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1999 Range Rover Plugged Engine Oil Pickup Tube

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 38 years repairing and servicing, maintaining cars and trucks in Vancouver and 18 time winners of best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well this morning.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Range Rover, 1999, a little bit older one that had a plugged engine oil pickup tube, I keep thinking pickup artist on this thing, pickup tube, oil pickup tube. What was going on with this SUV?

Bernie: So this vehicle came to our shop, the owner had, the problem he was having was the engine was making a ticking sound and the oil warning light on the dash, the red oil can like looking light, which is very serious, light was coming on and he’d had a similar issue in the past. So anyways, that’s what was going on with the vehicle. Low oil pressure and obviously a pretty serious concern.

Mark: And so how did you diagnose that it was a plugged oil pickup tube?

Bernie: Well this one was a little bit of a different diagnosis, you know, we work on cars for a long time so generally when you hear an entire engine going tick tick tick tick and the oil light on, it’s usually a pretty good indication that there is in fact little to no oil pressure in the engine. We could of hooked a gauge up and verified that, but in this case, the owner of the vehicle had the vehicle for a long time, had the same thing happen in the past a few years ago, and the oil pickup tube was plugged. And in fact, this is actually not an uncommon issue on a 4.6 litre Land Rover engine. So we opted to just simply pull the oil pan off and inspect it, figuring the pickup tube was probably plugged, as he’d mentioned. And it’s actually surprisingly easy job to remove an oil pan on this engine, which is kind of rare. Usually on a 4x4, it’s a complete pain to remove it, but this is actually a rare treat, very simple to do. So I’ll just share a few photos.

1999 Range Rover Plugged Engine Oil Pickup Tube
1999 Range Rover Plugged Engine Oil Pickup Tube
1999 Range Rover Plugged Engine Oil Pickup Tube
1999 Range Rover Plugged Engine Oil Pickup Tube
1999 Range Rover Plugged Engine Oil Pickup Tube

1999 Range Rover, beautiful vehicle in its day, you know, getting pretty aged now but you know again, top of the line SUV in its day. There’s our oil pan underneath the vehicle. Bit of a weird angle of a photo, but there’s actually a lot of space. This is the front differential, it’s a solid differential, I’ll get into that in a minute which is interesting and unique, but it’s not like a new Range Rover or even a lot of older American pick up trucks where you can, it would take you hours to get the oil pan out. This is a really simple, very accessible job. Let’s get right into the heart of the matter, there is the plugged oil pickup tube. So the oil pickup tube is basically, it’s a big long tube about a foot-18 inches long, thin you know half to three quarter inch diameter metal tube with a pickup section on the front and a strainer. It’s got a screen which you can see, this is black carbon sludge that’s being sucked into the strainer and blocked it, so when the engine is running it can’t pick up any oil. It just sucks on this and thats not a good thing. Here’s a view in the bottom of the oil pan. This is some more sludge we found on the bottom of the oil pan. So the repair job consists of cleaning the tube out, cleaning the sludge out, washing the pan, getting rid of it all and getting it all back together. Just while we’re looking at photos, a couple of unique things I found on this vehicle. It’s old school. This is the rear differential and it’s a solid differential, like the front, so it’s a pretty simple vehicle compared to a lot of newer pick up trucks and especially Range Rovers where they have all complete independent suspension and a lot of complexity. The vehicle still have air suspension which is you know, give it a nice ride and some adjustability, but it’s a benefit of the solid axles which are very durable and if you want to take this out in the bush, this would be a really, really good vehicle to do that kind of thing in. I think that kind of covers our photos. Yep we’re all good.

Mark: So the sludge is what blocked the pickup tube and where does the oil sludge come from?

Bernie: Well if comes from, it’s formed from combustion gases reacting with the oil. Now how that occurs, I mean mostly I would say it’s due to either a blocked crankcase breathe system, we’ve talked about PCV valves in an earlier podcast, you know, a plugged crankcase breather system will cause that kind of thing to occur and we actually did do a little more investigating on this. We actually found that one side of the crankcase breather system was blocked in this vehicle. So that’ll cause the sludging to reoccur quite easily but a lot of it can be lack of maintenance too. And in the olden days, this is a lot more common. I think the older formulation oils, newer oil formulations don’t seem to sludge up as much, but a lot of it is due to the crankcase breather system and lack of oil changes. And really you know, if you change your oil religiously, regularly, it’s important to prevent this. Also people think, oh I’m driving around the city, I don’t need to change all that much. It’s like when you live in a cooler climate like Vancouver, you don’t drive a lot of highway drives, just city drives, it’s the worst thing for the oil because it never gets to warm up fully, a lot of times and that causes the sludge to occur.

Mark: That’s really disappointing. I was thinking it was something like those old dinosaurs are trying to re-form their bones and grow again in the motor.

Bernie: Well it could be, it could be the beginning, you know.

Mark: So is this just something that happens with Range Rovers or is it common to all vehicles?

Bernie: Well this is actually, if you look on some Land Rover/Range Rover forums, you’ll actually find that a few threads and posts about this. So it’s not an uncommon issue on this particular engine but you know, over the years, in the past, I’ve seen it happen on a lot of different engines. A lot of times it happens, mostly sludging and oil occurs from lack of maintenance and lack of oil changes. So biggest thing, we always talk about changing oil regularly because that’s the biggest thing that causes this. And the moment the crankcase breather system has an issue and then that’s an often neglected part these days, again we talked in the past you know, PCV valves used to be replaced a lot because they’re easy, they’re just, a lot of older, I’m thinking of an American V8’s, they just used to clip in the valve cover. You could pull it out and change it in a matter of 30 seconds so why not do it. Now that isn’t really a full crankcase ventilation service because it could still be a blocked hose, but at least if you look, change the valve, a lot of times it would solve a lot of your problems, but nowadays, they’re largely forgotten. I mean, this vehicle has a PCV valve, it’s screwed into the intake manifold. People tend to forget about it, they just don’t service them.

Mark: And how are these older Range Rovers for reliability?

Bernie: They’re pretty good. I mean, we work on a lot of Range Rovers and Land Rovers, and they all seem to have their sort of quirky problems, for every generation has a certain problem with their engines and the next one doesn’t have engine problems and overall these are pretty good. You know, it’s a complex vehicle. It’s got air suspension, so there’s a lot of things that can go wrong, and do, so be prepared to be spending a lot more money owning one of these vehicles than you would on a simpler type of vehicle. But overall, they’re  pretty good. I mean I like things when you have a repair like this where the oil system is sludged up, we can actually remove an oil pan quite simply and make a repair. That’s a good thing. So I often say, you know, every car has its positives and negatives, sometimes some cars have simple things to fix and sometimes they’re complicated. In this case, the oil pan was a nice simple fix.

Mark: So there you go. If you need some service on your Range Rover or Land Rover in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, you have to book ahead, they’re busy or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com, hundreds of videos on there or our Youtube channel Pawlik Automotive Repair or our new Podcast. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2012 Range Rover Sport Supercharged, Supercharger Repairs

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s top rated, best reviewed auto repair service. Thirty eight years of serving all makes and models of cars in Vancouver. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Very well this morning.

Mark: So we’re talking about a 2012 Range Rover Supercharged. These are very expensive and very luxurious vehicles. What was going on with this SUV?

Bernie: Well, it’s a Range Rover Sport Supercharged and the issue is with a supercharger. There’s a sort of subtle clacking noise at the front of the supercharger you can hear when you’re revving the engine up but under certain conditions and certain speeds.

Mark: And what was required to fix that?

Bernie: Well fortunately not a complete supercharger replacement. There’s actually a piece, a nose cone or whatever, a nose drive assembly and inside there’s a couple of bearings and there’s a kind of I don’t know what you’d call it, a fancy coupler that couples the drive unit of the supercharger. And that unit, that little coupler tends to wear out causing the noises.

Mark: So what exactly wears inside the drive unit?

Bernie: Well let’s, why don’t I just get into some pictures. Let’s start with the vehicle. There’s, it’s a 2012 Range Rover Sport, you know nice wheels, what’s not to like other than the gas mileage and some of the repair costs. It’s a beautiful vehicle, powerful, sporty, pretty awesome. We’ll get into the supercharger. So this is the actual replacement piece. This is the view of the actual new part on the nose cone. This is actually what couples this part to the actual supercharger itself. I’ll show a couple more photos but you can see, there’s sort of, there’s like three pins, there’s two here, one’s hidden and these are on the drive unit. Then this coupler sort of isolates the engine spinning, you know like vibrations from the engine with the vibrations of the supercharger. There’s three pins that fit in here. These are on the supercharger, so that drives the supercharger. We’ll look at the, this is the old unit which is we’re looking at a different side of it but it’s definitely quite badly worn in these particular areas here. So that’s what causes that. When you feel the front, when you take the belt off you can feel a lot of play in the supercharger when you turn the pulley there’s a lot, there’s a tiny little bit with he new one, but there’s a lot with the older worn out unit. Just a couple more views. This is the top view of the engine with the, this is the supercharger, well supercharger actually sits under here, this is the intake manifold with the intercoolers but the drive bearing and nose cone, this is with things partially removed, you see that top piece removed, the supercharger sits in the middle here. This is where the actual supercharger blades are located in this area and this is the nose piece here. So it’s a complete replacement unit available from the Range Rover dealer.

Mark: So is this a new issue with Range Rover?

Bernie: Well this engine is actually used, it’s a five litre engine, it’s actually used in Range Rovers and a variety of Jaguar products and this issue happens to any of this generation of engine. Can’t remember the starting year but you know, it’s up to 2012 to 2015 somewhere in that range. Maybe a little further on either end but it’s not just unique to this engine and in the repair business you can often tell how common a problem is. If you call up a dealership and they have the part in stock that usually, especially an expensive piece, that usually tells me it’s a pretty common problem. So it’s definitely something we’ve done from time to time

Mark: And so since this was a Range Rover, was this an expensive repair?

Bernie: Oh yeah. It’s pretty labour intensive to take the piece off but the good news is you don’t have to replace the complete supercharger and there are actually bits and pieces available. If one were to take more time to order parts you know, through different sources than the dealership, you can actually buy some of these parts individually for a lot less money, if you have more time on your hands but to actually replace a complete supercharger, it is extremely expensive. But this part, was in the one to two thousand dollar price range. But much cheaper than a complete supercharger.

Mark: And how are Range Rover Sports for reliability?

Bernie: Overall they’re pretty good but you know again this is a very complex vehicle. So you’ve go little things like all supercharger bearing and couplers that wear out, there’s air suspension, there’s a lot of complexity to these vehicles. They’re good and you know, you will expect to spend a lot more money on repairs. Things like brakes wear out pretty fast, it’s a heavy, large, performance vehicle so they just end to wear through brakes and tires and so there’s a price to be paid for having the vehicle. But you know, it’s pretty awesome ride.

Mark: And what sort of horsepower does this vehicle have?

Bernie: I don’t know the actual horsepower but when you step on it, it really goes. I love superchargers because the power’s so immediate. I mean turbo chargers, a lot of manufacturers like Mercedes, has stopped using superchargers, they’ve gone straight to turbos for pretty much everything and I guess they’re more efficient overall but there’s and certainly get a lot of power but there’s immediacy about a supercharger. It’s just like when you stop on it but it just goes and so I mean, it’s really kind of fun in this vehicle. It really does move fast for a big heavy, I don’t know a 5,000 or more pound truck. It’s pretty awesome.

Mark: So there you go. If you need your Range Rover repaired in Vancouver, the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com or our YouTube Channel, we’ve got four years of videos other including quite a few about Range Rovers. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2009 Land Rover LR2 Serpentine Belt and Water Pump Replacement

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

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Land Rover, 2009 LR2 what’s going on with this Land Rover?

Bernie: Well the vehicle was brought to us for a maintenance service. The client just bought the vehicle and it was due for I think it was about a 100,000 kilometre maintenance service and one of the items on the maintenance service is actually to replace the serpentine belt. There’s wasn’t too much on this service, but the belt was one of the replacement items.

Mark: So a belt can sound pretty straight forward but I know they can be a pretty complicated procedure. How was this one?

Bernie: Well this one is really complicated, as a matter of fact, I think as far as in the world of serpentine belt replacement, this is the worst one possible. Now there’s a Volvo model, a vehicle, I hate to say it’s an XC60 or 90, they share the same platform as the LR2 and they have exactly, so it’s the same engine. So they’re in the same category of replacement but yeah, this is the, I think quite possibly the worst drive belt to replace on any vehicle we’ve ever seen. The reason why is that the belt is located, instead of being not the front of the engine at say at the side of the, fender side, it’s a transverse mounted engine, so the engine from the right, the passenger side fender is where the crankshaft pulley is, that’s where the belt would normally be situated so you can get in there. Sometimes it’s a bit of a pain but you know, but you can always access it but this belt is located in between the transmission and the engine and so it’s a lot of work to replace, there’s a the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, all these accessories are all run on that side of the engine under the air box, under the battery. It’s a lot of work to get at it and replace it.

Mark: Ok, did you find anything else when you replaced?

Bernie: Yeah, we did actually. We found that the water pump was leaking and that was not at all visible. It wasn’t leaking to the point of it dripping on the ground but there was a bit of a nice puddle of coolant forming under the water pump so we found that was leaking, we replaced that while we did the work. I’ll just get into sharing some photos right now because there’s some neat stuff to see with this vehicle. There’s our 09 Land Rover LR2, nice looking vehicle, in good shape about 110,000 kilometres. So this is a view of the side of the engine, there’s our new belt installed, now this is the engine itself and it’s hidden under covers, this is the front of the car, the radiator here, the hood, the bumper would be up in this area. So we’re looking at the side of the engine, none of this is visible. This part here is where the air cleaner box attaches. So this is all, everything in this area where I’m just going with the mouse, is all hidden with covers and air filter boxes and that sort of thing. So all this stuff needs to, it’s not a matter of simply, if you look at it it’s not a matter of simply just pulling a tension off and the belt sliding out. This is the power steering pump, it has to be removed, same with the air conditioning compressor, has to be unbolted to access the pump and the water pump is located in behind here. So our next photo we’ll look at is, this is what the power steering pump and belt removed and that’s the water pump there, this is a sort of drive coupler which is a really usual item. It actually clips onto the power steering pump and it’s driven by the power steering pump through this unusual coupler but kind of smart design. This is antifreeze down here, it’s an orange coloured antifreeze in this vehicle and you can see it’s been spraying out in this area here. So it’s only a matte of time before it becomes a very large leak. Here’s a view of the water pump after it was removed, again you can see this odd, strange drive coupler that is like a little blade that spins the water, basically pushes in water through the engine located underneath here and here’s another strange thing is it says FoMoCo, so that’s Ford Motor Company. So this is an actual Ford Motor Company water pump

Mark: I was going to say I smelled Ford from that kind of complicated setup

Bernie: Yeah, yeah it’s interesting. There’s a, it’s interesting that Ford owned Land Rover Jaguar during this era, the 09, they also owned Mazda which is interesting because we’ve worked on both these cars yesterday and we had two Ford trucks in the shop and we’re kind of joking amongst ourselves, hey we’re working on all Ford vehicles today even though they don’t all say Ford on them. They have some unquinesses, each of them have uniquenesses but they’re, there’s a lot of Ford, it’s kind of actually impressive that Ford’s actually spread their wings so wide in the world of cars and they’ve since retracted since they don’t own Volvo anymore, they don’t own Land Rover Jaguar but they’ve been pretty successful.

Mark: So it’s a pretty amazing where Ford parts show up

Bernie: Yeah, it is, it is amazing. We find them all over the place. I don’t know if it’s a good thing actually, maybe it’s a good thing they’re all Ford vehicles in this shop, it doesn’t maybe say so much good about them and their quality, but they’re pretty good vehicles overall.

Mark: So how are LR2s actually for reliability?

Bernie: Well of course we just talked about how complex their belt design is and you know if anything goes wrong with a lot of these parts it’s going to be a lot more work to change and repair and I mean, overall the LR2s are pretty good. Other than, we’ve had a few and we’ve talked about these in previous blog posts and hangouts, the differential bearings fail on these, especially in the rear, and it’s almost a guaranteed failure on every one of them, so that is definitely I’d say the biggest flaw of the vehicle, other than that they’re pretty good, they’re a nice size vehicle but complex in the way they’re built but they drive great.

Mark: So there you go. If you’re looking for service for your Land Rover in Vancouver, they guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112, they’re busy fixing all the Ford’s in Vancouver, or you can check, so you’ve got to book ahead or you can check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks a lot Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2008 Range Rover Sport, Parking Brake Module

Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s best loved, best voted and favourite place to get your car serviced. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well Mark

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Range Rover Sport and you did some work on the parking brake, what was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: Well, the vehicle came to our shop with a warning light on the dash and a rather irritating bell ringing in the vehicle when you’re driving the car, every time you stopped at a light and then go to accelerate the warning chime would come on. There’s a warning light on the dash for the parking brake and then there’s an actual warning service parking brake system. So that’s what was going on with the vehicle.

Mark: So what did you do to try and diagnose this?

Bernie: So being an electronic issue, at least electronic warnings and Range Rovers being a sophisticated vehicle, we plugged out diagnostic scan tool into the vehicle and retrieved one trouble code for an overheated parking brake module and as soon as we cleared the code, the code had returned immediately, so we knew there’s a defect in the module based on that particular symptom and it was basically a matter of replacing the parking brake modular to solve the concern.

Mark: So the parking brake module, is that just an electronic part or was there mechanical parts as well?

Bernie: Actually, it’s a rather involved piece. It sounds like it’s just an electronic module here but when I hear the word module, I think a little electronic piece but the one actually is, there’s lots to it. I’ll show, I’ll share some pictures. So this is the parking brake module. This is the electronic and motor portion of the module. This module actually has, it’s electronic plus it has the actuator motors and the cables as well and in the next photo I’ll show you, this is the actual, this is a larger view of what you get when you buy the part. This is the old one removed from the vehicle. You can see there’s two large cables, one on each side. These go up to each wheel and actually link up to the parking brake shoes and there’s a third cable which is actually an emergency release. So should the electric motors fail for some reason, there’s actually a way you can manually pull a handle in the vehicle and release the parking brake. But in the case of this vehicle of course, that didn’t matter because the defect was in the electronic module itself. And while we’re just looking at pictures, here’s a 2008 Range Rover, it’s the vehicle we serviced.

Mark: Ok, so that sounds like a lot of work to replace. Is this a pretty common failure part?

Bernie: It’s a fairly common failure part on these things. We don’t do a lot of them but they do fail from time to time and the fact that the dealer stocks it is always to me, an indicator that it’s a common part. We have done a few of them from time to time and it is a lot of work to replace. The module was buried up underneath the vehicle, there’s covers and things to be removed to get to the module and then the cables of course, have to be removed. They’re all bolted in quite nicely, they don’t just flop around. They’re, it’s a nicely built vehicle, they bolt everything in every few inches. You have to remove that and then the brake shoes have to be removed to install the cable, so it’s a fair bit of work, a few hours.

Mark: So how are the brake shoes on this just as a side line?

Bernie: The brake shoes were fine, yeah they were in great shape and of course, once we take it all apart and put it back together we readjust for brake shoes as well so everything is in good shape. So yeah, it’s all done, all done good and it should last a long time.

Mark: So this sounds like a pretty complicated way of doing a parking brake, is this similar to other vehicles?

Bernie: Yeah, a lot of other vehicles do it, a lot of other European cars for sure, they’re, I’m not sure, sometimes I wonder why they make things so complicated. I mean, I guess sometimes I think it’s because they can and because you know, it’s nicer to go all you do is just pull a little button or push a button and your parking brake is activated and it activates it to the right sort of amount, but to me sometimes when you’re faced with a large repair bill like this job and chimes and warning lights and you have no option but to fix it, it makes me wonder whether it’s all worth it in the end or they’re just a simple cable system would be better. But anyways, that’s what is is and you will find that in a lot vehicles and most new cars have it, at least Europeans for sure.

Mark: So just to remind everybody and me, the parking brake is actually a different braking system than the main braking system of the car, isn’t it?

Bernie: It is yeah, the parking brake is separate, it uses it’s own brake shoes, although some of them will use the disc brake calliper in the rear and they’ll actually have a lever on the calliper so it mechanically activates the brake pads so there’s actually a few less parts in that system. So either way, there’s, I like the shoe system better because it isolates it from the callipers and makes it completely separate and I think actually in the end you have less trouble with that system.

Mark: So I imagine this is an expense repair and maybe not the most, if you’re living in a flat area probably wouldn’t be the most needed repair but with the warning lights and bells ringing after every stop, is not something you could avoid.

Bernie: No you can’t and I guess it’s good because even if you, like you said, even if you live in a flat area and you don’t use your parking brake and a lot of people with automatic transmission cars don’t use them, myself included, you know because once you put it in park it locks the vehicle in place but it’s important to have it as an emergency brake and if you’re on a steep hill it puts a strain on the drivetrain to just use the Park function on the transmission. So it’s good to fix it yeah, it’s hard to avoid with that bell ringing. We had a Jag a while ago that had a similar system, it was even worse. The moment you drive it you just a bing bing bing bing bing bing bing bing the whole time you drive down the road, so you really couldn’t avoid fixing that, it’s totally irritating. So yeah I mean it’s nice if you can put stuff off but this is not a thing on these vehicles that you can.

Mark: So then my way of fixing it which I like to use the black tape on the check engine light, I’d have to have some kind of ear muff, ear protection to be able to drive my vehicle.

Bernie: Exactly, you’d have to turn your radio up really loud.

Mark: Alright, well folks if you’re looking for a better solution than using black tape to hide your check engine warning light or wear ear protection to stop the bells ringing in your vehicles, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. They will look after your vehicle, everything from high end luxury vehicles to your general you know pony car that you drive every day to work, they fix them and keep them running for a long time, saving you a tremendous amount of money. Call them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com - we’ve got hundreds of videos on there, thousands of subscribers and we’re approaching the million video views - so check us out. Thanks a lot Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2005 Land Rover LR3; Transmission Service

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive, Vancouver’s best loved auto service experience, 16 plus time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver, as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Good.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Land Rover, a transmission service. What was going on with this, I’m assuming it was an automatic transmission.

Bernie: It was an automatic transmission. Most of the, most of the vehicles we service have automatic transmissions, so yeah the vehicle has about a hundred thousand kilometers and a client of ours just bought the vehicle and he’s a very conscientious maintenance customer, he wanted to make sure the transmission service was all up to date so we did our usual awesome transmission service that we do which includes removing the transmission pan, replacing the filter, cleaning the pan and then flushing the fluid so it’s basically like, it’s almost a hundred percent fluid replacement along with cleaning and service.

Mark: So is that what makes your service a bit different than most transmission services?

Bernie: Well, I think a lot of certainly a lot of places do not do a transmission service to the level we do it. There’s, you know, I mean it’s simple, there are various ways to do it. I think some I’m not going to say any names but there are some places that will do a transmission service by simply draining the fluid, putting the filler plug back in, sorry the drain plug back in, refilling the fluid and that’s the transmission service. Now that is, that will basically replace about one third of the fluid so you drive around two thirds dirty fluid, not a very good idea really you may as well almost not waste your money. The other way to do it is to just leave the pan in place and to just run a flushing machine and flush out the fluid which again is not, it’s not a bad service because it will replace most of the fluid but it doesn’t deal with what dirt or debris might be left in the pan. Now some transmissions don’t have a pan so those, the only way to deal with that tranny service is to do that kind of flush and we do those obviously but if it has a pan, a removal pan, we always do that. It’s better to do it less often but do it thoroughly, in my opinion.

Mark: So is there an automatic transmission fluid filter and does, is that, is that fluid a different fluid than we would normally expect?

Bernie: Well the fluid, the fluid depends on the vehicle but the filter on this vehicle, we’ll just talk about the Land Rover specifically, it does have a filter, it has a removable pan, however Land Rovers made this one an extremely difficult service, it takes several hours to actually take the pan on and off the vehicle, the exhaust system has to be removed, there’s transmission cross member in the way and then the transmission needs to be actually lifted up to get the pan off and they do another unique thing that makes the service even, even more expensive and that is and I’ll share, actually I’m not sharing the picture here, hang on for a sec, going to take, for some reason I’ve lost the photo so we’ll leave it but I’ll explain what’s happened. So the transmission pan on this vehicle is unique in that it’s a plastic pan and it has, it has a filter built into it so if you want to change the filter you have to change the pan, it’s a whole one piece unit and so that adds a fair bit of expense to the job, so again it’s not something that you need to do very often, every hundred thousand kilometers, maybe a little more often you know, enough to keep the service up to snuff.

Mark: So is that ATF or automatic transmission fluid, is that usually a synthetic fluid on most vehicles?

Bernie: Nowadays it is. In the old, the good old days, whenever that was, you know they used to be a fluid called Dextron 3 for most vehicles, the Ford would use a different type of fluid but it basically, everything used that type of fluid then you know, for the last 15, 20 years a lot of transmissions have gone to synthetics and pretty much everything now is synthetic fluid, usually unique to the vehicle and so yeah, pretty much everything’s synthetic, so it does last a lot longer but it still gets dirty, it still gets contaminated and it’s you know, you want to last the longest and keep the cost down, it’s, it’s well worth doing on a routine basis.

Mark: How often would you say?

Bernie: How often? Generally about every 100,000 kilometers and it used to be we’d recommend 50 so that’s a good jump up for time.

Mark: So with the Land Rover LR3 do you see a lot of transmission problems with these vehicles?

Bernie: No, they’re quite good, I mean, we do, we work on a wide range of cars; we do a lot of Land Rovers, never seen a transmission problem. I’m certain that some shops that do nothing but Land Rovers will see more, more of transmission problems but it’s not, it’s not a huge issue with them, they’re pretty good.

Mark: There you go, if you need some service on your Land Rover on your transmission the guys to call in Vancouver is Pawlik Automotive, you can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com; years’ worth of videos on there, every week were doing this. Thanks a lot Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2006 Range Rover Sport Supercharged, Coolant Hose Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver's best auto service experience. How you doing, Bernie?

Bernie: I'm going very well this morning.

Mark: We're trying to get our second one in here. We're going to talk about Range Rovers, which we've done a few things one. This one is a ... one of the supercharged ones. There was a coolant hose replacement needed. What was happening with this sport ute?

Bernie: Well, the vehicle came to us, it had developed a sudden coolant leak, leaking a lot of coolant out of the engine. We did our usual pressure test. This one was pretty complicated to figure out where the leak was coming from, somewhere on the engine. There's a lot of covers and pieces buried. This is also a supercharged engine, so right in the middle of the engine there's the supercharger, which basically blows air into the engine, gives it all that extra horsepower. It adds level of complexity. It turns out that the coolant hoses that were leaking are located underneath the supercharger. We could barely see them, but, we could see enough to know that that was where the leak was coming from.

Mark: Under the supercharger doesn't sound like the best place to put coolant hoses.

Bernie: It's not a good location at all. I mean, it's ... you know, they're rubber hoses at an area where there's an incredible amount of heat being trapped. Although they might be good quality hoses, the vehicle is 10 years old. You know, it's ... things go wrong. It's not, from an engineering perspective, extremely smart. I'll just share some photos here. Let's get these up. There we go. This is the ... this is the engine with the supercharger removed. This is the ... you can see ... The blue arrow points to the supercharger. Now, that, that has actually been lifted up and removed. That normally sits down where the red arrow is pointing. The red arrow is actually where the hoses are located. However, we've actually removed the hoses from this picture. They sit sandwiched. This is the valley area. It's a V8 engine. It's the valley area of the engine. Hoses sit on top of the valley. Supercharger sits over top of that. Like I say, there's an awful lot of heat being generated. Also, you'll notice there's a yellow arrow there. It just points to another hose nipple. If you look, sort of at the front of that picture, you'll see there's actually 4 of those nipples coming off. There's coolant hoses on these items, and what those are, those are the intercoolers. As air is being blown in the engine, it heats up. It's cooled, actually by engine coolant, which is warm, but, it's obviously cooler than the temperature of the air. The intercooler cools the charged air down, so that it densifies the air, and it gives the engine more power. It's a performance enhancement, but, again, there's another number of coolant hoses. It adds a lot of complexity to the engine. While we're looking at pictures, this is the hose we replaced. We'll talk more about the hose after. You can see, there's a lot of bits and pieces. The little yellow piece on the left, that just holds a clamp. That's one end at the front of the hose. Then, the other end, just to the right of that is the other front piece. That was the part that was actually leaking at this particular time. This hose is available only from the dealer. It's a rather, you know, pricey piece, but, you got to do what you got to do.

Mark: What kind of cost are you talking about?

Bernie: Well, the labor's quite a few hours to remove the supercharger and get the hose off. The hose itself is over $500. I think the labor is well over that as well. It's, with taxes and everything, in the end, I think the bill will be somewhere in the $1500 range, which is a lot of money for a couple of hoses.

Mark: No kidding. It sounds like it's obviously labor intensive. Isn't that true when you get into these very high-end, high-performance vehicles with pretty complex systems? Their costs of maintenance and repair gets a lot more expensive because they're so complex?

Bernie: It does. This is a thing you got to walk into with your eyes wide open when you buy one of these vehicles. You're getting ... you know, you pay a lot of money for a Range Rover new. I think the starting price on a supercharged Range Rover is $120,000. Some of the HSE models go up to $100,000 more than that. I mean, we're talking like brand new. Even an '06 of this vehicle is probably $80,000 or $90,000. Now, you can buy one for $20,000 bucks, and you get a really, really nice luxurious sport utility vehicle. You're going to be paying a lot of money for maintenance and repairs. As long as you know that, not a bad thing because you're actually saving a lot of money over buying a brand new one. You get the ... pretty much the ... Well, it's a bit used, but it's a nice product. That speaks to the complexities of these vehicles. They all have air suspension, which we've talked about. Things go wrong with that. Supercharger, eventually when that part fails, and it may never fail, but, usually everything will at some point. That's a few thousand dollars. There's a lot of stuff on these vehicles that can cost you money.

Mark: Overall, how would you rate these vehicles? I've had my British cars, and my fun with those. They're unique. Let's put it that way. How would you rate their Range Rovers?

Bernie: You know, I'd say they're actually pretty good vehicles. The thing with ... My opinion on English cars is that they've ... Ever since Ford took over Jaguar and Land Rover, they really made the cars a whole lot more reliable. When you get into the early 2000s, it's really when these vehicles started to become reliable. It's kind of funny to say that for Ford, because I find we often criticize Fords for their reliability. They did improve the product enormously. You know, they're not bad vehicles. I would ... you know, when you're buying a Jaguar or Land Rover, you're buying a luxurious vehicle, so there's more to go wrong. They're not like the old English car where you have to meet at your mechanic's shop every week, having something tinkered or tuned, something's going to break. They're not like that anymore. They're much more reliable.

Mark: If you're looking for service on your Range Rover, the guys to see in Vancouver are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them to book, 604-327-7112. Or, check out their website, pawlikautomotive.com. We have quite a few other videos about Range Rovers on there, and lots of other luxury vehicles. Thanks, Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks, Mark.

2011 Range Rover – Suspension Repair

Range Rover Suspension

Mark: Hi it’s Mark of Top Local Lead Generation and we’re here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Pawlik Automotive have been voted Best In Auto Repair in Vancouver by their customers 16 times. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Range Rover Suspension

2011 Range Rover

Mark: So talking about a 2011 Range Rover with a suspension repair, another Range Rover, another suspension repair. What’s going on with these vehicles?

Bernie: Well, this particular Range Rover had a warning light on the dash for an ADS system fault. It shows a little symbol that looks like the vehicle with curved arrows that looks like its rolling. So that’s what was going on with this vehicle.

Mark: What’s an ADS system?

Bernie: ADS stands for Active Damping System and it’s basically a fancy term for the electronic shock absorbers. What they do on this vehicle: it has air suspension for the springs so you can vary the height of the vehicle, but for stability control it uses active damping suspension. The shock absorbers are electronic. The active damping control adjusts the suspension depending on what you need: if you’re on a bumpy road it’ll adjust it a certain way, if you’re on a smooth road it’ll adjust it a certain way and also if you’re going around a corner and the vehicle starts loosing some stability, it’ll beef up the shocks, tighten them up, whatever is needed. So it’s all part of the stability control of the vehicle and just the overall ride and effect.

Mark: So what did you find with this vehicle?

Bernie: What we found with this vehicle: the first step, is to connect our scan tool and see what kind of information we get out of it and what we found was a trouble code stored in the system (which there always is when the light is on). It was for a fault with the right front damping sensor. I don’t have the exact code written down in front of me, but there was a fault with that part of the system. So we did further diagnosis and what we found was a broken wire to the active damping solenoid, located at the top of the shock absorber. Now I’ll share a couple of photos here because these are very telling, now lets just get into that - so - this is our Range Rover here and here’s the wiring. Now this picture here, on the left hand side is the old wire that we removed, we basically had to replace both front shock wires because although the wire on the right hand side was actually broken, the one on the left was about to break and I’ll show a close up photo of that one later. On the left hand side is the original wire, you can see it’s been cut off, if you look on the right hand side where it goes over top of the other wire, it’s been cut off of the original wiring harness and the new wire is sheathed in plastic all the way from the rubber piece, there’s a rubber piece near the connector, it’s sheathed in a thicker plastic. The other wire, you can see it is wrapped in electrical tape and I’ll just get into the next slide - this is a close up of the broken wire or the almost broken wire. So the left hand side was still functioning but it wouldn’t be long before this wire broke and caused a failure. So again, if you look back here to this picture, I don’t know if my mouse pointer actually shows here, but that’s where that picture was taken. So that’s the wire that we replaced on both sides. Land Rover has an updated part that they sell that works a lot better. You can see that thicker sheath around the wire, it should last for substantially longer. This whole issue is part of a TSB - Technical Service Bulletin put out by Land Rover, obviously something they had a problem and they’ve upgraded the design of it and there is readily available information on how to repair it and new, upgraded, expensive parts to fix it.

Range Rover Suspension

Close up of about to break wire to left Active Damping shock absorber

Range Rover Suspension

old harness connector on left and new connector on right. Note the thick rubber cover over the wires, This is a much more robust part that should last for many years.

Mark: So wouldn’t this be a safety recall item?

Bernie: Well I guess not and I don’t know exactly what the criteria is for creating a recall as opposed to just a TSB but obviously it’s not enough of a safety issue to create a recall. While driving the vehicle with the light on, there wasn’t any noticeable difference in how the vehicle handled but I’m sure that under certain circumstances there would be. But it’s nothing like the vehicle is going to accelerate or you’re going to loose your brakes or suddenly go around a corner and the vehicle is going to drop and you'll lose control. It’s nothing like that. That might be the criteria but it does make you wonder when a part is so clearly, badly designed that they wouldn’t at least offer a complementary warranty for the first few years. The vehicle is a 2011, it’s only five years old at this point. It’s really a kind of part that should of been built better but now that we’ve fixed it, it should never be an issue on this Range Rover again.

Mark: So if you’re looking for expert help on your Range Rover or any of your vehicles, these are the guys to go see - Pawlik Automotive - give Bernie a call 604-327-7112 or check out their website, tons of information there pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

Range Rover Brakes: Inspections and Repairs

Range Rover

Pawlik Automotive are 15 time winners of "Best Auto Repair in Vancouver, BC" as voted by their customers.

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local Lead Generation, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive they’re 15 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. We’re talking about Range Rovers brakes today. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m really well.

Mark: So we titled this Inspections and Repairs on Range Rovers, is there anything unique about Range Rover brakes?

Bernie: Well I’d say the one unique thing about Range Rover brakes is they’re really big, I mean Range Rovers are really a sports car, sport utility vehicle, a lot of them have supercharged engines, lots of horsepower, luxury items galore, air ride suspension, lots of options and controls and these vehicles weigh a lot so they put big brakes in so you can be going 100 miles an hour and stop the car really fast. So that’s what’s unique about Range Rover brakes. Actually I have a couple samples from a job we did the other day so you can just get an idea how big these are: this is a Range Rover brake pad and it’s huge, I mean just for comparison’s sake, this is a brake pad out of a Nissan Versa which is a small car but none the less, it’s a pretty good size brake pad, it’s sort of an average Japanese car brake pad. I don’t have any American vehicles to compare but this Range Rover brake pad is larger than you’ll find in a Ford F350 or for a Chevy Suburban, this brake pad is twice the size. The brake rotors are also massive on a Range Rover as I grunt as I lift this thing. I don’t have a comparison rotor but this is a huge brake rotor so, a lot of work lifting that.

Mark: So that’s definitely bigger than the rear rotor on the Nissan Versa.

Bernie: Oh absolutely, yes much so and I mean even the thing about a Chevy Suburban you know which is a big truck, you know the brake rotors are substantially smaller.

Mark: So how long will they last?

Bernie: Well you’d think with big brakes that they would last a long time but the interesting thing is they don’t. We see Range Rovers sometimes with as little as 20 thousand, 25 thousand kilometers where the brakes are worn out. They don’t last a long time. I ofter wonder to myself because they are so large why they wouldn’t last longer but I can only assume that just the weight of the vehicle wears them out quickly, they’re big brakes, there’s lots of area to dissipate the heat so they should last a long time. The rotors wear along with the pads as well so it’s not like they use a really soft pad you know because the rotors are wearing at the same time so um, they don’t last, they don’t last as long as you think they would.

Mark: So what parts do you replace on the Range Rover?

Bernie: Well typically I’ve just shown you pretty much everything that we do: the brake pads and the rotors usually get changed every time. Brake fluid gets flushed every 2 to 3 years and also on the Range Rovers these vehicles do have an electronic brake pad wear sensor and you know as long, if the lights on and they’re worn out then we replace those as well. Usually calipers last a long time in these vehicles, it’s very important not to let these get metal on metal though like to wear them fully out because the calipers are just outrageously expensive but we’ve yet to do one. They last a long time but you know if you have one that’s 10 or 15 years old at that point you may need to start changing calipers or brake hoses but other than that it's pads and rotors.

Mark: Sorry, any difference on your inspection times?

Bernie: No, they’re the same, yeah it’s the same, the same inspection we give on you know any other vehicle, same techniques and measurement. As for inspection intervals, you know they’re generally due for a service around every 10 to 20 thousand kilometers so you know if it has a 20 thousand kilometer oil change interval you definitely want to be inspecting the brakes every time that comes around.

Mark: So if you’re looking for service for your Range Rover the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. To book your appointment give them a call at (604) 327-7112. They’ve just expanded, they’ve got a lot more space so give them a call or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

Range Rover

2006 Range Rover

2011 Range Rover Sway Bar Replacement

Talking Range Rovers with Bernie Pawlik, owner and master mechanic at Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, BC. Pawlik Automotive are 15 time winners of best auto repair shop in Vancouver as voted by their customers!

Friday’s featured post is a rear sway bar replacement on a 2011 Range Rover Sport, brought to us by a client from Vancouver.

Range Rover Sway Bar

2011 Range Rover

Many items found on Range Rovers are far from simple, and the rear sway bar is no exception. The Range Rover’s sway bars are part of the vehicle’s stability control system and incorporate a hydraulic unit capable of isolating both sides of the bar.

Our featured vehicle came to us with the dash warning light on for a stability control malfunction. Diagnosis found the fluid level low in the underhood reservoir and we traced the cause to a leak in the rear sway bar hydraulic unit. This is a non-repairable part and must be replaced as a complete unit. As you might guess, it is pricey. Though the labour is not outrageous the part is buried deep under the rear of the vehicle above the differential and requires the body to be lifted from the frame to remove and reinstall the unit.

Range Rover Sway Bar

Rear sway bar assembly: Note the hydraulic unit which isolates both sides of the bar.

Sway bars are found on most cars and light trucks: their primary purpose is to reduce body roll while cornering and making high speed maneuvers. System components include a metal bar attached to the vehicle frame and extending to each control arm or strut by an end link. Bars connect both sides of each axle together. While this generally works just fine this is a mechanical component that functions the same under all conditions. Sometimes it is advantageous to change the tension of the sway bar, even disconnecting the two sides of the car completely. This is what the Range Rover’s system does.

Range Rover Sway Bar

Rear sway bar showing close up of the hydraulic unit.

When you buy a Range Rover among the many amazing features that you receive is a very advanced suspension system. The vehicle features air suspension which allows the driver to adjust the vehicle’s height. Terrain control is another huge feature. As the driver you can adjust a knob located on the center console for different road and climate conditions: steep hills, snow & sand, rocks or just normal pavement. This system incorporates a number of components and controls the transfer case and differentials; it controls suspension height and response, and it also controls the sway bars. It can even decouple them to allow individual, extra travel in the suspension system: very useful for extreme off road use.

While 99% of Range Rovers in the Vancouver area never go off road they are one of the most capable vehicles to do so. It’s hard to blame someone for staying on the paved highway: for over $100,000 and with beautiful paint and nice low profile tires and wheels it would be a shame to scratch up such a nice SUV.

For more about Range Rovers click here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_Rover

For more about hydraulic sway bar system click here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-roll_bar

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