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Old 11-19-2019, 06:11 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 380640
Join Date: Feb 2014
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: MA
2010 Impreza 2.5GT
Dark Grey Metallic

Default Loss of Compression / Poor Leakdown (Cyl 4 & 3)

2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5GT (Stage 2+), 150k miles

Please note I'm a college student without the necessary tools to replace my own components ATM but have replaced my intake/exhaust/brakes/headlights/bumper previously.

So a couple weeks back I noticed my temperature gauge was going slightly higher than normal (~2/3 way up) and upon opening up the engine bay I noticed a crack in the radiator. Sucks, whatever, bring it to Firestone for radiator replacement. They replace the radiator but it took almost a week because they originally ordered the wrong radiator. To me, it wasn't a huge deal because I didn't need the car at the time.

Two days later my car overheats (past the H) after travelling home for a weekend. Naturally I pull over at a gas station and let the car cool down. Steam is pouring from the engine bay at this time. After it cools, I check the coolant level in the radiator and find there is NONE. Keep in mind this is 10pm and luckily the gas station is still open and had some universal coolant for me to use. After filling up the radiator the car cooled down back to the halfway mark and I drove home without it overheating again.

Of course, I bring it back to Firestone to complain and talk about what happened. They believe the technician didn't properly burp the system after replacing the radiator and caused a coolant leak which led to the overheating. At this time they also performed a CO test on the coolant and found no CO in the system. This led me to believe it was entirely the technician's fault, given there is no coolant in the oil, no oil in the coolant, and no CO in the coolant system either. Naturally, I complain to corporate and the next day receive a call from the regional manager to come back and was offered a free oil change ( I opted not to do this since I just had my oil changed ) or "comprehensive vehicle check". I opted for the "comprehensive vehicle check" and specifically requested a compression / leak down test and scheduled the appointment.

Today, I bring the car in and receive the following values (Mind you it took 4hrs for these numbers):

Cyl 1: 140PSI (3% leak)
Cyl 2: 129PSI (13% leak)
Cyl 3: 140PSI (3% leak)
Cyl 4: 117PSI (16-17% leak)

Manager then proceeds to suggest the replacement of head gaskets in the near future. I suggest the poor numbers could have happened because of the overheating as a result of improper burping of the system. Manager suggests "wear and tear, and engine is 150k" then proceeds to ask how long I've owned the car (75k miles) and further proceeds to try to put the blame on me by suggesting I let the car overheat prior to bringing it to them originally (False) and "didn't let them check the health of the engine" (also FALSE). Manager proceeds to give a quote on the head gasket replacement. (~$3k) Manager then also proceeds to explain he is not as technically inclined as the technician who performed the compression/leakdown test on my car and wouldn't suggest it was even remotely possible that the heads warped because the car overheated as a result of their negligence.

They also never did the "comprehensive check" the regional manager suggested they would do and only performed the compression/leakdown test (4HRS!).

At this point, I'm thoroughly disgusted with firestone and unsure as to what to do. I'm also rather pissed my drivers side has low compression, likely as a result of their negligence.

Contemplating calling corporate again to discuss damage reparations.

Thoughts as to how to proceed?
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:36 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 501997
Join Date: May 2019
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Atglen PA
2011 WRX


I would definitely push on them some more if they improperly performed the service on the radiator and admitted it. I work in the automotive industry for a big corporation and we take care of people all the time when our techs screw up. If the regional manager wont help find out who the divisional manager is and start there.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:43 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 446364
Join Date: May 2016
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Nor Cal
'17 STI LMT '08 LGT


Certainly worth opening a case with their corporate. Know however, they are going to fight you tooth and nail.

Take away 1. Firestone, never.. ever.

Sorry you didn't have the place or tools to do the rad yourself. A easy change, practically slides in and out once you get the hoses disconnected along with the fans. 4 bolts on the shroud and away you go.

I have read posts from a lot of people who have had issues filling / burping their radiators after a replacement or drain and fill. I've done many in 13 yrs, but have never had the issue myself. I use a big plastic cup and top off the turbo reservoir while filling. Fluid has never dropped on me more than an inch in the overflow tank.

Given the mileage, I think you are going to have a hard time proving "new damage". While they were certainly negligent, you don't have anything to prove the car's HG or compression wasn't already in a failing / declining state. Could their actions have contributed to an earlier demise, yes. Proving it however will be challenging.

You might have a case, if you can prove the car was properly maintained. Lacking this, they will probably do what they can to cast aspersion and deflect. Sorry, this is never fun to have to deal with.
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:34 AM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 508031
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Calgary, AB, CAN

A system not properly burped will not cause a leak. A system not burped properly traps air pockets and can cause temp gauge fluctuations and possible overheating.

If you ran out of coolant then you are burning coolant or losing it else where which leads to a head gasket issue.
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