AAMCO Transmissions, Inc. - Page 3

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72 Reviews & Complaints

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Dishonest and Unreputable Mechanic Shop
Posted by Noemail4846 on 09/14/2013
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA -- NEGATIVE 5 STARS !!!! They tried to tell my friend in addition to a new clutch (which he really did need) he also needed new master clutch and slave cylinders. The owner's wife and manager, said it was because the parts were rusted. Really? Water causes rust, not hydraulic fluid. I asked to examine the parts which at first she balked at, then we were only shown the slave cylinder which worked perfectly fine (it's a simple hydraulic cylinder) and no rust. When this was pointed out, she told me I had to leave her shop because I was not the one who signed the work order. Neither her nor the owner could provide a valid reason for either part needing replaced. They threatened to call the police if I would not quit talking although I was very professional and calm in both tone and demeanor. I had to remind them we have freedom of speech in the USA! The owners on the other hand are easily agitated and lack anything close to normal communication skills. They eventually offered to my friend they would reinstall his old master and slave cylinders at no charge if he paid for the clutch work.

For those not mechanically inclined, a hydraulic clutch could not operate at all if either of these parts were dysfunctional. The fact they plan to put them back indicates there was never a problem with them originally. On top of that they were going to charge $177 in labor just to replace these cylinders which anyone could do in their driveway in an hour. They were definitely trying to take advantage of an old army veteran just because he lacked mechanical knowledge. They tried to increase the $630 clutch job to a $950 clutch job. Thieves of Baghdad they are!! I wold have to agree with Donnie V., you would get better service and mechanical work by visiting a preschool. If you want a good mechanic see Joseph DeGray in Auburn next to the concrete statues (as I suggested to my friend).
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Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-09-14:
I wouldn't take my car to AAMCO, you know the old joke AAMCO = All Automatics Must Come Out. But there are couple things here that need to be pointed out.

1. If the hydraulic fluid in the slave cylinder gets contaminated, it can certainly rust, particularly if the fluid happens to be DOT 3/4 brake fluid. But if you examined it and there was no rust then they were just trying to pad the bill, which is common for chain automotive repair shops

2. Your freedom of speech ends when you step on private property. They can tell you leave for any reason they want to.

3. $177 to replace the salve cylinder is actually pretty reasonable for a shop in Cali. Their labor rate is probably $90 an hour or better.

It sounds like they are a shady shop, but most chain shops are.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-09-14:
Since hydraulic fluid is hygroscopic, it retains water over time. This is why you should change your brake fluid every few years. Otherwise, corrosion may occur in calipers, seizing them. It can affect the master cylinder as well.

Business owners may request anyone leave their premises. It sounds like they could have supplied a valid reason.
Posted by Old Timer on 2013-09-15:
Had a friend that worked at an AAMCO many years ago. He told me to never let any of their shops touch anything I own. I have had to buy a couple trans over the years, but never at AAMCO based on his advice. Sound advice.
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Do Not Trust What They Tell You
Posted by Spd312 on 09/06/2013
SPRINGDALE, ARKANSAS -- I had a problem with my Lincoln, the transmission at times would shift erratically. the transmission would do this occasionally. I took it to Amoco because they were a national company and I assumed they were trustworthy and did good work, boy was I surprised. the guy drove my car into the shop, popped the hood, pulled the transmission dipstick, looked at it, and put it back. he then started the car worked the shift lever up and down, he turned the car off and shut the hood. he then went off to another part of the shop, after about 10 minutes he came back backed the car out and parked it.

Another man came into the waiting area and told me my transmission " was fried ", I asked him what had they found he said they put it on the computer analyzer and it needed to be replaced because it was fried. I asked what that cost and he said 2,000.00, he didn't look up anything in the computer or check any kind of resource he just said 2,000.00. I told him I didn't believe the transmission was bad and asked for some kind of printout or something from his analyzer which he didn't have, he had nothing to back up his claim. being that a analyzer was never hooked up to my car, a report from the analyzer didn't exist.

liars and cons are all these people are, I am going to make sure I inform everyone I know about this place. the thing is I went to another local owned transmission shop and was told a solenoid was bad, they replaced the solenoid and my car runs like brand new. this repair cost less than $100.00. so there you go
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Extremely Poor Customer Service
Posted by Jewelree54 on 08/29/2013
8129 GEORGIS AVE SILVER SPRING 20910, MARYLAND -- I had my car towed to this company for second opinion after having a rebuilt transmission done in 2009 I was told I needed another one on 11/23/2012. I was quoted a price which when car was ready was more then previously stated and they wanted all the money at once where before, with the same business and transmission mechanic I paid $1000 cash and wrote 3 post dated checks with no problem.

Things got worse for me (job lost) unable to meet my obligations, I had to file bankruptcy. I was informed that I could get my belongings and when I returned to the shop, not only was the car stored on an open lot to the public, but my belongings were gone. Returning back to the office I informed Kevin, who went into the office and made a phone call and never returned or said anything to me.

I called the police to file a report, filed a complaint with the BBB which they are not a member of, the owner is January. I feel this was blatant disregard for their customers vehicles/belongings and extremely poor customer service. in this open to the public storage yard were a late model Audi, Mercedes, and Cadillac.
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Posted by DebtorBasher on 2013-08-29:
Do they have signs posted stating they are not responsible for lost or stolen items? If your car was kept locked up, they really didn't do anything wrong and having an open lot doesn't make them guilty of anything.
Posted by azRider on 2013-08-29:
If you knew it was going to cost a certain amount that was quoted and did not have the money to pay it, why did you authorize the work to be done? I would not take post dated checks either. I mean they could bounce. seriously, think about it, I do work on your car, you say here take this check I promise there will be money in there in a week, and I give you the car. how dumb is that? they did the work, they want to be paid all at once. nothing wrong with that at all. sounds to me like you just did not budget your repair correctly. As to stolen items, why did you leave them in the car? I'd never leave anything of value in a car that is going to be repaired for several days or even an hour.
Posted by cmthru on 2013-08-29:
How long was the car there? You report it needing a transmission Nov 2012. It's now August 2013. If the car has been there so long consider yourself lucky they didn't have it towed off or sold.

Every shop I've ever been to has a sign just like DebtorBasher says. They are not responsible for for personal items left in the vehicle.

The OP does not report the vehicle having been broken in to or damage indicating a break in. One can surmise that an employee took items but without proof all the OP can do is make a claim to her/his insurance company.
Posted by Old Timer on 2013-08-30:
I rate Aamco Transmissions about the same level as Pep-Boys or Wal-Mart Auto service.

I actually knew a guy long ago that worked at a Aamco Transmission. He told me the last place you would ever want to get tranny work done is Aamco Transmissions.

Says little about all the grief above, but it was good advice I will pass on.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-08-30:
I always take everything out of my car, even before I take it to my trusted mechanic. I would have gone down toot sweet and gotten my stuff, especially if I could not pay for the work.

I think cmthru is on the right track - about all the op can do is file a claim with their insurance co.

BBB complaints actually work best when the company is not a member (ironically), but with this issue I would not expect them to be of assistance.
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Wouldn't Let Them Work on Anything I Own Again
Posted by Hoffmanbmxbikerider on 06/29/2013
It took them three weeks to put new gears in the front and rear. Tech guy matt[snip]would work on it for a little bit and then would stop and work on something else. They have lied to me several times on the phone. I will not take anything there ever again.
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They Didn't Fix Orginal Problem ...They Keep Coming Up With More Things That They Say Needs Fixed When None of the Things They Sai
Posted by Sandiashford on 02/20/2013
MARYLAND -- Aamco keeps messing the car up, the day they fixed car we had 2 have car towed back 2 them. Then they claimed they fix it. Car still not running right, my daughter missed 2 days of work because of them they said she needed a battery, her battery was good till they got her car they put in a fuel pump meanwhile they messed more stuff as it is she hasn't been able 2 use her car since they supposedly fixed it her car was running better before they (fixed it) now she has no car its parked in front of house hasn't moved since the day they supposedly fixed it ..... I want the car fixed right they took her money & gave her back a car that is more messed you then it was before
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Posted by leet60 on 2013-02-20:
You need to keep that car away from AAMCO. Find a reputable independent mechanic. It sounds as if they are checking the car computer for codes and fixing the first code that comes up. This is not uncommon, and rarely diagnoses the problem accurately.
Posted by trmn8r on 2013-02-21:
AAMCO is a transmission repair chain now passing itself off as the new WalMart of auto repair. This can't end well for the customer. Uh-oh, looks like you got AAMCO.
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Fraudulent Aamco Dealer
Posted by Drmusky on 11/01/2012
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND -- Took my car to the Rockville, MD Aamco (818 Rockville Pike) to have the starter replaced. They told me I also needed a tune up because the car was running rough - especially new spark plugs and wires. Starter was replaced but I didn't opt for the $300 additional service they recommended on the plugs because the car had been running very smoothly. Car was running rough when I drove home. Opened the hood and one of the wires had been disconnected from the spark plug - oldest trick in the book. Anywhere but the car repair industry this would be attempted theft. Will never use this dealer again.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-11-02:
Sounds likely. I ordinarily wouldn't use Aamco for anything but their specialty - transmissions, but replacing a starter isn't rocket science.
Posted by olie on 2012-11-03:
Reader's Digest did a story on this in the 80s or 90s. The authors drove across the country, in a vehicle that had been thoroughly vetted by a trusted mechanic. Just before entering a town, the authors pulled a spark plug wire.

Mechanics' responses ranged from "Hey, one of the wires is loose. I fixed it, have a nice day" to "You need a new engine and transmission."

You're right that this is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Thank you for the reminder!
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Terrible Service, Defective Parts, and Slow
Posted by Pocoleo2002 on 09/19/2012
PGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- I took car in for fuel pump. Took like 1 week to fix. 2 months or so later it died again. I was without a car for yet another week. Had a sensor replaced and they put a hole in my radiator. Had to take back yet again. All in less than a year. Now 2 years later the radiator is dead and a sensor. Both had 1 year warranty. Don't ever take your car here. They blame time inconvience on waiting for parts. They do not do quality work. Obviously they know it to because they don't offer lifetime warranty on parts.
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Soldier down
Posted by on 08/11/2012
OLMYPIA, WASHINGTON -- On AUG 7 2012, I took my Ford F150 super crew triton 5.4 4x4 truck into Aamco for a transmission diagnosis, because I believed the trans was slipping. Any work needed for trans repairs would be covered under warranty. I was relieved to discover there was nothing wrong with my transmission or engine. The manager "Damian" informed me that the real problem was I needed a tune up, their diagnosis of my power train came back positive, no problems at all. He informed me the issue was a needed tune up, and the cost for a full tune up. I immediately replied that I was unable to produce the funds needed, because of my recent family problems, debt and current situation. I was under the impression my insurance would cover any damage that my trans was in. Tune up was the last thing on my mind. After informing Damian that I was broke at the moment and that after a few months I would return with my truck and tune up money. He warned me about using shade tree part time mechanics, by telling me the risk of rookies pulling spark plugs and breaking them off into the engine. He told me that Aamco would give me a tune up and allow pay period, payments of anywhere between 20 to 30 bucks every 1st and 15th until paid in full. I accepted after he convinced me it was a great deal, the price quoted was very low compared too competitors. While the mechanic was abstracting the spark plugs he broke one off. This was a major problem cause they were unable to remove the broken spark plug for three days. At first they were holding me responsible for something the Ford manufacturer made by attempting to charge me to pull my heads in order to abstract the broken plug. I was told that the cost was around $1000 or more for repairs. They said that they might have to pull my engine out to get the plugs out. After speaking to the manager a couple of times, who was very respectful and understanding, I was turned over to the owner who also was very understanding and respectful. They decided that, base on the fact I was not properly informed of the risk involved, the fact that I am a active duty Soldier and due to my financial status, they would do the job completely free of charge. I must admit I was feeling really down about my recent run of bad luck. Aamco of Olympia, has shown with actions that they really do support the troops by taking care of my repairs. They even called me yesterday and said they wanted to keep my truck over the weekend for an additional two days to thoroughly go over my truck. The manager said he wanted to take extra precautions with preventive cleaning of the spark plug holes. I am supposed to get my vehicle back in tip top shape on Monday Augusta 13, 2012 around 10:30 in the morning free of charge, according to the manager Damian. I will return with an update after receiving my beautiful black F150. My leaders are aware of my current situation, and are paying for a full inspection on my vehicle upon return to be sure all is well. My update will be following those results. I know this sounds to good to be true. If all goes as promised by Aamco in Olympia, this business will definitely be the best auto car care center I have ever dealt with.

Thank you Aamco
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Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2012-08-11:
While I would never bring any of my vehicles for Aamco. I do applaud the shop owner for doing you a solid.

The spark plug issue is well known to just about anyone who keeps up with cars. Ford used a 2 piece spark plug on the 3 valve 4.6L and 5.4L engines, unfortunately this makes them prone to breakage when extracting them from the head. And there is indeed a specific method that you're supposed to use in extracting them, if you do it according to the book, then the chances of having a plug break is greatly reduced. The downside of it is that it greatly increases the amount of time to do the job ; part of it is leaving letting the penetrating fluid work overnight (preferably) or at least 4-6 hours (minimum). Unfortunately some people try to change out the plugs like they would on a vehicle with ordinary plugs and they end up breaking the plug, and it can be a nightmare to get the broken plug out. Fortunately though, Autolite now makes a 1 piece plug for the Ford 3 valve modular engines, which is godsend for those who regularly work on those engines.
Posted by spiderman2 on 2012-08-12:
I'm glad Aamco is taking care of you but I have a question. You state that you thought any transmission work would be covered by warranty and then later you state that you thought it would be covered by insurance. If you were looking at warranty work, wouldn't the work have to be done by an authorized Ford dealership? Aamco will do the work but it wouldn't be covered under your warranty. I hope it all works out for you and thank you for your service!
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-08-12:
Sounds like a typical Aamco story. Your tranny isn't in trouble, but you need a routine tuneup. Yeah, ok.

They are doing the right thing in not charging you because they are the ones who did the damage. I sincerely hope that your status as a soldier was not a factor - they should have fixed this for any customer.
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Aamco Libertyville Center- Avoid!!
Posted by Mozzerella.nu on 07/21/2012

Here's my personal experience:

Like everyone else, I brought my car in to fix the transmission thinking they're probably better than bringing the car to the dealer, since they're cheaper. Their online profile makes them look really big and reliable, but the truth is: FAR FROM THAT! They're really out to suck as much money as they can.

My experience at the Libertyville Center was HORRIBLE. Joe [snip], the Manager, is DECEPTIVE, DISHONEST and A TOTAL SCAMMER. The first impression they give is: friendly, courteous. But all these are facades and lies, to get you to agree to opening your car.

Once they touch your car, it's almost impossible to stop the repair work. You just have to continue on after they touch your car once- that's how they con people's money. There's no return. Since you already spent THAT much on just opening your car (Btw, no one charges $700 just to open the car for checks)

But Joe did not get my permission to take apart my car but did so, claiming that my social security number is authorization to take apart my car. And demanded payment for disassembling my car before I can get my car back.

On Friday evening I wanted to get my car back but upon threatening to call the police, Joe [snip] fled immediately, locking the place up. So I had to drive all the way back on Saturday, wanting to settle the issue peacefully but just getting my car back without payment. He refused again.

Troubled, I called AAMCO headquarters and spoke to 2 of the corporate directors: Jeff and someone else. THEY SOUND EXACTLY THE SAME: FAKE, SALESY, SLEEZY. I thought the directors would be more reasonable and help me in this case. But they weren't. In fact, they probably are the ones behind all the scamming. No way they'll ever help you to get money back EVER!
So I had no choice but to call the police. Thank God the police were so helpful and understanding. The 2 officers helped to finally get my car back after speaking to the boss over the phone.


If you already sent your car to AAMCO, and regret doing that, Don't be afraid to call up the police or threaten to sue them in court. You will probably Win the case.

I am pretty sure that other centers have many similar bad experiences to share. Just search on Google, you'll find tons of negative reviews.

It's just my luck that I sent my car there without prior research or investigation. I hope this doesn't happen to anyone else.
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Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-07-21:
I don't live in that area, but I'm sure your review will make people think twice before going there...thanks.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2012-07-21:
Good review. I would take the car to a place to get it checked out immediately.
Posted by No repairs for me on 2012-07-22:
Never give anyone your social security number! I don't care who they are and why they want it!
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Posted by Sarahkindle783 on 07/19/2012
They were a great help with my recent car troubles. The problem I thought was transmission related turned out to be a spark plug. I was very pleased about the quick and reasonable price.
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