I am writing to share my experience about the AAMCO in Northglenn, CO. I have reason to believe they are inept and unprofessional.
My husband and I own a '98 Saturn. The transmission started having problems, so we arranged to drop the car off at our local AAMCO over in Northglenn.
Now before I go on I should mention that the person who spoke with my husband on the phone to arrange the dropoff told him the majority of transmission problems do NOT require a rebuild. She also stated if it only needed fluid or something minor, they would tell us.
The next day my husband spoke with them. They mentioned a couple of errors that came up on their computer when they ran tests and said ooooh, you're going to need a rebuild. That's going to cost you $1800-2300.
Thankfully hubby has a cynical streak, looked up the errors they said they got, and found it had to do with a nut that needed to be either tweaked or replaced, and is familiar in Saturns. While AAMCO stated they would have to take the entire transmission apart, Saturn apparently just has to flip open a panel, and this would only cost a fraction of what AAMCO said it would cost to rebuild.
He also talked to the local Saturn dealer down the street. They said it could be that nut... or it could be the valve body, which is more costly but certainly not necessary for a rebuild, AND a rebuild wouldn't fix it. They then said why don't you go ahead and bring your car on in, we have a feeling we could fix it for less.
Husband confronted AAMCO about this information (without telling them he'd talked to Saturn). The person who spoke with him, CHRIS, stated he had no idea what my husband was talking about, and couldn't verify any of this with their mechanic since he wasn't going to be in until tomorrow. He also said I SERIOUSLY doubt it's the valve body. Uh-huh. right. so this guy (who we are guessing is the manager), not even the mechanic, is going to tell us what's wrong with our transmission.
We picked up our car and paid the $50 diagnostic fee. The guy kept going on and on about how "I really don't think it's the valve body, I think it's a mistake to think that" and warning us not to take it somewhere "chintzy." We just grunted and then left.
Saturn checked it out; they told us over the phone you know it's funny, none of the errors AAMCO states they had are coming up on our computer.
Sure enough it was the valve body. The nut didn't need to be tweaked or replaced. They said they'd just replace instead of repair the valve body given it's cheaper to do it that way.
Between them replacing the valve body, giving us a new serpentine belt (it was due for a new one), and giving us a couple parts for unrelated minor stuff we plan to take care of, our bill only came to $1100; about half of what AAMCO's maximum estimate was for the rebuild of the tranny alone. According to everyone we got a very good deal.
Oh and they threw in a car wash and an oil change for free while they were at it. Now that's what I call service. Since then the car has purred like a kitten.
Thankfully we did our homework and got our car out from AAMCO's sticky fingers before we REALLY got ripped off. But I thought I'd throw my story out there as a warning to anyone else who might try to buy into their advertising.