Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. 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. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing well today.
Mark: So today's victim is a 2014 Range Rover Sport Autobiography. Why do the British have such long names, that a B service required. What was going on with this SUV?
Bernie: Long names. This is actually a Land Rover Range Rover Sport Autobiography. It's a very long name, anyways. Yeah, so the owner brought this in for a B service. He'd recently purchased the vehicle and it was due for service. So he brought it in. He had a couple of concerns as well. So we did the service, did the inspection that goes along with the B service. And that's why brought in.
Mark: What did you find?
Bernie: Well, it was interesting. So on the road test, one thing and I didn't do it myself but our technician noticed that you can feel that there's a lot of clunking noises in the front end. Maybe not on typical of one of these vehicles. And also the front end seemed very bouncy. Like the shocks were bad, which seems surprising because this vehicle only had 57,000 kilometres. And the suspension seemed to be riding normal. Sometimes we have these where the airbags leak, and of course it rides funny, but there was no warning lights or any issues with that, but it had a very bouncy ride.
Mark: So I assume that then you put it up on the hoist to see what was going on?
Bernie: We did. And that's where we found some extremely interesting things that we often don't find on these vehicles. And I'll just share some pictures right now from our inspection. So there's our Range Rover Autobiography version.
This is sort of the main page of our inspection report that if you've never seen one of our inspections, this is sorta how it comes with the red stuff, meaning the most important and the orange items being maybe a little less important, but probably things that need to be done.
And then of course it says a hundred and one items are okay, these would be things that obviously aren't on this list like bulbs and so on. But actually one complaint that the owner did have is that the brakes were making some noises and they had been replaced a few months ago. We figured the front pads had an intermittent squeak that they should be probably covered by the warranty of this company that did the brakes.
But anyways, what we found that the front control arm bushings were worn, not untypical on a Range Rover. And the front struts were actually leaking fluid and worn out completely. So there was an extremely bouncy ride. There's a test you can do on shock absorbers. You basically bounce a vehicle up and down. And bounce it up and down a few times, press the bumper up and down and let it go. And the vehicle should bounce up once and return to its normal position. Well, this thing just kept going and going and going on the front. So the shocks were completely blown, which is very unusual on these vehicles that we found. But nonetheless, a very important thing to fix.
So a couple of other things, I'll just go through the inspection. Also there's a complaint that the battery light would come on sometimes. And so we did test the alternator and it actually turned out to have a fault in the alternator as well. So that was another item needed to be done. I'm not sure why this shows up as orange, cause it should have been red.
So here's a little more sort of a drill down into our inspection.
We can we can take photographs, show details of items. So this red arrow here, I know it's kinda hard to see on the screen, but this is a front control arm bushing. You can actually, if you're able to see it close enough, the rubber is actually cracking and separating and it's sort of visible here as well, too.
Here are the shock absorber. This arrow is pointing to actual fluid that's leaking out of the shock. So that kind of indicates some of the issues.
This is actually a closer view of the the strut. You can see the control arm bushing, you can see a crack there. So this is kind of the details you get when we do an inspection on a vehicle.
Mark: So the battery light doesn't necessarily mean that there's a bad battery.
Bernie: No, actually the battery light, well you'd think, oh, that means the battery is bad. But what it actually means is the battery is not receiving a charge and there'll soon be a problem is kind of the way I like to think of it. Especially on a modern vehicle where there's a lot of electrical consumption for fuel pumps and electronic fuel injectors. Yeah, the battery light will come on either if the alternator's not putting out enough power or the other thing that'll cause it is it, if a belt breaks. Now sometimes the battery light will come on because there's a defect in the circuit that turns the light on. So it's always important to test it because sometimes the battery light can be on and the alternator could be fine, but 95% of the time, the alternator's bad. So in the case of this, we did do a couple of tests on it and did find that there was a problem with the alternator.
Mark: So I don't know if you've mentioned, this was a newly purchased vehicle. And so it's got a lot of problems. Is this common? To find that on something that's only got 57,000 kilometres on it?
Bernie: Well, I mean the blown shock seem unusual. The control arm bushings, not. You know, that's a pretty common issue. And over the years on Range Rovers and Land Rovers, the control arm bushings, especially the rear lower front control arm bushing has been a very common issue. They redesigned the suspension, so the bushing design is different, but there's still one that seems to wear out pretty easily on these vehicles.
But we actually did this inspection almost a month ago and between myself and my team at the shop, we kind of forgot some of the details. But what I remember from the conversation is that this person had just bought the vehicle from a fairly reputable dealership and was shocked by all the work that needed to be done. And of course we, we never actually did anything on it because he took it back, as he should have. Cause it was, I think, bought under the pretence that it was a certified good vehicle, but I may be wrong with my story here, but it wouldn't be beyond reality.
We do see the odd vehicle where even a reputable dealer will sell a vehicle that somehow slips through the cracks and they miss some details, but of course they'll make sure it's good, because they care about their reputation. But yeah, there was almost you know, including doing the front brakes, we should be covering our warranty, it was about $8,000 worth of work that we recommended on this vehicle with the shocks, the control arms, there was a couple of maintenance items that weren't really faults, just maintenance items that were due. So, yeah, I mean, probably more issues than should be done. But you know, we find, you know, Range Rovers, they tend to have a few things going on.
Mark: It's an expensive vehicle and there seems to always be something that's expensive to fix. Is that accurate?
Bernie: Yeah, there is. Yeah, absolutely. Now one thing in defence I will say is that they depreciate very precipitously. So a Range Rover that you buy for 150 or $200,000, five years later, it's probably only be worth $50,000. So it makes for a very good used car buy, I think if you have the money. And you know, if you have to throw $10,000 into a $50,000 used vehicle that was worth $150,000, five years ago, that's probably not really a bad thing to do. I mean, there are probably more things that go wrong with these and there should be, but nonetheless, you know, it is a nice vehicle and at least they're fairly priced on the used market.
If you're looking for service for your Land Rover, Range Rover, the guys to see in Vancouver is Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. Or you can book online at pawlikautomotive.com. They'll get in touch with you. They'll get ready. They'll be equipped to look after your vehicle when you show up, of course, unless they find something that was unexpected, just like this one. Check out the videos as well on pawlikautomotive.com, hundreds of them. The YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. We really appreciate you watching. Thanks Bernie.
Thank you, Mark. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. We do appreciate it.