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 Kelly Blue Book trade in value is $ 4,100.00. Clearly it maked 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 thern 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 pistion; 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!!!