I first took my Ford Explorer to the Arden Way AAMCO in Sacramento, CA. It was making a loud rumbling noise and smoke was coming out of the tailpipe. My regular mechanic said it was leaking transmission fluid everywhere, and to take it to a transmission shop, so I chose AAMCO. They said that I needed a new pan gasket, which was a cheap part, but the labor of taking out the transfer case and putting it back in would be $250. After conferring with my father, I authorized them to do the work. My Dad also asked the technician to service the transmission, which cost another $150.
Two weeks and $400 later, my car starts rumbling and emitting smoke again. I have the car towed to the Modesto AAMCO, since at the time I was closer to there than Sacramento. The Modesto AAMCO says that I need to have the transfer case rebuilt, which will cost around $1150. I was credited the labor for taking out and putting back in the transfer case, which brought my total down to $900. I was without a car for a week.
Then, three weeks later, I took my car to the Ford dealership to have it inspected for any major problems. They gave my car a clean bill of health, except that the seal on the transfer case was leaking. So I called the Sacramento AAMCO, since I live in Sacramento, not Modesto.
They were extremely rude and unaccommodating. I had to rent a car for a week, which cost me $185 (with a family discount from Enterprise). My vehicle was towed to the Arden way location, where they removed the transfer case, mailed it to Modesto (which is a 1.25 hour drive away), who then repaired it again, shipped it back to the Sacramento location, where it was put back in my vehicle. The receipt from Sacramento said We replaced transfer case seal, then Modesto rebuilt transfer case. T-case seal leaking. Why didn't the initial receipt mention the T-case seal? Could the $900 repair have been avoided had AAMCO done their job correctly the first time? Was the seal still leaking when Sacramento released my vehicle the first time? Is this what caused the transfer case to need rebuilding?
Last night, a week after my car was returned from AAMCO the THIRD time, I noticed that my car is rumbling again. Not to the extent that it was initially, but definitely abnormal.
I have had it with AAMCO. Driving my car has become unsafe. I am afraid to drive with my 4 year old child in the car. I want them to pay me $1085. $900 for the repairs, and $185 for the rental car. I won't just pocket the money - I'll take my car to a transmission shop that will actually fix it!