December 14

Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement

Land Rover/Range Rover


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 of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing well? 

Mark: So we're going to talk a little further. We've touched on this Range Rover Sport already. What, this has an engine replacement. What was going on with this vehicle? Let's look at the whole story. Yeah, let's look at the whole story. 

Bernie: So last week I did a video of walking around with the cab of the vehicle off. The engine had been overheated and, needed to be replaced in the easiest way to do that is to lift the cab off the vehicle.

So we did a little walk around of the vehicle last week, this week, we're going to look at the engine. What was wrong with it? What we did to replace it, repair it and get the vehicle back on the road. 

Mark: So based on just referencing last week's video with the body off of the chassis and the engine, et cetera, it looks like a whole pile of work.

Bernie: That was just the beginning  Getting the cab off is just the beginning. And then from there we remove the engine from the chassis, disconnected it from the transmission, pulled it out. I mean, in the good old days, you could just do that without pulling any cabs off or dropping cradles with engines and transmissions, which we do on a lot of vehicles. You'd  just be able to hook up a hoist, a crane and pull the engine out. This is much more complicated. We have to remove the cab to get to that stage. So we pulled it out and we started dismantling the engine. I think we'll just get right into some pictures here and you can keep asking questions. 

So let's have a look here. 

Mark: When this vehicle came in. What was the presenting problem? Was it just not working? Was it running badly? What, like, how did you go about diagnosing that the engine was bad?

Bernie: Yeah, it, it was running really rough, there's a check engine light on with a misfire codes for pretty much every engine cylinder. You could see steam blowing out of the cooling system. And the engine, I can't remember all the other details, but those are enough to, you know, we knew the engine would've been overheating. And this job was actually referred to us from another shop that had done some work on it.

But doing engine replacement was beyond the scope of what he wanted to be doing. So we knew that the vehicle was coming in for an overheat and a pretty severe problem because he'd replaced some hoses and thermostat and some simpler things, in hopes to fix a problem. But it didn't. 

So here we have the engine out of the vehicle, where we walked around last time with the video and you can see things. We use the chassis of the vehicle to provide a nice little tray to put all our parts and pieces. And this is actually what the engine out it's on an engine stand.

Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement
Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement
Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement
Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement
Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement
Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement
Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement
Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement
Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement
Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement
Range Rover Sport, Engine Replacement

It's actually been dismantled. The cylinder heads are off. The timing chains are off. There's the engine oil cooler it sits in the valley. Those are the head gaskets and, cylinder heads have been moved somewhere else. So this is actually cut a little far into the disassembly process, but you can see, this is the transmission, the torque converter, which is where the engine crankshaft connects up to it.

So, let's just get right into some other pictures here. So the next step actually with this is to do a physical inspection of things. There's a cylinder head here. Now this is, we clean this up a little bit unfortunately I couldn't find the head gaskets.

It's been a few days since we did the job and they're lying there, but there was very evident leakage, between these two gaskets. The head gasket is a multi-layer steel gasket. They're very thin layers of steel that are put together, that formed the bond. This it's an aluminum engine block, aluminum cylinder head. Multi-layer steel seems to be the technology that's used on all of these things. But you can see some black marks where combustion gases had crossed through the cylinder head indicating that this head was severely warped. So, what we did is we cleaned the head up, measured it with a straight edge bar and feeler gauges.

And let's have a look at how that came out. So there's the head. The straight edge bar, this is a piece of steel that is absolutely straight. It's a fairly expensive piece of metal, but it's machined absolutely flat. So you can use it for cylinder heads, any services you want to measure for flatness.

So what we do, take the middle cylinder and we run a feeler gauge in here, and this had eight thousands of an inch of warpage, which is actually right at the spec for it being garbage. So the cylinder head, right at that point, the engines done well, at least the cylinder heads are done. Of course the engine block needs to be measured as well.

So just going a little further into this eight thousands of an inch. A lot of times we'll have these, it might be like three or four. The machine shop can take these. They can machine it flat. So it's a hundred percent, you know, a zero, you wouldn't be able to fit any thousands of an inch feeler gauge through that particular bore there or between those holes. So this is actually looking at the engine block. So over the engine block, we measured that there's five thousands of an inch warpage, which is also too high. And that would involve dismantling the engine, taking the pistons out, putting the it's called decking the block, between doing all that, all that dismantling. Huge amount of money.

So we had to come up with another alternative, which was a used engine. I'll just get a couple more quick pictures here. These are the cylinders. Again, you can actually see a little bit of evidence of this combustion leakage across here. There's a shiny area here and some gases and things that have escaped past these things. Telltale sign of a problem.

That was probably why the compression was bad or sorry, the misfire codes, because you lose this compression when the cylinder head won't seal around that area. In addition, coolant of course can escape from, these are the coolant jackets here. It will escape from here into the cylinders or cylinder pressure will escape into the jacket. So that's what causes that. Now sorry, where are we? I'm getting lost here with my pictures. Too many buttons to click on. The engine. So, our alternative was to get a used engine and replace it with that. I mean, a new engine rebuilt or new engine from Land Rover insanely expensive proposition. So we managed to obtain a used engine, not cheap, but, that was the option that we went with. 

Mark: So how do you know that the used engine doesn't have the same issues? 

Bernie: Excellent question. So the first thing we do is, we buy all our engines from a reputable auto wrecker, or they're sourced from a variety of areas. It used to be that we just call a wrecking yard down the road and they'd have one, but being a vehicle like this, it's kind of a specialty. So there are companies around that they'll source engines all over North America. This one actually came from Oregon, had very low mileage. So we kind of count on that as being, and again, a reputable record. They can inspect fluids and look at things to determine the engine's in pretty good shape, but there were some things we did to this engine.

Timing chain, specifically. We looked at it. We've talked about timing chains in these engines. We figured that they weren't in fantastic shape. So we replaced the timing chains and guides while we had this engine out. Much easier job, certainly added some cost, but now the owner has a good solid engine with good timing chains that will definitely not cause any problems. 

We'll just get another view here. We put the engine back in without the valve covers on, so you can kind of see a view, this is the used engine, back in, new timing chains. View with the valve cover off. Water pump we replaced as well just to make sure. Things like water pump and thermostat you know, needed to be replaced at the same time.

So we've talked a lot about, this is a gasoline direct injected engine. It injects the fuel right into the cylinder and I'll actually just grab another quick picture here while we're at it because you can see, this is the bottom of the cylinder head. These are the valves, the intake valves, exhaust valves, the spark plug screws in here. And that is where the fuel injector sits. So this is what you have in a gasoline direct injected engine, a fuel injector that says right in the combustion chamber. In the past, fuel injectors would spray on the back of these intake valves and keep them clean. 

In examining this engine, we found, this is just one cylinder, severe carbon deposits. This is what happens if, now, it's probably something to do with the engine overheating as well. But these are some of the deposit that can form in the back of the valve and certainly affect the performance of your engine.

This one here is not too bad, they're in the same cylinder but for some reason, this one is just loaded full of carbon deposits. So, that's just a little view of what things look like when the carbon deposit gets severe. So this is why we recommend cleaning the gasoline direct injection system to remove this. However, doing cleaning may not remove that level of carbon deposited. That's another couple of quick views. There's our Land Rover, still a good looking vehicle, even seven years old. 

And, there's the temperature gauge. I just show this because this is something you need to keep your eye on when you're driving. Some vehicles don't have them. Most of them do. If yours does, get to know it and get to know where it sits when it's normal. I took this picture, after the engine had been repaired. Running it, this is the normal area where the gauge sits when everything's working well, it'll be up here on a warm engine when it's cold. Of course, it's down here. It takes a while to warm up. So get to know this gauge, whatever kind of vehicle you drive, especially a Range Rover.

Mark: So 137,000 kilometres, a pretty catastrophic engine failure from overheating and a, I imagine in incredibly large bill to fix, but probably a lot cheaper than buying a new Range Rover. However, how do you prevent this from happening? 

Bernie: Well, there's a few things. So that's why I spent some time with the picture of the gauge. Get, get to know your gauge, watch your gauge. Of course, you've got to keep your eye on the road. There's a lot to look at while you're driving a car. And so looking at a gauge, isn't the thing I always look at, if you're going up steep hills, mountain grades, keep an eye on the gauge. But when you're driving, you know, if there's anything that feels a little off, maybe your heat's not working for a second, or maybe there's a little weird noise in the engine. Maybe there's a little steam that you see, just some indication, look at your gauge. That's the time to do it. 

A lot of cars have warning lights in addition to gauges, or they have a warning light instead of a gauge and it's always red. It'll show something that looks like a symbol of something like an engine heating up. Shut the engine off, you know, if your gauge is up, shut the engine off. If you happen to be somewhere where you have to drive, drive as fast as you can to a point of safety and pull over and shut the engine off. That's critical. 

What happened with this engine obviously, is it got too hot and ran too hot for too long. So, if you run low and out of coolant, that's the worst thing. So again, keep an eye for leaks. If you see steam coming out from under your hood. That's an indicator. If you smell, antifreeze as a distinct smell, you smell something odd. That's unusual. It might be worth pulling over.

Look at your gauge, have a look at things, just see what's happening. Those are really the things to do. You just got to prevent the engine from overheating. I mean, had this engine not overheated, it probably would go, you know, easily 200,000 kilometres. I mean, the timing chains would need to be done at some point, probably by 137 Ks, they may have already been done. The carbon deposit on the valves, who knows if that was from bad maintenance or from the engine overheating. But you know, again, that may have caused some problems, but generally speaking, you know, the overheating, had that not happened this engine would still be running strong. 

Mark: And with gasoline direct injection, do a valve clean. 

Bernie: Exactly. Yeah. We have a service that we do, it's usually recommended every 30, 40,000 kilometres. What's that 20 to 20,000 something miles. If you're used to in miles, it's not a very expensive service. Doesn't take, you know, it's kind of a thing, we need the vehicle for a day and do it. And it's well worth the prevention. And I think I mentioned using top tier gas is important and changing your oil on a regular basis. It's also critical to prevent those deposits. 

Mark: So essentially when to keep these engines at such a high level of performance, to get the maximum amount of fuel mileage out of them, but also to reduce the amount of pollution that they produce because burning dinosaurs is just a dirty process to begin with. There are incredibly complex at this point, and that takes major maintenance on a regular basis to keep them running right. Sum it up?

Bernie: Absolutely. And you know, it's an interesting, I don't know if  dichotomy is the right word, but cars have become more reliable. So people used to at one time, they need to get tuneups and flush their cooling systems once or twice a year and change their oil every 3000 miles like regular things. Cars don't need to do that. You can go a long ways between maintenance services. They're really reliable. They start, they go, you know, they're not fussy like they used to be, but with that, like you said, there's a level of complexity, but you've also gotta be really on top of your maintenance.

You've got to know what it is. You got to do it. You can't go a little longer. You know, the schedules are already stretched way out. Changing oil is a waste of oil. So you know, manufacturers have gone, Hey, how long can we stretch this out? Well they're stretching it out to the max. So if you're waiting until it's supposed to be changed, it's almost too long or that's the time. 

Mark: So the easy way to look after that, is to deal with a service company that will remind you, that sends you regular reminders. Hey, it's been six months. Hey we think you're going to, based on your record of driving, we know you're probably at the point where you need to get in here so we can do a service and check over your vehicle. Make sure it's running properly.

Bernie: Absolutely. And a lot of cars have warnings that will come on say due for service, just when that light comes on, get it done. Don't wait. You know I mean you can wait a week, but don't wait, don't wait for them months. 

Mark: Don't cover up the check engine light. 

Bernie: That's right. Yeah, don't do that either. Yeah, that's right. Exactly. 

Mark: So, if you're looking for service for your Range Rover in Vancouver, and you want to make sure it runs the longest amount of time and as reliably as possible and avoid those massive bills, 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. They're super busy right now. It's booking up fast because Christmas they're going to take a week off. So get your vehicle in there. Get ready for winter. It's getting cold out there. Check out the website Hundreds of videos on there all makes and models and types of repairs.

Our YouTube channel Pawlik Auto Repair. There's eight years of videos on there. And of course, thank you so much for watching and listening to the podcast. We really appreciate it. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks Mark. And thanks for watching.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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