Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver doing the Pawlik Automotive Podcast for this week. How’re you doing Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well.
Mark: So we’re talking about a Land Rover LR2 that was having some fuel rail issues. What was going on with this vehicle?
Bernie: So the vehicle was towed to our shop. The owner was driving it and suddenly it started running really poorly and he had it towed in because it just wouldn’t run right. So that was basically what was happening, basically un-drivable. Sometimes it would start and run and other times it wouldn’t and it would perform pretty poorly. So that was the issue with the vehicle.
Mark: So what kind of diagnosis and tests did you have to do to find out what was going on?
Bernie: Well first step, plugging in the scan tool to the vehicle computer and just seeing what information we can extract. When we went to the engine computer, it’ll often store codes if the check engine light’s on, which it was, and there was a list of, oh I don’t have the list in front of me, it was from what I remember about 10 or 12 stored trouble codes which usually indicates something big is going on. Doesn’t mean there’s 12 different problems because sometimes one problem sets off a code for something else and if the problem had been going on intermittently for a little while, it would set a number of codes. But there was basically a number of codes stored, we cleared them because when you have that many codes stored it’s ind of important to know what is the actual real problem. Came back, one code came backlit was the fuel pressure, fuel rail pressure too low and we cleared that and another time it came back fuel rail pressure too high. So there’s a few different codes. From there we look at the repair data information. What we found is there’s a technical service bulletin from Land Rover to reflash the body control module and a couple other modules in the vehicle. Not the engine but a couple other modules that can affect this kind of issue. So we did that and that was our first step in the diagnosis.
Mark: So alright, how did reflashing things work out?
Bernie: Well it didn’t actually solve the issue, but it’s important to do those kind of things because it’s actually easier to reflash something and know that you have all the proper software in place before you proceed to the next step. So while it didn’t solve the issue, at least we knew that wasn’t the problem. The next step we did, we started doing some tests on the vehicle for the, basically, again the code that seemed to come back all the time was fuel pressure too low, but yet the engine would run and it seemed like it was running too rich. So we hooked up a fuel pressure gauge up to the vehicle, monitored some scan tool data and found some interesting stuff.
So I’ll share some photos at this point. There’s our LR2, 2008 model and we will go to this picture here, this is the fuel rail of the vehicle. So the fuel rail is where all the fuel, the high pressure fuel sits and the fuel injectors are located underneath. So there’s the injectors underneath, these are some of the injector wires. The injectors are underneath, you can’t really see them here. The fuel pressure gauge connects to a little port in the end here, the fuel pressure regulator which the red arrows point to. This is the part what we eventually replaced and I’ll talk more about that in a few minutes, but when we looked on the scan tool and the engine was running, it was running quite rough, barely running in fact. On the scan tool there’s a fuel pressure reading and it’s at zero, zero kiloPascal and yet if you look on this gauge, well it’s at 100 psi, so 700, almost 700 kiloPascals which is way too high. The actual proper reading is around 400 to 450 range which is down 60 to 65 psi. So clearly the fuel pressure was way too high. And a close up of the fuel pressure gauge. Again you can see it’s at 700 kiloPascals and it should be down in this range here. There’s a close up of the fuel pressure regulator which sits at the end of the fuel rail and what this does is it monitors the pressure in the fuel rail, sends a signal to the computer so that the fuel pump and the pressure regulator in the tank can adjust the pressure. And finally after the repair, after replacing it, this is the reading, the vehicle ran great and this is the reading on the tool. So I think there might be pictures of you and I here, so I’ll just move this out of the way. But you can see, 438 that’s with the engine running right and that’s the proper pressure for this system.
Mark: So how difficult was the pressure regulator or sensor to actually change?
Bernie: Quite easy and I think I may have called that a fuel pressure regulator a couple times, it’s a fuel pressure sensor. So used to seeing a fuel pressure regulator at the end of the rail, I kind of get used to calling it that. It’s actually not too difficult. The fuel rail fortunately comes off quite easily on this vehicle. The pressure sensor just bolts onto the end and it’s actually, fortunately for the customer, a pretty easy, straightforward repair.
Mark: And as you mentioned, the vehicle ran really well once this work was replaced or work was completed?
Bernie: Yeah, it ran really well, I mean flawlessly and I mean the other thing to mention, I said we did do a reflash on several of the vehicle systems, so everything else you know whatever you don’t really know what would happen is we went to do this repair first and then didn’t do the reflash, it may not be running as well as it did. So it’s important to make sure all that kind of stuff is up to date and current, especially if the manufacturer suggests the problem with the vehicle requires a reflash.
Mark: So when you’re mentioning a reflash, you’re basically doing a software upgrade?
Bernie: That’s exactly what it is. In the automotive industry we call it a reflash, but it’s basically, it’s exactly, a software upgrade is another term for it. I guess they’re called reflash because they’re flashable…
Bernie: Flash program EPROM’s, yeah and so that’s why they in the automotive industry, they term it that but I mean other manufacturers will also say software upgrades, that’s kind of what people are used to hearing.
Mark: So while this is a, the model LR2, a lot of people know this as a Freelander and you haven’t said good things about Freelander’s in the past, how are these LR2’s for reliability and repairs?
Bernie: Well yeah, this is a much better vehicle. I mean, when I think of, they don’t call these Freelander’s in Canada, but in other parts of the world they call it, it’s a Freelander and so I guess this is the second generation and a much better vehicle. The first ones were, there’s not too many vehicles where I actually say they’re horrible and I wouldn’t recommend anyone touch it, but a first generation Freelander is one of those. I just you know, for anyone who owns one, just get rid of it. That’s all I can tell you because they’re just not worth owing, which is really rare for me to every say about any vehicle. But the LR2 is nice. I mean it’s the same chassis as a Volvo XC70, you know quite reliable, much better, far better built vehicle than the previous generation and I mean the only thing, the issues that we see, I mean this fuel rail issue, was pretty straight forward, it was a nice easy simple repair. The only issue we see with these, it’s kind of chronic is the rear differentials wear out, the bearings wear our prematurely. We a lot of Volvo XC70’s, we do a lot of these LR2’s. And interestingly enough as a new client, I road tested the vehicle I could hear the differential humming so it’ll need bearings at some point too. So that’s kind of a fact but that’s sort of the worst thing in these vehicles that we see that’s chronic. Other than that it’s a nice vehicle.
Mark: So there we are. That’s this week’s Podcast and video. And if you’re looking for service in Vancouver for your Freelander, LR2, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, check out their website pawlikautomotive.com. There’s hundred of videos on there, or our Youtube Channel Pawlik Automotive Repair. Thanks Bernie
Bernie: Thanks Mark.