Complaint Review: AAMCO in New Brunswick NJ
AAMCO in New Brunswick New Jersey tried to rip off $2,200 for an unnecessary transmisison rebuild, New Brunswick, New Jersey
AAMCO in New Brunswick
950-954 Somerset St., Rt. 27, New Brunswick, NJ
Peter Fiorentino (Owner Operator)
Diagnosis: $129 plus tax
The amount he tried to rip me off: $2,200 plus
Instead, Go here!!!
East Brunswick, NJ
Steven Z (Owner Operator), Chris (mechanic)
Final Bill: $302.00
If you live in Central Jersey (Middlesex/Somerset Counties) and have a transmission problem, go to Gxxxxxx (((REDACTED))) Transmission in East Brunswick. Never, ever go to the AAMCO in New Brunswick. The oowner/operator of the AAMCO, Peter Fiorentino, tried to rip me off, saying what my car needed was a transmission overhaul (rebuild), and it would cost $1,800 to $2,200. I went to get a second opinion from Gxxxxxx Transmission in East Brunswick (Steven Z, owner/operator). They fixed it for $302.
Heres my story.
My car is 2007 Honda Civic with 126,000 miles, and 120,000 of it is from driving on highways (I have a long commute). One day, I started experiencing what appeared to be transmission issues. I was stopped at a traffic light, and as I started off I felt a little jerk when going from the 1st to the 2nd gear, then another jerk from the 2nd to the 3rd, then the gear got stuck in the 3rd or 4th until I pulled over and restarted the engine. The check engine light came on, and the green dot right next to D started blinking.
I did a little research on the Internet, and many people said it could just be the transmission fluid. So, I took my car to my usual shop, but they didnt want to touch it since what I described sounded like it should be left up to transmission experts. They recommended an AAMCO or Gxxxxx Transmission. I first went to the AAMCO in New Brunswick, thinking Id try the other place for a second opinion it turns out its something serious.
Peter Fiorentino first told me he would do external checks for free, and hell know whats wrong with the car. An hour or so later, he came back and told me that the gears were slipping 2nd through 5th and transmission fluid was burnt and smelly. He also said that he plugged the code reader to the car and the following two codes came up:
- P0717, input main shaft speed sensor no signal input
- P0718 input shaft main shaft speed sensor intermittent failure
- He then told me he needed further diagnosis to know exactly whats wrong with the car, and that would be $129 plus tax. I agreed. A couple of hours later, he came back and said his tests showed that all electrical, cables, and sensors going in and out of the transmission were fine, meaning that the problem was inside the transmission. At this point, he said he would recommend a transmission overhaul (rebuild), and that would cost between $1,800 and $2,200.
I told him it sounded like he would open up the transmission, find issues he didnt foresee, and charge me more. He said he would cap the rebuild cost at $2,200 for anything inside the transmission. Anything outside the transmission would be additional. I left his shop.
Next morning, I called Gixxxxxx, and Chris (mechanic) answered the phone. I told him what AAMCO said and asked if it would be worth it to bring my car is to get a second opinion. At this point, I didnt tell him what was happening with the car. I just told him I had an issue with transmission and took it to AAMCO, and what AAMCO told me. Chris immediately asked me what happened with my
car. This was a good sign as Id imagine if he just wanted my business he would have told me to bring in the car without asking what I was experiencing. I explained to him how the car was behaving.
Chris said hed like to take a look at it. I said how much he would charge for a diagnosis. He said that would be free. I asked what he would do if his free diagnosis couldnt figure out whats wrong with transmission. He said he would open up the transmission to find out whats wrong with it, and it would be something around $500 (He gave me an exact figure, but I cant remember).
At this point, I had two options:
- Agree to a rebuild job at AAMCO based on the diagnosis that the problem is not outside the transmission, although they had no idea what was wrong inside the transmission. The final bill could be Well, it could have been anything, really. They could have charged me $2,200 for inside the transmission, and more for whatever else they could come up with.
- Try a free diagnosis at Gxxxxx, and potentially spend $500 or so to figure out exactly whats wrong with the transmission, and pay only for whats needed to fix it. At this point, I have no idea what the final bill would be, but at least I will know what they are going to fix.
When we came back to the shop, Chris said he needed to find out if it actually was a faulty sensor or if it was something else around it (cables, etc.) that was causing the codes to come up, and he needed to charge me to find out. I asked him how much. He said he would charge $98/hour for labor, and it could be 5 minutes to find out whats wrong with it or it could take a couple of hours,depending on exactly where the problem is. He said without fixing the sensor first, he wouldnt know if the problem really is inside the transmission. This all made sense to me, so Ive agreed to it. I said, Im going to trust you, Chris. Chris replied, Youll be glad you trusted me.
Since they were busy, I had to wait for a couple of hours, but Chris eventually came back and said it was the sensor itself that was bad and he was going to call around the areas dealers to see if anybody had it. After a few phone calls, he found one, but it was going to be another couple of hours before he could get the part. So I had my wife pick me up and went home.
A couple of hours later, I got a phone call from Steve (owner). He said my problem was fixed, and it would be 2.5 hours of labor at $98/hour and $38 for the part. He said there was nothing else wrong with the car. He said the car was a Honda and was only 5 years old. Theres no way the transmission would fail. He said I can pick up the car today and start driving to California, and Id be fine.
Peter Fiorentino blatantly lied to me. Transmission fluid wasnt burnt. He said all the electrical, cables, and sensors outside the transmission were fine. That also was a lie. He said he would cap the rebuild cost at $2,200, but he probably knew it was the senor and nothing was wrong inside the transmission. He probably was going just replace the sensor, charge me for $2,200 for the transmission rebuild he didnt do, and charge me additional for the sensor.
Dont go the AAMCO in New Brunswick. Go to Gxxxxxx Transmission.
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