I too also had some extremely bad luck with Cottmans Transmission here in Baton Rouge. This happened a few years ago, and had I known about this site then, I would have definitely posted it. I brought my 1994 Ford F350 Truck (with a 7.3L IDI Diesel - will be relevant in a moment) into Cottman's complaining that i lost use of 1st, 2nd, and reverse on my E4OD transmission. Now I am an ASE Certified Mechanic and have worked for a reputable shop for years so I am fairly knowledgeable about the workings of automotive components. Automatic Transmissions are just a little out of my league though when it comes to internal repair. It was recommended to me that I go to Cottmans and their diagnosis of my symptoms was a complete overhaul for 2400.00 dollars. Through some prior investigation I had learned that this was the third transmission in this truck and this particular transmission had roughly 118K miles on it. The truck had 347,000. I authorized Cottmans to do the work against my better judgement because this was my work truck and I needed it back. When I got the truck back a week later, it ran smoothly for about 200 miles. After that, I lost use of the same gears again. I brought it back to them to honor their 18 month warranty that I had purchased and they called me later telling me that it was ready and it was a dirty connector that caused the issue. I picked it up relieved that it was minor but now it had a new issue. When the truck would reach the proper speed for torque converter (TC) lockup, the TC would intermittently lock and unlock the whole time. 250 miles later, I lost 3rd and 4th gears. I brought it back again to which they told me a dirty connector was to blame. After receipt of my truck once more, i drove another 325 miles and lost 3rd and 4th again, the TC locking and unlocking the whole time. I actually had to install a manual overide switch on the TC to manually lock it as a preventitive measure to decrease further issues with it. One more trip to Cottman's yielded the same diagnosis and when I inquired about the TC issue, Mr. Mitch Cobb's reply was, " Your Mass Air Flow Temp sensor is causing the issue!!" I asked politely how that sensor interacts with transmission control (knowing well that this vehicle did not have a mass air flow meter nor a mass air flow temp sensor). His reply was hasty and he stated, "Well you can ask the tech when you come get it!". I asked the tech and he had no clue what Mitch was talking about nor could he give me any reasonable explanation to the issue. Mitch tried to charge me 100 dollars for repair claiming that I had inadvertently done something to cause this issue so many times. I refused payment and after an arguement, I calmly explained to him that he could either give me my keys, or my lawyer would come get them. To add insult to injury, I took the matter into my own hands with diagnosis and one afternoon when I was under the truck i pulled out the main connector on a hunch. Using a mirror i looked into the socket where the plug went and to my surprise i found the rubber O'Ring for plugged stuck in the pins for the connector. I fished the o'ring out and placed it back on the plug. The plugged snapped in tightly and low and behold, the issues with the transmission subsided. I sold the truck a few months later so i do not know if the transmission continued to work correctly.
I feel that Cottman's Transmission was very lax in their diagnosis and that they are taking advantage of a specialized market where the typical customer has very little knowledge to determine whether a diagnosis is feasible or not. They do not go out of their way, at least in my case the request was denied, to show the customer the cause of the problem.
However, the last time I passed that store, the name is changed to another major chain. Hopefully so is the management because I feel terrible that I cannot recommend a reputable transmission shop to my customers.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Cottman Transmission