I don't know how else to explain by plight other than telling the following story of what happened to me earlier this month. Places like this should not be allowed to offer services to the public. Please help.
On June 4th I went to Automaster of Castle Rock concerning noise, vibration and performance issues I was recently having. Automaster agreed to look over my 1995 Hyundai Elantra to determine why my car had been acting up. Later that afternoon I received a call from a gentleman by the name of Castro who had informed me that my camshaft timing belt was off by 4 teeth along with my balance belt by 120 degrees. He also mentioned that the lower timing cover was rubbing into the harmonic balancer along with a failing timing belt hydraulic tensioner.
Castro recommended for me to replace the following components: Idler bearing and pulley, Tensioner bearing and pulley, Camshaft timing belt, Balance shaft timing belt, Alternator drive belt, Power steering drive belt, A/C drive belt, Lower timing belt cover, and Timing-belt tensioner bracket; making the grand total, after labor, 1,055.40 dollars. I specifically asked Castro if the 1,055.40 dollars would be the final bill to fix the vehicle or will I be surprised to find out later that I would need to invest more money. He answered with a verbal promise that after I pay them the 1,055.00 dollars that I would not have any more immediate problems.
On June 6th, Castro called to inform me that upon completion of my vehicle they had found that cylinders 1 and 2 on my vehicle were 50 PSI lower than cylinders 3 and 4. He explained to me that in order for Automaster to fix the problem the cylinders would need to be sent to a machine shop for pressure testing and resurfacing. They quoted me an estimate of 1,500.00 dollars for the total job. When I asked Castro how long I had until the vehicle would fail he reassured me that I had plenty of time and it was of no concern in the near future. He stated that my vehicle will not have the best performance due to the damaged cylinders along with a rough idle, but other than that I should be fine.
After picking up the vehicle I noticed a great improvement; no sound, no vibration and the car ran great. A day later however, my A/C which had been working before the repairs, was now nonfunctional. I returned to the shop on June 7th, where Castro and his crew inspected the vehicle and found that my A/C line was leaking. He pointed at a spot on the "muffler" end of the line where the leak was coming from and stated that it would cost me 232.14 to repair the damage. This made me very upset, that my A/C which had been running for the past eleven years could possibly fail after an overnight stay with Automaster. I informed Castro that I would deal with the A/C problem another time and requested for them to wrap up the vehicle so I may leave.
Upon driving the vehicle home from Automaster I noticed that my car was performing strangely; when I sat at idle it almost seemed as if it wanted to fail. I had not experienced any of these problems until I took the car back to Automaster for the second time concerning the A/C issue. The next morning, June 8th, my car failed to start. When I opened the hood of the car I noticed that the cap above my cylinder cover, the cap that covers my cylinders and spark plugs, was missing. I also noticed a strange spark plug wire sticking out of one of the cylinder ports. I quickly took Digital photos.
I called Automaster and spoke to a very unpleasant individual by the name of Tony Campagnari. When I asked to speak to Castro, Tony would ignore my request by saying, How can I help you? I asked two more times to speak to Castro, but continued to get the same response without even an explanation of Castro's whereabouts or when I could reach him. Tony was verbally abusive in demeanor and presented himself as a very unprofessional and uncaring individual over the phone. Tony spent the conversation belittling and insulting me; when asked for the spelling of my street address I began to spell the word, "white," at which time he irately snapped at me by saying, "I didn't ask for you to spell the word "white" to me, I know how to spell white, I want you to give me the physical address!!" Tony acted as if I was a nuisance to him and spent little time understanding my plight, rather, his attempt seemed to be focused on rushing me off the phone. Tony' attitude and respect for me had gotten so bad that at one point in the conversation I had to inform him that it wasn't necessary to be so rude. Tony did not seem to care and instead of apologizing, he spent more time attempting to defend his justification for being such a jerk.
I informed Tony of the missing cylinder cover along with the strange spark plug wire that was sticking out of one of the spark plug ports; the new wire did not have a rubber base which allowed the exposure to one of the spark plug cavities. I mentioned to Tony that if moisture got into that cavity, the chance of having a bad start may occur. Tony angrily disagreed stating my notion was ridiculous and spent the next few minutes explaining to me how Automaster was not at fault. I had to stop Tony in mid-sentence in order to explain to him that my concern was not about fault, but how I could get the help to fix the problem. He finally offered to have the vehicle towed into the shop for inspection and stated that if fault did not lie with them, I would have to pay for towing. Later that day I received a call from Castro who I quickly informed of my dissatisfaction with Tony; Castro made it clear that in order to deal with Tony I would have to take whatever Tony says into one ear and allow it to flow out the other, as Tony is not an nice person to talk to. It was not until later that I realized Mr. Tony Campagnari was the actual owner of Automaster of Castle Rock; what a disappointment!
Later that morning the vehicle was brought into the shop and left for inspection. I returned earlier than scheduled to find a mechanic dismantling all the parts that were replaced the day before. Castro informed me that the mechanic wanted to double check his work to make sure of no fault, but I believe that the mechanic may have found an error and decided to quickly fix the issue. While my fiancee and I waited for the mechanic, we overheard Tony Campagnari yelling at one of his employees about another employee's usage on phone minutes. Tony was very brass with the employee and did not hesitate to use profanity when talking about the accused. My fiancee and I had noticed on more than one occasion Tony treating others the same as he had treated me. Before leaving, Castro offered a 207.00 dollar credit and agreed to pay for the towing of the vehicle; instead I towed the vehicle to another mechanic for a second and third opinion.
Both mechanics I visited had informed me that for the money I paid Automaster along with a verbal promise of performance, the car should still be running; considering I brought a running vehicle to them in the first place. They stated that it does not make sense to pay well over 1,000.00 dollars to a mechanic in order to receive a vehicle back that fails in two days. They stated that Automaster has an obligation, not only to me but to all of its customers, and demanding further payment in order to fix the problem that they created was unjustified. Upon inspection of the vehicle both mechanics confirmed the failed cylinders and stated that Automaster should have anticipated the failure of the vehicle due to the bent cylinders before they quoted me the first time; allowing me to make a conscience decision of whether to invest more money or scrap the vehicle. Instead, Automaster allowed me to pay for other damages knowing that the vehicle had bent cylinders in order to recoup me as a paying customer in the future.
Both mechanics continued to stress their disapproval with Automaster by stating that they should not have even given me the final quote of 1,500.00 dollars for machine shopping the cylinders, as the engine could have suffered much more damage than bent valves. They stated that with the type of engine my vehicle carries it was possible that the bending of the valves, causing failure to my vehicle, would have most likely bent a rod within the engine as well. They stated that even if Automaster were to fix my cylinders, I could almost be guaranteed more problems in the in future. Both mechanics stated that Automaster is doing what they do best and that is dirty business, baiting me for money now in order to guarantee more money later. One mechanic was unclear on how the cylinders could have possibly failed after two days and believes negligence may have played a hand. The other mechanic assured me that even with slightly bad cylinders the car should still be running and Automaster themselves may have misaligned the timing belt when installing the first time, causing even more damage to the cylinders. Both mechanics, however, disagree with Automaster's decision to pressure test and resurface the cylinders as more damage may be plausible due to the design of my engine.
So on that same day, June 8th, I headed back to Automaster in an attempt to find a resolution to my nightmare. My attempt was not to demand a full refund as many people were suggesting, but to attempt to waive a larger portion of the expenses quoted to me earlier in order for them to re-inspect and repair the damaged vehicle. As I entered the shop I immediately spoke to my preferred contact, Castro. I maintained a professional and mature manner as I explained to Castro the comments that were made to me by my 2nd and 3rd opinion mechanics. Halfway through the conversation I made a slight slip-of-the-tongue when I used the word tune-up to describe the repairs that Automaster made to my car. This comment enraged Tony who was sitting three feet away from Castro; making him turn his chair into my direction, pointing his finger at me and stating, You need to get your facts straight before you come in here, we did not give you a tune up, we changed I interrupted Tony by stating that the comment I made was a simple mistake and I for the rest of the conversation I would prefer to speak with Castro.
Tony began yelling and stating that if I want to speak to anybody in their shop, I would have to go through him first. I explained to Tony how rude and disrespectful he is and preferred not to speak to such an unprofessional individual. When Tony began to repeat himself I explained my intention to seek help from the Attorney General and he commented with, Fine, you have the Attorney General call me!
With the total damage my vehicle has incurred I have decided to donate my vehicle to the cancer society rather than suffer more grief through repairs, although I would still like to see somebody investigate such a business that has infected this community. I have lived in Colorado for less than two months and disappointment is more than what I can say about its current tenants.
Castle Rock, Colorado