$700 and three trips to Aamco to fix $15 part; and still not fixed

I recently took my car to the HWY 99 Aamco, in Tigard OR to diagnose and fix a problem with the cooling system. The first time I take it in, the manager (Jim) checks over the system and tells me that the problem is the water pump, and additionally he will need to flush the radiator, replace the thermostat and the thermostat housing. I hesitate to agree to this because I literally just changed the thermostat a week prior, and flushed the radiator two months prior. The total is $460, and so I agree because I need to get the vehicle back on the road. He changes the items, checks the engine again and tells me it is fixed. The very next time I drive the car, the car gives me the same reaction (gauge reading overheating; irregularly going from hot to cold without warning). I tell Jim about this, and express my initial frustration because I had only spent 400 to buy the car. He tells me to take it back in, checks it over again and tells me that the problem is in a worn out spring inside of the fan. He says that he let the car heat up, and watched the fan turn off for no reason while it read overheating and assured me this really was the problem. $180 dollars more and he replaces my whole fan unit. He checks it again and says it is definately working now. My wife drives it out of the shop and is not even a mile away and it reads overheating AGAIN! She drives it back to Jim, he pops the hood and finally puts a laser heat sensor on the engine while the gauge is saying it is overheating. Then he looks at where the sensor cable goes in, and it is VISIBLY stripped and damaged! He offers to replace the part for seventy dollars more but my wife refuses to pay another penny without talking to me. I call Napa, and get the part for $15. Now I have just spent nearly 700 dollars and three trips to Aamco to replace a $15 dollar part on a car that only cost $400. When my wife mentions this to Jim, his only response was "well those other parts would have needed replaced eventually." The car is 20 years old, the whole engine could do with being replaced eventually, but that is NOT what we brought it to Aamco for. I send this message as a complaint to Aamco's main office, HOPING that their entire company had better ethics than this individual store. The main company (to their credit) had a representative contact me within a week and it looked like they were going to do something about the poor service. But then two months later I don't hear anything from any of them. I write Aamco a second time, telling them I just wanted to hear some kind of response; either for or against my complaint. They have since sent me a letter from the HWY 99 Aamco that I went to, with the owner of that store saying that all of the work done was nescessary. Following is the letter sent by him, after each paragraph is my response to his letter: "As I discussed with you Wednesday, the reason we recommended replacing the water pump was because the water pump was leaking. Prior to bring the car to our shop, you had added an anti-leak compound to the radiator and this had to be flushed out as it had contaminated the thermostat and kept it from working properly ( it did not close all the way). The thermostat housing had holes in it and there were some notches on the thermostat seat that could allow coolant to leak past the thermostat. After we replaced these items and road tested the car it seemed to work properly." When I first called about my overheating problem, I was told that there would be no charge for your company to diagnose what was wrong with it. When I brought it in, you told me about the leak, and affirmed that this was what was wrong with it. However, the leak was very minor, and a small leak from a fully functional water pump is not at all uncommon in a 20 year old vehicle. If I had known you were just guessing that this might fix the problem, I wouldn't have agreed for it to be replaced. Moreover, I was aware that the coolant system had a minor leak, but over the course of two months it didn't warrant me adding coolant to the system even once. Now, I won't criticize the choice to change the thermostat housing. When you showed it to me, I could see a few minor scratches, and understand how that could cause the coolant to leak past. However, if the sensor was blown, there is no way you could have known that this was causing the overheating based upon the gauge reading alone. The wire leading to the sensor, that was visibly stripped, is right in front and should have been caught the first time the system was looked over. ESPECIALLY with what we told you about the temperature gauge going from hot to cold erratically. "When you brought the Volvo back in and we let it idle we found that the cooling fan was not coming on all the time due to a weak thermal spring. The temperature gauge would go up at idle and show hot and the fan would eventually come on but very late. After we replaced the fan clutch the temperature gauge would show the temperature rising and then the fan would come on and the temperature would drop. again performing like it should." All of this is based upon the reading of the temperature gauge which you were informed was going from hot to cold seemingly without reason. When you asked me if I wanted this replaced, you had not yet taken apart the unit and told me that this was the most probably reason for the fan not coming on when the temp gauge read hot. For all we know the thermal spring could have been working fine because the engine itself was not really heating up. "Your wife called back and said it showed overheating again, I asked her to come right back. At that time we used a infrared temperature sensor to determine that the coolant was at the proper operating temperature. Steve began to diagnosis the functionality of the gauge. Very quickly he found temperature sensor wiring had issues. He found uninsulated wire at the sensor . I then got prices on the sensor and labor to replace it which was about $70. I then offered to replace it at no charge if you provided me with the part ( an attempt to mitigate concerns about our service). We did replace the sensor for you at no charge, however, the one you provided was defective and we had to reinstall a new one, again at no charge." Now we come to a final problem which did not show up until a week after my first complaint. Since we last talked, the temperature gauge has begun behaving erratically AGAIN. My wife clarified that part of how you "fixed" the problem of the frayed wire, was to put a sealant over it, rather than replacing it. You may have replaced the sensor, but the frayed wire that was sending the signal is still not fixed. So after all has been said and done, our $700 dollar fix of a $15 problem is still giving a false read. "There was a mis-understand regarding the communication with your wife. What I told your wife was that the parts we replaced needed to be replaced for the cooling system to function properly do its job. Just replacing the temperature sending unit would not have returned your cooling system to proper operation." On the contrary, you have replaced several hundred dollars worth of parts that you did not confirm were broken, and left the only part of the system that is confirmed to be broken and the REASON we brought it to your company. In summary, my service was bad on an unprecedented level. As someone who has worked in customer service, I made every attempt to let the individual store AND the company at large make amends for this poor service. However, the response I got was that my complaint was unwarranted, and then when I challenged this they gave me silence. This is the only time I have ever written a review of a company online, but I really feel that other consumers should beware before dealing with Aamco.
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#166732 Review #166732 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Loss
$700
I have a 2006 Chevy Impala and my check engine light was on so I took my car to Aamco in Jupiter, FL for a "free" diagnosis. They called me and told me I needed a "reseal" and it would be $650 plus tax. I said I need a couple of days I don't have the money. He said my...
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3 comments
Anonymous
#207878

This is why services like PeoplesTransmission.com are becoming so popular. Not all Aamcos are dishonest, but there are certainly ones that are. Too bad Aamco corporate doesn't care about it as long as they get their cut.

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#159157 Review #159157 is a subjective opinion of poster.
to whom it may concern... think twice about taking your car to the AAMCO in vista or escondido california. they are owned by the same individual - art terrell. they took four tries over two weeks to rebuild the transmission in my caravan, each time making the problem...
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Anonymous
#432587

Art Terril is a flaming *** I have a '68 Mustang with a lifetime Aamco warranty since 1980. I take it in to Aamco that Art owns for my yearly check up, which I've done for decades. . .and HE says they weren't going to honor it any longer because the motor had been modified. I said this is the exact motor I've had every time I come here. . .and this car is only driven 500 miles a year with NO RACING. I had to plead with him to honor it.

Then in 2011. . I drove all the way to El Cajon for the Aamco warrenty work. They told me horror stories about Art.

Aamco has now dumped it relationship with him. . but if I see him again, I am going to work that MF over. There are many stories where he has screwed his customers as well as employees. *** . that guy.

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#156165 Review #156165 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Loss
$3500

Unhelpful, unprofessional, tactless manager | Aamco review from Los Angeles, California

I have been having some issues with my car and called my local AAMCO, located at 517 w. Imperial Hwy. La Habra, CA 90631, and spoke to a Kevin Biggers, Customer Service Manager, on Monday August 3rd. I explained what I was experiencing with my vehicle and he was helpful in all the ways he could be at the time. I told him about my experience at the AAMCO in Orange after which, he stated that they were "morons" as the motor mounts wouldn't solve the issue I was having. I was shocked, but just assumed this was a "pride in work" or a "top dog" thing and moved on. However, after dealing with both shops-I want to begin by saying, I am extremely troubled that AAMCO employs a manager that speaks poorly of other AAMCO shops in the area. Not only is it an appalling representation of their company-it is terribly unprofessional. That said, I'll move on to my most recent experience-in it's entirety. Via the telephone, Monday August 3rd, Mr. Biggers advised me to drop the keys and car off that evening while informing me to leave my keys in the mailbox. After arriving to the shop, I realized he literally meant to put them in the mailbox-which was screwed to the outside of the building and not locked. Naturally, I didn't feel comfortable leaving my keys in such close proximity to my unattended vehicle where anyone could retrieve the keys from the mailbox and leave with my car. Therefore, I wrote a quick summary of my conversation with Kevin and placed it in the mailbox explaining the keys would be dropped off in the morning. The keys were dropped off Tuesday, August 4th at 9:00am, with Kevin manning the front; he asked which car the keys belonged to and what the situation was with the car. Perplexed, I wondered what would have happened had I not come in, would my car AND keys sat there? I then went out to retrieve my "mail" and hand it to him to re-explain the situation. Around 2 in the afternoon, I got a phone call from Kevin asking how many cylinders my car was-and what my issues were. At this point, I'm a little irritated as I have provided a written explanation and three verbal explanations one of which was face-to-face. Not-to-mention he then proceeded to call my office to ask me a question which could have been answered by him- as the vehicle and keys were in his possession. After Kevin felt he had all he needed to begin diagnosis, he let me know he would call within the next hour and update me. I waited until around 4:30 pm to call and request an update-as I knew the offices closed at 5:00. Kevin informed me, he would like to keep the car one more day as they couldn't replicate the problem I was experiencing and they were really busy. Being in business, I understand things happen. So, naturally, I said that this was acceptable-He requested I come down for a test drive at 9am Wednesday August 5th –This way the "tech. guy" could feel what I was describing first hand. Kevin proceeded to tell me that the car drove like a dream and it was probably just the way I drove. He mentioned that there was another Mitsubishi in the shop that the owner didn't even want so "who knew". Again, yet another unnecessary comment that provides no value to the conversation besides to condescend and provoke. I agreed to meet him at 9am to next morning. I left work that morning to make it to the shop by 9am and the tech and I drove about 5 minutes before he felt what I was feeling. He mentioned a few options of what could be causing the issue but he said he wanted to be sure. He would like to "put it up in the air". I do want to say that the tech was the nicest most upfront person I've ever dealt with! If he was the sole contact from this experience I would have left my car for a week and trusted-hands-down. At this point, Kevin, the tech, and myself have "test-driven" the car. I left around 9:15am and the tech said he would have Kevin call me around noon after he had checked my fluid levels and sparkplugs for any issues. I again waited until 4pm; after not receiving a call I proceed to call the shop and request an update. Kevin then informed me that he, again, had driven the car and felt nothing and that the tech was out driving my car currently. I was perplexed because I had left work to ensure they felt the problem I was referencing, yet they were out driving it again. So, Kevin said he would call me back at 4:30pm when the driver returned. At 4:45pm I called and asked to speak to Kevin, he then asked me to tell him what the tech told me he thought was wrong with the vehicle. I tried explaining the best I could in my "civilian language". He started getting offensive and abusive when I couldn't describe in detail what the tech told me. I explained that I wasn't the best source as, and I quote, "I don't speak mechanic". I'm not sure why he couldn't have just asked his team. Anyway, he fired back with, "I will go speak mechanic and use my brain to figure out pieces to put together what he means from the conversation. It can't be that hard!" That was it-I had had it-I don't know if me being a female had something to do with it-but there are no excuses for unhelpful, unprofessional, tactless managers. I asked him what else was needed on the car and he said they would like to keep it yet another day. I declined, informing him that I would be at the shop to retrieve my car and keys. When I arrived I asked if he was the manager and he stated in a very matter-of-fact way, that he was "THE MAN", "THE One", "The manager". As one would expect, I will never request OR recommend services from any AAMCO for any reason. Unfortunately for AAMCO I was willing to pay top dollar for any issue that was found. Lucky for me, there was no issue found with my car-However, I do want to point out that I can't be sure if there were no issues found because the staff is inefficient or if there is just a communication breakdown. I'm disappointed with the lack of communication among the staff and also the lack of communication between the staff and the customer. Furthermore, I cannot believe a manager with an MBA, as he was quick to point out, is permitted to abuse customers and take advantage of the "power" he holds over them due to the fact that he has their vehicle. I'm deeply offended in the subpar service and lack of respect I received as a customer.
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#151963 Review #151963 is a subjective opinion of poster.
AAMCO Lied to me about services performed, overcharged me, put transmission in wrong, rude Riverside California My daughter's car was acting funny so I had her take it to AAMCO in Riverside on Market st. She and others told me not to take it there, but against my...
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4 comments
Anonymous
#972253

Thank you for letting me know you just saved me a whole lot of money and time.

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#148936 Review #148936 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Loss
$950

AAMCO IN GLANDALE, CA

I took my car to AAMCO in Glendale. They told me will cost no more than $1500.00. I had few prices of $950.00, and $1300.00 form other places. Since it was a named shop. I talked to John Edward, and he is a unprofessional, and rude person. Do not go to that shop since the rubbed me. After I said OK to fix the car for $1500.00, they called me back next days with $2700.00 charge. They said the case is bad. Not true. I went there and he called Police for me. He said you need to pay $725.00 if you need your car back. I paid $725.00 and took my car to anther shop. I lost $725.00 since is tried to overcharged me. I am glad did not pay what they asked since I fix my car with $1200.00. Do not go to AAMCO in Glendale.
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#147971 Review #147971 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Loss
$725

AAMCO Glendale -- Honesty is the best policy

Took my Nissan Altima to AAMCO in Glendale, CA on Colorado St. The local dealer wanted to replace the transmission due to some electronic issues at a cost of about $4500. The mechanics at AAMCO found the problem and only charged me for a transmission sensor. I think they took more time to check it out properly, instead of just telling me that I needed to replace the whole transmission. I've taken my car there before for a service and I was happy with the result. My company was looking for an honest place to take their fleet of trucks and now AAMCO will get all our business. Thanks AAMCO
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#142938 Review #142938 is a subjective opinion of poster.
itook my car to Aamco transmission REPAIR. I REQUESTED FOR QUOTE THEY DID NOT GET ME ANY QUOTE FOR MY SERVICES ... I AM KEEP ASKING FOR ESTIMATE.. WE WILL LET YOU KNOW SOON AS WE FOUND OUT THEY TOLD ME THAT FREE TOWING , FREE ESTEMANTE SO I WAITED FOR 5 DAY TO FOUND...
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#133388 Review #133388 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Loss
$6000
I am an amimator and I recently ( Monday july 28) had my car towed to an Aamco branch on Melrose.address: 4665 Melrose AvenueHollywood, CA 90029 First off the assistant to the manager there was over freinly by the name of micke..nevertheless I was in a hurry to get...
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3 comments
Anonymous
#313193

Every one thinks all shops are rip offs unless u get something for free i wouldnt condemn AAMCO because they are independently owned and operated one AAMCO is not like the other I am sure you can find a site for every shop in the world that has someone claiming they ripped them off

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#130764 Review #130764 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Loss
$1995

Treated w/ respect. All around Nice Guys @ AAMCO-Glendale

I had my VW Jetta looked at by the dealer and other shops. They all told me I needed a new transmission. After taking it to AAMCO in Glendale for a 4th opinion, I was told I didnt need a transmission at all. They took the time and explained how a transmission works and that many times they didnt need to remove the transmission to fix it. It's hard to find a mechanic shop that is honest and treats women w/ respect. Both John and Enrique were GREAT and didnt make me feel like a dummy. They were professional and explained things to me in plain English I would reccommend them anytime..Tell them Samantha w/ the Jetta sent you..they"ll get a kick.
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2 comments
Anonymous
#87260

Great Job AAMCO at posting your own compliment. Do you think any one would buy this load of ***.

You are perfect at financially raping people by ripping them off.

I hope you all burn in *** *** bags.. :( :(

Anonymous
#78805

do you work for or date anyone at that AAMCO center? your story reeks of falsehoods, you my dear are full of *** 8)

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#129696 Review #129696 is a subjective opinion of poster.