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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.

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

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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.

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.

2000 Porsche Boxster IMS Bearing Replacement

Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local Lead Generation, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, Vancouver’s best auto service experience and they can back up that claim. They are 16 times winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their clients. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a Porsche Boxster, there was some sort of bearing failure or replacement you did. What’s going on sounds pretty serious?

Bernie: Well it is. So the intermediate shaft bearing on this Boxter failed which is a common issue on many of these early 2000 and mid 2000 Porsche engines. Yes, so yeah definitely a very serious issue.

Mark: So what’s a IMS bearing?

Bernie: Yeah, the IMS bearing stands for intermediate shaft and this is a very, very common failure on this vehicle. The intermediate shaft basically is a, as the name implies is intermediate between the crankshaft and the camshafts is a chain that drives the intermediate shaft and that in turn drives the camshaft timing chains.

Mark: Wow, does that, so that failure internally in the engine, does that require or necessitate a full engine overhaul?

Bernie: Well generally yes once the bearing fails it generally does. This particular customer was lucky in that the bearings started making a squeaky noise and did not completely fail. This is the bearing still intact although it did wear to the point of putting a few metal particles into the engine but very minimal, I mean they do fail to the point of you know the, the bearing completely blows apart. I don’t have any pictures to show you of that but if you look on the internet you’ll see some really nice photos of these bearing where they completely fail and of course at that point I mean, it’s, it’s game over for the rest of the engine so that’s, you know, so these folks were lucky, the bearing started making a squeaking sound before it completely failed.

Mark: So you’ve had a whole bunch of debris in the motor, how long in your engine going to last with that running around inside there?

Bernie: Well it’s kind of difficult to say, I mean from what we can see there’s very minimal amount but it’s never a good thing for the engine, you know and at this point but it seems to run fine so we’ve left it you know, but I’ve given the owner a warning that you never know how what sort of incurrence you’ve got left in it, you know basically the replacing this bearing it’s always important to do it before it fails, that’s kind of the key.

Mark: So do you think it’s a good idea to change this bearing as a regular service item, a maintenance item?

Bernie: Absolutely, I mean that’s, that’s the key issue, it’s really important to replace it, I mean they’re probably good for you know, 75,000 kilometers. There’s various you know, opinions on it, that seems to be about the sort of average. When you were asking is it wise to do this as a maintenance item and yes it absolutely is, I mean any time a clutch wears out on, on one of these vehicles it’s important to do the intermediate shaft bearing. It does add a substantial cost but the cost of replacing an engine on this vehicle is horrific, you know and on a 2000 Boxter the vehicle is actually very good value, they’re not very expensive but you know a complete engine job in one of these vehicles is worth more that the whole vehicle so you really to make sure you do your maintenance and replace this. Now if your vehicle is an automatic you just want to automatically remove the transmission at a certain point and replace the IMS bearing. It’s like a maintenance item like a timing belt, you would change it at certain intervals; the IMS bearing is the same thing. So there’s our bearing, if you look where I’ve got this pointer here you can see a few meal filings and bits and pieces that, that is metal that’s actually leaked out of you know bits that leaked out of the bearing so that’s not a good sign but the bearing and seal are intact so just a very minimal amount of debris left this bearing. This is a photograph of the opening, the back of the engine where the bearing sits and that’s right with the bearing pulled out of the engine so the new one is pressed in, we buy them from a company called LN Engineering, they’ve developed an amazing product where you can actually replace this bearing, just from Porsche it’s not available as a separate replacement piece. So those are some of our photos.

Mark: Can you show the car again?

Bernie: Yeah, there’s an example it’s a 2000 Boxter, it’s an example of a vehicle that has an IMS bearing in it.

Mark: So which models and years does this affect?

Bernie: Definitely from 99 up to, to the late 2000 model year in 911’s and Boxters and the only thing, up until about I don’t have my years exactly correct, up until around 2006 you can put these replacement kits in but after that you, after that, after that you’ve actually got to disassemble the engine to replace the IMS bearing and after around the 09 model year they stopped using it all together which is a good thing.

Mark: This must affect Caymens as well then.

Bernie: Yeah it does, yeah certainly it does. Yeah, yeah, so it’s important to check again if you own a Porsche you know, check with your mechanic, find out you know, which model year it is. Find out whether you have an IMS bearing, it really it’s important to know whether it’s ever been changed, if it hasn’t been it’s worth looking into doing it.

Mark: So are there any other stupidly engineered engine parts in horizontally-opposed Porsches, I guess it just really applies to mid-engine and rear engine Porsches.

Bernie: It does, yes there is nothing like this found in the front engine or the V8 models. You know off the top of my head I can’t think of anything else, I mean this is really a you know, for such an amazing car that’s really a kind of a dumb piece of engineering on their behalf but yeah there’s nothing else that’s really that you know, that’s so key and critical as let’s say it’s like a timing belt on an engine, you just need to replace it at the right interval you know or you risk blowing your engine, so in this case it’s much more expensive than you know breaking a timing belt so if you own one of these cars make sure you either replace the IMS bearing or you know that it’s being replaced in the recent future and then say it’s a maintenance item, you have to do it.

Mark: So if you’re looking for a reliable place to look after your Porsche or any other vehicle pretty much they do it at Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Give him a call 604-327-7112 to book your appointment or check out their website pawlikautomotive.com, they have years’ worth of videos and blog posts and all kinds of interesting information on there. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: You’re welcome Mark

2011 Porsche Cayenne Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Porsche Cayenne

This week’s featured repair is valve cover gasket replacement on a 2011 Porsche Cayenne, brought to us by a client from Strathcona, Vancouver.

Porsche Cayenne

2011 Porsche Cayenne. Base Model with 3.6 Liter VR6 engine and rare manual transmission.

Although only a base model this Cayenne is rather special as it features a manual transmission along with the simple and reliable 3.6 liter 6 cylinder motor.

This engine has been used in the Audi Q7 since 2007. It’s a VR6 engine which is a unique Volkswagen design that was first introduced in the Golf and Jetta GTI models.

What is unique about this motor is that it is a very narrow V engine. At 15 degrees between the cylinder banks it only has one cylinder head. This creates a lot of simplicity and fewer parts: only one cylinder head, one head gasket, fewer camshafts and timing components. The engine is also very compact. VW engineers designed this larger engine to fit into the small engine compartment found in the sub compact VW cars.

The Cayenne of course is built to house much larger engines so the VR6 3.6 Liter has lots of room. Most Cayennes are equipped with powerful V8 engines. Unfortunately in their earlier years the Cayenne V8s were not good engines. They had a lot of problems with coolant leaks and other issues that caused early failures in many engines. This is completely unacceptable in any vehicle but especially in such a high priced model.

Back to our 3.6 L Cayenne and the job at hand. We performed a comprehensive inspection on this vehicle and found a few concerns: a couple of coolant leaks and a leaking valve cover gasket among them.

While the valve cover is not difficult to remove it sits buried under a rather elaborate intake manifold which features very long runners to help ram the air into the cylinders and increase performance. This engine also features a FSI fuel injection system. This is a direct injection system where the fuel is sprayed directly into the cylinder, the same as a diesel engine. Doing so provides many advantages in the realm of improved fuel economy and engine performance.

Porsche Cayenne

Porsche 3.6 Liter engine. Arrow points to location of valve cover gasket

Sitting on top of the valve cover all of these components must be removed in order to access the valve cover. The ignition coils then require removal and from there it’s a relatively easy job. From there it’s just a matter of reassembling all of the removed components.

Porsche Cayenne

Top view of 3.6 liter engine with front cover removed. The intake manifold sits over top of valve cover

Porsche Cayenne

Intake manifold assembly sitting upside down on workbench. Lower fuel injection rail and injectors are on the left.

Once completed our Cayenne was oil leak free. I often marvel at modern engine gasket technology. There are many cars on the road with over 200,000 kilometers on the odometer with no oil or coolant leaks. This is amazing! When I think back to cars built prior to the 1980’s gasket leaks occurred with great frequency. This is just another example of how well modern cars are built.

For more about the Porsche Cayenne click here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_Cayenne

Want to know more about the VR6 engine, view this excellent video

1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 – A/C Service

Today’s feature is A/C service on a 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, brought to us by a client from Kerrisdale, Vancouver.

1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, 993 series. Last of the air-cooled Porsche's.

1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, 993 series. Last of the air-cooled Porsche’s.

Late May is a perfect time to be sure that your air conditioning is functioning properly and ready for the hot summer ahead. Even this convertible Porsche benefits from having functional A/C. Sure you can put the top down and enjoy nature’s wind induced air conditioning but sometimes it just gets too hot and a cool car is a real treat.

During our A/C service we: visually inspect the system for leaks; inspect the drive belt and pulleys for damage and wear; we then proceed to test the refrigerant and operation of the system. If there are leaks they must be diagnosed and fixed first. Some leaks however are very small or elusive. In this case it is best to recharge the system and add UV dye so as to facilitate finding the leak more easily at a later time.

On this 911 we performed an Evacuation and Recharge Service as no leaks were found during inspection. The air in the vehicle was crisp and cold after the service and testing of the system operating pressures confirmed that all was good.

For more about the 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, last generation of the air-cooled Porsche’s click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_993

For more about A/C operation watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zalg5VyPvjk

A/C Service

A/C compressor with service hoses connected: these are the red and blue hoses. They allow us to test the system’s operating pressures. They are also used for evacuating and recharging the system. The A/C compressor is the round grey metal cylindrical part. The compressor clutch and pulley (black in colour) is attached along with the drive belt.

2008 Porsche 911 Turbo – TPMS Sensor

TPMS

Wednesday’s featured service is TPMS Sensor replacement on a 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo, brought to us by a client from New Westminster, BC.

TPMS

2008 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

Many cars built in the last decade have TPMS which stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. All cars sold in the US since 2008 must be equipped with TPMS but in Canada it is an option.

While TPMS adds complexity to a vehicle, and with it, additional repair costs, it is a more than worthwhile safety feature giving you early warning when your tire pressure drops below a certain point. I’ve discussed TPMS more in depth in this article and this video.

Our featured Porsche has a rather deluxe system in that it displays the actual pressure of each tire. Not all systems do this.

The vehicle was brought to us with a TPMS warning light on. It was not the low tire pressure warning light but a system failure warning light. We connected diagnostic equipment to the vehicle and tested each sensor. We found that the left front sensor was dead (there is a sensor located inside each wheel on most TPMS equipped vehicles).

After replacing the sensor the system came back to life, giving the owner full information about his tire pressures and no irritating warning lights on.

Knowing tire pressures on this type of vehicle is so important: the tires themselves cost a fortune and you want them to last as long as possible. Running these tires under-inflated is not only dangerous but can add a great deal to your cost of operations if the tires blow out or wear out prematurely.

TPMS sensors have batteries and these have an approximate life of seven years. With this Porsche currently at 6 years old the other sensors may not have too much longer to live.

For more about the fabulous Porsche 911 please click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_911

TPMS

TPMS sensor and valve stem from 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo. This is the old, dead sensor. The whole unit is sealed and inside is a battery which has an approximate life of 7 years.

 

2006 Porsche Cayenne S – M2 Maintenance Service

Porsche Cayenne

Friday’s featured repair is an M2 Maintenance Service on a 2006 Porsche Cayenne S.

Porsche Cayenne

2006 Porsche Cayenne S

Our M2 maintenance service consists of a lube, oil & filter service along with a comprehensive inspection and maintenance service. The comprehensive inspection portion of the service includes a full vehicle inspection: brakes; steering and suspension; drivetrain; full visual inspection under-hood and under-car; battery, starter and alternator tests; cooling system pressure test; a lengthy road test. Also included is a tire rotation (if required) and lubrication of door latches, locks and hinges.

This 2006 Porsche Cayenne, in spite of being over seven years old had only 30,000 kilometers and came out problem free. That is generally to be expected with mileage that low.

While the Cayenne is a fabulous vehicle to drive they are far from trouble free.  Electronically they are very complex which adds more to break down. There are also issues with the cooling systems on these early Cayennes that, if not fixed quickly, can result in serious engine damage.

As with many European vehicles the maintenance intervals are spread out and recommended mileage between service is 20 to 25 thousand kilometers. For Porsche owners who drive very little an annual service including an inspection should be performed. On this vehicle, with its potentially costly repairs, preventative maintenance will save you a lot of money.

Porsche Cayenne

Engine compartment of Porsche Cayenne. 4.5 Liter V8 (non Turbo)

For more on the Porsche Cayenne click this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_Cayenne

For some buying tips on used Porsche Cayenne click here http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/Search-Results/First-drives/Used-cars-how-to-buy-a-second-hand-Porsche-Cayenne/

 

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