My mini van needed a new transmission and I didn't have a lot of money to spend on it. I was happy when I found A B S Automotive LLC in Sterling, MI. They quoted me $200 to put in the used transmission I purchased elsewhere. I thought they were giving me a good deal because my elderly aunt has done business with them for years and recommended them to me.
The day I picked my van up I brought the mechanics beer and cookies as a thank-you. They were all smiles and told me they were worried about the transmission at first because it was "sticky" but it was doing OK now. I said, "OK, so I can drive it home now?" The told me yes and I went to pay. The bill was a bit more than I was quoted, but I figured as long as it's done I'm happy to pay for it.
The first thing I noticed was that the shifting wasn't as easy as it had been with the previous transmission. It was hard for me to find the right spot for Drive because I couldn't feel the notches very well on the shifter.
The transmission slipped out of gear at the second stop sign I came to. I had to shift around a bunch until it went back into gear again. I started freaking out just a little bit.
The slipping gears continued - even happening while I was going 55 mph, so I pulled over to check out the transmission. I dont know much about transmissions, but the fluid looked weird - it was frothy pink with a white tinge to it. Not normal, anyway. And then while I had the cap off it started shooting up into the air.
I drove back to the shop but the mechanics had already left. The daughter of the owner was there, but she wouldn't call them for me. So I turned around and headed towards home.
I got 20 miles away before the transmission died a noisy death. Wouldn't drive. Wouldn't reverse. Just lots of grinding & squealing kind of noises. Luckily I got to a parking lot.
I left a message with ABS telling them what happened. They said they couldn't tow me. So I had to wait two weeks to move my van from the parking lot where it died.
Today I was able to get my van towed. I called ABS this morning and told them I was getting it towed and asked them if they would take the transmission out and figure out if it was a mistake of theirs or if the auto parts store sold me a lemon. They said they'd do that - but it would cost me.
My husband called next. ABS says they told me the transmission was bad and wouldn't work, but that I demanded they put it in anyway. My husband tells them that's ridiculous, that I wouldn't do something so stupid. Kudos to him! I wouldn't waste our hard-earned money putting a broken part into my vehicle! That's lunacy.
After they speak with my husband, ABS calls me back to tell me they spoke with him and that their mechanics told me from the beginning that the transmission probably wouldn't work, but that I said to put it on anyway. Again? Really? I said, no way, that is NOT how it happened! The mechanics said nothing about it not working. If they thought it wouldn't work they should have told me BEFORE they took my money!
The lady I spoke with last told me "This is a case of He-Said-She-Said so I'm going with what my mechanics told me." Which is funny, because they told my husband the reason they put a bad transmission on my van was because "the customer is always right". HA. Sure.
So ABS refuses to even look at the van unless I give them more money. The auto parts store claims the transmission they sold me was in working order. I have a 30 day warranty on the transmission, and I'll be taking it back to the store in a few days. I'm not sure if they can tell whether or not it was a bad transmission to begin with or if it was something ABS did wrong.
I don't have the money to fix my van now. I already gave it to them. So I'm without a vehicle. Wonderful.
ABS has been rude, has lied to my husband and I, and has basically called me a liar. I strongly suggest anyone looking for affordable auto repair services look somewhere else. Unless, of course, you like being ripped off for hundreds of dollars.