PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- I'd like to share a story of outstanding service I received from a local auto mechanic. I hope this story will influence you to use this mechanic for all your auto repair needs. My name is Chris and I own a 2003 Chevy Tahoe. When the Tahoe had 125,000 miles on the engine, the transmission went out and had to be rebuilt. In April of 2009, I took the vehicle to Cottman Transmission at 12445 Cave Creek Road Phoenix Az. 85022 (602) 371-1667. They rebuilt the transmission for a cost of approximately $2,400. They also gave me a three year, 36,000 mile full warranty.
The automatic transmission worked perfectly for 18 months, but then began to have problems shifting gears. I took the vehicle back to Cottman Transmission, thinking there would not be any problems since it was still under warranty. I was informed that the transmission would need a complete rebuild and to my bad luck I was notified that I had passed the 36,000 mile warranty by a mere 300 miles. That sickening feeling began to sink in. Was this stupid transmission going to cost me ANOTHER $2,400?
As luck would have it, the mechanic working with me, advised that he had spoken with the owner, Bard Estabrook, who decided to honor the warranty even though I had technically gone past expiration! I couldn't believe that this auto repair shop was going to do this. I have never experienced this type of service from any repair shop in my life. True to their word, this auto shop did a complete rebuild of my transmission for free. Let me say again that they rebuilt my transmission for FREE!
When I picked up the vehicle, I asked what it would have cost if I had to pay for the work and was told it would have been around $2,000. Astounded, I asked why they would do such a thing. The mechanic told me they have discovered that a satisfied customer's word of mouth worked better than any advertising they could pay for. Well… if you're reading this, then that is probably a true statement.
I have a total of three cars. As a result of this experience I've decided to take all my vehicles to Cottman Transmission at 12445 Cave Creek Road in the future. One of my cars needs brake work and a new catalytic converter. I expect these repairs to cost over $1,000, but I truly want to give the money to this Cottman Transmission repair shop because of this experience. I hope that you will consider Cottman Transmission (602) 371-1667 for all your future auto repair needs. Thanks for your time reading this article.
LODI, NEW JERSEY -- Cottman trans was recommended to me from a friend for my 1999 Jeep grand limited. I was going to have lee miles or a local (Denville trans) do the job but they replace the entire trans with a remanufactured unit for around $1500 to $1700 dollars. And a one year 17000 mile warranty. Cottman trans claimed this is not the way to go.
The remanufactured trans is garbage and they could "probably" rebuild mine better and cheaper. Denville and Lee miles offers a free estimate but Cottman charges $500 dollars so now I'm committed to them or eat the $500. Well, when they called to tell me what was needed and recommended including front brakes we were up to $2150! Fine whatever just get it done and do it right.
Two days later I pick up the truck and drive home about 40 miles. It drove somewhat OK but half way home the truck starts smoking and I mean smoking like it was a james bond car. The cars behind me had to pull over and stop until the smoke settled. When I got home I checked the trans oil level and found it about 5 quarts past the max fill level! The whole underside of the truck was covered in trans oil and it was hitting the exhaust pipe causing the smoke and probably almost caught fire! Rookie mistake!
They said they don't know how this happened. Well, on the receipt there's a 21 point check list, none of which were checked and the first one is trans oil level! I told them I would remove the oil to the proper level and see what happens. They said fine. It seemed fine for a couple miles and then it just started messing up bad.
There was a couple big "bangs"! then a gear whining noise and it was all over the place. Not downshifting, not upshifting, stuck in third gear. Reverse lights stopped working but the front brakes are fine. So I had to drive the truck all the way back to Lodi, they did not offer to tow the vehicle and actually asked if I could have it towed because I have AAA! They had no explanation for the faulty work and said they'll take care of it in a couple of days. We'll see... When I get the truck back I'm bringing it To Lee miles and Denville trans for a free diagnostic and see what they say about it.
SPRING HILL, FLORIDA -- On December 9, 2003, I spent $1278.42 to have my transmission rebuilt at Cottman Transmission 10479 County Line Rd. Spring Hill, Fl 34609. I have taken my truck two or three times a month over a 17 month period of time to have them try and make adjustments, replace parts in the transmissions or replace the transmissions. After Cottman replaced the second transmission and it would not operate properly, **, the manager told me that my truck was running badly because the transmission did not have enough vacuum to shift properly and to take my truck to a garage and have that fixed.
I took my truck to a garage and the mechanic said that the vacuum pressure was correct. The next day I went back to Cottman and ** told me to go to a different garage, so I did. The second garage that I took my truck to, hooked up three different gauges and told me that the vacuum pressure was correct. I then purchased a vacuum gauge and took it with me to show ** that the vacuum pressure was correct. He told me that his gauge was probably bad. After the third transmission did not work properly ** was so furious that he told me that I should sell my truck because he was sick of trying to fix it.
The fourth and final time that they put a transmission in my truck, they drove my truck 106.2 miles to and from the other Cottman Transmission that Mark LaVigne owns, to have his other mechanics put a transmission in. Three days later when I went to pick up my truck, ** told me that the truck was still not right but that the problem was the timing belt and or the transfer case and that the transmission that the St Pete shop put in, was wrong and that I needed to go and find the correct transmission for my truck and they would put it in.
** then said that all three of the transmissions that he had installed were also wrong. ** told me that he had just found out that day that my truck needed a special transmission. I took my truck to a garage to have my timing chain and transfer case checked and that mechanic said that the timing chain was fine and that he felt that the transfer case was fine but that I should have a transmission shop check out the transfer case. I then took my truck to Brooksville Transmissions, a shop that ** said he had a lot of respect for.
Brooksville Transmissions said that the timing chain was fine and that the transfer case was fine but that something was wrong in the transmission and that he could fix it. 17 months, four transmissions, and over forty times of me taking my tuck to Cottman to have them do something, I called Mark LaVigne, the owner of both Cottman Transmissions. Mark informed me that it was my fault, because ** didn't know that the transmission that I brought them to rebuild was not the transmission from my truck.
I told Mark that ** absolutely knew that it was not the original transmission because I asked ** to show me how to read the date code on the transmission and he did. I asked ** if it was OK that the date of the transmission that I had, was not the same year as my truck and ** said no problem, that all of these transmissions are alike and that he has not found one yet that he can't fix. Mark then said that the timing chain was bad and to have the transfer case checked.
I told Mark that I did take the truck and that the transmission needed fixed or rebuilt. Mark then asked me what it would take to make me happy and I said to give me my $1278.42 back so I can go to Brooksville Transmissions to have my truck fixed. Mark said that he would give me $400.00 of my money back because he lost way too much money trying to fix my truck and that I should fell fortunate because his brother ** should have charged me more than he did.
Since then I have taken my truck to four other transmission shops to get estimates, two of which were Cottman Transmissions and they all said that the problem with my truck is in the transmission and not the timing chain or the transfer case and that my truck does not take a special transmission. Jeff ** the operations manager at the Cottman in New Port Richey, told me that the transmission was so bad that I should not even be driving the truck because it might damage the motor and or rear end.
STROUDSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA -- I have a 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty with snow plow prep package included. I have been quite pleased with it and is truly a workhorse. The manual explains how you can shift into low gear while moving 2 to 3 miles per hour. Once I got stuck in low gear and could not get it out of low. First time it happened at 100000 miles. It then corrected itself by returning back to 2wd. Then it happened at 110000 miles. I tried everything to get it back to position but to no avail.
I decided to bring it in to Cottman Transmission. They determined that the transfer case would have to be disassembled. They found that the snap ring had to be replaced and the forks as well. Over 800 dollars in repairs. It took over 7 days for them to repair the transfer case. I understand it takes one day to diagnose the problem then at least two days to three days for parts to arrive from Chrysler. I blame Chrysler for not having more parts distributors.
Cottman calls me and tells me the truck is ready to be picked up. When I arrived at Cottman I asked the manager if it was test driven and all the fluids were replaced. I also asked if it were checked for leaks. When he said yes, I got under the truck and immediately noticed the transfer case was leaking. I also checked to see if there was any fluid in the transmission and found it was very low. I showed it to the manager and he said "Good Catch. It's hard to get good help these days."
The technician then puts in transmission fluid and overfills it. I told him to remove some fluid to get it at the right level and he said, "It's OK to overfill the transmission fluid on a truck." The stick indicate a fluid line which he simply told me to ignore. The next week it snowed and again it gets stuck in low. I bring it back to Cottman and again it was left there for one week 7 days. I was told it was test driven and when I decided to test drive it in 4wd High on mud the truck began to shake. I brought it back to Cottman and they said it was the universal joint.
I decided to get a second opinion so I went to Dodge Truck dealer and they determined that Cottman had put the wrong driveshaft into my truck. The dealer called Cottman and Cottman told us that there was another truck there that day and that they installed someone else's driveshaft by mistake. I lost a day of work and believe Cottman should have reimbursed me for lost wages.
Cottman refused to pay any consequential damages for loss of wages or rental. I will never go back to Cottman again because of my experiences with them. Also I heard other horror stories. My only advice to anyone out there is never use 4wd low NEVER. Even the experts stated 4wd low should never even be manufactured. I would also advise anyone who has automotive repairs done to put them on a credit card so that if you experience problems afterwards you can dispute the bill.