A tire pressure monitoring system offers convenience, are a smart safety addition and they are proven to increase the life of your tires!
TPMS show inflation pressure which governs the performance of a pneumatic tire. Safety performance like braking distance and lateral stability require the inflation pressures to be maintained as specified by the vehicle manufacturer.
Extreme under-inflation can lead to thermal and mechanical overload caused by overheating and subsequent, sudden destruction of the tire. Plus, under-inflation adversely affects fuel efficiency and tire wear. Tires leak air naturally and over a year, even a typical new, properly mounted tire can lose from 20 to 60 kPa (3 to 9 psi), roughly 10% or even more of its serviced proper pressure.
The significant advantages of TPMS are illustrated by the costs of tire under inflation:
• Consequences of low tire pressure: Punctures (approx. 80% of punctures are caused by inadequate tire pressure), Increased tire wear due to added flexing work, Increased fuel consumption due to higher rolling resistance
• Fuel usage: for every 10% of under-inflation on each tire on a vehicle, a 1% reduction in fuel economy will occur (According to the GITI). In just the US, the DOT estimates that under inflated tires waste 2 billion US gal. (7,600,000,000 litres) of fuel each year.
• Poor tire life: Tire disintegration, heat buildup, separation and sidewall/casing breakdowns are mostly caused by under inflated tires. Running a tire even briefly with low pressure breaks down the casing and stops the option to retread the tire.
• Increased downtime, higher maintenance and repair: Under-inflated tires cause expensive downtime, maintenance and premature tire replacement.
• Poor safety: Under-inflated tires lead to tread separation and tire failure, resulting in 40,000 accidents, 33,000 injuries and over 650 deaths per year. On the other hand, tires properly inflated provide greater stability, handling and braking efficiencies and more safety for the driver, the vehicle, the loads and others on the road.
• Environmentally Bad: Under-inflated tires, as estimated by the Department of Transportation, release over 57.5 billion pounds of unnecessary carbon-monoxide pollutants into the atmosphere each year in the United States alone.
Tire pressure monitoring systems are mandated in many countries now and offer real advantages; call us to find out about equipping your vehicle.
We love servicing new vehicles and always appreciate working with the clean, shiny and newly painted undercarriage and suspension components.
Many of our clients bring their new vehicles to us for service but some take their new cars to the dealer. Is it because they feel their warranty will be voided if the dealer doesn’t service it? Is it because the glitzy feel of the dealership somehow pulls on them and makes them feel like these are the folks who will best service this car? Were they told that their car must be serviced by the dealer? Or perhaps, after years of fixing their old car we are thought of as the “old car repair shop.”
Whatever the reason it is time to bust a few myths:
My warranty will be void if anyone other than the dealer services my car.
If there is a warranty related problem the dealer won’t take care of me because I have done my service elsewhere.
The dealer knows my car better. It’s new technology and they have the tools to fix it.
If there is a recall only the dealer will know that.
I hope that this sheds some light for you and helps you make a choice as to who services your car.
As a further advantage to dealing with us we are your 3rd party advocate to be certain that your vehicle is being properly serviced and any warranty related concerns are brought to your attention. So much of your car is hidden and unless someone mentions a concern you are unlikely to know that it is needed.
If you like the service and value that you get from the dealership by all means stick with them; however do know that you have a choice, and I believe that we offer a fabulous choice, superior to the dealership.
Pawlik Automotive is an auto service shop located in the Marpole area of Vancouver, BC. We’ve been in business since 1991 which makes us 20 years old this year. We service most makes of cars and light trucks and we do pretty much all the maintenance and repairs that your car will need. What we don’t do is bodywork, windshields and detailing.
I want to speak today on a few aspects of our business that are unique.
Let’s face it there are a lot of auto repair shops out there but there are several things that make Pawlik Automotive an excellent choice for servicing your vehicle.
We take what I call a wholistic approach to vehicle service. We look at the whole car, evaluate it and let you know what service is required now and what is required in the future. The basis of that service comes via this very colorful and detailed inspection form. Having us as your partner in vehicle service undoubtedly saves you money in the long run.
We don’t use a heavy handed or fear based tactics as a way of selling service.
Another area of specialty for us is fleet maintenance: essentially these are vehicles used for business and most often these would be trades companies: plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, rubbish removal companies and garden maintenance companies just to name a few.
What makes our service so valuable to fleets is our thorough inspections along with accurately recording the work needed and booking future appointments along with reminding them of when service is needed.
Diesel cars and diesel trucks are another area of specialty for us. Many auto repair shops don’t do diesels but we love them and have invested in the equipment and education to diagnose and repair them properly.
Doing proper diagnosis is very important to fixing a modern vehicle and it is a big part of our business and it’s something that we do very well. There are many expensive parts to go wrong so it is essential to take the time to find out what the exact cause is so that our client’s money is not wasted.
Over the past few years I’ve invested heavily into our website and created educational materials. I write blog articles frequently about all sorts of auto repair topics and have created several videos on how we do our work and what makes us unique.
I encourage you to take the time to look around as it explains a lot about how we do things here at Pawlik Automotive.
If you have someone that you’d like to refer to us please ask them to look at our videos as it will give them an idea about how we do things and what makes us unique. While I have fun making these I do it so that people will learn about what makes their vehicle tick and what goes into the work that we do so they can get a better understanding of the value that we offer.
Please take a couple of minutes to view one of my videos this week. Just go on You Tube – Pawlik Automotive. I’d love to hear your feedback.
With winter just around the corner now is the time to be certain that your vehicle is ready to tackle the cold, wet and possibly snowy weather ahead. Though modern cars (those built within the last couple of decades) are often in fine shape to tackle all seasons it is best to be 100% sure that everything is in good order.
The question of snow tires often comes up. Living around the lower mainland we are blessed with a mild winter climate where snow tires are optional. When deciding on whether to get snow tires or not here are a few things to consider: will you drive only in Vancouver? Will you drive your car in the snow? If you answered yes to these, then snow tires are likely not needed.
If however you plan to head to the mountains skiing or on trips to Whistler or the interior then snow tires are a very good idea and may be legally required. Do remember that while snow tires do require an additional investment they save the life of your other tires so over the long run don’t add a huge cost.
While few people think of air conditioning at this time of year in Canada, a properly functioning A/C system is actually a safety feature! When you need to defog your front window, which occurs frequently in our wet climate switching on your A/C will defrost the windshield in a fraction of the time that it takes without the A/C.
If you find your night vision less than optimal (and it is not your eyes) we have many options for brighter headlamps and would be happy to discuss what is available.
Another item that is often overlooked is a safety kit: this could save your life if you happen to slide off the road or become stranded. A few items that come to mind for this kit would be candles & matches, a sleeping bag and/or warm blankets and some extra food and water.
As always we are happy to answer any questions that you have about your vehicle and its readiness for winter. If you have snow tires to put on please call us to book now to avoid the rush.
Wishing you a safe and happy winter driving season.
If you feel a wobble, vibration or hear clunking sounds while driving your vehicle it would behoove you to have your vehicle inspected for the concern as soon as possible. We recently serviced a Mercedes with, what the client described as a vibration in the vehicle at around 60 kilometers an hour. During my road test the vibration was very apparent and to the point that driving in the vehicle was uncomfortable. I suspected a bad tire in the rear and slowed my speed because it felt dangerous. Up on the hoist it was apparent that both rear tires were badly worn especially the right rear. After inspecting the old tires off rim I noted this very dangerous crack between the tread and the tire casing: it was only a matter of time before this tire completely blew apart. The lesson here is you never know when a shake or vibration is going to cause a catastrophe so it is best to have the concern inspected immediately. The same goes for clunks and other odd noises. Sometimes noises and vibrations are really no safety concern at all but it is best to have it professionally looked at to be certain.
Catalytic converters fail for many reasons and the consequence of failure can cause several things to occur including a failed AirCare emission test, a check engine lamp warning, rattles under your car and poor engine performance.
Let’s look at what your catalytic converter is, what it does and what causes it to fail.
Catalytic converters use a catalyst to transform harmful carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen emissions in your engine’s exhaust into carbon dioxide and water. The catalyst consists of a combination of precious metals: platinum, palladium and rhodium. When the hot exhaust passes these elements a chemical transformation occurs.
The precious metal catalyst is bonded onto a very fine ‘honeycomb’ grid which sits inside the converter housing. It is a simple structure with no moving parts and only requires the heat of the exhaust and the right exhaust gas mixture to operate.
Catalytic converter failures occur in several ways: First, impact failures which can occur if the unit is hit, often involving running over something. Second, thermal shocks which can occur if the unit is suddenly cooled. A likely cause would be going over a puddle in cold winter weather and the hot converter receiving an intense dousing of cold water. Third cause of failure is poisoning of the catalyst which can come from several sources: use of leaded gasoline (very rare these days); antifreeze entering the unit likely through a blown head gasket or other internal engine coolant leak; use of improper silicone gasket sealers; and use of oil additives which contain zinc. Fourth, is coating of the substrate: this is the honeycomb structure with the catalyst. This can occur from excessive carbon deposits and/or excessive engine oil consumption. Fifth and final cause of failure is overheating of the catalyst and this usually occurs from too rich a fuel mixture and/or engine misfire.
While all manufacturers seem to claim that they don’t and that they last the life of the car, it simply isn’t true. Many cars experience early failure due to a substandard size or quality of converter. Aftermarket replacements, always much cheaper than the original manufacturer’s part, are usually inferior in quality.
There are various grades of aftermarket converters. Here, you truly get what you pay for as the cheap ones often fail quickly whereas the good quality aftermarket units usually give years of great service. This is why we always recommend high quality units.
As a conscientious car owner looking to maximize catalytic converter life the best thing that you can do is to maintain your car meticulously and always address any check engine lamp concerns, correct rough running and misfiring engines or any performance issues. Failure to do so will result in you buying new catalytic converter(s) sooner than necessary and these are, by the way, normally very expensive to replace!
For more on repairing Catalytic Converters here’s an article at AirCare
While repairing a water pump on a 1990 Toyota pickup equipped with a 3 litre V6 engine we came upon this very badly worn and about to break timing belt. It was perhaps by good fortune that this water pump was leaking as the vehicle was new to our client and he had no idea of the timing belt’s condition.
Here are a few facts about timing belts:
➢ The timing belt’s primary purpose is to drive the engine’s camshaft(s) in perfect synchronization with the crankshaft. This precisely times the movement of the engine pistons with the intake and exhaust valves.
➢ Some engines have 2 timing belts and often one of these operates balance shafts. Balance shafts are installed to smooth out the subtle but inherent shaking that occurs in 4 cylinder engines.
➢ On some engines the timing belt also drives the water pump and/or the oil pump.
➢ On many engines if the timing belt breaks the pistons and valves will collide and cause very expensive damage. This type of engine is known as an interference engine.
➢ On all engines, when the timing belt breaks, the engine stops immediately and cannot be restarted until repaired.
➢ Timing belts almost always give no warning before they fail.
➢ On most engines inspecting the timing belt can be quite time consuming as it is located under plastic covers and these are often covered with pipes, hoses and accessories.
➢ A proper timing belt replacement involves not just replacing the timing belt but also the front camshaft and crankshaft oil seals, timing belt tensioner pulley, idler pulley(s), tensioner assembly and water pump (depending on design of engine).
➢ Replacement intervals for most vehicles since the 2000 model year is 168,000 kilometers or higher, however consult your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule to be certain. Cars previous to this usually have shorter intervals and many cars made in the 1980’s or 1990’s require replacement at 96,000 kilometers or sooner.
Do not underestimate the value of your check engine lamp even if your car runs perfectly well. Disregarding your check engine lamp can add great inconvenience to your life.
Let’s face it, sometimes spending money on car repairs is not your first choice (or even your second or third choice). It’s often one of those “have to” purchases.
Frequently it’s tempting to make choices about what to repair based on how the car runs. And so it goes with your car’s check engine light: that’s the amber lamp that illuminates on your dash that either says “check engine” or shows an outline of an engine. Its main function is to alert you to a concern with your engine management system and/or an engine concern that causes excessive exhaust emissions. Many times your vehicle will run perfectly well and herein lies the temptation to ignore the lamp.
Let’s look at the consequences of ignoring your check engine lamp:
1) If your engine is running poorly and the lamp is on, ignoring this will very likely cost you more money in repairs down the road. A rough running or misfiring engine will usually destroy your catalytic converter(s) which can cost thousands to replace.
2) Even if your engine is running well it may not be running as intended and could be using more fuel, costing you more to drive. Your vehicle’s powertrain computer is designed to compensate for malfunctions and keep it running as close to normal as possible. Often you can’t feel the problem but something is happening that will cost you more either in fuel or premature wear down the road.
3) If you live in the Vancouver Area and your vehicle is seven years or older then it must be tested at AirCare every 2 years. If your vehicle is 1998 and newer the entire test involves interrogating your vehicle’s powertrain computer for defects. If your check engine lamp is on YOU WILL FAIL the test and waste money for the inspection.
The best plan of attack when your check engine lamp comes on it to have it looked at. A basic inspection will retrieve the stored trouble code and from there a technician can discuss a proper diagnostic and repair plan.
On the simple end of the scale he/she may find your gas cap was loose and tightening it solves the concern. On the more complex end of the spectrum several levels of diagnosis may be required to find the cause and repair the concern. Either way it is important to know why the light is on and what effects it may be having on your vehicle.
Land Rover has established a reputation as a fabulously reliable go anywhere vehicle. For decades they have been found at all corners of the globe driving on hard pavement or just as easily, where no road exists! We service Land Rover and the very luxurious Range Rover at Pawlik Automotive with care, expertise and the latest diagnostic equipment.
For many years British vehicles had a horrible reputation as being unreliable and older Land Rovers were not without fault. That however has changed: these vehicles are very well built, are extremely reliable and best of all, parts are readily available. We look forward to taking care of your Land Rover or Range Rover with our expert care and service.
Many European cars clearly state that their automatic transmissions are filled for life and that replacing the fluid is never required. This is a very bold claim and I believe one that is incorrect!
Transmissions have hundreds of moving parts some of which are friction materials such as clutch discs. All of these parts wear and contaminate the transmission’s fluid. While the fluid may well be designed to handle the heat of the transmission forever, the contamination remains inside.
Recently we had a client with a 2000 BMW X5 whose transmission suddenly started malfunctioning in a serious way. The vehicle had 180,000 kilometers which is not a very high mileage for many vehicles.
To be fair, these particular transmissions do have concerns that will cause premature failures. However routinely renewing the fluid with an automatic transmission flush throughout this vehicle’s life, about every 50,000 kilometers would have added some life to this transmission… if not prevented this early death.
In this case the manufacturer got what it wanted: the sale of another vehicle as our client chose not to repair the vehicle and bought a new one.