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Last updated: Nov. 18, 2017

704 AAMCO Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 18, 2017

AAMCO transmissions was the worst choice my family could have ever made. We paid them 3000 to rebuild our transmission and replace universal joints. 15 min after we were assured it was safe and fixed the driveshaft fell out in the middle of Hwy 29 almost causing a deadly wreck, they sent a rollback to get it, kept car again for weeks then eventually said it was fixed and safe again. 2 weeks later had to take it back again because wouldn't shift correctly, once again after a month and pulling transmission yet again they supposedly fixed it. Only for us to take it back again, yep they pulled the transmission again and assured us it was fixed.

After 2 weeks there was a lot of vibration and rattling around shifter, come to find out all shifter boot screws were missing and shifter bolts were loose, then transmission wouldn't shift correctly so we took it back again only for them to take transmission out for the 3rd time. That was 6 months ago and now they want another 1200$ to fix it! We hired a lawyer because the so called mechanic safety, not returned calls, and called my sister a liar, and this mechanic named Mike ** is now threatening her, told her if she doesn't pay more money he's confiscating her car. He has lied, put people's lives in danger and called her a liar, all to cover his own ** for the sorry job he did on her car.

There has been nothing but problems since he supposedly fixed the car. He talks to and treats women like they're stupid and we are pursuing legal action against him personally and AAMCO. Using AAMCO was the worst decision we ever made, they not only do not stand behind their work, which was terrible, but put my family and other people's lives in danger. The car was better before they worked on it. This is nothing but extorting a woman out of more money. So now we can't get car because they are keeping the transmission out of it until they get thousands more, while Mike ** threatens my family with confiscating the car. She has decided to spend whatever it takes on our lawyer to make sure that Mike ** is exposed for the sexist liar he is. He hides behind corporate like he is not responsible. If Mike ** knew what he was doing why did he have to redo the job 3 times. He is nothing but a sexist liar who has no concern with customer's safety.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 28, 2017

They suck. I had my transmission rebuilt here. When I got the truck back it was shifting hard and I also noticed transmission fluid in my driveway. So I sent it back in and they told me there was nothing wrong with it and that's how it's supposed to be. So I jacked it up and looked myself to notice right away that when they installed the pan they tore the gasket. So after they told me they had 3 mechanics look at it and it took an amateur to figure out was wrong... this place is a joke.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 17, 2017

The AAMCO on 322 W Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ 85003 is the location where I have had at least $6,000 worth of work done in 2 years. Overall, I've had at least $10,000 worth of work done with AAMCO over the past decade. Recently, I had $4,700 worth of work done at this PHX location and had a coupon that they had mailed specifically to me. **, the desk clerk, would not accept the coupon stating that they had included hidden discounts as the work was being done. I've checked around with another center and they said that they noticed no discounts. That the prices were regularly priced. Do not go to this center. Kincaid's on 7th Ave and Adams is an honest business that I have used in the past. The only reason that I started using AAMCO was because I had a line of credit and did not have to pay cash.

I contacted Melanie at the customer support, ext. 671 and left a voicemail. She contacted me and said that she would talk to **, but not to expect anything because each center is privately owned and she couldn't do anything about it. It took 5 days and 3 attempts to reach Melanie before she called me back. Nothing was done and I pay full price. I will never, ever go to AAMCO again and I will make it my life's mission to warn people about using AAMCO. I will pay cash with Kincaids and will be satisfied.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 17, 2017

I have a check light come on. They told me gasket and over 2000.00. It was the catalytic converter. Second truck. Gas cap was not good and tight. They told me again head gasket and over 2000.00. 3rd car vacuum hose had leak which we knew of but was curious what they would say and yet the gasket and would be over 2000.00. I did call Nate on the show and told him what had happened and he said he would talk to them. I choose not to. I just want them to be honest and they are not. All 3 cars and truck cost me 25.00 to fix. After the first time we knew what was wrong with the other 2 and again the head gasket 2000.00. I would not nor could I recommend to anyone. They would have ripped me off 3 times.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 24, 2017

Can't speak of first hand experience with these guys as never been there. But this is a review from experience from someone who works there. Having seen an employer openly boasting of ripping customers off and charging way over the earth for a job that should of cost a lot less (see photos) on a certain social media site is just unacceptable and gives all mechanics bad names. It's just not on and reading all these bad reviews about this place I'm wondering how the place is still in business, and if anyone thinks about using these crooks, think again.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: July 24, 2017

I had an issue with my car not accelerating, the RPMs would be at the highest level but the mph would not pass 20 or 30. Had Aamco do the diagnosis on my car which was like an hour, they came back with Catalytic converter, radiator and a belt. Estimated that the whole job would run about $1000.00. This was on 7/3/2017. On 7/5/2017 they called me saying "someone messed up and sent the wrong converter." Now the new piece was another $200.00. So pissed as I was, I agreed for them to change and fix the part. Knowing myself had the money that day so I would not spend it I went to make the payment. When I got there I paid 600.00 in cash, and was going to pay the balance on my card. So the person at the desk told me just pay the rest tomorrow when I was going to pick up my car.

So as to give me a receipt of the cash he printed out a paper, and then as I looked at the bottom it read big as day "paid in full", he kindly ripped that part off. So the next day 7/6/2017, I go to pick up my car, since it was bothering me so much asked about the prior day receipt. Couldn't give me an invoice of the converter that supposedly cost more, but then wouldn't give me copies of the initial estimate, so I took screen shots with my phone. Since then the car started to do the same thing, with the speed. The guy who gave me my estimate is no longer there, but the new guy said he'd take care of me. I was so pissed off I called Corp, not much help they were.

They called the shop, to try to see what was still wrong, Corp asked me to take it back to them. Two days and still no word on anything, my car was just parked in the lot, no one making any move to fix it. Then they say it's a speed sensor, we're only going to charge you the price of the part, no labor. On the third day I call and ask, "what's going on? " At this point the guy was about to tell me that it wasn't the speed sensor, I got so frustrated, I let them know I was coming for my car. Last note of these guys, I pick up my car the guy shows me a speed sensor that's brand new never put on car, that was it for me. I took my car, on the way home I noticed that the check engine light is on, and now it sounds worse than before! So disappointed in the fact that they don't care about how they cheat people. I would never thought such a well known company can conduct business like this.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 23, 2017

These people are absolute scammers, the first time I went there I had to pay almost 300 dollars just for new spark plugs, the second time, almost 50 dollars for an oil change, and the third and last time I will ever go there they told me that I had a fuel pump problem but it would cost about 1070 dollars just to fix it. The thing is I just had my fuel pump replaced at Pep Boys a couple of months ago and it was still under warranty, so I had my car towed there (mind you at Pep Boys I only paid 500 something for this service). Not saying that Pep Boys is any better than them because they have zero regard for people's time but at least they didn't try to rob me of a month's paycheck. I'm 19 and in college, I don't have 1000 dollars to blow on a 3000 dollar car. Even the tow man who I rode with to Pep Boys told me that those people are total scammers and try to take advantage of women. Avoid them like the plague.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: July 6, 2017

AAMCO Poughkeepsie, NY - Terrible Experience! They serviced my check engine light and 2 days later the light came back on! When I brought it back, they told me the issue was unrelated and transmission needed to be rebuilt (which is what a majority of the scam complaints for AAMCO say). Mind you I just passed a state inspection with no issues. They scammed me out of $400 and tried to get me to pay $3200 more for my "transmission issue." DO NOT GO HERE. Andy also lied to me and told me he'd contacted my warranty provider when in fact he had not. He also gave me misinformation about what my warranty would cover. I'm contacting the BBB and I hope the future scammed customers do the same.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 4, 2017

Took my vehicle in for a transmission leak. The manager say and told me before I had it truck towed to him on Main Street in Woodstock Georgia that it would be a $250 diagnostic. Called me three days later and told me I need a rebuilt transmission for $2,800. When I told him not to do the work I will pick up the truck he told me it will be a $700 diagnostic charge. Two months later I had the truck returned after paying him $700 and paying additional $300 for towing and it does not even drive. The worst experience of my life. Thank you Dan.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: June 27, 2017
This by far the worst customer service experience in whole my life. I had a problem with transfer case on my 2014 BMW X1 so I Google transmission

Shops in our area and found this one. I called and very friendly voice greet me Like it should be. Set an appointment. Next day I arrived at 8:00 AM to get my car fix. Everything fine. Manager took my car and I sat down in waiting room and as soon as manager saw me there whole hell broke loose. He told me to go away. I told him I have nowhere to go and I will hang around and wait for my car. After I said this he start spitting Any imaginable dirty word. I step outside and wait there. Car was ready in three hours.

So ask him for my car and he told me I will get my car at 5PM (car was ready at 11:30PM). I told him that I will call police and that made him crazy. He was running around and swearing non stop but meeting with police wasn't in his plans so he release My car and I was on my way. His name was Rock. He decline to tell me his last name. I call AAMCO but they can't do anything because have no control over franchise operations. So stay away from this shop and this manager-idiot. P.S. Mechanic who worked on my car was great. He did a good job.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 17, 2017

I went to Aamco in Phoenix AZ off of Black Canyon Highway and the I-17 with all four of my kids their ages are 8, 6, 5, 3. They looked at my car told me the issues but did not tell me that my control arm completely snapped on me and let me drive off endangering my life and all four of my kids. Thank God I took it another auto shop and they showed me the problem and let me take pictures of it. I'm so disappointed that I ever took my car there to Aamco and I hope something gets done about this. I will pursue legal action if needed against Aamco. I could be dead and so could my kids and Aamco would've been responsible and should be held responsible.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: May 20, 2017

One of the worst experience with a car repair shop!! Took my car in on a Saturday and received it back on the following Friday!! NEVER called and updated me on ANYTHING dealing with my car!! They concluded that my solenoid block needed to be changed. The solenoid block retailed at $230 but I was up charged at $405 plus $219 for labor and a extra $35 for them using their own tools!! WORD OF ADVICE DON'T TAKE YOUR CAR TO AAMCO! Unless you want to be up charged by double!!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 12, 2017

I Stanley ** had great service from ** AAMCO Transmission shop on 2001 S Cicero. Those guys were great. They were professional and courteous and most of all they were trustworthy. I will tell my friends and relatives to get all of their car work done at ** AAMCO. If you are quoted a price for the work on your car you can be sure it is right. You won't get cheated.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 6, 2017

The story started about two weeks ago when my car broke down nearby from that place (AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care 640 Oak St Brockton, MA 02301 (508) 580-5431). A manager told me that they will do a free diagnostic to figure out what is wrong with my car and will call me later. Next day he called and told that the car requires full transmission rebuild, when I asked about price he told that in best case it will be around 2500$ in worst case around 3500$. I asked a few time to confirm that the price will not be more than 3500$, he told that It will be about 3500$ in worst case. After a week when I called to check what is with my car the manager told that they are still working on it but price will be around 5700$ now! Since It was too much (a new transmission costs around this price) I asked them to give the car back, the manager told me that they can do it but I have to pay around 1000$.

After some time they agreed to do it for 4700$ and since I didn't want to pay 1000$ for nothing, I asked them to proceed for 4700$ Today their owner called me and told that they actually can't fix the transmission, they can only replace it to used one if I find, buy and ship it. Without any warranty. So they basically can't fix it and I can't get my car back without payment of 1000$ for nothing.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 1, 2017

My truck was towed to AAMCO in TR NY last week and they told me it would cost 4275 for transmission. Then I would have my truck 2 days later on a Tuesday. No call. Nothing. Wed when I call I hear Thursday then Thursday I hear Fri... Then on Fri I hear, "Took your truck for test drive. Brake line leaking." Funny brake line did not leak when it left my house. It will cost 4700... **. If it broke with them they probably did it. Negotiated to 4375. Told I would have my truck Sat... On Sat. Parts not in by Mon. Something not right. How do I call corporate. DON'T EVER USE THIS COMPANY. TOMS RIVER.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: April 12, 2017

It took them ten months, eight visits and three different locations to get them to stop my transmission from leaking. Not to mention being charged for parts and labor that was still under warranty. Bunch of crooks. Don't give them business. Contacted corporate and they said I need to be reimbursed but since became silent. The water pump still leaks and check engine light for neutral safety is still on. $2,200 later, it's a wrap. They suck.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 4, 2017

After reading many of the reviews it seems AAMCO as a whole is a horrible company. My experience was with the Fort Pierce Aamco in Florida. The whole ordeal cost me 4400.00 and I ended up with a ruined engine and undrivable van. Aamco corporate is a joke, only trying to appease you, but basically siding with the franchise owner and telling customers there's little they can do, but hope the owner does the right thing. That must be part of their franchise training, how to swindle the customer. I cannot believe that this company still exists, shameful! Makes me wonder why there's not an ongoing investigation into this company.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 25, 2017

I took my suv in January 2017 to this Aamco, where Ian the owner, worked on it. My automatic suv after being driven for sometime you cannot accelerate it, and if you force the vehicle it will smell like burn. This was clearly explained to the owner and assure the parts they had to change will fix it. After paying over 1000.00 the car still does it. Now they said it has to do with the engine, etc... I wasted over 1000, when a more aggressive check or tests should have being done so I could decided how much money to spent. On top of that I am not sure anymore that certain parts were actually changed by looking at the car and the order or parts were out wrong on the receipt at first. I remember when I left my car another guy's leaving upset stating that, Aamco, now told him other things had to be done to his car and another 1000 for him... I wonder!

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 3, 2017

The short story is transmission was shifting erratically and going into limp mode. Brought it in and after their basic diagnostic said they had to rip trans apart. Rip it apart, show me the parts and tell me it's shot. Now I'm no trans specialist but I have been working on cars and transmissions for 30 years. The parts that they showed me barely had a mark on them but they insisted they had to replace the abundance of them. The trans fluid never smelt burnt or anything. Parts were still nice and shiny looking like new for the most part. Let them do the rebuild and they call me up and tell me the transmission is doing the same thing it did when I brought it in.

So now I've dropped $2500 to have the same problem. Since no one else is going to work on the trans at this point I let them figure it out. Turns out the problem was a $350 solenoid pack that was put in 4 months earlier. How on earth did they not run diagnostics on that. It's electrical on this trans. They put in the part and miraculously the trans shifts great. I brought that part up to Chris, the manager, showed him AAMCO's lovely little sign about if they put in parts the trans does not need they would take them out and was promptly insulted. He actually had the guts to tell me "I thought I was talking to someone mechanical". Well jackass was, me. I have no choice at this point but to pay the bill since I need the truck.

Waited a month to file this since I wanted to make sure the truck would work. I should have seen this coming. Chris, in conversation had mentioned how bad he screwed up his credit in small talk between us when we ran mine for the lovely AAMCO credit card. I thought he was going to fall from the chair when he told me "Wow, you've got great credit. You got a $4500 limit". All in all the trans that didn't need to be rebuilt, since it needed a $350 part cost me $2866.32. I'm not even sure the other parts were in fact replaced. As good as they looked they could have been put right back in. I suppose that would help Chris' credit dilemma.

So the bottom line is AAMCO needs to fix this or I file a complaint with the city of Crest Hill, every agency I can in Will County and the Illinois States Attorney. I figure the total job should be worth about $500, $350 for the part and labor. Diagnostics, which they totally screwed up, the parts they said were wrong, and weren't since a $350 part fixed the transmission, and any incidentals are AAMCO's problem.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Feb. 11, 2017

Took car in to have transmission checked out, was not having any real problems, but car was getting some age on it and just wanted to be safe. He claimed the valve cover on the engine was leaking real bad? I had this repaired just 3 days prior and was not leaking or oil all over garage floor. Charged me $564.00 for $150.00 job???

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 7, 2017

AAMCO Boise, Idaho - They talked me into a new transmission. It worked for about a year. Then it had the same problem as it did when I took it in. Now it's back for the third time. Now they say they have problems with that transmission all the time.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 2, 2017

I brought my SUV to have the transmission check to AAMCO by 3336 Losee Rd, North Las Vegas, NV 89030, the specialist ** took the SUV for a test drive and called me that it will cost $595.00 to check the internal parts and electronics of the transmission. I told him that I would drop by the next day to talk to him personally. As my son and I went to the AAMCO shop the next day, ** was not in and the person on the counter said he was on break, My son and I had waited for ** for an hour and upon arriving I was very angry since he did not have my permission to take my car for personal use, he explained that he was taking it for a test drive which, I didn't believe since my gas was almost full and when he brought it back. it was a quarter tank left. I decided to just take my SUV and had it done in a different garage. I don't think I would trust this company ever with my vehicle.

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Original review: Jan. 4, 2017

This place is the con of all cons. Took my Sonata there to get check engine light on evaluated for free. My trans wouldn't shift into high gear. I had a coupon for a free evaluation. When I got there he was busy so I said I'd leave the car. I gave him the coupon but he said, "No need" It was ok. He would call me the next morning. He calls me the next day and says that he would need to open up the transmission at a cost of $750.00 for a down payment. He could not tell me what was wrong with the trans nor could he give me a completed price. I said, "forget it". I was coming for the car. When I got there, the guy would not take 'no' for an answer. He said he liked my car and would fix the trans and if it was too much money, he would just keep the car. WHAT? I said, "No, get my keys" and he kept stalling and stalling.

When I finally demanded my keys or else, he said I owed him $109.00 for a evaluation. He said he worked 2 hours yesterday and 2 hours today on it. Once again I said "WHAT?" I said they could not even tell me what was wrong with the trans. He kept refusing to give me the keys and the car so I called the Toms River Police. Two officers showed up and I told him the story. He asked me if I signed anything which I did not. The officers asked the owner to turn over the keys to me and they still refused. Finally the officers told the guy at Aamco that if he did not turn over the car and keys to me immediately, that he would be arrested for theft. At that point, I finally got my car back. Stay away from this place. These people are scam artists!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 7, 2016

So I just called AAMCO on Broadriver Rd in Columbia SC to have my vehicle looked at for a check engine light. The service man who answers the phone informs me that they DO NOT ACCEPT AAMCO CREDIT CARD for payment??? I replied, "Isn't this Aamco I'm calling? How does Aamco service station not take an Aamco Credit Card?" The man simply laughs and says, "Yes, you can take your car to Brown Motors Works and have them look at it." This is totally absurd to me. A car repair chain who does honor its own Credit Card...

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 23, 2016

They were very knowledgeable about my problems with my car. They were the 8th shop that I took my car to and they told me they would find my oil problem which they did. They fixed my oil pan, my transmission mounts, oil pressure switch, brake light switch, power steering hose. They let me know how much everything cost before they did any work. The best interaction I had with a repair shop in my life and I recommend this shop American International Automotive 845 N. Military Trail West Palm Beach, FL. 33415 AAMCO.

Original review: Nov. 16, 2016

Very, very bad service. Went in with a small problem. They tried to tell me it was a bunch of stuff. Take advantage of you. Recommend to stay away. Robert the guy that runs the front is a car salesman. Watch out.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 3, 2016

My brother had his transmission replaced by AMMCO Transmission located on Mt. Read Blvd in Rochester, NY in August 2016. He had my transmission replaced by another mechanic last summer (August 2015) which had a two year warranty and have had nothing but issues with that transmission. He tried multiple times to work with them to fix and they finally told me because the business was under new mgmt. that they could not honor their warranty. The new mgmt. said they can fix along with some other issues. However I would have to pay. He then took my car to AMMCO and work with Lou to get my vehicle fix. He was extremely pleased with their professionalism and attention to detail. He would recommend them highly. Thanks Lou.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 13, 2016

I had full brake pads front and back, and rotors on the front applied along with a master cylinder in 2014. For almost over $800.00. About 3 months ago my brakes started squeaking when I backed out of the driveway each day. Since I have a 4 year old grandchild that I very frequently transport to her home to mine. I wanted to make sure that my brakes were good. They felt good, but just to verify. I have been going to this AAMCO for over 10 years and felt I could trust them. So, I dropped off my car at 8:30 AM on Oct. 12, 2016 (per their request) and waited for the call. And I took off work in order to be available to drop off and pick up that day. At 3PM on 10/12, I received a call telling me my rear brake rotors on the rear, were warped and the charge to replace them and pads would be 613.75. They would give me $50.00 discount and I had a $25.00 coupon, so the price would be 538.95. It should be ready by noon the next day.

I explained I had taken off work the previous day and only had the one vehicle, but it did not matter. On 10/13, I received a call at 9:30 AM telling me my vehicle was ready. I reminded them I would need a ride in, (their courtesy offer) and after missing a second day of work (and a very unhappy boss) someone showed up after 1:30 PM to pick me up. It is 6 miles between my home and the repair shop. First, I feel I was WAY overcharged for only installing two rotors/pads and they charged me $52 to clean my front brakes. Actual total for the bill was $614.00. GET REAL!! I questioned why my ceramic pads (they told me in 2014 they put the good pads on, ceramic) were bad after 2 years and was told that that is the life of most brake pads.

I am a single mom and on limited income so I will not be returning to this location 80907 for any further repairs. The time they kept my vehicle was appalling (29 hours) to merely do what was done to the vehicle and their schedule cost me an extra day's work resulting from AAMCO's next day's repairs and time I picked up my vehicle. NEVER again will I give AAMCO my business. Due to their excessive price and the time it took this time. This makes me sad because the mechanic mgr Steve there is a good honest guy. I do know I can trust him that the work needed was done.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 27, 2016

This happened at the Leesburg, VA, AAMCO (same owner has three other AAMCO's in the area). Worst repair shop experience of my life - three months and running to fix a transmission for $6,100. I took the car in in late June (2016), got it back in late August after two months of lies from them, then, three days later, the transmission they rebuilt failed. They took three weeks to fix the second transmission, which then failed two days after that. It is almost October and I'm waiting for them to fix the transmission for the third time. Terry Bradley, the owner of the Leesburg, Chantilly, Sterling and Ashburn AAMCO locations, broke more than 10 promises that the vehicle would be completed very soon, in a few days, or some such claim. His staff promised to keep me updated, but (and I document all of this) failed to do so 13 out of 14 times over the three-month period.

After three weeks back in July, they told me they would pay for a rental car because of all the delays, but then, when I went to pick the vehicle up, they argued that the rental car bill was too high from the rental car company, Enterprise, that they sent me to (the owner finally did cover the bill). I was also charged $600 more - $6,100 instead of $5,500 - than the store manager originally told me the transmission rebuild would cost. The first round, they also forgot to install two parts - strut caps - that they were supposed to install while they had the transmission removed. They then forgot to order those strut caps during the second transmission fix.

Terry refused to offer me a rental car during the second and third rebuilds of the transmission even though he took several weeks longer than such a rebuild should take. So, I spent about $400 on a rental car while they apparently left my car sitting in their lot until they got around to fixing it. I would avoid any of these Loudoun/Fairfax County AAMCOs because they use the same mechanics and the owner of all four treats people the same way. I've already contacted the BBB and AAMCO about this experience. For their reputation, they should immediately cut ties with this group of four shops.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 10, 2016

I took my car into this AAMCO on 9/6/16 because my check engine light had come on and I wanted them to do the free diagnostic reading to figure out what the problem was. Enrique, the manager, did the reading in under an hour and told me that the code had read that it was a "small emissions problem" and a smoke test would be required to see where exactly the air leakage was coming from. He told me that it would cost $250 for the smoke test and it would take 2 days to do it because they have to search very slowly for leaks.

I told Enrique that that price was very expensive and I couldn't afford it. He told me that anywhere I go I would have to get the test done to figure out what the problem was with the car. He said at least at AAMCO they could give me a print out of my diagnosis and I could take the car wherever I liked to get the repairs done if I didn't want to continue fixing it with their company. I authorized them to do a smoke test on 9/7/16 and found out that I was actually overcharged for the test. I asked World Auto Body and One Stop Auto Body in Eagle Rock how much a smoke test should cost, and they gave me values in between $75-$120.

On 9/8/16, I got a call from Enrique who explained that there was "vacuum pressure loss at the Vapor/Vacuum lines above the Gas Tank. The fuel tank would need to be removed (lowered) to inspect and repair those lines/hoses." The cost of that labor would be $620. I could not afford that price so I got a print out of this diagnosis, paid with my credit card for the smoke test. I decided to take the car someplace else for the remainder of the repairs. That same day, I brought the car to One Stop Automotive Repair in Eagle Rock and gave the manager Narcisso the print out or the diagnosis that AAMCO had done for me. I asked how much it would be to repair the vacuum lines or any leakages at the gas tank. He printed out an estimate of $350.

On 9/9/16, Narcisso did his own check engine light reading. He confirmed that "the malfunction code P0442 is active." He performed his own smoke test before lowering the fuel tank. He "smoked the evap service and removed the rear seat to inspect the fuel pump seal and found the seal to be well sealed at the time." He also "checked the fuel cap and the cap did not smoke and the cap seemed to be fairly new." There were no leaks in the vacuum lines. His smoke test diagnosed a different problem than AAMCO. He found that the "evap canister to be leaking". He recommended that the canister be replaced.

I was told by Narcisso that the misdiagnosis by AAMCO was grounds to ask for a refund for my smoke test reading. Not only was I overcharged by their garage but they said there was a problem with my car that didn't even exist. I have pictures and a video from the smoke test that Narcisso did to prove that there is only smoke coming out of the EVAP canister. The pictures and video show no smoke coming out of the fuel tank or vacuum lines.

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AAMCO expert review by Lauren Fix

Anthony A. Martino opened his first auto repair shop, focusing primarily on transmission repair, in 1957 and expanded the Anthony A. Martino Company (AAMCO) in the early 1960s. The franchise now has more than 650 locations in the United States and offers a wide variety automotive services.

  • Franchise locations: AAMCO has independently owned and operated franchises, so exact services, prices and discounts vary by location. This fact also means that when customers visit their local AMMCO, they are supporting local business owners.

  • iGAAUGE: The AMMCO app serves as a roadside companion. It can tell users how far they are from the nearest AMMCO location, help them remember to keep a regular preventative maintenance schedule, chat with a technician to troubleshoot automotive problems and more. The app can be downloaded on Apple and Android devices.

  • Transmission services: AAMCO’s founder originally focused primarily on the new demand (in the 1950s) for servicing automatic transmissions. The company continues to provide a wide variety of transmission services, including the most comprehensive transmission services in the industry the Power Purge® and Power Purge® Plus Transmission Flush.

  • Warranties: Warranties that come with products consumers purchase at one AAMCO or extended warranties purchased from one location will be honored at all franchise locations.

  • Best for: AMMCO offers services to help any consumer who wants their auto serviced and/or repaired by professionals, especially those who are looking for a brand with locations nationally.

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Lauren Fix

Auto & Finance Contributing Editor

Lauren Fix, also called The Car Coach, is an automotive and auto finance expert. Her understanding of vehicles has made her the “go to” person on TV, radio, print media and the Internet. She has authored multiple books and writes a column for several outlets, including Parade Magazine, NewsMax and Car Coach Reports. She is a regular guest on major news and morning shows, discussing the latest updates on cars and car financing that will help drivers make smart decisions when buying, maintaining and financing cars.

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