NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY -- IS IT POSSIBLE TO GIVE A MINUS 4 STAR REVIEW? My check engine light was on, so I decided to take advantage of Aamco's advertised "free" check engine diagnostic. I took my car to the Aamco on Rte. 27 in New Brunswick, NJ. After the experience that I had, I can only say that if my car broke down directly in front of that Aamco, I would immediately have it towed to almost any other mechanic. I received a call telling me that there were 2 codes, and the only way they could determine what was wrong was to do a deeper diagnostic.
They told me that driving the car would result in additional damage to the engine, so I allowed them to find out what was wrong. Meanwhile, I rented a car to get to and from work. A few days later, they told me that they had had to pull the heads to diagnose the problem and that I needed a new engine. They gave me an estimate of $6,500.00 to replace mine. I told them to put the car back together so that I could pick it up. My car is a 2002 Toyota Celica with approximately 160,000 miles on it. The Kelley Blue Book trade in value is $ 4,100.00. Clearly it make no sense to install a new engine!!
I called several times trying to get my car, and a printout of the diagnostic. I asked to speak to the mgr, and was put on hold and then cut off. I called back and was told that the mgr was on another phone and he would call me back. I waited more than 1/2 hour and called again, and was told that the reason it was taking so long was that they were trying to find a more affordable repair alternative. I asked, "Did I ask you to find an alternative repair?" The person who had answered the phone said, "Well if you're going to be nasty..." and hung up on me.
It took a call to Aamco corporate headquarters to get a call back, and the Customer relations person there assured me that the dealer had promised to give me an itemized bill and the diagnostic. My daughter-in-law picked the car up for me and was presented with a bill @ $518.00. She was told that to determine exactly what was wrong, they would have had to take the engine apart. (Isn't that what they said they had done?). What purported to be a detailed diagnostic said: Best guess is a cracked piston; and the itemized bill just said: Labor..$518.00.
I have since checked with two other mechanics. They both immediately said that: 1) There is no need to take the heads off to diagnose the problem, and that they would NEVER take the heads off of an engine of that age and mileage to diagnose a problem because it would be almost impossible to put it back together without actually repairing it. and, 2) The normal cost of a "check engine light" diagnostic is at most $79.00.
My regular mechanic now has the car. He says it DOES NOT appear that Aamco took the heads off. They most likely just did the "check engine light" diagnostic which is supposed to be FREE! New Brunswick Aamco charged me $518.00 for absolutely nothing! If you value your check book and your car, STAY AWAY FROM AAMCO!!
ORLANDO,, FLORIDA -- My name is ** from Orlando, Florida and I need help. I took my car to AAMCO Transmission on 5527 W. Colonial Dr. Orlando, FL. 32808 on 02/18/11 for jerking problems when I put my car in drive and reverse. ** the representative for this location called me back on the 18th and told me it was my transmission and it needed to be rebuilt. I specially asked ** will this fix the jerking problem and he said yes. So I told him to go ahead and fix the problem and ** told me the total out the door would be $2,193.08 (not knowing that he works on commission).
I then picked up my car on the 02/23/11 and was told by ** that the car would do a little jerking, for most of the soft and hard parts were replaced. He also told me to bring it back in 10 to 15 days to get it rechecked. On Friday just two days later my car started the same exact jerking that it was doing when I first took it in. I immediately called ** and he said to bring it in. I took my car in on 03/01/11 and a few hours later I called ** for him to tell me it's not my transmission and that it is natural for it to jerk or that it could my engine at this point but he wasn't sure.
I explain to ** that my car is not supposed to jerk and that if it was not my transmission then did you so call rebuild it? And if was my engine why didn't you fix my engine. I took my car to them for jerking problems and not transmission problems. ** then got irate with me and told me that my transmission was going bad anyway and that I would need one rebuilt and or replaced soon. ** stated that my transmission was slipping and when they drove it was slipping in third gear. How would they know that as to my car shifts into third gear at about 80 miles! Did they ride my car down Colonial drive going 80?
So I went to get my car that evening of the 1st and I showed ** and the mechanic the jerking and ** then tells me "Oh that is a problem and we will fix it." So ** said for me to bring my car back on 03/02/11 and they would fix it. I took my car back on 03/02/11 @ about 9:15 am. So from that point I called corporate and spoke with ** the consumer support manager on 03/02/11 and explain to him what was going on and he stated that he would call them and call me back.
** did call me right back at about 10:15 am and told me that they were working on my car and would find and fix the problem. From that point I didn't hear from the shop so I called at 12:30 pm and ** told me that they were still trying to find the problem and that he would call me back. I explain to ** that I didn't have any other source of transportation and what was I supposed to do. ** told me to let them find the problem and that he would call me back.
As of 4:00 pm I didn't hear from them so I called ** back and he ask had I heard from them and I told him know I haven't and I told ** again what was I supposed to do without a car and out of $2,193.08 dollars. ** told me that he didn't know. ** said that he would call them and call me back. I have disputed the charge, put in a claim with BBB. What else can I do? Can you please help me?
Transmission #1: Mini Van. We took it to AAMCO north of Atlanta and they said they would rebuild it back to "Factory Spec" for $1800. They did the work and when we got it back, at a stop sign or stop light it would shift out of gear and when we pressed the gas to take off it would slam into gear and take off. They said they had to replace a piece that was not replaced during a rebuild. That's code for "We don't rebuild the transmission, we replace the bad parts. If your transmission had 180,000 miles on it, most of the parts probably still have that many miles on them except for those ones that were keeping if from working when you took it in."
The transmission also whinnied so loud that we could hear it over the radio. Took it back to them and they said that it was probably the torque converter needing to be replaced, again. Get it back and they "adjusted" something inside and it was a little more quiet but we could still hear it from inside the van. (My brother made fun of us because we pulled up to a restaurant, where he was waiting for us on the sidewalk, and he said it sounded like we were strangling someone).
Transmission #2: work truck. The automatic transmission on my work truck would only work in 2nd gear. We took it to AAMCO in South Atlanta and they said they could put it back to "Factory Spec" (there's that phrase again) for about $1900. They did the work and when I got it back, guess what it was doing.. Yep, shifting out of gear at a stop and slamming back into gear when I went to take off. Took it back to them and they charged us to replace a part that wasn't covered in a rebuild (wasn't a bad part until I drove it a day). That transmission lasted a whole 20,000 miles (1 1/2 years).
I took it back to them to look at the transmission because when it shifted into overdrive it would whine loudly (only in overdrive). They told me that it was the rear end and they could fix it for $1300. I took it to another transmission shop and the OWNER of that shop went for a ride with me, and he diagnosed the problem as the transmission (I know, your shocked). I let him REBUILD the transmission and it works great. He replaced ALL the parts inside (gears, bearings and everything else) for less than AAMCO. He put another torque converter in because the one that AAMCO used was the cheapest thing around.
If you need work done, DON'T TAKE IT TO AAMCO, unless you have money to have it redone later. My suggestion is to go to a place where the owner's name is on the sign out front. I didn't put the shop's name in this review because I don't want you to think I'm trying to promote someone. Also, get a second opinion, it saved me about $1300+.
ALBUQUERQUE NM, NEW MEXICO -- Terrible, awful, horrible place full of dishonest untrustworthy people to be avoided at all costs. The Aamco store located at 6629 Lomas Boulevard Northeast, Albuquerque NM Lomas Street in Albuquerque NM 87110 had my classic Ford with a four-speed manual for literally 3 months attempting to repair a leak in a recently rebuilt transmission which was installed at the Aamco store at 68680 Ramon Rd. in Cathedral City, Ca 92234.
Despite being given literally thousands of dollars to completely rebuild the transmission, clutch and U-joints, neither the Albuquerque store, nor the California store ever fixed the problem or took responsibility. When I first picked it up and took it home it did not take me long to notice it leaked about a quart a day. Then, after several week "repair", the car drove seven miles before blowing a front input shaft seal and dumping quarts of fluid into the clutch ruining it.
Then, after another few weeks, I was again told to come pick up my car. This time, I drove it for a few days and it now it occasionally engaged BOTH first AND reverse gear at the same time. So, again it went back to Aamco. They spent another two weeks trying to fix the sticking in gear problem, and told me to pick it up for the fourth time. At which point, during the test drive with the head technician named ** in the car with me, it had a new vibration so bad you wouldn't drive over 50mph on a dare.
The tech swore it was normal even though the car never did that before. When I complained, I was threatened by the staff and told to take my car home despite it not being repaired. So, I took it home. I had spent almost $3000.00 and now it is worse! So, I immediately reported the case to both BAR and NM attorney general. The Albuquerque NM Aamco store blamed the other California Aamco store and so forth, and the car never got fixed, and I never saw that money again.
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- Somewhat in their defense I had my transmission rebuilt at another shop several months prior (moved to new city). When I first called the shop on Arden I was told there was a policy about having to take it back to the original shop if it was less than 50 miles. I then found my original receipt and it did not say anything like that. I called the Arden shop back and was told to go ahead and bring it in. On October 29 I brought the car in. After they looked at it I was told that they were going to send the transmission back to Yuba City for them to work on and that it would be a couple days.
Things kept getting delayed until I finally picked up the car on Monday November 10th. I was informed that the delay was because that they consider the car an exotic and only one guy could put it back together and he was out. Nov 14th, 2008. Drove Subaru to work, approximately 2 blocks from work I felt the transmission slipping and then there was a popping type of sound and smoke started to come out the back of the car. I pulled over in an alley across from my work. The car was smoking and flames were seen underneath the transmission/engine area. I ran inside the office and grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.
Shortly after 8 am I called the AAMCO on Arden way and talked to Dave. I told him what happened and asked him what he was going to do about it. He informed me that he was not responsible that he only installed the transmission which was rebuilt at the AAMCO dealer in Yuba City. I informed him I did not think that was fair because he was the last one to deal with it. He then informed me he is an independent owner and not affiliated with other shops. He then told me I could call AAMCO Headquarters and talk to them.
I called AAMCO headquarters and was put through to an automated system and was instructed to leave a message about my complaint. I did so. I also sent them an e-mail. I then called the Yuba City AAMCO and told them what happened and they told me they were not responsible because they did not know if the Arden shop put it in correctly. ** informed me they have a policy which says the last shop to deal with it is responsible for 30 or 90 days (he was not sure which).
I then called the Arden shop back and asked what he was going to do again. He then asked me how I knew if it was the transmission. I informed him it seemed intuitively obvious if I just had the transmission put back in for the 2nd time and the transmission went out and then leaked transmission fluid on the exhaust that it was the transmission. He informed me that he could not know that and it could be anything. He then asked if it was leaking prior. I told him no it was not since I just picked it up 4 days ago.
He acted like it was a total coincidence of problems and not his fault in any way. I then said I wanted it fixed and could he have it towed back to his shop. He said he would call the Yuba City shop back and get back to me. I did not hear back from him.
At 3:30 I called the Yuba City shop and talked with **. ** said he had been talking to ** at the Arden shop and he thought they were going to have it towed back to the Arden shop. I told him I have not heard from them, he said he would call and call me back. He never called me back. Monday November 17, waited until 10:30 and then called HQ again, they said customer service was at lunch (which is funny because it is just a recording for customer service anyway). I sent another e-mail because it had been past 24 hours and I still had not heard back from customer service like it says on the recording.
At around 11:30 I called the Arden shop and spoke with **. He apologized and said he forgot and that he would send a tow truck over to get the car. Around 12:30 the tow truck showed up and took the car. At that time ** from HQ called and I went over stuff with her. Not much help, still no answers as to who was responsible. I called the Arden shop to request that all parts be saved. ** was not in so I left a message with **. Finally got the car back and was told one of the hoses had leaked transmission fluid on the exhaust. I was shown the hose with a cut in it.
Seemed funny how a perfect knife type cut got on the hose. He said he put new hoses in it for me. A few weeks later the car starts acting up and not shifting, the check light comes on. This time we took it to Subaru who informed me the wrong size hoses had been installed.
Not one step in the whole process did anyone of the two shops properly fix the problem. I was just offered excuse after excuse. I did learn that as soon as there is a problem they are not AAMCO but an independent shop. So my lesson is they are not good enough to operate as an independent shop but use the franchise name to get business. Never again with AAMCO. I just remembered the original estimate I was given over the phone went up once it was a part at the original shop.
LEMON GROVE, CALIFORNIA -- The "Customer Service Manager" **, was rude and obnoxious when he learned that I would be declining their services and have my vehicle repaired elsewhere. First of all, it took two days to tell me it would be $800 for them to remove my transmission to know what's wrong. I was told it was an 8 hour job to take my transmission out and put it back in. It took another two days for them to remove my transmission, then I was given a quote for $3300. I returned to the shop the next day around 4:25 P.M. after shopping around and reviewing their BBB complaints. I informed him I just wanted my car, I would pay for the work they had done, $400.
I don't want anything else done & they did not have to put my transmission back in. I would have it towed. A tow truck had already been to get my vehicle and he didn't tell me they had come. After calling the tow truck a second time and asking him if it was O.K for the tow truck to arrive a little after 5, which he agreed and O.K.'d. Never once mentioned I would not be able to get my car that day. The tow truck arrived @ 4:40 and was waiting because my car was still up on the rack. I asked one of the mechanics if he could get my car ready and my transmission because I was taking my car, which he was not informed.
** finally decides to ask after the tow truck had been waiting a good ten minutes, and I had been standing around waiting on him to talk on the phone, punch on the computer and greet his personal guests, if I could come back tomorrow? I refused and told him no, that I wanted my car today and I've had to call a tow truck twice because of his lollygagging and I just want to pay what I owe and get my car! Well, he said it's not going to happen and that I had to come back tomorrow because they close @ 5 and my vehicle needed to be reassembled and it would take at least an hour and he wasn't going to pay his guy's overtime.
The police were called and he lied in my face and said we did not ask him about the tow truck which at that point made me very uncomfortable about leaving my car if he could lie dead in my face! I returned the next day to pick up vehicle & asked him where was my transmission so that I could take pictures of the parts. He told me it was outside in a box.
I asked what belonged to me and are they going to put it in my car he told me "No you can do that yourself!” And I told him, “This is **! I am paying you guys for taking my transmission out and you are gonna tell me that I have to carry all this and put it in the car myself. No I'm not and whenever you lose your attitude what I'm asking is not unreasonable especially for $400!”
The mechanic did it & the tow truck hooked the car up. Go to pay and he says they don't take checks, there is no sign stating this. I had to have the tow truck unhook my car so I could go to the bank and would have to recall once I returned with the cash! He intentionally had me waiting & I had to call a tow 4x before I got my vehicle.
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA -- I am crying as I type because I am desperate, AAMCO is abusing my precarious situation, we own a car that even though it's old and maybe it's not worth much, it takes us places we need to go. It's a DODGE STRATUS 95, my little children depend on this car for transportation to school and daycare.
7 months ago it started acting up on us, it kept getting stuck on 3rd gear while driving, obviously we took it to a place to take care of it, we took it to AAMCO the transmission place!!! In Mandarin, they told us that the computer was broken and that they needed to replace it and get a new one, we barely covered what it cost, it was around $400, but got our little savings out of the bank and paid for it.
Approximately 2 weeks later it kept doing the same and we took it back there, this time they told us that the transmission was the one broken and they went ahead and got a rebuilt transmission charging us $2,400. We couldn't pay it for the longest time, so we dealt with it because we couldn't do anything at that time…
Then we couldn't afford our apartment and moved to a church looking for shelter, after almost 2 months I got a loan from the bank with very high interests and went ahead and paid for the car to get it out, thinking that we didn't have to worry about it anymore, to our surprise, oops, it did it again only 3 hours after picking it up!!!
Ever since June AAMCO tows our car back to their store with the same problem, I believe they keep replacing the computer and this is our 8th computer now but I don't think this is the problem. It keeps getting stuck in 3rd gear and our original problem was never solved. We are now desperate, we can't do this, we have a car but every time they tell us the problem is solved, it just isn't. The original symptom is there, it keeps getting stuck in 3rd gear and yesterday I went to ask to refund our money because we would like to pay off the loan and maybe buy another car instead of taking the bus but they refused.
Then I asked if they could please get us a rental to get by until the car is fixed but they refused too… I am desperate, I can't afford to live like this, my daughter has been late for school several times and I can't get to work early either, I am going to lose my job and I just don't know what else to do… Please help me and my little family to get a decent way to get around this city in order to survive.
Searching on the web I found out a lot of websites about the bad service and lack of customer service AAMCO around the US has... I am so ashamed that I am poor and can't afford a newer car, I feel bad for my children as well. They deserve so much better.
BARRIE ONTARIO CANADA -- We recently had to have our transmission rebuilt due to a radiator failure in our 2003 Acura MDX. We picked up the SUV after a week and noticed that the "D" on the gear selector was flashing. We returned the SUV to Aamco and were told that it was a pressure sensor and that they did not have the special tool to install it. We went to Acura where they replaced the sensor, I asked the people at the service desk why it required a special tool and they looked at me kind of curiously and said it's no special tool only a regular wrench.
When I returned to Aamco they denied the whole thing and stated that the switch was not included in the rebuild of the transmission. I explained to them that this problem was not present when the transmission cooler burst. 5 months down the road we were on the highway and I was accelerating from an on ramp onto the highway when the transmission slipped out of gear. We returned the SUV to Aamco for repair. While we were there I took a technician out for a test drive and the fault occurred while we were out.
We returned to the shop and the technician and the manager were talking about it. We were told to bring the SUV back the next day. My partner brought it back the next day and the manager and her took it out for another drive. The problem did not occur with the SUV at that time and he stated I can't fix what is not broken. He stated that it could be driver error that was causing the problem.
1 month later we started to experience severe hesitation which felt like a clogged fuel filter so we returned the SUV to Acura. They took it out for a test drive and they called back and told us that they needed to tow the SUV back, that the transmission was dead. The SUV was towed back to Aamco where they took the transmission apart and found that a pump in the transmission was worn and they needed to order a new one. This particular part could not be found in the whole of North America! So it had to be ordered from Japan!!! Total wait time 3 weeks plus installation.
My complaint is that we had to rent a car and pay for it for a fault that arose from Aamco's poor workmanship. I can understand if I brought the SUV in the first time and it was being repaired. But since this was being done under Warranty I feel the onus is on Aamco to provide us with a rental until the SUV is repaired. I feel that this is very unprofessional of this company and I will never patronize this business again.
LAUREL, MARYLAND -- On February 17, 2012, for safety I had my vehicle towed to Aamco. I contacted AAMCO via telephone (301) 776-5944, located at 20 Washington Blvd Laurel, Maryland 20707, Laurel, Maryland, that the vehicle would be towed because I believe the transmission was slipping. At this time my name, address and date of birth was requested by a representative, **.
Once vehicle arrived; 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor reached AAMCO, ** from AAMCO called, notified that they had received the vehicle and they would inspect vehicle to determine the problem and would call me on Monday February 20 because they had a backlog. He mentioned they would do diagnostic on the vehicle to determine what exactly the problem was.
Monday, February 20, ** notified that the transmission was gone and that it would cost $5,200 to rebuild the transmission. I stated that was entirely too high, why would I pay $5,200 for a rebuilt transmission when I could purchase a new transmission from the dealer for $3,900. I told him that this price was ridiculous and I would come to retrieve my vehicle. He then notified me that I would have to pay $795 to put the transmission back in my vehicle.
I was stunned because I never signed or gave authorization to have the transmission taken out of vehicle only to determine if the problem was the transmission. On Tuesday, February 21, a certified mechanic and I went to retrieve vehicle only to be told that the price to rebuild the vehicle was $6,200 (the price changed) and $795 was due.
The mechanic informed the shop that they didn't have to drop the transmission to determine if it was gone, they could have driven the vehicle or put on a machine and inform me that the transmission was gone and gave the cost. This was not done nor did I sign a contract. AAMCO is refusing to return my vehicle unless I pay them $795 to reinstall the transmission. At no point did I sign or authorize to have any work performed.
DOVER, DELAWARE -- Aamco visit number 1. (One day) after reading the check engine light code which stated my transmission was failing, I was quoted it would cost 1,600 to 2,000 dollars. I choose to go to Aamco because it was a well known name. After first visit and trans. repair my bill was 2,700 dollars. When I asked about the difference in price they said that there was more wrong than they thought, trusting the name from the constant commercials I've seen on TV I said OK. After I drove about two miles my check engine light came on. Then turn around and took it back and was told they forgot to reset that light so they did that.
About 5 miles after I left this time it came on again. Went back and was told they didn't have time to investigate the problem but would discount the light and was told it would be fine and to bring it back later. Knowing that some auto repairs can be tricky I agreed and said OK. Visit number 2 (3 hours). They switched some bushing because they said maybe the rebuilt ones they had put may have been bad. After waiting 3 hours I was told "opps" that they were also bad cause the problem still was not fixed.
They then told me they would order new ones so I would have to come back when they got them in and mentioned that now "the fine jewels” in my cat. converter needed to settle because they have probably been disturbed. Trip number three (one day). All was good for a week then transmission started same thing it was doing in the beginning and check engine light is on again. Aamco trip number four (four days) now I'm being told nothing is wrong cause it's not messing up for them even after 5 of my friends have taken it for a ride and it messed up on all of them. I was just trying to get some input.
Also, they say the check engine light is a code for the cat. converter. Which now ** is saying they never touched it even he already told me they did. I will tell everyone I ever see, and working in two restaurants that's a lot, never, never, never go to Aamco if they don't fix this. 1,600 to now what could be over 4,000 and now 6 days of unpaid work. Regretfully for choosing.