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2002 Porsche 911 IMS Bearing Repair

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. What is it? 24 time winners. 24. Best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And today we're talking about a Porsche 911. How're you doing Bernie in? 

Bernie: Doing pretty good. 

Mark: So this had the infamous IMS bearing problem. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: So the vehicle got towed to our shop with a sudden, humongous oil leak developed in the vehicle. We didn't know it was an IMS problem, but we did know there was a huge oil leak that had developed. 

Mark: Was there any diagnosis you had to do to find the oil leak?

Bernie: Well this wasn't our traditional, there's always a diagnosis of some form, but it wasn't the usual, let's add some UV dye. Clean something, drive it around the block. It was basically as fast as we could pour the oil in, it was pouring out. So there was a pretty severe leak coming from somewhere.

Mark: Either that out of the engine drain is not in there anymore. 

Bernie: Well, yeah, that wasn't the case though. So the oil is pouring out in the bell housing area. So either, you know something happened to the IMS bearing, the rear main crank seal had blown out or something catastrophic had cracked at the back of the engine. So we figured pulling the engine out was the next step to the process. So we pulled the engine and transmission together as a unit and separated it and. Proceeded from there. 

Mark: What did you find? 

Bernie: So we found the IMS bearing had basically broken. There's a bolt that holds the IMS bearing to the collar. It was missing. Gone, and those oil just pouring out of there. So next step of course, is pull the IMS, played out and see if we can replace the IMS bearing. 

Mark: So that bearing had failed. Did you replace it? 

Bernie: We weren't able to because the bearing had basically grenaded. Just destroyed itself. And this vehicle requires a complete engine. So why are we doing this podcast? Because we're talking about why you should replace your IMS bearing way before there's any issues. That's kind of the purpose. So we can get into some pictures. We can talk some more while we're looking at pictures. 

2002 Porsche 911 IMS Bearing Repair
2002 Porsche 911 IMS Bearing Repair
2002 Porsche 911 IMS Bearing Repair
2002 Porsche 911 IMS Bearing Repair
2002 Porsche 911 IMS Bearing Repair

So there's basically what we found. We took the engine and transmission apart with the flywheel off, you can see the rear main crank seal in this area and the red arrow points to the IMS plate. There's a hole in the middle and you can see a sort of a, kind of fresh oil that's run down here. And that is basically where there used to be a bolt and a shaft that sat in there. And that had basically broken off. Very bad thing for that to occur. Next pictures. What do we got?

Again, a close up view of the IMS cover plate. There shouldn't be all that metal laying around in there. Metal in, well, just, just looks like it's been sandblasted and there's still sand in there around this area here. No underneath like where the oil is and just right where your arrow is now.

I mean, that could be dirt. That's accumulated kind of hard to say. I think most of the guck would be inside the engine at this point. Now here's what it looks like with that piece off. I apologize. It's a bit of a fuzzy photo, but that right in this opening here is where the IMS bearing used to be.

And that's sort of, what's left of the outer bearing race that sits in the IMS bearing. At this point, you can't replace it. It's it's too badly damaged. And of course all the debris of that bearing is now circulating throughout the engine. 

Mark: Thus you need a new engine. 

Bernie: Yeah. Thus we need a new engine or, you know, tear it apart and dismantle it, but it's an enormous task. We're in the process actually right now, trying to find a good used engine for the customer. That's kind of where we're at. I mean, it's either that or you rebuild it, which is a horrendously expensive operation. 

 There's the plate. This is where the bearing once sat. You can see, you know, a lot of wear and crap around this area too. And then finally, this is what a replacement, LN Engineering bearing looks like. This is an aftermarket solution that works really well in these vehicles, but it's only a preventative maintenance repair.

This is not a after the fact of severe damage repair. This is a repair that you do when the IMS bearing has not yet failed. So that's a solution, a part. It also comes with a different style mounting plate because it's a different design. But yeah, so there's our, there's our picture show.

Mark:  So, what does IMS bearing do? 

Bernie: So what it does is it basically holds the intermediate shaft in place. And what the intermediate shaft is, the purpose is basically it's an overhead cam engine. There's timing chains that run from the well, no, on a lot of engines, they run directly from the crankshaft to the cam shafts.

But in this case the engineers at Porsche decided let's run an intermediate shaft, which slows the speed of the timing chains down to the cam shaft, cuts them in half. So it seems like a pretty neat idea. Unfortunately in the design of this bearing, this bearing is not lubricated by engine oil. It's a sealed bearing. So it only has a limited lifespan. Of course they don't tell you that. It's not part of the maintenance because they never designed it that way. They didn't think about that that far. 

There was actually a class action lawsuit that occurred a long time ago about these bearings. And I don't know much more about it, but it's out there. So they had these things fail under warranty as well, but now anyone who owns one of course is left holding the bag and you need to replace it yourself. But that's basically what the IMS shaft, you know, what the purpose is.

Mark: So does it matter whether it's air cooled or water cooled, because there was a change somewhere in there with Porsche? 

Bernie: Air cooled engines have, they have a lubricated bearing, like as kind of standard, I guess you know, a standard type of bearing that's lubricated with engine oil. So there's no problem with that. And when we get into the newer models, probably 07 and newer, they solved this issue. They either eliminated it or did something that this bearing is not a sealed bearing unit anymore. So really your problem years are probably from around approximately 97 to around 2005 or six with apparently the years, 2000 to 2005 being the worst issues.

So and that's 911s and Boxsters because they both use the same design.

Mark:  So was there any warning signs for this 911 owner? 

Bernie: No there wasn't and we just did a service I think, a month or two previous to this, changed the oil, there was no, you know, we generally look at the oil. There was no debris or particles or anything to be found in the oil. I mean, we didn't cut the oil filter apart, perhaps we should have. Maybe we would have seen something, but many times these bearings will fail internally. You know, the bearing will start wearing out and collapsing and then they'll just suddenly give out all in one kind of puff, I guess. Exactly. Yeah. They just kind of explode. So that kind of thing happens. 

So you can get magnetic drain plugs, oil, drain plugs, which are a good thing to see if there's any metal debris forming. Really a lot of times there's just no warning. We did have a Boxster once where there was a screeching noise in the engine and we did actually, a bearing was in pretty bad shape. We did actually replace it. The engine seemed to survive, but it wasn't like this where it completely blew apart. 

Mark: So what's the way to prevent it from happening from having the grenade explode? 

Bernie: You basically need to replace this bearing. I mean, it's that simple. If you don't know when it's been done, get it done. This LN Engineering, they have a couple of different options. They also have a solution where you can actually get a bearing this lubricated with engine oil, which is a more expensive option. I don't know if it's necessarily worth doing, but I'd say it was my own car, I'd figure, you know what I do it. And then if I was going to keep it long enough, I'd say within 10 years, I'd replace it again. That's kind of the way to go. It's a maintenance item and you just got to treat it like that. So if you don't know when it's been done and you can't find any hard evidence that has been done, I would just go ahead and do it. It's expensive, but way cheaper, a fraction of the cost of replacing an engine. 

Mark: So little hidden surprises for the 911 and Boxster owners of a certain vintage. How are 911s overall for reliability? 

Bernie: Super reliable vehicles. I mean, this is the only thing really that in my opinion, it's really bad about these vehicles. Other than that they're excellent .For a sports car, they run well. They just need some basic service. It's a great car, really overall not that expensive to maintain for what the kind of car it is. 

You need some service for your Porsche in Vancouver, give Pawlik Automotive a call. You can book online on the website at pawlikautomotive.com or call ahead. Check when they're actually open. You gotta call and book because they're busy. (604) 327-7112. Or our YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair, close to a thousand videos on there all makes and models and types of repairs. Thanks so much for watching. We really appreciate it. Thanks Bernie. 

Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching.

2002 Porsche 911, Annual Maintenance

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from TLR. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 23 time winners of best auto repair in Vancouver. I kind of overemphasize that because it's amazing. 23 time winners as voted by their customers. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: 2002 to Porsche 911 or Porsche for those who get all uptight about it a way we say it coming in for an annual maintenance. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah, so a regular client of ours came in for an annual service, oil change and basic maintenance, just an, A service inspection this time. So we did that, found a couple of services that were due, but other than that, basically an oil change in some some service. 

Mark: So what all is involved in that service? 

Bernie: So for our A-level service it's an oil filter change, a basic vehicle inspection. So by basic, we're looking at lights, adjusting tire pressures, a visual inspection under the car, under the hood. And that kind of covers it. Looking at belts and, you know, sort of normal wear out type of items. What it doesn't include is a wheel off brake inspection, a full steering suspension inspection. But because we do everything on a two post, hoist, you know, the wheels are free to move around so we do wiggle the wheels around, make sure there's nothing excessively worn that would warrant further inspection and repair. So it's a safety inspection at the same time. Just not as in-depth as it could be. And that next service it'll be a B service on this vehicle, a more full, detailed inspection.

We did find a couple of items. It was due for a motor vac fuel injection cleaning the brake fluid was  also due to be flushed. We'd also recommended spark plugs, which the owner didn't want to do it this time. But we did do the motor vac, a couple of air filters, cabinet and engine air filter, and a brake fluid flush.

Mark: So motor vac, what is a motor vac cleaning service? 

Bernie: Yeah, so a motor vac, that's actually a brand name of some cleaning equipment basically. They make fluid flushing machines. This is a fuel injection system, cleaning machine. I think it's probably the best in the industry. There are various other ways you can clean fuel injection systems. But the motor vac I think is the best. It has connectors basically for pretty much every vehicle under the sun. So it's relatively simple to hook up.

 A Porsche is a bit more work to do than your average car, but basically we hooked the motor vac machine directly to the engine which disables a fuel system, run a very concentrated cleaner through it. So that cleans the fuel injectors and even more importantly, removes carbon deposit off the valves and in the combustion chamber.

 Benefit, more horsepower. Better starting, better fuel economy, just better running overall. And I pulled clients over the years, talked to them about the benefits of the motor vac or what their experience was. And most people report back. It runs better. I got more power. If I had one person said I got 33% better gas mileage. And I mean, I've done it on my own vehicles and noticed quite a benefit too. 

So I'll just share a quick picture. So here's our 02, 911 convertible.

2002 Porsche 911, Annual Maintenance

There's the motor vac machine hooked up to the vehicle. So that's basically the motor vac. Excellent service, really provides a great benefit to any vehicle, unless it's a direct injection vehicle. And then in that case, there's a different type of service that we do. 

Mark: So how often do you recommend this kind of fuel injector cleaning? 

Bernie: For the motor vac, usually around every 50,000 kilometres is a good amount of time, maybe three to five years, depending on how much you're driving the vehicle. That's about the right interval, about 50 Ks. 

Mark: So wouldn't it be possible to just put some kind of fuel cleaner in my gas tank on a regular basis and not have to do this?

Bernie: Yeah, well, you can, but I think the fuel cleaner, it doesn't really do a whole lot. And see the thing with the motor vac is when the cleaner is very concentrated and we're running it in a ratio of like one part of motor vac cleaner to three parts of gas. So it's extremely concentrated. We run it for about half an hour but that really gets in there and cleans everything off.

Whereas if you're pouring a bottle, which is usually the same size as a motor vac bottle, you're diluting that in with you know, I dunno, 50 to 70 litres of fuel. It's really not very concentrated, so it doesn't do the same kind of job. And with the motor vac, we usually let it sit for awhile, road test it afterwards. So it really burns the carbon out. So it's a very concentrated, intense service. And putting a bottle of cleaner in while it won't hurt, is really gonna make very minimal difference. And if you're using good fuel, like a top tier gasoline, which you should be using in your car, it's got good cleaners in it already.

Mark: So you also mentioned a brake fluid flush. How often are those recommended on a 911? 

Bernie: Usually two or three years is the recommended interval. And that's kind of across the board for all cars and probably even more important for a 911. Brake fluid we've talked about this before. It's a hygroscopic fluid. And what that means is it absorbs water. And it absorbs moisture right out of the air. And you know, we used to have a tester that we would use to test for water content in the fluid. And it's amazing after a couple of years, you know, the content definitely goes up. 

Nowadays we just kind of go by time and mileage and just talk to the client. And if it's two or three years old, we recommend it because it's just needs to be done. But the moisture, the reason that actually I thought this is kind of a flaw of the design of brake fluid. Why would it absorb water? But it's actually a smart thing because if the water were to separate from the fluid, then it would sit in the areas of steel, start rusting and then possibly cause your brake components to seize up like the calipers or wheel cylinders on an older car. So it's actually kind of an interesting design, but the key is to flush the fluid out because if you get too much water content, the fluid can boil. 

And on a sports car like this, even though this one is a standard, you won't be using the brakes as much. If you're out for a really hard drive, your brakes are going to get pretty hot and that's when the brake fluid will boil. So it's even more important on a Porsche or a sports car than it is on your regular family sedan. 

Mark: Were there any other repairs required at this time? 

Bernie: I mentioned we did change the cabin air filter and the engine air filter, we'd recommended spark plugs based on mileage. And the owner declined to do that right now. We'll be doing it in the future, but that's really it. Other than that, the car is in great shape. 

Mark: And how are, this is fairly old vehicle. How are these ancient Porsches for reliability? 

Bernie: Hard to call this ancient, but it's a beautiful car. I think these are great cars. They're super reliable. The one issue with these is the IMS bearing, intermediate shaft bearing. These are definitely the engineering nightmare of this engine. And there's lots of documentation on the internet about replacing it. That's a service we do. It's something you want to do before it goes bad because it can destroy your whole engine.

So it's an important thing to deal with. And you know, that's really the only downside. Otherwise these are super reliable cars. You know, if you're looking for a reliable sports car, they're not cheap. I mean, they hold their value or go up, which is not usual in the world of European cars. Usually they're on a steady downward price curve, but Porsche's hold their value really well. And they're fun to drive and super reliable. So I'd recommend one. It's a good car. 

Mark: So there you go. If you need some service on your Porsche in Vancouver, the guys to call Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You got to call and book ahead. They're always busy or check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. There are hundreds, not an exaggeration, over 600 videos,  of all kinds of repairs, all kinds of makes and models of vehicles. Because they deal with mostly everything. And of course, check out the YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair, same thing it's all shared on there as well. And thank you so much for watching and listening. We really appreciate it. ThanksBernie. 

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

2007 Porsche 911 4S Water Pump Replacement

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 23 time winners, unreal, 23 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 very well. 

Mark: So a 2007 Porsche 911 4S that had some water problems. What was going on with this vehicle? 

2007 Porsche 911 4S Water Pump Replacement
2007 Porsche 911 4S Water Pump Replacement
2007 Porsche 911 4S Water Pump Replacement

Bernie: So the owner of the vehicle, we'd had a conversation with him and we replaced the water pump and thermostat just for maintenance purposes. No failure. Just preventative maintenance. 

Mark: So why would you replace the water pump for maintenance reasons?

Bernie: Well, these vehicles have a plastic impeller water pump, like a lot of German cars and some English vehicles as well. As a matter of fact, actually, when I think about it, there's even an Isuzu truck we've service that has a plastic impeller water pump. And what happens with plastic impeller water pumps is they do break without warning and your engine can overheat.

So it's important to make sure that it's in good functioning order. We know Porsche engines are very expensive and the owner wanted to make sure that he was doing the proper preventative maintenance to keep the engine reliable and healthy. 

Mark: Yeah, I guess with the age it's 13 years old, it could be, it's just a heat issue because it's hot and cold because of the temperature variations on the water pump. Is that why they fail? 

Bernie: I think so. I mean, the first time I ever encountered one of these was many years ago and a Volkswagen and the engine was overheating and it appeared to be, we diagnosed that, Oh, it must be a sticky thermostat because the water pump was turning. Usually when a water pump up until that point, you know, the water pump failures we'd ever seen would be like a broken belt or the bearing would wear out, but a pump would not fail the pump.

So we replaced the thermostat and found the water pump it's done. The engine was still overheating. It happens slowly, not really quickly because you've got a full body of coolant, but nonetheless, it was overheating. So we kind of went further, pull the water pump out, oh, the impeller's like cracked in half. So it may be the quality of the plastic was not up to snuff. There's you know, being a Volkswagen, it is a lower priced product. So it may be that they didn't use quite as good quality, but we see it in other water plastic water pumps. It just cracks, you know, from heat cycling. 

Mark: So is given that, is replacing a water pump a factory maintenance scheduled item?

Bernie: It is not, no, it's not a factory item, but I'd say that more progressive Porsche mechanics is something we would recommend. 

Mark: So did you find anything wrong when you actually replaced it? 

Bernie: No, we didn't. And I was just going to mention, we did replace the thermostat at the same time as well, which is located right nearby. And again, the thermostat is an item, just a little plug in about a thermostat. I mean, it's an item that can fail without warning. So you know, and sometimes they don't, you know, even after years of use, they won't quite operate exactly as they're supposed to. So putting a new one in, it ensures that the engine is going to warm up at the correct rate and not overheat. But yeah, we never found anything wrong with them that the parts all look good, which is actually a good thing.

You don't really want to be replaced. I mean, it's satisfying when you replace something's broken and it works properly afterwards. But you know, fixing it beforehand that just ensures that you have complete, consistent, easy driving. It's kind of violates that rule of if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But you know, I think we're all happy when we get in an airplane, they replaced the hydraulic hoses before they actually blew out. So if you want that kind of reliability of driving, it's good to replace some failure oriented parts before you go. 

Mark: So when you replace a water pump, do you still use the plastic impeller or are there metal impeller water pumps available?

Bernie: Depends on the vehicle. And this one, we used a plastic impeller pump. That's all we were able to find. And it's, you know, as much as I've probably trashed talk plastic impellers in the past one thing is come to realize around them that is valuable is when they do, if the bearing were to fail, the plastic isn't going to chew up the aluminum housing, which in this case is of course the engine block.

And the last thing you want is to really have a chewed up engine block and put a bunch of debris in it. Metal filings and of course actually possibly even damage the engine block. So plastic actually makes sense from a certain point of view, not just the minute weight savings, but the actual damage that could occur.

So we put a plastic impeller pump back in. And it should last the same amount of time that this one did. It's a good quality OEM pump. 

Mark: So it's a Porsche, it's a high performance vehicle. How are they for reliability? 

Bernie: Well, I think Porsche's are awesome. I mean, for the kind of car they are for the sports and high-performance car, they are really reliable. There's very little that goes wrong with them generally. I mean the one mechanical fault, I'd say about these cars, you know, a lot of these engines have that IMS bearing that you can do further research on, but it's probably a really, probably a dumb piece of engineering on Porsche's behalf.

But really other than that, they're really well built engines. Well-built cars, they are very reliable for what they do. So it will spend more money fixing them because that's the kind of car it is. But generally it's a well-built car and most people take really good care of them too.

So that makes for another pretty good used buy, they're not like your average beater or Chevy or people will just run it until all of a sudden something fails and they don't care to change the oil enough. These cars, generally people do care to take good care of them.

Mark: So, are there any tips you'd offer as far as keeping your Porsche running? Like how critical are oil changes or air filters or any other particular things just like you did with this water pump? 

Bernie: Yeah, well, I mean, routine oil changes are critical and Porsche have really long intervals for oil changes. You know, they're in that camp of European vehicles that have ridiculously long oil change intervals, and I would definitely not follow that part of the schedule. And most people don't drive them enough where they're probably going to be changing the oil with a time factor, more than a mileage factor.

So I mean, certainly change your oil every, you know, 10, 12,000 kilometers. I think a lot of the factory recommendations are in the over 20, 25,000 Ks, which is way too much. They do have a large oil capacity, so that takes a long time to get dirty, but really it's better to change it more frequently. Just routine inspections, oil changes. These are kind of important things to do. And a few preventative items like, you know, the water pump after 10 or so years. You know, these are important things to do. 

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for some expert help on your Porsche, that's not going to cost an arm and a leg, but is experts still, the guys to call are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call and book ahead because they're always busy. Check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. Hundreds of videos on there on repairs for all makes and models of vehicles, including lots on Porsches, as well as check out our YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair, eight years worth of hundreds of videos on there, enjoy those. And of course, thanks so much for listening to the podcast. We really appreciate it. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching.

2007 Porsche 911 4S Starter And Battery Issues

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, 30 years serving customers in Vancouver and 22 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And we're talking Porsches today. How are you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: So 2007 Porsche 911, which has having starter and battery issues, what was happening to this Porsche?

Bernie: Yeah, so the owner's complaint was that the vehicle is hard to start when it was hot, generally fine when it's cold but when you drive the vehicle for a little while, stop for five minutes, go to crank it over, it wouldn't crank over very easily. It was very laboured and hard to start. 

Mark: So that sounds like a difficult diagnosis. What tests did you do to address this concern? 

Bernie: Well of course, having been in the auto business for more than 30 years you know, there's a lot of knowledge that's gained from that. And typically, you know, when you have a vehicle, it's hard to start when it's hot like that, it can often be a bad battery. Sorry not a bad battery, a bad starter. The heat builds up around the starter, it can often, if there's a problem with the starter, it can often cause it to not start easily. This builds up resistance in the starter. So that's just something from years of experience of intuition.

But of course there's always reasons. Other things that cause it. So we do some tests on it. We basically test power draw to the starter. We have some test equipment, that will test starters, and sometimes it's accurate and sometimes it's not. But in this case, we can definitely see that the starter, once it was hot, was drawing way too much power and not in an even manner. So that was what was causing our issue. 

Mark: So what would cause the starter to be sensitive to heat? 

Bernie: Basically you know, they just develop problems internally. Things wear out and they need to be replaced. So you only got so many starts out of a vehicle, although a lot of times they do these days they do tend to last a long time. But in this case, there was an issue. 

The other issue with these cars is they also have a known problem too, is that the positive battery cable that runs in the engine compartment has problems as well. So that was something we addressed when we looked at the vehicle. 

Mark: So how did you repair the concern?

Bernie: Yeah, so we, basically access the starter and also looked at the positive battery cable and we noted that the positive battery cable is also very old. So well worth replacing while we were in there to make sure that that wasn't part of the issue. Cause that can certainly cause problems. Similar kind of problems that we discussed.

Let's just get into a few pictures here.

2007 Porsche 911 4S Starter And Battery Issues
2007 Porsche 911 4S Starter And Battery Issues
2007 Porsche 911 4S Starter And Battery Issues

So there's our 911. You may recognize this if you watch our other podcast because it was featured in another podcast. I figured it was just so interesting having a car with two distinctly different problems. I figured, why not do two good podcasts about it? So this is our second one on this particular car. So our nice 911S convertible, 4S all wheel drive, lots of traction, real fun car to drive.

So starter. There's the starter motor. Just one of the units we replaced. There's there's a solenoid here. The high resistance will develop and there are brushes in a number of motor type pieces. It's not very scientific, but you know, things just tend to go wrong as starters age. So there's the starter. 

And then the battery cable. Which again mentioned, it's a common problem. A lot of times there'll be problems in this connection area here, which causes the problem. So this cable basically runs from the front of the vehicle. There's a junction, and it connects up to the main battery cable from the front of the vehicle. And then this runs through the engine compartment, again, subject to a lot of heat, you know, and heat, it's hard on components. 

This terminal here attaches to the main power terminal on the starter. And this goes to the alternator. So you've got all your main 12 volt power running through this unit here. So having good connections all the way through here is critical, a) to charge the battery through this and b) to you know, have enough power to start the car.

Mark: And so how did it start after replacement?

Bernie: Oh, it was awesome. Like really noticeable difference. And you know, when the car was cold, it seemed to crank over fine, but it was actually noticeably different with the new starter and the battery cable on a cold start to. Just higher RPM, faster turning, more responsive. And of course with the engine hot, it started just the same as normal. So problem solved. 

Mark: So I know with Porsche is especially, this is a small, very tightly compact sports car with a lot of components tucked in everywhere everything's pretty difficult to access. So was this a long time consuming job? 

Bernie: It takes a little while. It's not like an old fashioned V8 Chevy where you can pull a starter in and out really fast. There's a lot of components to remove around the intake system to access a starter, but you know, when you work in these cars, you get kind of used to, it's a different style of working on a car, then you kind of have to push in there to reach into the engine compartment. They don't always have all the best access ports that you'd like to have. So it's a different style. It's a bit of a time consuming job, but not as bad as some vehicles where they actually buried the starter right under the intake manifold and you have to pull a lot of stuff off to get at it. 

Mark: And as you mentioned, everything's running good after all the repairs are done.

Yeah. Good car. Lots of fun. 

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for service for your Porsche or Porsche in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. They speak it both ways. Porsche or Porsche, whichever way you really feel that has to be said. It's totally cool and you can check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. Of course hundreds of videos on YouTube. Pawlik Auto Repair. And thanks so much for listening. Give us a five star rating wherever you listen to podcasts. We do appreciate it and thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks, Mark. Thank you for watching.

2007 Porsche 911 4S Transmission Fluid

Mark: Hi, it's Mark from Top Local. We're here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience and celebrating 30 years of operating as a company in Vancouver, BC, and only 22 time winners of Best Auto Repair. Bernie, what happened in the first eight years?

Bernie: We didn't win. I dunno. We're a small business, so it's just grown into winning some awards, which has been fantastic. 

Mark: So today we're going to talk about a 2007 Porsche 911 that had a transmission fluid problem. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: So well, initially didn't come in with a transmission fluid problem but the client's concerns were that he'd bought the vehicle over the last little while, took it into a shop to get some service. And they replaced the transmission fluid among some of the service. And after the replacement, he noticed that the transmission was, they may have mentioned it to him or he noted that, especially when the transmission was cold, it was difficult to get it in first and second gears and making the shifts in those gears was kind of notchy and grindy and you know, had a concern about it. And the other shop had kind of hinted, you probably need to replace the clutch. Even though it had been done about 20,000 kilometres ago, but they kind of figured out a clutch is probably worn out. And he was not exactly keen on the idea. It's an expensive job. And seeing it had been done, you know, figured maybe that wasn't the case. So he contacted us and we had to look at the car. 

Mark: So how did you proceed to diagnose and service the car? 

Bernie: So, you know with an issue like this, of course, a good discussion with the client is a really good place to start. You know what was done for previous service? When did exactly the issue happen? There's a lot of expensive parts at play with these cars, so it's good to kind of know when the issue happened. I mean, and this is the case with any car. So he said to me immediately after the transmission fluid service, the transmission didn't feel like it shifted properly. So to me, that was a clue that something went wrong in that particular service. So he had brought me invoices and they'd used an aftermarket fluid instead of the original Porsche fluid. And, you know, generally that's not necessarily a bad idea, but we personally have had other cars you know, that we've done, we've changed fluids and not use the original manufacturer's fluid and run into issues with certain things like shifting problems. And so my suggestion to him was we should probably change it back to the original fluid. That would be the place to start. 

Mark: So why? Why would an original fluid be that much different than an aftermarket? Aren't these specifically kind of formulated the same or to be to meet the same specifications.

Bernie: Well, you'd think so. And a lot of times when you look on the label of a certain fluid, it'll say, this fluid meets this specification. And you know, it meets the OEM specs, but really a lot of times they just, the manufacturer's fluids they'll slip some kind of subtle ingredient in that makes a difference with the friction material, say in the synchro mechanism. Or we have like hall decks units, which are you know for all wheel drive vehicles. And sometimes you have to get exactly the right fluid or otherwise it'll chatter or vibrate. And so these are some of the things that make a difference with different fluids. Even though a lot of the, you know, aftermarket fluids are really high quality, they just don't always work with certain vehicles.

So it's always safest to go with the OEM fluid. Unfortunately, they often costs substantially more money, but you know, you want the car to work right, and you don't need to change fluids that often. So it's usually worth the extra price, especially if it doesn't work properly.

Mark: So you replace the fluid. With the original spec fluid from the manufacturer. Did you find anything else? 

Bernie: Yeah. Well, this is where we found something else that was really interesting and no doubt causing the problem and it might be that it would have worked okay with the aftermarket fluid for this other interesting issue that we found.

So I'm just going to go for a screen share here.

2007 Porsche 911 4S Transmission Fluid
2007 Porsche 911 4S Transmission Fluid

So there's our a nice. 911 4S convertible. What else can you say? It's a beautiful Porsche sports car. What else we found was that when we went to change the fluid, my technician Ed, fortunately actually captured the old oil. And what he found was seven litres of fluid in this transmission. And the actual fill spec is three litres. 

For some reason, you know, on the original bill, there was five litres of fluid and I'd ordered five from Porsche, not really looking at the factory spec. And then when we went to fill the transmission, you know, we found that it had been overfilled by basically, this represents about three litres which is the amount of fluid that should have been in the transmission. But this is how much we took out of it.

Mark: Was that both of those together what you took out? 

Bernie: Yeah. The most of these together is what we took out. So this is seven litres of fluid.

Mark: So more than one bucket full overfilled. Unbelievable. 

Bernie: Yeah, really amazing. And so, you know, not only did this vehicle have, I'm not exactly the right kind of fluid, but it had far too much fluid. So, you know, again, with the standard transmission trying to, you know, move things around. And areas were lubricated that weren't ever meant to be lubricated. And there's a lot of fluid to be pushed around. 

Plus, the owner had said that, you know, the transmission, and I experienced it myself because we had the car a couple of days and I drove it. You know, when the transmission was cold, it was much worse. And of course it takes a while to warm up that much fluid. There's you know, more than twice as much fluid. Whereas if you had the normal capacity, as you're driving down the road, the fluid will warm up faster and operate better. So there was quite a few things going against the operation of this vehicle.

Mark: So how's it possible to overfill the transmission this much? 

Bernie: Well, that's an interesting question. And it's only because of the way this transmission, it has two fill plugs on the side of it. And there's the right fill plug, which is located lower down on the transmission. Then there's the wrong fill plug. I dunno why it even has it. Because if you don't know what you're doing, and obviously whoever actually did the service, done by, you know, a reputable shop. But whoever was actually doing the service did not know that it was the lower fill plug you're supposed to fill it to, not the upper one. So this is why, yeah, I don't why it has an upper fill plug. It doesn't have to have it and it really confuses people. But this is why you need to know what you're doing when you work on a car. And that's the reason. There's an upper fill plug, and so it actually allowed the transmission to be overfilled.

Mark: Those sneaky Porsche engineer's. How did the transmission shift afterwards? 

Bernie: It was really good. I went out for road test and sometimes it takes a while for the fluid to kind of work its way through, but it was a, you know, pretty much after a few miles of driving, it was pretty noticeable. It shifted really nicely. Really smooth you know, clearly a clutch was not needed. And it's a case, you know, for use the right fluid and it makes a big difference. 

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for service in Vancouver for your Porsche or Porsche, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive, you can reach them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call and book ahead. Even now, they're still busy, and in Vancouver only, please. We're not dealing with you folks in the lower 48. Check out the website, pawlikautomotive.com if you want to read more, there's over 600 articles on there about repairs of all makes and models of cars. Videos on YouTube, Pawlik Auto Repair. And thank you very much for listening to the podcast. We appreciate it. Leave us a rating on wherever you're listening to your podcast that, whether that's at Apple or wherever, and thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thank you Mark, and thanks for watching.

2008 Porsche Cayenne Driveshaft Center Bearing

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, producer of the Pawlik Automotive podcast. We're here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive, in Vancouver. 20 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver, as voted by their customers. 38 years of servicing, repairing, maintaining cars in Vancouver, BC, Canada and of course today we're talking cars. How are you doing today, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing well. Always awesome.

Mark: We're talking about a Porsche just to piss everybody off, or Porsche if you want to be German, Porsche Cayenne drive shift problem. What was going on with this SUV?

Bernie: The owner brought the vehicle to us for some maintenance service and probably his largest concern was a vibration when accelerating. It was pretty apparent from a road test it seemed like something that was probably a drive shaft or axle shaft related issue.

Mark: What did you find?

Bernie: Of course, we had taken a road test to verify the client's concern and get a feel for what was going on. Then, we did a hoist inspection and what we found was a worn out drive shaft centre bearing. There's a large rubber piece that mounts the drive shaft bearing basically to the frame of the vehicle, and then that rubber piece was broken. We'll just get right into pictures because that's the best way to show you what was going on. There's our Cayenne '08 base model. You can see this rubber piece here broken and flopping around. I'll just play it again.

2008 Porsche Cayenne Driveshaft Center Bearing

Mark: Is that a bushing or something different than a bushing?

Bernie: I guess you could call it a bushing. A bushing is just basically a rubber piece that connects two parts, so yeah you could call it a bushing. It's just basically torn apart. They put that in to kind of isolate the vibration of the drive shaft from the vehicle. You could mount a metal bearing to a metal ... This is the bracket that holds it in place. You could mount it metal to metal, but there would be a lot of vibrations and noise it would transmit. The rubber helps keep that nice and smooth. I'll just do it one more time because it's just cool looking at broken parts.

Mark: Yeah.

Bernie: I love my work. That's the piece.

Mark: How difficult of a job is this to replace?

Bernie: Well, it's not too bad. It's fiddly. The drive shaft on this, there's a rubber donut on each end of the drive shaft. A lot of cars traditionally would use a universal joint, which is a metal piece with ball bearings. A lot of European cars have used this. It's a rubber donut, so it's kind of a flexible coupler with generally three or four bolts that hold one end to the transmission and another three or four bolts that hold the donut to the drive shaft, and then that allows a little bit of flexibility and movement. They're a bit of a pain to disconnect, but we removed that and then once a few brackets and shields are removed, then the joint can be taken off. There's also a CV joint in behind here, which is a flexible joint. That has to be taken apart. It's fiddly, but certainly not as much work as taking a transmission or anything else out. Easier than an axle shaft.

Mark: Is this a common failure item on the Cayenne?

Bernie: Yeah, we've done a number of them. This definitely wears out. It's a pretty frequent failure part on this vehicle.

Mark: What kind of timeframe does it take to fail? Or mileage?

Bernie: Well, this was an '08. I can't remember the mileage on this vehicle, but we're in 2019 so it's about over 10 years. It seems like a lot of the other ones we've done are probably on the 10, 10 plus year range. So, that's not a bad run.

Mark: You mentioned this is a base model. What type of engine is in this model?

Bernie: This is a base model with a 3.6 litre engine, which is a VR6 style VW engine. The Cayenne is a combined progeny between Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen. The Volkswagen ... I was going to say Tiguan. It's not a Tiguan. Touareg.

Mark: Touareg, yeah.

Bernie: Touareg, Audi Q7, and a Cayenne are similar. The drivetrains are the similar drivetrain. The insides of the vehicles of course are all different, depending on the manufacturer, Porsche obviously being at the highest end and going for the sportier, racier models. You can't buy a Touareg that's the turbo charged model like you can with the Cayenne. I mean, the rest of the inside of the vehicle is fantastic. I mean, it's hard to tell the outside, but the base model has a simpler, lower horse power engine and simpler.

Mark: How reliable are Porsche Cayennes?

Bernie: They're not bad. I mean, there's a few issues. I would say that this 3.6 litre 6 cylinder model, if you want a reliable car this would be the better one to go for. Less tends to go wrong with this engine than the V8's, especially around these years and a little earlier. Doesn't have a lot of problems with cooling systems and actual engine failure, so they're not, in my opinion, the earlier generation. '08's kind of getting out of that earlier generation. They're not so reliable with the V8's. Of course, they're more powerful, but they're kind of finicky and a lot of stuff goes wrong. The V8 models, they're also very noisy and growly. Often, when we first started servicing them, you listen to them and go what's wrong with this engine, and it's actually normal. They're just noisy. It's a nice SUV for sure. Being a Porsche, you'll just spend more money than you will on an other model. Of course, the fancier you get, the brakes and other items can be more expensive to fix.

Mark: You tend to have a little bit heavier foot if you have more horsepower.

Bernie: Yeah, but I mean it's a fun SUV. I mean, it goes fast and looks nice and handles well. It's a cool vehicle for sure.

Mark: There you go. If you're looking for service for your Porsche in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call and book ahead. They are busy. Or, check out the website, pawlikautomotive.com. There's hundreds of blog posts and videos on there as well as on our YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair. Of course, thank you so much for listening to the podcast, watching the podcast. We appreciate it. Thank you, Bernie.

Bernie: Thank you, Mark and thank you for watching.

2004 Porsche Cayenne S No Start

Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert, producer of the Pawlik Automotive Podcast, here with Mr. Bernie Pawlik, the big bopper himself, here in Vancouver, talking about cars. How are you this morning, Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: So, the 2004 Porsche Cayenne had a problem starting. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: So, this vehicle was towed to our shop. When you turned the key, all the lights would come on on the dash, and everything seemed normal, but when you go to the start position, nothing happened. There's no clicks, no clunks, nothing. So, basically, it was a no-start with what seemed like to be a good strong battery.

Mark: What did you do to diagnose the problem?

Bernie: Well, of course, the first test is to verify that the battery is, in fact, good. From there, we proceeded to do some scan tool tests to make sure there weren't any issues with, say, the security system or with the ignition key, anything we could see on the scan tool. Nothing was apparent. I mean, there are a number of things that can cause a car not to start like this, and on a really simple car without any security system, you know, something like this, you'd suspect maybe the ignition key or the starter or something would be bad because it's a pretty simple circuit. But on something like a Cayenne, and a lot of vehicles, the security system, if there's something going on with that, an issue there, it could cause the vehicle to simply not to crank over. So, we verified that was all good. Went to do some tests on the starter, and we basically found that the starter itself was dead.

Mark: How is starter replacement on this vehicle?

Bernie: Well, it's a lot of work. The starter is just beautifully laid out in the valley ... it's a V8 engine. The starter actually sits in the valley between the two cylinders buried under the intake manifold, the coolant pipes. There's a lot of stuff that needs to be removed. It's a great use of space, but when it comes to replacing the starter, it's really not that good. Let's just get into some pictures because I've got some neat stuff to show you here.

2004 Porsche Cayenne S No Start
2004 Porsche Cayenne S No Start
2004 Porsche Cayenne S No Start
2004 Porsche Cayenne S No Start

There's our Cayenne. 2004, older model of Cayenne-S, which is the V8 model. Just let me work my way through these pictures here. So, there's the ... If you were to pop the hood open under this vehicle, and you look at the engine, that's the engine. The intake manifold is here. There's a lot of plastic covers all around to hide all the nice working components of the vehicle for the visual experience of just the engine only. There's covers that need to be removed here, and as we go further with the intake manifold removed, everything, all the covers removed, we get to the starter motor, which sits right down in this valley here underneath these coolant pipes here. You can see a lot of bits and pieces have been removed. The intake manifold, the black round pipes were all sitting on top here. These rags basically cover the intake port so nothing, of course, falls in between that would get sucked into the engine and cause some nasty problems. So, there's the starter right there. As I said, it's a great use of space, but when it comes to replacing it, it's not exactly a great place to do it.

Mark: So, on most American V8s, the starter is down below and underneath, basically, the pistons and close to the crankcase?

Bernie: Yeah. It's usually ... Well, you can't really see, but if you could imagine going rotating around like this and down the backside of the engine, the starter is usually located underneath the vehicle, and it bolts into the bell housing, just like this one does, but it bolts in down below. There's usually a provision made to put the starter in. They're not…

Mark: So, this one's really at the top of the flywheel, basically, at the very…

Bernie: It’s really at the top, yeah, and it's not the only vehicle. There's Cadillac's that have this type of design, as well. So, you know, it's not a Porsche-unique thing, but, you know, it's certainly, as to say, it's not the best place to remove the starter. Whenever we replace these, of course, we do put a warranty on our work. I always hope this is not the kind of warranty job that ever comes back because it's a lot of work for us to replace it. One thing about electrical parts, they are probably a more common failure. I hope I'm not jinxing this repair by saying this, but they are. Starters and alternators seem to be one of the more common failure items that we repair. Just by the nature of what they are, they're electrical components. They do tend to fail a little more frequently than other parts. Sometimes they'll go for years, but the failure rate is a little higher. There are new ones available. I mean, it used to be traditionally, you'd always replace it with a rebuilt part. There are brand new ones available, and we have used them, but we tend to find that a lot of these are cheap Chinese manufactured parts that actually the brand new ones don't even last as long as the remanufactured original components. So, we've actually just pretty well stick with a good brand of remanufactured component.

Mark: Not that Chinese components can be inferior, just sometimes they're made more cheaply as for budget reasons.

Bernie: Exactly. And I hate saying cheap Chinese because I mean, I remember when I was young, and you'll probably remember too, they used to say Jap Crap. It was like, Japanese manufactured products were bad. I mean, when you look at Jap, maybe they were in the 1960s, but I mean, they just rocketed forward in quality. I mean, nobody ever thinks that anything Japanese is being crappy, and no one has for a long time. And the thing with Chinese, they make a lot of stuff, and a lot of it's good, but there's just a lot of low-standard manufactured items, and ... undoubtedly, I mean, look at a lot our smartphones are made in places like that, and the quality of those is pretty good for most of them.

Mark: Well, if you're looking at Apple iPhones, they make a million of them a day, and the failure is terribly small compared to…

Bernie: Absolutely. Absolutely. So there's lots of great Chinese stuff, and so I probably should take the cheap ... so, we'll just say cheap offshore ... Well, you know.

Mark: It's made poorly.

Bernie: Poorly made, cheap quality. And you know, this is the thing we often battle in our industry is what are the economical things to buy? I mean, if you buy the part from the dealer, you'll pay a huge amount of money, and often, it's not worth the extra amount of money. And many of their components will be remanufactured anyway, so you just hope that their standards are high. Anyways, so yeah. So there's the starter location. We have one more picture to look at, and that is the coolant pipe, so the coolant pipes sit over the top of the starter, and then, of course, you can see now the rags have been removed, you can see the intakes parts. So, the next step in the installation here is to put the intake manifold over top and then put these air pumps back in and all the other covers and bits and pieces, and then away it goes.

Mark: So, don't these vehicles have problems with leaking coolant pipes?

Bernie: They do, and they did. The coolant pipes used to be made of plastic on these earlier models. I'm not sure when they stopped making it. Probably, maybe '07 or something like that. But the original coolant pipes were plastic, so these have been replaced, and they would fail at an alarming rate at a very early age. A lot of engines died an early death because of that because the coolant pipes would leak, people wouldn't deal with it, the engine would overheat. Yeah, not a fantastic design, and not something I'd expect out of such a high-end expensive car.

Mark: Now, what was wrong with the original design of coolant pipes?

Bernie: Basically, plastic. You know, the plastic ... They were made of plastic. They'd expand and contract, break, shrink, and basically, they just contributed to leakage. The new metal pipes, of course, they have o-rings in each end, that you know, the metal isn't subject to the same forces, and it's much more durable. 

Mark: After this extensive amount of repairs, how was the Cayenne?

Bernie: Oh, it was good. Yeah, started fine, ran great. This vehicle ran quite well. There are a lot that don't seem to. You know, over the years, we've had a lot of Cayenne's with engine problems, again, possibly overheating. They're kind of loud, noisy engines, I find. A lot of times when they run and you rev them up, you go, "Oh, something's wrong with this," and yet it's actually normal. So they're just kind of a loud, noisy engine.

Mark: And how are Porsche Cayenne's for reliability?

Bernie: You said that very well. Not Porsche, Porscha. It'll keep some of our fans happy. 

Mark: They're never happy, come on.

Bernie: Yeah. Yeah. There's always some people with… Anyways, you know, I'd say overall, I'd say they're not the most reliable vehicle. I mean, things like as I was mentioning, the coolant pipe issues they had, the noisiness of the engine, they're not the easiest vehicle to service. I mean, a battery replacement involves removing the seat to take the battery in and out. Again, this isn't unique necessarily to this vehicle, but they're just a lot of ... they're a very complex vehicle. I'd say they were probably rushed into production at the beginning, so they had a few problems. I think they've got a lot better over time, but I don't know. You know, to me, they're not my favourite, and to me, a Porsche, like a 911 is kind of like the best car. A Cayenne, while it's a nice vehicle, it's kind of a disappointment, but of course, you can haul five people around and some stuff whereas a 911, you can only take one person, so. And not a lot of stuff. So, it's not as practical, but, yeah, I'd say they're not the most reliable luxury SUV. There are probably better choices out there.

Mark: So, there you go. If you're looking for service for your Porsche in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, or check out their website, pawlikautomotive.com. We have hundreds of videos on YouTube. Search for Pawlik Auto Repair, or, of course, thank you so much for listening to our podcast. If you're calling from somewhere else in North America, we don't diagnose your vehicles over the phone. We don't feel that's an integrity, so if you're in Vancouver, call us for service. You must book ahead. Thank you for watching. Thanks, Bernie.

Bernie: Well, thanks, Mark, and thank you for watching. We really appreciate it.

2017 Porsche Macan Service

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik,, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, repairing and servicing vehicles in the Vancouver area for 38 years 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 Porsche as we say in Vancouver or  Porsche Macan, that was needing some service. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: This vehicle is actually a 2017 Macan, we had the privilege of actually doing a service on a basically a brand new vehicle, 15,000 kilometres. It was in for its first service.

Mark: So what was happening with it?

Bernie: Really nothing much, I mean when a car is new it doesn’t need a whole lot. The A service on this vehicle is basically an oil and filter change and an inspection, a basic inspection, fluid levels. We look around for things like leaks and anything that is sort of developing because of course the car is pretty near new and under warranty and we would be looking for those sort of things. Things like the lights, I mean these cars are very sophisticated, so they monitor the lights and we look at them but if you have a light bulb that’s out on a lot of German cars, a lot of vehicles nowadays, it’ll tell you on the dash, this car for sure. We adjust the tire pressures, make sure they’re set to spec and that’s basically it. 

Mark: Ok, so do you see a lot of new vehicles in your shop?

Bernie: We actually do, I mean it’s not a huge amount of our business but we do have a number of clients who bring us their brand new vehicles. A lot of times where people have been coming to us for a long time, we’ve developed a relationship. But this is a new client who was referred by somewhere else and just wanted to bring his vehicle to us for service.

Mark: And you mentioned a warranty. I know that you guys offer a warranty on your repairs. How does it work with a new vehicle like this that’s under warranty and you found something that was a fixable item through the warranty?

Bernie: Well what we would do at that point is just make a note on the invoice and obviously let the client know and from there you can just take it to the dealer, make an appointment with the dealer and say, hey there’s an issue, like say there’s a fluid leak from somewhere, or somethings going on of some sort, maybe check engine light is on or something like that. The other thing about you know, people do have a concert, hey you know should I bring it to you guys, isn’t that going to void my warranty? That’s a big concern people have and often, and dealers I thinks it’s insinuated that you should bring your car there because you have to, it’s actually illegal for them to say you have to bring the car to us. But you know, they obviously want to get the business, it’s part of their business and why not say so. But you don’t have to bring it there. The key thing is you need invoices for the repairs done on time. So you have to do it at the right time with the maintenance schedule and it has to be of course, all the right and warranty approved items which we use. So we do have our own liability insurance. We use all the right products. We take the time to make sure we’re using the right oil for the vehicle, the right filters. We don’t chince out so you get the same level of quality or better.

Mark: And I guess that would also apply in the same way to recalls on a vehicle as well?

Bernie: Yeah any recalls we actually do check for a recall now. If it’s actually like a government mandated recall, which they all are, the manufacturer will send a letter out for those kind of things and they’re often pretty good at tracking even used cars. I used to own a Pontiac Grand Am a few years ago that I bought, I don’t even know, who knows how many generations down of owner, but they somehow knew I was the owner and they kept sending me, hey get this ignition recall done and I didn’t own the car anymore and they sent me notice after notice. So things like recalls, we actually track them and look for that kind of thing too. But if you do own a vehicle, it’s a recall, generally the manufacturer will mail you a notification and you have to take it to a dealer to have that done. I’ll share a couple of photos while we’re here. There’s a nice 2017 Macan, beautiful vehicle, a nice little compact SUV and of course the best part, the engine. Three litre V6, nice powerful engine. All wheel drive. Sporty. I’m still more of a fan of a 911 if you’re going to buy a Porsche but you know, if you need to haul some kids around and you need something a little more practical, this is a nice size vehicle.

Mark: And how are these new Porsche Macan’s for reliability?

Bernie: Well, I’d love to tell you but and I actually get these questions frequently. I get people who see our videos, they call me, hey should I buy this particular, like you know a 2017 Range Rover or 2016, I go I don’t really know how reliable they are because they’re too new to really know. Macan’s have been pretty good. With a lot of times, I won’t personally really know and you know, the general world doesn’t really know how reliable a vehicle is until it’s a few years old. So it’s kind of a hard question to ask. I trust that the engineering is pretty good in this car but hopefully its not like the older Cayennes which were horrible, but it looks nice and they’ve had some time to work on these and to refine them. So can’t give you an answer yet, but we’ll do this hangout again in a few years with a little update.

Mark: Absolutely. So there you go, if you’re looking for service for your new Porsche or Porsche in Vancouver, they 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, there’s hundreds of articles and videos on there or our YouTube channel Pawlik Automotive Repair. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

2002 Porsche 911; Electrical Short Repair

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

Bernie: Merry Christmas Mark

Mark: So we’re getting to the end of the year, I guess you guys are going to be closed from this, so this is probably our last broadcast for this year.

Bernie: It is, but a good year of broadcasts, we’ve done a lot and I’m proud of the content we’ve created. It’s pretty awesome. All the people who have watched, so thank you everyone who watches.

Mark: Good bye 2017

Bernie: Yes, good bye 2017. You can count on a lot of new content in this coming up year in 2018.

Mark: Yeah, so today we’re talking about a Porsche 911, a 2002 you had to do an electrical repair. What was going on with this fine German sports car.

Bernie: The client came to us with a, he was blowing a couple of fuses and the fuse we found blown were for the turn signal and the hazard lights. So the first step of course, is to verify the clients concern and replace the fuses which promptly blew as soon as we turned the right signal on, not the left, but the right.

Mark: Ok, so you tried the fuse, what did you do next?

Bernie: So the next step of course is go ok why fuses? Fuses normally blow for a reason. Occasionally we’ll actually replace a fuse and it won’t blow, it’s fine, it was like a one off occurrence but most of the time, there’s something going on there and if a fuse blows immediately and when you turn the right signal on, you know the problem is somewhere in that area. So we diagnosed a few things, looked at several components, found an issue with the turn signal switch and also the flasher relay as well. They weren’t functioning properly, so we replaced those two pieces and the fuse continued to blow. So we’ve repaired a couple things but hadn’t got quite to the root of the problem yet.

Mark: Ok, so this is getting deeper, so where do you go from there?

Bernie: The next step is to pull a wiring diagram out of the vehicle and go ok where are things hooked up. The other thing I didn’t mention is we also pulled the lights out, we looked at the bulbs because sometimes a bulb will have an internal short. We replaced the bulbs, we inspected everything in the light house are some of the easiest things to do. It may verify that everything was working fine in that area but also unplug the lights, you know again, the fuse would blow. So we knew the problem is in the wiring of the vehicle somewhere. So our next step was to pull up a wring diagram and at this point I’ll share a few pictures, so let’s get into some photos. So here’s our 2002, nice convertible 911 sports car. I just want you to remember this area of the car here where I’m circling my mouse pointer, this is where the actual issue, well actually on the other side of the car but this is the area where we found, finally found the problems. We’ll just give you a little pre idea of where things went. Here’s a wiring diagram of what we had to deal with. So you’re thinking, oh it’s an electrical problem, probably easy. Well, sometimes it can be but a lot of times it can be really complicated. This is the entire lighting system of the 2002 911. There’s a lot of wires here, obviously, these items on the top of the wiring diagram indicate the various components, this is the front right lighting system for instance, so there’s a number of bulbs. I guess that this picture is not big but it kind of gives you an idea. This is what goes into the right front headlight assembly. This goes to the left and these are the right rear light, the left light is I believe this one here, it looks like a similar item. This yellow mark here, the first thing you do when you’ve got a wiring problem, you go, ok it’s definitely on the right hand side of the vehicle because that’s what always pops the fuse. Let’s look at the circuit, what’s on it and where could the problem be? We found an interesting test, you know, and we eventually instead of just keeping blowing fuses, we have a circuit breaker we can connect. So what we found was interesting is when you turn the right light on, the right front light would come on just before the fuse pop and when we turn it on the left, the right rear one would not come on which kind of indicated the short was probably in the back and that’s the direction we started to go. Now, you know what’s involved in something like that. Well a lot of stuff needs to be removed. Here’s the interior of the vehicle with the turn signal switch, steering wheel off,  this is exposing a lot of the wiring down here to test the various circuits. You’ve got to start at one end and pick your end and that’s where we went. So I’ll share a couple more photos here. Actually we’ll get to this one in a second. We’ve got this is the tail light here, so that’s kind of where the direction we went, we knew there was a short in the right rear circuit somewhere. So where am I at in my questions Mark? I know I’ve done a lot of pictures here.

Mark: Well just that next was the wiring diagram, was that unusually complicated?

Bernie: It’s actually not. I mean there’s, it’s not actually really any more complicated than you’d find in probably a Toyota of similar vintage. I mean you’ve got basically four bulbs back here and you’ve got your bulbs in the front so it just gives you and idea of what goes into building a car and the wiring systems within a car, there’s a lot to it, not exceptionally more complicated than a lot of other cars. Although a number of cars have bulb warning systems. I don’t believe this car does have it but if you have a light bulb that’s out, a lot of European cars have them. If you have a bulb that is out, it’ll put a warning on your dash. It’d be kind of annoying because cars, you see in the back right here, there’s four bulbs, I can’t even think you know, there’s got to be at least 20 exterior bulbs on every car and so if one of them goes out and it puts a warning light on and it’s good to know, but it can be kind of annoying because you fix one and then a month later another one goes off and you know, at least you know but… Ok yeah, it’s not exceptionally more complicated. I’ll just get right to the heart of what we found with this vehicle. So what we did eventually find is after accessing this wire here, which gets buried into, goes into, through a hole and then into a grommet, and if you’d wiggle the wire around it would start popping the breaker which is great. Ok we’re on the right track. When we started peeling the covering off the wiring, we couldn’t find anything. To access the wiring further we had to move the convertible top up and down, so we did that and all of a sudden the short stopped and ok what’s going on here. It’s like you know we couldn’t, it wouldn’t blow the fuse anymore. Ok well what have we done here that’s different? Well we moved the top. So we peeling some of the covers back to access the wiring and that’s where we found the problem and that is right here. This wiring harness goes in from the engine compartment in through, under the convertible top under a cover and this is a little bracket that just holds a little cable for the convertible top mechanism. The bracket is bolted down but it does move around a tiny little bit so over the years, you can see this wiring isn’t fallen insulated, you can’t quite see down here, but this is where the short was occurring and when we finally found it, I could actually touch the wire, you could see it sparking against the metal piece. So it’s good we have fuses because otherwise wires would melt. There’s another picture here and this actually shows the shorted wire here. So again here’s our bracket, there’s the wiring harness bundle and you can see this black spot on the wire here, where the arrow points, that is the shorted wire to the right rear turn signal. So the steps of course to repair it are, disassemble the wiring harness, repair the wire, tape everything out, make sure there’s no further damage, then we put some extra protective rubber coating around the wire so this would never happen again. So that’s our wiring repair in a nutshell.

Mark: So how often you come across an issue like or similar to this?

Bernie: You know, not that often. I mean we do get wiring shorts from time to time but you know, they do happen but it’s not too common. Usually there’s a component at the end of the circuit or something that’ll cause a problem so it’s usually easier to figure out than this. This was, I like doing this hangout because this kind of shows some of the work we have to go through in our business. People have an expectation though it’s probably something like a simple short. Well these can be the worst problems to find because they’re just, you know, just a slight little manufacturing defect, had they put a little more insulation on the wiring harness, it wouldn’t of happened and of course, the car is 15 years old. So that’s a fair amount of time and things happen. i wouldn’t call it bad manufacturing or anything but that’s kind of the way things work. We don’t see a lot of them but enough of them to keep life interesting.

Mark: And how is this generation of Porsche for reliability?

Bernie: They’re really good. Yeah, they’re very good cars, I you know, they’re the kind of sports car where you can drive it every day, quite reliable, they don’t break down, they don’t need a lot of tuning and tweaking, there are relatively few problems. The owner of this vehicle has ben a client of ours for a long time and we don’t see him very often, you know if doesn’t really need a whole lot of work. So it’s a pretty good car.

Mark: So there you go, if you’re looking for some service for your vintage Porsche in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book ahead, that’ll be in January 2018 though. You can check out in the meantime our website pawlikautomotive.com tons of videos and information on there or check out our YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair, 4 or 5 years worth of videos there. Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

2007 Porsche Cayman Maintenance Service

Porsche Service

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local and we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s highest rated, most loved and 17 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Porsche Service

2007 Porsche Cayman

Bernie: i’m doing pretty well, put a big smile on my face when you said that, yeah I’m doing really well this morning.

Mark: Good, good. so we’re talking about a 2007 Porsche Cayman, that’s getting a little longer in the tooth, that’s, what is that nine years old, you did some maintenance on this, what was that about?

Bernie: Oh the vehicle was due for a maintenance service, the customer actually brought it in, it was due for an oil change but he mentioned that his oil level had gone low too, so it had been burning a bit of oil which is not untypical of Porsches as time goes by. Yeah, so we did a level two maintenance service on this vehicle.

Mark: So what is a level two maintenance service?

Bernie: A level two maintenance service for us and I mean I know different dealerships have their A’s and B’s and C’s and different codes, some have 1’s and 2’s, but for us in our shop, we basically break it down into two things. A level one service is basically an oil change and a basic maintenance inspection, so adjusting tire pressures, looking at lights, fluid levels, that sort of thing. The level two service is more involved. It’s an oil change, it’s inspecting all the fluids and then it’s a full vehicle look over so brakes, wheels off, brake inspection, steering suspension, pressure testing the coolant system, testing the battery charging system, as I mentioned a visual inspection all through the vehicle. What else do we do on that? We move the door locks, hinges and latches, rotate the tires if necessary or if possible, a lot of cars you can’t rotate tires because they’re different size tires. But we will do them if necessary and possible. So that’s kind of an overall look. It’s good to do that service about every once a year, maybe once every two years depending on the mileage of the car and how often it’s driven, you know, the usage of the car, really depends. So once every year or two depending on the car.

Mark: So, just to digress for a second, how many items are there that you guys, because I know you guys follow a pretty rigorous checklist to go through. How many items are there on that list?

Bernie: Currently our inspection sheet that we use has 150 points on that inspection. The other thing that is actually on that sheet too, it’s not just all about the 150 points, there is also maintenance items. So we’ll actually look at the manufacturers maintenance schedule, we’ll see based on the mileage what is due based on that maintenance schedule as well. But there’s also other things, this could be a separate topic, but there are other items that we recommend that are not on a manufacturers maintenance schedule that if you want to keep your car running in top condition for a long time there are other things to do that the manufacturers don’t recommend. That people in the after market, experienced technicians, shops have found that it will help your car run better so recommend those things as well. But yeah, it’s 150 points, but we also as I mentioned, lubricating door locks, hinges and latches which is not an inspection item but it’s a maintenance item that we add in there, it tends to get forgotten if you don’t do it and your doors creak when they open so regularly little things like that don’t happen.

Mark: So how often do spark plugs and fuel injection cleaning have to happen?

Bernie: Well on these vehicles, around a hundred thousand kilometres is good, fuel injection cleanings are even beneficial at 50,000K’s. So just to digress a bit, that’s one thing we did find from doing a service, was the spark plugs were due for maintenance, replacement and also a fuel injection thing was recommended just based on mileage and usage of the car. So spark plugs around every 100,000, the fuel injection cleaning that I mentioned every 50 to 100,000 is good. Fuel injection cleaning you’ll not find in the manufacturers schedule, that’s something that a lot of aftermarket shops will do and I will say there are different kinds of fuel injection cleaning, we could discuss that another time, but the machine we use is really good and thorough and most of our customers notice pretty good results in doing it.

Mark: So did you have any pictures of this?

Bernie: I got one nice picture of the car, let’s have a look, yeah so do we have a nice looking, not sure if my screen sharing is working properly, yeah so there we go. So there’s a nice 2007 Porsche Cayman hardtop, nice little reliable car, sporty and fun to drive.

Mark: Well they’re reputed as being one of the best sports cars on the road, so…

Bernie: I really like this car, I find it fun to drive, you know when I usually start you know when the first Boxsters came into our shop quite a few years back and I drove them and I was kind of disappointed, I don’t know why, but I just found it hard to get in to, it just wasn’t that much fun to drive. But I’d have a Cayman which is a very similar car, its just a lot more fun. I like this car. It’s and this is just a base model, it’s not an S so you can get even more power if you like, but it goes well and it’s fun. It’s a really nice car.

Mark: Yeah, mid engine so it handles extremely well.

Bernie: It handles extremely well, it’s a real pleasure to drive.

Mark: So there you have it.Looking for service for your Porsche, you want to make sure that it’s maintained properly Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver are your guys. Call them to book 604-327-7112 or check out the website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

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