• Report: #1129276

Complaint Review: AAA Auto Repair

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  • Submitted: Sat, March 08, 2014
  • Updated: Sat, March 08, 2014

  • Reported By: JohnConsumer — Arizona
AAA Auto Repair
15509 N. Hayden Road Scottsdale, Arizona USA

AAA Auto Repair Misrepresentations, False Diagnosis and Erroneous Charges Scottsdale Arizona

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AAA Auto Service is a national affiliate of AAA and AAA Towing.

WARNING!!!  I would NEVER take my vehicle here again.   AAA brand has been severely damaged.   Arizona's valued snowbirds, beware!

On a Friday morning I called as a AAA Plus member to have my vehicle towed to my regular service shop after not starting (although the engine was turning over).  The tow truck driver persuaded me to try AAA repair touting the 2 yr/24k mi parts/labor warranty, "non-profit" nature minimize costs, AAA members given priority, diagnostics started within half hour of arrival and free.  Upon arrival at AAA repair,  I met with the service advisor, who, after I wanted to wait for the diagnostics, provided no indication of AAA member priority, instead said diagnostics would start within hour and would call me within 2 hrs with  results, and the diagnostics fee would be waived only if I decided to do the work (although after my objection, he agreed to honor what the tow truck driver told me who was also involved in the conversation).  AAA said labor was $100/hour, and after calling I learned that my regular service shop was $125/hour with 1 yr/12k mi parts/labor warranty.  AAA said that normal diagnostics charge depended on time to diagnose but a minimum of $100; and my regular shop said that diagnostics was a flat fee of $125, waived if work performed.  AAA could not provide a free loaner vehicle like my regular shop, but their alliance with Hertz commands a discounted rate ($25/day).   When Hertz arrived at 11am, I left my vehicle expecting a call around 1pm.  After a very busy work day I called and left a message with AAA at 4:37pm, and shortly thereafter AAA returned my call reporting that although AAA began the diagnosis, AAA would need to keep my vehicle overnight and would call me in the morning with the results.

Around 10am Sat AAA called saying that tests indicated no power to fuel injectors; testing indicated a correlation problem between camshaft position sensor and crankshaft position sensor, so fuel injectors not firing.  To fix the problem, AAA said that both sensors would need to be replaced and intake manifold would need to be removed for access; total cost to get the car running again would be $850.  I then called my regular service shop, and they questioned the chances of both sensors failing at the same time.  AAA said SINCE THE INTAKE MANIFOLD NEEDED TO BE REMOVED ANYWAY, AAA WOULD ADVISE REPLACING BOTH SENSORS AT THE SAME TIME BECAUSE THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL LABOR INVOLVED and if the other one went out at a later date, then I wouldn't have to pay again for the same labor, and that AAA had $200 of diagnostics time in so far.

Believe it or not, I actually own the full set of GM service manuals for the vehicle (4 large volumes that cost me $200 a couple years ago), and found that the camshaft  position sensor is indeed located behind the intake manifold, which first needed to be removed.  HOWEVER, THE CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR IS LOCATED BEHIND THE STARTER, SO TO REPLACE IT, THE STARTER NEEDS TO BE REMOVED FIRST.  The two sensors are located in 2 completely different areas of the engine, and the replacement of each is a completely independent process requiring the removal of completely different parts for access.  I confirmed both of these repair scenarios with a couple websites and YouTube videos which actually showed someone doing the repairs.

Upon learning of AAA's misrepresentation, I drove to the AAA repair shop around 1:30pm and told AAA I wanted to take the vehicle to my regular service shop.  I did not engage AAA as to the reasons why, and not surprisingly AAA did not ask me the reasons why either.  Rather AAA rep curtly remarked that he wished that I would have called him ahead of time, but that he would move my vehicle from inside the shop to give the tow truck access.  I asked whether he could call AAA towing and he said I needed to myself.  AAA towing said their ETA was 2:27pm. and I said this would be cutting it close since my usual repair shop closed at 3:00pm.  When I walked out of the AAA building I saw my vehicle in the drive lane adjacent to another building in the shopping center parked crooked and blocking the free flow of traffic for what became approx. 1.25 hrs.  While waiting I looked under the hood finding the mechanic had not finished reassembling the removed intake manifold cover - loose bolt/wires.  After asking, AAA rep said in a self-satisfactory tone "I said you should have called earlier."  The tow truck finally arrived around 3:08.

My REGULAR SHOP TESTED BOTH THE CAMSHAFT POSITION SENSOR AND CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR and found they were BOTH GOOD and IN WORKING ORDER.   As it turns out, another component had failed which my mechanic was able to bypass for a total labor charge of $150.

I'm certainly disappointed that AAA robbed me of 1+ days of my life and 3 days rental car charges.  But hoping that good can come of it by saving others from an even greater misfortune.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/08/2014 01:52 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/AAA-Auto-Repair/Scottsdale-Arizona-85260/AAA-Auto-Repair-Misrepresentations-False-Diagnosis-and-Erroneous-Charges-Scottsdale-Ariz-1129276. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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