Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, we’re talking cars and we’re going to talk about how reliable the Audi Q7 is. How’re you doing this morning Bernie?
Bernie: Doing really well.
Mark: So Audi Q7, are they reliable?
Bernie: Yeah, they’re fairly reliable, I mean, you know to me I sometimes define reliability as can you get into your vehicle in the morning, will it start every time and the answer is of course, as long as you maintain your vehicle, yes they are quite reliable. There’s not too many surprise issues with these vehicles. They’re pretty good overall.
Mark: What items do you typically repair?
Bernie: Well, a lot of brakes, brakes don’t last very long in these vehicles, they’re also expensive to fix. Tires also wear out pretty quickly, I mean those are sort of the bulk of what we do on these vehicles. Also oil services, but because they use synthetic oil, they have a pretty large capacity oil pan, you don’t have to change the oil as frequently as you do on a sort of typical vehicle. But those are the main items that we do.
Mark: So why do brakes wear out so quickly?
Bernie: Well, that’s something that has puzzled me in a lot of these larger European sport utility vehicles, Porsche Cayenne’s, Audi Q7’s, Range Rover’s as well, they use a very large brake pad, a large brake rotor, you’d think that that should last a long time, but they’re heavy vehicles and the braking is very aggressive on them you know for safety reasons. So I think that’s part of what causes them to wear out so quickly but if you own one of these, expect you’re going to be doing a brake job every 30 to 50,000 kilometres and it’s always pad and rotors that wear every time.
Mark: Wow, and what about tires, why do they wear out so quickly?
Bernie: Again, it’s a sporty vehicle, they use a large tire, but they’re not, they’re more of a sports tire as opposed to being a long life truck tire. So again, it’s there for the ride, it’s there for the handling and so these tires just don’t last quite as long and rotating them regularly is critical because they start wearing funny and then they’re worn out. So again with tires you get 50,000 kilometres out of set you’d be lucky.
Mark: Ok, wow again. So what about engine concerns any of those?
Bernie: Overall the engines are pretty reliable, although we did speak at our last hangout about a rather expensive oil leak on a 4.2 litre V8. So things do happen but generally they’re pretty reliable. Some of the the concerns we do find are ignition coils wear out, this is pretty common on Audi’s. Fortunately, the coils are really cheap so I think Audi uses the same coils from a four cylinder to a V8, all over the place so they’re surprisingly inexpensive, but there is on a V8 for instance, there is 8 of them of once they start going you should change them all. Intake manifolds on the 4.2 litre, there’s a flapper inside the intake manifold that can wear out and break and that can cause the check engine light to come on. In extreme circumstances little bits and pieces can fall into the engine and jam up valves and can cause some pretty serious problems. So that’s another issue, but overall the engines are pretty reliable but they can be very expensive to fix. As again, if you look at our other previous hangout on the Audi oil leak situation. There’s a variety of engines in these vehicles too, there’s a 3.6 litre VR6 engine, 4.2 litre V8, gain runs really well, really good engine and then there’s a few different diesel options as well. The 3 litre diesel seems to be the most common, the turbo diesel, but there is a V8 as well and I’ve actually never seen this but I did a little research, there’s actually a V12 diesel that is available for three different model years. It’s got 493 horsepower and 738 foot pounds of torque. Now that would be an awesome ride. I’ve never actually seen one, I don’t know how many of them they made, but I don’t know that’s I’d even want to be around to repair it, I wouldn’t want to own that vehicle when it comes time to repair it but I thought that was pretty specification wise, pretty cool.
Mark: So are there any maintenance services that you would recommend as essential if you own one of these vehicles?
Bernie: Here’s a photo of a Q7 just to add a little flavour to our talk. Maintenance services, you know, regular oil changes are critical, the intervals on these vehicles are long, like a lot of European cars, I would shorten them up by, go 75% of the length, so if it’s 20,000 kilometres do the oil change at 15, if it’s 15 do it 10 to 12 thousand, better to do it sooner than later. Again if you look at our hangout with the oil leak and you look at the timing chains, the things in the back of the engine, you just don’t want these things to wear out. You don’t want, if you don’t want to be faced with a repair bill for something like that, so that’s critical. If you own a diesel you really need to drive that vehicle a lot, it needs to get warm, good highway drives are important. If you’re just doing a short little 5 kilometre commutes you’re really doing a disservice to that diesel. It’s going to cost you a lot of money to fix in the long run. So yeah, regular oil changes and regular services, rotate the tires, inspections every year or so depending on how much you drive. Those are the critical things.
Mark: This vehicle was, the platform was built with VW and Porsche and they have their own versions the Touareg and the Cayenne. How does the Q7 stack up against those?
Bernie: Well the Q7 and the Touareg are really quite similar. They use the same lines of engines although I believe the Touareg actually is available with a W12 V8 which is you know, again a ridiculously complicated engine but the Porsche I mean, it’s a similar vehicle but they’ve got their own drivetrains, they’ve got their own suspension systems, and their own engines and quite honestly, the earlier versions of the Cayenne were a disaster. The first V8 that Porsche had done since the 928 and they really botched it up for a few model years. I think the newer ones are better but those older ’05 to ’08 kind of era would be a vehicle to definitely avoid. So if I was going to choose any of that particular line, I’d go with the Audi because it’s got the nice luxury features and it’s a step up from the Volkswagen so if you’re going to have the problems with it, at least you’ve got the more luxurious vehicle. Although the Touareg is very nice.
Mark: So there you go, if you’re looking for service for your Audi Q7 or any Audi in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or on their website pawlikautomotive.com. Thanks Bernie
Bernie: Thanks Mark