I took my 1999 Buick LeSabre to Castaic Auto Performance Center, a fairly new automotive repair company in Castaic, California for a "maintenance" tune-up on July 2, 2008. This was my first visit to this new establishment. I was not sure how long or how many miles it had been since my car's last tune-up, and even though my car was running beautifully, since I plan to keep it for several more years, I try to keep it maintained as a precautionary measure.
When I picked up my car and drove it out of the parking lot, I noticed that it was running very rough, the "check engine" light was lit, and the car was lunging and missing. I know nothing about car repair but do know that if your car is running rough and missing, it is usually the spark plugs. I informed Castaic Auto Performance about my car's condition and reminded them that the engine has been running fine prior to their service. In fact, at idle, you could not feel nor hear the engine because it was so smooth. At they time they asked me to pay $350.00 for the tune-up which I did.
I left my car there again for them to re-check it. When I returned to pick it up, it was parked in the same place. Granted to could have been moved back to the same parking space, but again when I started the engine, I noticed the rough idling and lunging. I again spoke with Castaic Auto Performance Center about how badly the engine was running. I was told "There is nothing wrong with your car!" I was told that the auto repair shop does not guarantee its work. I told them that I was going to have to take it to a Buick dealer to repair the damage they had done.
I took it to Rydell Automotive, a Buick service department in Van Nuys. They thoroughly inspected my car, told me and even gave me written documentation indicating that, not only had Castaic Auto Performance Center installed the wrong type of spark plugs for my vehicle, but that they had installed a severely damaged spark plug. The Rydell service representative assured me that the spark plug had been severely damaged before it had even been placed in my car. He said that it appeared the spark plug may have been "dropped on the floor" before it was installed.
When I had this new information, I called Castaic Auto Performance Center what the Buick dealer service department had discovered. Again I was reminded that Castaic Auto Performance Center does not guarantee any of their work, and I was further told "Go to the Police! Go to the President!" Then they hung up on me.
Rydell Buick, after having checked my car out thoroughly for the damage done by the Castaic Auto Performance Center, of course had to replace all the spark plugs with the proper spark plugs and I was told that when doing tune-ups, Rydell always check each and every spark plug for any damage. I of course paid several hundred more dollars for their diagnostic work and labor and plugs but am happy to report that my car runs as it did before I ever took it to Castaic Auto Performance.
I have contacted the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs, and the Castaic Chamber of Commerce who e-mailed the town council to make them aware of my experience. I am in the process of giving this review on every website available. I would hate to see anyone else go through this expensive, time-consuming, unpleasant learning lesson.