Subaru technician warns of A/C check you must make on car before summer – drivers even risk engine damage without it

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A SUBARU service manager has urged drivers to carry out vital cooling checks on their cars ahead of summer – or risk serious damage. 

Dustin Piggott warns it’s crucial for a vehicle’s A/C to be working and stresses leaks in a car’s cooling system can be particularly damaging.

Dustin Piggott, the service manager at Subaru of Bend, recommends two key systems be checked before summer arrives

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Dustin Piggott, the service manager at Subaru of Bend, recommends two key systems be checked before summer arrivesCredit: Suburu of Bend
Before taking a management position with the dealership, Piggott was a technician with his own shop

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Before taking a management position with the dealership, Piggott was a technician with his own shopCredit: Getty
Having the air conditioning system checked can save crucial time before temperatures start to rise

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Having the air conditioning system checked can save crucial time before temperatures start to riseCredit: Getty

The former technician, who works at Central Oregon’s Subaru of Bend, recommends checking the systems in spring before temperatures get too hot.

If ignored, drivers could be slapped with thousands in repairs.

“We often recommend having your A/C system checked before it gets hot,” Piggott told The U.S. Sun in an exclusive interview.

“As the weather gets hotter, we get a lot of customers coming in stating that their A/C is not functioning properly, this would not be a fun issue to have on a 90-degree day.”

Read more Mechanic Advice

During the winter, a vehicle’s air conditioning system is used to defrost the windshield and in some cases, the side view mirrors and rear window.

Over time, however, the system could wear out, with drivers only realizing when it’s too late.

The A/C system, which keeps a car’s interior cool and comfortable, is not the only component drivers need to be mindful of.

According to Piggott, that which keeps an engine cool is often neglected too.

“As the summer months approach and the weather gets warmer, it is very important to make sure that the vehicle’s cooling system is working properly and that there are no leaks,” the expert said.

If drivers aren’t proactive enough to fix leaks, however, Piggott warns that a much more costly fix could be down the road.

“If a coolant leak is present and is not addressed, it can lead to many other problems, even causing engine damage from overheating,” he said.

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If an engine block becomes too hot, the block and cylinders can become damaged or warped from high heat.

If a cylinder becomes warped, it can alter the extremely precise and delicate cycle of detonation in the cylinder, resulting in an engine knock.

Over time, a knock will damage other components like the intake and exhaust valves and the top of the piston, causing compression and power issues.

The least expensive way to keep your car going in the spring is to have an inspection done and to make sure it’s required maintenance.

Dustin Piggott, Service Manager

Overheating can also affect important seals and gaskets, as some gaskets can melt and cause leaks.

In other cases, overheating can cause coolant to boil, which can pop hoses out of place or even explode.

Thankfully, there’s a cheap way to prevent those issues if a driver isn’t mechanically inclined.

“The least expensive way to keep your car going in the spring is to have an inspection done and to make sure it’s required maintenance,” said Piggott.

Piggott was previously a technician who owned a shop before taking a management position with Subaru’s Bend dealership.

He says that in Bend, summers are hot and dry, and winters are frigid and icy, exposing cars to extremes customers aren’t prepared to deal with – especially during peak tourist season.

Every year as temperatures rise, several customers arrive at the service center looking for common summer-related repairs.

At Subaru of Bend, an inspection costs $208, and while the exact cost will vary depending on the dealership’s location and the manufacturer, there is a lot that comes with the cost.

Expert advice on prepping your car for summer

Dustin Piggot, the Service Manager at a Subaru Dealership with years of technincal experience, told The U.S. Sun in an exclusive interview which items drivers should have checked before temperatures rise:

  1. Have a multi-point inspection performed. A paid inspection will prompt a technician to check vital systems like braking, power steering, and front and rear suspension for any leaks or malfunctions. They will also test the condition of the battery and check vital fluid levels and conditions.
  2. Cooling system. Before things heat up, drivers must have their cooling system inspected for proper coolant levels and condition, have radiator hoses evaluated, and have the radiator checked.
  3. Have your A/C system checked. If freon is low and needs charging or parts need to be replaced, it’s essential to address the issue before temperatures rise.
  4. Make sure your tires are appropriate for warmer weather. If you live in a climate that necessitates a dedicated winter tire, swap them with all-season or summer tires if possible to extend the life of the winter tire. Winter tires are softer and will wear out much quicker in warmer weather.
  5. Look at tread depth. Tires with low tread depth will make it more difficult to stop your car if you need to avoid an accident.
  6. Give your car some TLC. Before it gets too hot, Piggott says it’s important to give your car a good cleaning to wash away winter grime and dirt and treat your paint to a nice coat of wax to protect it from harsh UV rays and high heat. Many dealerships like his offer detailing and washing services.

Read more here.

An inspection will prompt a service technician to check the air conditioning system and engine drive belts, air filters, battery efficiency, radiator hoses, and tires.

Important systems like cooling, heating, braking, and power steering are inspected for leaks or malfunction.

Fluid levels across the board would be checked to ensure they’re at the right levels, viscosity, and color, too.

Suspension components are also checked to see that all rubber parts aren’t cracking and are malleable.

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