Dont go to AAMCO riverside,Ca.
Ok so I have a car that has some mileage on it but its no worse for the wear. Recently my check engine light came on and the transmission was acting funny so I figured, hey why not take it to the transmission specialists especially when they "check" your check engine light codes for free. So on the morning of, I head down at 8 so I can be first. It took a little standing around because all the employees where preoccupied with fixing the transmission on the water cooler,I guess. I digress, they told me it would take like 4 hrs. which surprised me because I thought it was just hook up the computer, run it for the codes and boom....bob's your uncle. Well they explained this whole elaborate plan on how they were going to really get in there and check it out and quality workmanship takes a little longer. I of course agreed and left my vehicle in their care.
FLASH FORWARD 3 hrs.(it didn't take 4 hrs. because I sat in their waiting room,which I was told is frowned upon )
Ok, so remember at the start of my story I had A check engine light on. Well at the return of my car EVERY *** LIGHT IN THE CAR WAS ON! EVEN MY TRACTION CONTROL WAS NOW SOME HOW ON THE FRITZ! The "mechanic" tells me," man your cars not going to make it through the week." Then he proceeds to tell me how I'm leaking oil, from several places, leaking transmission fluid, and leaking radiator fluid but some how the codes that came up were, mass air flow is low,secondary air injection, and a coolant thermostat. I acted as if his word was the authority on the matter but in the back of my mind I knew something was wrong because I just put coolant in the car 2days prior to my experience and not a drop was on my driveway. I already knew about the tiny oil leak the car had but more importantly, I knew it wasn't enough to cause alarm. The saddest part of the whole thing is that I was told the tranny was leaking but not that badly and my whole reason for coming in was probably just low ATF.
After he gives me the "report" on my car I take my inspection sheet and go home. When I pulled into my driveway I immediately popped the hood and began crawling under the car to take a look. The first thing I noticed was a big puddle of radiator fluid. It had to be gushing out of there for it to make such a puddle so quick. Upon further inspection it looks like someone took a small screwdriver and punctured my radiator,which would make sense because 2days ago when I put it in there I didn't have any leaks! Once I saw that i had to check out my other"problems" I lifted the car and started inspecting the undercarriage. I already knew about a small leak but now oil was everywhere and not just coming from the spot I had already checked. My double check is the reason I'm writing this. It looks like the same person with a screwdriver that helped my radiator also helped the gasket on my transmission. It wasn't even slick. You can see the scrape marks right were a big chunk of gasket is now missing. Luckily for me my initial check engine light problem was small in the grand scheme of things and the little damage that was done at the shop is easily repairable. I'm also willing to bet that if I didn't sit in their lobby it would have taken much longer and the car would have been severely damaged.
I've never been to AAMCO before this experience and I will never go back. Please take heed, if you go to AAMCO to get your car looked at you will drive away with more problems than you had pulling up.
In conclusion I would like to leave everybody on the net with a little pearl of wisdom when it comes to AAMCO and their "free" check engine light inspection....................YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.(next time I'm coughing up the 60 bucks for a diagnostic by a real mechanic). Swim away!