While attending a 3 day convention in Kissimmee Fl. my transmission coolant line broke. I was just getting ready to get on the Florida Turnpike when I saw a cloud of white smoke behind me. I immediately pulled over into a Gas station. I had a 2001 Chevy Express Conversion van. I looked under and saw transmission fluid running out of the engine coolant line.
I crawled under the van and saw that the aluminum line had pulled loose from the compression nut that connects to the transmission. I called AAMCO but was told that I would have to wait until Monday to bring it in. Since I was from out of town I had the van towed to my hotel. Monday morning I had the van towed to AAMCO. I told them what the problem was and they told me, "No problem, we will get you in as soon as possible and have you on your way."
I gave them instructions to ONLY replace or repair the coolant line. They told me that I could leave and they would call me when they were done. I walked outside and called my wife who was still back at the hotel and told her I would stay and wait until it was done. I waited outside for about an hour. I could see my van and all the service bays.
After about an hour the mechanic started working on my van. I was only about 40'-0 away and could see him as he fixed the line. He did not replace it, he merely fixed the line at the compression fitting. He lowered it off the lift and put new transmission fluid in. I saw him then raise the van back up on the lift and bring the paperwork back to the office.
So I walked back in and asked the guy at the front desk if it was done. He said, "Well we fixed the transmission coolant line, but you have more serious problems." He invited me to come back to his office where he proceeded to tell me that there was SERious damage to the transmission. He said that the gears were "chattering" in reverse and that the transmission was slipping while in drive. He informed that I would never make it back to Daytona. He told me it would cost about $1800 rebuild the transmission plus the $400 fee to "open it up". I asked him how his mechanic knew all this was necessary?. HE assured me that they took it for a test drive and that the transmission was in bad shape. Remember I watched them the whole time. They never took my van off the rack and never test drove it. So he flat out lied to me.
I told him to just tell me what I owed him for fixing the line and let me leave. HE kept trying to tell me that I would never make it back to Daytona, etc. I ended up paying about $130.00 and left. I drove back to the hotel and checked the fluid. It was low so I added more.
I drove back to Daytona. The van ran fine. No chatering, no slipping! It has been 6 weeks now and no problems. They were ready to Charge me almost $2000 for work that did not need to be done. If I had not stayed there and watched them I would probably have fell for their scam. I came to this site and was amazed to see so many other reports about AAMCO.
Be careful when dealing with them.
Oh, one more thing, they also tried to add a towing fee to the bill even though I had AAA towing. My advise; Never believe what they say, and if possible STAY and watch the repairs.
Port Orange, Florida