposits too, so you should use good quality gasoline. It doesn't mean premium. It just means a top tier gas.

Mark: I guess it's probably too early to ask how reliable these vehicles are, but what do you think? What's your first impression of a 2017 Tucson?

Bernie: It's a really nice vehicle, and yeah, it is too early. I always figure you need to give it a few years. As I said, this model has been out for about two years. If there's problems already, that's probably not a good sign. I know the Ford 6 litre, by the time it was two years old there were already a lot of problems being found. But as far as I know, these are pretty reliable. I think the way Hyundai builds their cars, they've been building in there, overall quite reliable, although they have had some engine issues in certain models. But those have all been covered by warranties and recalls. I think overall it's going to be a good car.

Mark: There you are. If you're looking for service for your new vehicle in Vancouver, or for your Hyundai, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, or check out their website,

pawlikautomotive.com. Or check out our YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair. Thanks, Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks, Mark.

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