Mark: Good morning, it’s Mark at Top Local we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s best auto service experience, 16 time winners of Best in Vancouver, Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: I’m doing very well this morning.
Mark: So we’re going to talk about Chevy and GM trucks, how reliable are they?
Bernie: In a nutshell, they are very reliable.
Mark: So, ok, straight and to the point, thank you so much for showing up everybody! Let’s dig in a little bit more, how about, let’s just start with pick up trucks, there’s a lot of different brands of or line of vehicles. Let’s start with pickups, how are they?
Bernie: I’d say they’re very good, I mean so I’d say in a nutshell they’re very reliable, nothing is foolproof or bullet proof and in our industry that’s always a good thing, you don’t want a car built that needs no repairs. But anyways besides that, trucks are awesome, engine-wise, I like Chevy trucks a lot so let’s talk like between say the years of 2000 and newer. Excellent engines in all their trucks, we’re talking about full size pick up trucks here, good V8 engines, very reliable, durable and simpler than say Ford and some Dodges use pushrod engines, but a lot of them use overhead cam engines. GM stuck with the pushrod engines which are not so sophisticated but they are very reliable and they generate good horsepower. So I really like the engines, they last an awful long time, front ends like steering, suspension, ball joints, steering linkages, they’re all good, I mean they do eventually wear over time but you usually got to put a few good years before any of that wears. Transmissions are reliable, some of them even come, like the higher end, the heavier duty models come with Allison Transmissions which are a bullet proof unit. Interior, fit and finish, everything else is good. Not too many electronic, quirky things, there’s nothing unusual about them in terms of how they wear out they are quite durable.
Mark: So how about the vans?
Bernie: Vans, again same thing. Here you get two categories, you get the full size vans and you’ve got the Astro van which they discontinued a few years ago which is too bad because it was a very popular van, a lot of people in the building trades and even people had them for family vans because you could put a few seats in them. So it was a nice size mini van but my inly thing with vans is that you’ve got the engine mounted inside, buried inside the vehicle so to speak, and the access is difficult. So when repairs come, they’re a little more costly and time consuming but overall they’re very reliable. One thing about the Astro vans, the idler arms wear on these things all the time. They’re kind of expensive but it’s not the end of the earth but that’s sort of the one thing that sticks out in my mind as being a common issue. Other than that, just general repair and maintenance, brakes and they’re good. Again very reliable, they run for a long time. The larger vans use the V8, for the most part use V8 engines, same as the pick up trucks. Same level of reliability.
Mark: And what about the SUV’s?
Bernie: Well the SUV, so you’ve got, I’m thinking of the larger ones like the Suburban and Tahoe which are essentially a Chevy pickup truck. The Suburban is like a four door pickup truck with a short box and it’s just built in. So same level of reliability and durability, so yeah, excellent that way. Tahoe is a bit of a smaller version and yeah overall excellent.
Mark: So there’s a lot of diesel engine choices in Chevy and GM trucks, how are they?
Bernie: Again, really good. They’re one of the best, I like them best among the options. We don’t fix too many of them which says a lot. The odd fuel injector job here and there but again it’s not that common, they are much more reliable than the Fords of a lot of vintages, maybe not the 6.7 litre but certainly much more reliable. Now when you go back, so I’m talking about the Duramax diesel, they were introduced in early 2000, the earlier models used the GM made 6.2 and 6.5 litre engines. Not so good. A lot more problems and once we get into the older ones, the diagnostics are a lot more difficult as well but I would not buy a truck with a 6.2 diesel. These are getting very old at this point and time but we still see them though so they’re still around but they were not the best, durable, reliable diesel. The Duramax by the way, is made by Isuzu, so it’s a Japanese made engine which says something to about the quality of American made engines.
Mark: Ooh, so anything to add in closing, any other parting shots?
Bernie: Um, you know overall I like GM trucks and so I’m a little biased, I drive a Suburban myself and the reason I drive it is because I like the vehicle, it’s reliable and durable but as far as the diesel trucks, again I would buy a Chevy over everything else. I like the way they drive, they’re durable and my parting shot you can’t really go wrong with a Chevy or GM truck these days.
Mark: So if you’re looking for a reliable maintenance on your Chevy vehicle in Vancouver Pawlik Automotive are the folks to call. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie
Bernie: Thanks Mark