» Cars & Transport » American Engines, Denver Deadly workmanship, fraudulent billing, sabatoged parts, lies, uneducated mechanics, Ripoff

Complaint / Review
American Engine Installations
American Engines, Denver Deadly workmanship, fraudulent billing, sabatoged parts, lies, uneducated mechanics, Ripoff

American Engine Installations

Jan. 2005

I moved from California to Colorado.

May 4th, 2005

I finely started to make some money and get somewhat established here in Colorado Springs. I still needed to get my truck registered with the state of Colorado. I toke it in for a smog test, but it failed. The mechanic there said that it is probably my carburetor. So I had to either get a new one or get the one I have rebuilt.

May 5th, 2005

I had my carburetor rebuilt by a recommended shop (Hutchinson Tire & Battery), for $225.00. My truck had previously failed to pass emissions due to the carburetor being old. The rebuild also came with a 1 year warranty.

May 9th, 2005

My truck passed emissions because of the rebuilt carburetor.

Jan 20th, 2006

I decided to have my engine and transmission replaced or rebuilt because I knew the engine needed a new timing chain and gear and the head gasket was leaking oil. I had these items quoted at the same shop (Hutchinson Tire & Battery) I had my carburetor rebuilt at and was quoted $1200.00 for parts and labor. Even after these items where fixed there was still no guarantee that other things might come up soon after. This was an old engine with a lot of miles on it. (161,040 per any AEI receipt) I need a very reliable truck because I'm a self-employed contractor that installs kitchen appliances. So I have to have a truck to haul and install these appliances. The truck ran ok, but the day before (Jan 19th, 2006) the truck overheated on me so I knew it was just time to get it done. Once my truck started overheating it then became undrivable.

So I call a few engine installation companies from the yellow pages and concluded that American Engines was going to be my best deal because of price and warranty. They offer a 3 year or 50,000 mile warranty, not bad for a remanufactured motor and rebuilt transmission. That's a better warranty then if I bought a used truck off a lot and spent a lot more for it. Their also a nation wide company, have their own remanufacturing plant and if other things need replacing they only charge for the cost of parts not labor because they would have to install the old parts back in anyway. Also the part that really surprised me was how long they said it would take, only about 8 to 10 business days to complete. I asked this same question to Tim Gemelli (franchise owner / branch manager) a few times before they even started. I needed a quick turn around for my truck because I need it to work and make a living. (This was a huge selling point for me because other shops said it would take longer.) I also asked Tim why they could do it cheaper then the other companies could, he said because AEI has a very large remanufacturing plant. AEI sends the old CORE engines they remove to the plant and the plant sends back one that was has been remanufactured already. Tim also went on to say that because AEI operates like this they can do it cheaper and faster then most companies, because they don't have to spend time or a lot of money rebuilding the CORE motor. As soon as my truck comes in they remove the CORE and order a replacement motor from the plant. This sounds like a very efficient operation to me. Other companies could not beat AEI on price or time and I believe it's because of this one factor, (I was told so) AEI has their own plant. So a combination of all these things is what really sold me on AEI initially, they really sound like they know what they are doing. You also can't argue that American Engine Installations isn't a very strong name, because it is.

Jan 21st, 2006

I call AEI and tell them to come get my truck from my apartment so they can start working on it. My total price so far was $3082.10 for the engine and transmission, parts and labor. I was given this price over the phone by the franchise owner Tim. I also had to figure out a way for me to pay for the work to be done. The only way I can pay for it is with a credit card I don't have the cash at this time. Tim said they usually don't except credit for the final payment, witch seemed kind of odd to me. Before we where done talking on the phone he agreed to make an exception and let me pay the deposit and final payment with a credit card.

(Note: Tim never said anything about being able to demand cash only payments at anytime. Only that AEI usually won't except credit for final payment.)

Jan 24th, 2006

AEI now has my truck at their shop waiting for me to sign some papers and pay the deposit of $1500.00 with a credit card. I no longer have any transportation so I can't make it to their shop. So I ask if they can fax what I need to sign and pay the deposit over the phone, the secretary there said that would not be a problem. She faxed a terms and conditions over for me to sign. When I got the fax it was a little hard to read and only contained 6 items to read. I made it out as best as I could and I signed and fax it back to them. Then we paid the deposit over the phone for $1500.00 and she faxed me a receipt. So now they could start work on my truck.

(Note: I was never told that there was more to the terms and conditions then what I was faxed over, she only said if I can't read it I should check it out on the internet before I sign anything. Now if she had said that the page I was faxed had been cut off by more than half I would have jumped right on the net and read the entire thing before I signed. The cover letter only said to see the website If I could not make it out. She again never said anything about there being more even after I faxed back exactly what she faxed to me.)

Jan 25th, 2006 (1 day)

The owner of the company I contract for (Eric) let me rent one of his trucks so I could continue to work and still make a living. Eric is charging me $100.00 dollars a week but I won't have to pay it until my truck is finished. So if the truck is only going to take about 8 to 10 business days then my rental bill should only be about $250.00. He has two trucks one is a full-size V8 the other is a small four cylinder witch gets very good gas mileage. He let me take the four cylinder, so I could save on gas.

Jan 26th, 2006 (2 days)

Chuck (the shop manager) calls me with an update. First he asks me why I want to replace my engine and transmission. I tell him what is going on with the motor and transmission and that I just don't want to deal with little repairs everyday when I'm on the road. Next Chuck lets me know the other parts that should be replaced. He reads the list off to me and I knew that some of the stuff needed replacing already like the radiator. Some of the stuff seemed unnecessary to me like the harmonic balancer, pump screen, and oil sending unit. (Chuck never says anything about the carburetor) First I knew harmonic balancers rarely ever go bad because it's just a pulley with a gear type connection at the end of it that seats inside the motor. It has no individual moving parts it is one piece of forged steel. I question him on it and he assured me that it needed to be replaced. So I toke Chuck's word for it, Chuck is supposed to be the expert here anyway. The new total for the parts added in was $4453.14. (Chuck told me over the phone that this was the total and final amount) So that's an additional $1371.04 in parts. I thought that was very high. So I requested a new copy of the receipt to be faxed to me. After looking at the parts list on the receipt I wanted to see what I could get these parts for. (No one ever said anything about me not being able to bring in my own parts.)

I went to a few auto part suppliers (Napa Auto, Checkers) and got a total of about $600.00 to $700.00 cheaper than they could. I bring this to Chuck's attention and he admits that they do mark up all the parts. I can understand that because I have to mark up the parts I have to sell when I install appliances or I will lose money in the long run. Their prices are doubled and on a few parts there are AEI was triple the cost. So Chuck says I cannot bring in the parts myself because AEI can't warranty them. Chuck said because they have tried it before and had much trouble determining who's part was at fault for warranty claims. Witch makes sense to me but I still did not expect to pay that much more for parts because Tim said I will only pay the COST of the parts, now I have to pay double to triple the cost for each part. Then Chuck also went on to say that the parts they use are the most expensive ones because they are all factory OEM parts not what Napa and Checkers sells. Well I was surprised to hear this because all the parts I priced myself from Napa and Checkers where all factory OEM certified parts, they where all the more costly parts and higher quality parts. I could get them for $600.00 to $700.00 less!!! But fighting Chuck on the issue was a waste of time because he would not allow it, so I left it alone and gave him the green light to proceed and charge me $1371.04 in parts. I just wanted it done right and really wanted to keep the warranty. The warranty was one of the biggest selling features of the whole deal.

Now I had another issue to worry about, how was I going to pay this much more? The bill was now up to $4453.14 but the credit card only had a $4000.00 limit. So again I'm stuck now trying to find a way to pay the balance. The only thing I could come up with was to take redemption from my Roth IRA. I chose to take out $700.00 to help fund this investment, but I have to pay penalties for doing it. So the final amount due on the credit card would be $2253.14, because I already paid a $1500.00 deposit and I will pay the $700.00 with a certified check from my IRA that all totals up to $4453.14.

Jan 27th, 2006 thru Feb 2nd, 2006

Between this time I never had a reason to contact AEI for anything. I didn't want to bother them anyway because they where working on my truck and I felt that I needed to allow them the time they asked for, 8 to 10 business days.

Feb 4th, 2006 (11 Days)

I was working in the area that day so I stopped by the AEI shop to see if my truck would be done. It wasn't done yet. I went to the back where the mechanics where working on it to see their progress. From what I saw the engine, transmission, new radiator had been installed but the carburetor and few other items appeared to not be done yet. A mechanic also said something about them not being able to get power to the engine. Witch might not be a big deal because I can understand problems coming up.

(One of the things that did concern me was number of cars and trucks AEI had in their work area that looked completely thorn apart. It might not be of my concern in my case but maybe they where other customer's cars or AEI used them for parts. What would be wrong of AEI is if they where charging people for those parts and then told the customer they installed new factory OEM parts. It would be ok if the customer was told by AEI that the part was used or off a wrecked car, but I can't prove it so this is just an observation and I'll leave it at that.)

The other thing that I just did not like was the matter in witch they where handling the parts for my truck. I noticed parts of my truck all over the place on the floor on tables etc. Some of the parts are very sensitive to dirt, oil, grease, and any other grime you could think of. Parts that are on the ground are very susceptible to these things and can be damaged or cause other damage to other critical internal parts if they are not property cleaned.

(Note: I feel that AEI was being negligent on their part because some parts must be handled with care, these where my observations of their shop their defense their procedures are none of my concern as long as the work I paid them to do is done correctly. That was my thought at the time, so I did not say anything because I had to get on with the rest my work for the day. Remember I'm still accumulating rental fees for Eric's truck. At this point I'm at the $250.00 dollar mark that I was ready to pay. Each week that this gets dragged out I must pay another $100.00.)

Feb 9th thru 15th 2006

I believe that I called a few times to find out their progress and was pretty much told that they where working on it, and that they'll call me when it's ready. A lot of pressure is being put on me now by Eric because he needs his truck back. Eric is starting to lose money now, because he is driving the big not very fuel efficient truck. He tells me that it's costing him $65.00 to $75.00 in gas for only two days worth of travel. The little truck only costs about $25.00 to $30.00 for every three days of travel. Gas prices at this time where at an all time high at about $2.99 per gallon. So he figures that he is losing about $150.00 dollars per week by driving that truck. He bought the truck because it is a 4X4 and only intends to use it when it snows or in muddy situations. I'm not yet paying him for the truck rental because my truck was not done yet per our agreement.

Feb 19th, 2006 (26 days)

Now it has been another three weeks later since the 3rd, so I called AEI because I was getting tired of waiting for a call. Chuck tells me my truck should be finished some time the next day. I also just wanted to confirm that I could still pay with credit card because I remember asking special permission for me to use it. I was then told I could not use it at all and that they will only accept cash. (At this point I was confused and not sure what to do. Being that this was the only way I could pay, if I could not pay I might lose my truck.)

I call my wife and tell her what was going on. Then she gets all upset and calls Tim herself and has to remind him that they said it would be ok to pay with credit. I guess he ended up remembering because he then called Chuck and let him know it was ok for us to pay with a credit card. On the same day I had my wife go down and pay the bill because I was unable to make it there that day to pay it myself. She was also in the area that day anyway. She paid the final payment with a credit card after we had to get Tim's ok again. I knew exactly how much was going to be due before she went down there. The last total that I was told was $4453.14. So if I take away what I paid already: $4453.14 less $1500 deposit equals $2953.14. Since I also toke out $700.00 cash from my IRA I'm only putting $2253.14 on the credit card. I plan on paying the last $700.00 when I go pick it up. To my surprise when I talked to my wife after I was done for the day she tells me how much AEI charged her. I was expecting it to be $2253.14 since no one ever called to let me know otherwise. AEI charged $2412.98 to the credit card, so that's $159.84 more then I agreed to. This made me mad, I call Chuck and ask if AEI makes a habit of charging their customer's what ever they wanted without informing them first. He just played dumb and said that someone was supposed to contact me about it. It ended up being the transmission. On the 2nd receipt I was faxed with the parts added to it for the description of the transmission it said $800 - $1000.00 then under that it said will call with accurate the charge section of the receipt it said $800.00. So I figured since after 26 days of AEI working on it Chuck, Tim or somebody would have said otherwise by now if it did cost more. But because the price was on there from day one I assumed they could do it for $800.00. Come to find out the transmission came to a total of $1050.00 that's more then the max amount AEI said it would be. If you do the math again the difference between $800.00 and $1050.00 is $250.00, but I was only charged $159.84 more, not $250.00. (By the time I realized this I had finished talking to Chuck and did not want to call him again. So I decided to find out about that when I went to pick the truck up.)

Feb 20th, 2006 (27 days)

I go to the shop to get my truck. First I go to the office to pay the last $700.00. Chuck says my truck should be done later that day because they where doing some final adjustments on it. (So I guess I'll just have to come back later.) I show Chuck the 2nd receipt I was faxed and then he gets out his pen and writes in the final amount for the transmission $1050.00. Then I tell him what I discovered after I talked to him the night before and he says there was a few adjustments in the parts cost. He then said he'll give me a new receipt showing the changes and that I'm now paid in full. I paid the last $700.00 bringing the total I paid to $4612.98. I get the new receipt showing a $0.00 balance due and a few of the parts had been removed like the radiator cap and manifold gasket set. (I thought it was kind of weird but at this point I just wanted my truck.) Chuck also pointed out a note he had to add to the receipt. It said American Engine agrees to accept customer's VISA on the grounds that customer will not dispute charges under any circumstance 02/20/2006. This I did not worry about because I never had any intentions to dispute any charges because I just really needed my truck back and operational. Then Chuck walks to the back to find out when they can have it done today, I was still in the office waiting. Chuck comes back into the office and tells me the mechanic needs to show me something. The mechanic (Robert) and Chuck bring me to the back and tell me that a float is stuck on the carburetor and some of the vacuum lines have no vacuum. I found this to be quite strange because it was just rebuilt and it worked fine BEFORE it got into AEI's hands. It passed smog with flying colors barely six months ago, it could not be bad this fast unless it was miss handled and dirt, oil, etc got in there and clogged it up. (Or AEI switched it out for one that did not work, I did not say that but it crossed my mind. They also could have very easily damaged it as well because it wouldn't take much to do it). Just as before there where a lot of cars and trucks ripped apart all over the shop. So I tell them I just had the carburetor rebuilt and that it passed smog about seven months ago. They had kind of a surprised look on their faces when I told them that. So then they ask who I had rebuilt it and I tell them (Hutchinson Tire & Battery). Then Robert said something smart about that I should have never taken it to Hutchinson. Then I tell them that it is still under warranty with the shop that rebuilt it, because it had only been seven months ago. Then they tell me that I should just get a new one.
(This I did not want to do because they are extremely expensive, I priced a new one from Toyota and it was a little more then $2000.00. The carburetor is a very important part, it controls the air and fuel going to the engine so the engine can work. Without it the truck will never work, it is a very complex critical part. I had already exhausted all my funds on the work that was already done so I could no way afford a new carburetor.)

After they said that, I just told them (Chuck & Robert) I'll have to figure something out and I will get back to them.

(I'm now starting to get very stressed out because I'm still under a lot of pressure and I'm now completely broke. Basically the fate of my future is in their hands at this point I need my truck back period. Eric thinks he is getting it back tonight, he will be pissed when I tell him my truck is still not done. I need a truck to survive, if I lose my truck I might be forced into bankruptcy.)

So I then inform Eric that my truck is still not done and he dose get upset, I tell him that they are now having problems with the carburetor witch he can't believe either because it was just working fine, I never had any problems with it after it was rebuilt. Things start getting real nasty from here on out.

Feb 21st, 2006 (28 days)

I just happen to have this day off so I have to spend my day trying to find a solution to the carburetor issue. So I go over to Eric's house and we try to come up with something. We decide to call AEI and see if they can take it to the shop I had it rebuilt at so Greg at Hutchinson can look at it, it was still under warranty. We call Greg and tell him what is going on and he agreed to look at it because it was still under his warranty. We call AEI and talk to Robert, he was the only decision maker there that day Chuck was at the Denver shop that day. Robert refused to do any such thing, he said AEI dose not do that for customers and that I just need a new one. He was kind of rude about it, so then I ask if he can take it off for us and we'll take it back to Greg so he can look at it. Then we'll bring it back. Again Robert said no way, we will not do that. Then Robert pretty much tells us that we are screwed and that I will have to get a new carburetor or take it as it is and with no warranty because they can't do the required final adjustments. I can't have this because I NEED a truck that works!

We are stuck so now we are trying to come up with another solution. We come up with this idea if Robert won't remove the carburetor for us maybe he'll let us remove it if we bring our own tools and they park it in the front. Then we can do what we need to do with it. We call Robert back and ask if this would be possible, then he gets real rude and again says he will not help us at all with this because it is not his problem. Then he continues on and says we need to just come get our truck and sign a release witch will VOID the warranty. Now my blood was boiling so I tell him that we are coming down there to get my truck back without signing anything because I don't believe I'm asking to much of AEI. He says I can't have it because I have to sign. Then I come back at him and tell him I'm coming down there with a police officer to get my truck and hung up on him. This was the first time I had ever been hostile toward Robert. I guess I was just asking to much of Robert that day or he was trying to cover something up.

They legally can't keep my truck if I have paid the entire bill, so I call the police station and arrange for an officer to meet us there but they can't get one there until the next day. Witch wasn't going to be soon enough for me I just wanted this thing to be over with today. Then I get a call from Chuck and he gets real nasty with me a says that he is returning the credit card charge and that if I want the truck the way it is I must come down and pay $3912.98 in green cash and sign off on it or I lose the truck, I said we'll see and just hung up on him. I never asked for my money back EVER!!! AEI did it all on their own. I didn't want my money back I just wanted my truck because I needed it. AEI was holding my truck hostage, at this point. Now, I knew AEI was a shady company they confirmed it for me.

Then Eric called Tim to talk to him, because I was too upset to do anymore with this. Eric talked to Tim and to our surprise he was just as nasty with us, as the others. He explained to Tim the situation and Tim finely agreed to have the carburetor removed for us to take down to Greg. We also found out that Tim was the one that ordered the return of the credit card charge. Eric also told him that it was a dirty way to do business. So the carburetor is being removed and we (Eric and I) go to pick it up. When we get inside we see a carburetor on the floor as if it was thrown there like garbage. We ask the secretary if this is the one and she says yes. As we start to walk out, Robert comes out with his chest all puffed up in a threatening manner and tells us we need to bring in cash only for the truck. We then tell him that it is a legal matter and then left. The carburetor was very dirty and grimy it just did not look good at all.

We take it to Greg and he doesn't recognize the carburetor as his rebuild. He tells us that the one we brought him has rivets on it for the replacement parts on the carburetor. He continues on and tells us that he never uses rivets because they just don't work as well, he threads the holes and then uses bolts for all the connections for the replacement parts. So he pretty much says it was not the same carburetor. (Personally I think we caught AEI in a lie about the carburetor, they can't change it out for one that doesn't work that's illegal but it's really Greg's word against AEI's). Greg agrees to rebuild the carburetor again anyway because he dose honest work. Greg also told us that he does work for AEI sometimes when they can't figure something out. This was another surprise, because AEI was bad mouthing Greg's work, but AEI sends Greg their messed up work. Go figure. As of this date I now have a truck rental bill of $400.00.

Feb 22nd, 2006 (29 days)

The next afternoon I call Greg to find out about the carburetor and he says it's all done and ready. When I get there Greg wasn't too happy with me because he had to eat $55.00 for another rebuild kit and do the labor for free, for a carburetor rebuild that wasn't his work (according to Greg). I felt bad but I didn't have $55.00 to pay him so I had to leave it at that. I then took pictures of the carburetor on the way back to AEI just as a precaution. (I wish I had taken pictures before AEI ever got a hold of it). I left the carburetor with the secretary and she said she would give it to the mechanic, probably Robert. Then I left.

Feb 25th, 2006 (32 days)

I haven't bothered to even call AEI because I already knew the answer they would give me. I did a little research on them though. I found that the BBB had a huge number of complaints against them. The one I toke my truck to had 13 (now 14) complaints unresolved. The BBB also said that AEI in Denver (where Tim is) uses the BBB logo but are not members of the BBB. They are miss leading people, when people see a BBB logo they feel better about that company because to be a BBB member, they must meet certain strict requirements so the company is automatically more trust worthy then with out the BBB membership. The one I toke my truck to at 3455 Astrozon Colorado Springs, does not use the BBB logo. As I was searching the web I stumbled across consumer, I had never heard of this site before, but it was huge. I typed in American Engine and was shocked at what I found. I found a ton of reports about how this company was screwing people all over the entire country. The same things where happening to me, I then knew I had been taken for a fool. Some people had their engines replaced 3 times because they where junk. Other people where also being charged with out authorizing the work first. (Any confidence I did have in AEI was now completely gone, I knew my truck would come out the same way, I really wanted my truck out of AEI. I also told myself that as soon as I get my truck back I would never take it back to AEI, because of what I found. Anyone that reads my findings would totally understand. It's just common sense, some of the people I read about have been dealing with them for over 8 months and counting!!! Note: In my business I cannot charge a customer without first asking for authorization to do so, or I could get in big trouble.)

Feb 26th thru March 2nd, 2006

I called every day if not every other day to find out if my truck was done yet. It should have been because to my understanding all that was left to do was reinstall the carburetor and do the final adjustments. It wasn't done apparently AEI was having problems getting the new harmonic balancer to fit right. They could not figure it out. Each time I called it was either the harmonic balancer or they where working on it but I was not surprised by this because I don't think AEI knew what they are where doing.

(AEI never said anything about anything else not working right so one can only assume that everything else was fine and dandy because I was never told otherwise.) Also I confirmed that AEI did return the credit card charge and will still require certified funds only (cash). So I still had to come up with $3912.98 in cash. My only option is a cash advance with the credit card witch I will have to pay a much higher interest rate for, all because AEI wants to play games with me, I just wanted to do business. Then my wife gets the cash advance for $4000.00 so we'll have it whenever the truck does get done.

March 6th, 2006 (40 days)

Because it has now been 41 days that AEI has had my truck and now over $600.00 in rental fees for Eric's truck, my wife started calling attorneys about what we should do, she had the day off. The attorneys confirm that AEI cannot do what they have done to us with the payment and because they returned the payment all on their own we can take the truck back anytime we want. It was AEI's own decision to return the money we never asked for it back. The attorneys suggested taking a police officer down there and getting my truck back, without signing anything. I figured they can just keep the $700.00 at this point because that was the only part I paid in certified funds. So my wife arranges a meeting with an officer and they go inside AEI. We also had the receipt showing that we had paid in full and we showed it to the officer. Then Robert comes out and then my wife demanded my truck back and Robert of course refused. They argued a little and then Robert's defense was that I had signed a blue piece of paper that was their Terms & Conditions. Robert showed the officer the blue sheet but not one signed by me, it was a blank one. It was the one I was supposed to sign from day one. On line 8 it says this All repair work will be payable in cash, credit, (MasterCard, Visa, Discover) Certified Cashier checks, or official bank check. (ONLY CERTIFIED FUNDS ARE ACCEPTED FOR FINAL PAYMENT) We reserve the right to require cash payment at anytime. So the officer bought it and told us that this is a civil matter and we need to take it to civil court. What I think the officer should have said was lets see the one I signed and he could have had my wife verify my signature. (But Robert could not produce that copy because I never signed the full terms and conditions, and I just might have gotten my truck back had the officer known that fact.) Robert gave my wife the copy he showed to the officer. Then my wife leaves AEI and calls me to ask if I signed a blue paper. I said no and that I have never seen any blue paper. When I get home she shows me this blue paper and just like I thought I have never seen it before. It was the full terms and conditions sheet with 23 items on it.

(I had only signed for items 1 thru 6 so I don't think that from items 7 thru 23 even apply to me. My wife did not know what I had signed because I set everything up, she did not know that I had only signed for less then half the terms and conditions. I didn't know until now that there was more to the terms and conditions, surprise, surprise!)

March 8th, 2006 (42 days)

(Now I just have to play the waiting game, I have no confidence in the out come of my truck anymore I already feel like I've been totally ripped off. They can't figure out the harmonic balancer, it has been since Feb 26th, 2006 that they have been on that one part.)

I finally got a call from the secretary and she left a message on my phone and said my truck is all done and to come get it. I get the message and ask my wife to go get it because I was working at the time. My wife drives all the way to AEI and then the secretary says oh sorry the truck isn't done. We are waiting for another harmonic balancer to come in from Checkers. Well my wife was pissed, more so about the fact that we where completely lied to about where AEI gets their parts. CHECKERS!!! In the very beginning Chuck had said they don't get parts from Checkers.

(Maybe they had to make an exception because they where having so many problems with the harmonic balancer, I don't know and I didn't really care any more I needed my truck back.)

March 9th thru 12th, 2006

I don't bother to call anymore because I know it's not done. I just wait for them to call me.

March 13th, 2006 (47 days)

That morning I finally get the call I've been waiting for Chuck calls and said the truck is all done and come get it. So I grab the cash 39 hundred dollar bills 12 ones and 98 cents totaling $3912.98. Eric and I go down there to get the truck. When we arrive we go inside and I go into the office with Chuck. First he has me sign the warranty paper (green sheet). He tells me when the first oil change is due, 500 miles and then 3000 miles after that and to use non-synthetic oils. He also tells me not to rev it very high and to not go up hills with the truck.

(Now this sounded really weird to me, I don't think he had very much confidence in their workmanship but Chuck pretty much led me to believe that the truck was in tip top shape, and was safe to drive. Not once did he even hint about anything else being wrong, just to take it easy on the motor at first.)

So I sign the green warranty page then I count out the $3912.98 in CASH for Chuck. Then he recounts it and stuffs it in an the mean time I can hear Eric talking to another customer in the lobby that is also very upset with AEI, he had problems with the harmonic balancer also. Eric got his phone number on the back of our business card. Then a mechanic drives my truck around and gets out, and hands the keys to Chuck. Then Chuck hands the keys to me and I now finally have my truck back. The first thing I do is look over the body, it is very dirty but nothing seems out of place. I get in the cab and everything looks ok at first glance. So I start it up and get the hell out of there. Immediately after starting the truck it did not sound good, it was vibrating real bad and stunk of exhaust fumes. So I immediately pull into the King Soopers gas station that is almost across the street from AEI not more then half a block away. I go to pop the hood and I notice that the hood popping lever is busted (inside the cab). So I pull the exposed cable and the hood pops. Eric pulls up behind me and gets out too investigate with me. I start the engine again and look at how it's running. (This is pretty much when my heart sank, and depression started.)

The engine ran like crap, it sounded like it was barley able to stay running. It was shaking real bad and kind of sputtering. I could smell exhaust coming from the engine and I could visibly see that almost all the vacuum lines where missing or only half way put on. Then I look at belts and can see that they are also shaking real bad. The harmonic balancer AEI put on is wobbling all over the place, after all this time it still wasn't right. Then I got inside the cab and the exhaust fumes hit me, there was defiantly a huge exhaust leak somewhere. I rev up the engine a little and it sounded like a fart and stunk like one. It was also leaking oil from somewhere because we could see it on the ground under the engine. Then Eric suggests we take it directly to a certified Toyota dealership shop. We call a few up and the closest one to us will take the truck the same day but it might not be done until the next day. We wanted Toyota to look at it and tell us how messed up it was on paper. So then we drive to Toyota and on the way there I notice that my temp gage is not working at all. I also had to drive with all my windows down so I could breathe because the carbon monoxide was filling up the cab from the exhaust leak. The Toyota shop was only about 7 miles from the AEI shop. By the time we got to Toyota I was getting very light headed and kind of dizzy.

(The over exposure to the carbon monoxide could have killed me, but AEI deemed my truck safe to drive. Had AEI did this to someone that didn't know anything about cars or how poisonous carbon monoxide can be, their negligence just might have killed someone or maybe they would have passed out and crashed and injured or killed someone else. AEI never said anything about a deadly exhaust leak or had me sign anything about me saying it was ok to have the huge exhaust leak. The truck just passed smog so the exhaust leak was caused by AEI.)

In less then a half an hour the truck was in the Toyota shop. David Read was the service adviser that helped us. We explained what was going on and asked him if he could write down all his findings. We also asked him to do a compression test on the motor to see if it was good and check the engine timing. The Total for this diagnostic was approximately $330.00

(I can't remember the exact quoted price over the phone, but I know I paid Toyota less when they where finished with it. You might be wondering why I don't just take it back to AEI and make them fix it because I do have it under their warranty? I will never let them work on my truck again because this was the end result of 47 days of their work. I have no confidence in any thing they do nor do I trust AEI at all. My common sense tells me I would be dumb to bring it back to them, the AEI warranty is just worthless. I don't believe they would know what to do to fix it. Besides I knew that AEI would try to charge me more money witch I did not have, I am completely taped out of funds especially after I pay Toyota.)

March 14th, 2006 (44 days)

I call Toyota to find out about my truck David says it's ready for me to pick up. That evening Eric and I go to Toyota to get it. We sit down with him in his office and he shows us the results. He found a lot wrong, first the vacuum lines, the ones that where on where in the wrong spots, more then half where just gone altogether so Toyota fixed all the lines they could. But a few of the lines had no vacuum at all internally in the carburetor. (The metal tubes on the carburetor must have been plugged with something, weather or not AEI did it intentionally I can not prove.) David also found that a lot of electrical connectors are broken and not connected at all. So Toyota reconnected as many as they could. David confirmed the exhaust leak I knew was there. The exhaust manifold was installed incorrectly, AEI left out the manifold gaskets that MUST be there or exhaust will leak. Toyota also found a huge stress crack in the exhaust manifold due to over torqueing one of the mounting bolts. It was tightened so much that the bolt head was twisted completely off and left the threads inside the engine block. This was just reckless on AEI's part. The compression test passed for the engine at 145 to 150psi, so the engine was ok. AEI almost had something right but then David went on and told us that AEI installed the wrong engine.

(This I think is what toke AEI so long with the harmonic balancer, the one they bought is for an 85' engine but the engine AEI had was not an 85' model year. AEI was trying to install 1985 parts on an engine that could not accommodate 85 parts. So apparently there is a signifagent difference between the engines. I don't think AEI installed this engine knowingly because they would have had to charge me for a lot more parts that did not need replacing. The engine might have worked fine if all the RIGHT parts where installed on it but AEI didn't know what they where doing.)

Then David told us that he could not check the timing at all because of all these other issues (David did not charge me for the timing check). David estimated for just the carburetor and manifold replacements that it would cost about $3000.00 and that he would have to start there before he could even start the rest, but he knew there would be a lot of other repairs as he spent more time with it.

(Well I was broke I had already exhausted all my funds plus what I now had to pay Toyota for looking at my truck witch came to $288.93, this money was supposed to be for the first 2 weeks of the truck rental. I already paid AEI to the same work but they did it wrong. Who fault is it? Not mine, When I'm installing appliances in people's homes I don't tell a customer I can do something I don't know how to do, or if I attempt something new and I can't get it perfect then I don't charge the customer anything because I couldn't complete the job correctly. It's not the customers fault if I don't know how to do something the right way. I feel that AEI is under the same responsibly, I DID NOT GET WHAT I PAID FOR PERIOD. I paid aei for a truck that wasn't a death trap and a truck the at least ran. There for I should be entitled to a full refund plus damages because of their incompetence. I also don't think that anything I singed will make any difference in the out come of this case but maybe even make my case stronger. As of this point my truck rental bill is up to $750.00, so that's now $500.00 more then I was going to pay, all because AEI doesn't know what they are doing?!?!?)

From the Toyota dealership I drove the truck home about 9 miles away with my head out the window the whole way home so I wouldn't pass out and crash then I parked it in my garage and to this very day it is still there. (August 24th, 2006 and counting) It has not left the garage even once for any reason, it is not drivable. The truck now has only 161,056 miles on it, if you remember when I brought my truck to AEI it had 161,040 miles (see any AEI receipt) and from AEI to Toyota it was only 161,047 miles (see Toyota receipt) so only 7 miles away. Then from Toyota to my home it was only 9 miles away. So do you know anyone that would be happy with only getting 16 miles out of a newly remanufactured motor and transmission, and paid $4612.98 for it?!?!?!

April 15th, 2006

Eric let me use his truck up until about this time. Then he had to take it back because he was losing money driving the big truck. So he left my rental bill totaling $1000.00. I will still have to pay this amount back when this thing gets resolved.

April 16th, 2006 to Present Day (August)

I no longer have a vehicle to drive, I have to ask for rides anytime I need to go somewhere. My wife has to take her car to work, so I'm stuck. Eric is now letting me ride with him on work days so I can still make something to survive. He can only afford to pay me less then half what I made when I had my own truck.

(In this business to make anything you must run your own truck, otherwise your profits will get cut because there is only so many hours in a day. It's just not logical or realistic to do more then 6 installs in one day, and it is no easy task to even get 6 done in one day.)

If a job cancels for some reason I get cut first so I never know what I will make for the week. This should help prevent me from going bankrupt though, thankfully. Let me put it this way before my Toyota went to AEI. I made about $600.00 to $800.00 per week, after April 15th, 2006 I now make about $200.00 to $350.00 per week. Very rarely will I make more then this per week, this is all Eric can afford to pay me. So the math tells me I went from an income of about $2800.00 per month to about $1200.00, because of AEI. So from about April 15th, 2006 to present day and counting I have lost about $1600.00 a month for about four months and counting so far totaling about $6400.00 in lost income. I could no way afford to get another truck because I still have to pay the credit card $200.00 a month for the work AEI was supposed to do, plus a higher interest rate. Then my income got cut in more then in half, so it's been a huge struggle for me to even pay the bills I had before AEI. I was also planning on buying my first home this year but I can no longer even attempt to qualify now for one because of my huge cut in income. Also homes in the Colorado Springs area have gone up about $15000.00 since late last year, for the type of home I'm looking for.

The Full AEI Terms and Conditions
(Legal size blue sheet)

This is my analysis of the AEI Terms and Conditions (I only signed for lines 1 thru 6). Lines 4,6, and 13 are the only ones that could have a negative affect on me. So lines 4,6 and 13 are the ones I will analyze to see if they affect me or not.

The way the AEI Terms and Conditions reads, sounds like they don't want to be responsible for anything to do with their workmanship. For example, line 4 AEI will not be liable for damage to any part or parts that may occur while removing or dismantling engine. So what this means is AEI can intentionally damage every part on the truck and turn around and point to item number 4. If they feel like cracking an exhaust manifold they can, or plug the vacuum ports on my carburetor they can!?!?!

Line 13 When performing work on consumer's vehicles equipped with computer (s), carburetor, fuel injection, or turbo charger, AEI will assume no responsibility for the function or malfunction of such components, nor damage to the engine supplied by AEI resulting from such component failure. Well guess whatthis means ALL cars and trucks because all gas operating cars and trucks have at least one of these components. Now combine both lines 4 and 13 and what do you get? Absolute and total free rein on what AEI can do to their customer's!?!?! Dose this mean that AEI can plug my vacuum ports on my carburetor, crack my exhaust manifold, leave a huge oil leak, not install the vacuum lines, bust up the electrical connectors so they must be replaced, break my hood latch, un connect my temp gage, treat me like trash, charge me cash only in hopes that I can't come up with the cash so they get to keep my truck, break off bolts inside the engine block, increase the charges when ever they feel the need to, etc, etc, etc. Then turn around and point to items 4 and 13 and say oh my bad and say now pay $4612.98 in CASH only because we don't like you anymore!?!?!

Those two lines alone say that AEI can try to screw you over, and there are sill 21 more items that only continue to enforce the lack of responsibility AEI will take for their workmanship. But I did not sign for item number 13 because I was never told it even existed, it only came up through the conflicts I had to go through because of the highly trained mechanic (Robert) seemed to know the terms and conditions better then the secretary, Chuck or Tim. I think AEI wanted to keep items 4 and 13 far apart because when they are side by side it looks pretty devastating on there part. Someone that just really needs their claimed services will just sign quickly and may not catch those two items and there for be sucked into the AEI trap.

Line 6, The estimated time to complete repairs is 5-10 working days (Monday-Friday), Custom engines and some import engines may take longer. Lack of parts availability or parts approval delays may extend the time required to complete repairs. Availability of rebuildable core, shipping delays, strikes, acts of God or war may extend completion time. The most important thing AEI left out of this line is, uneducated mechanics that AEI employs. I truly believe this was the biggest cause of the delays.

There where no strikes, acts of God or war happening at AEI or in the entire state of Colorado that I could see or hear about on the news. I don't even think that anything was going on in the entire United States that would have prevented any mechanic of AEI from completing my truck in a timely matter. The only thing that I was told that relates to this line in the AEI terms and conditions, is the parts delay. I was only told once by the secretary that AEI was waiting for another harmonic balancer on March 8th, 2006. So because they where honest with me only once (that I can remember) I'll give them a few more days for that.

The 85' Toyota 22R engine is not a custom engine it is readily available. I could get the long block version from Checkers and pay about $1900.00 for it and install it myself.

(Witch is what I should have done to began with, because I do have some knowledge of how the do an engine swap. Eric also has done a 22R engine before himself and offered to help me when and if we ever got the time. But we just never got the time so I chose someone else for the job, AEI.)

Rebuildable core? This was also not an issue because after 12 days of them working on it I went to the shop and with my own eyes seen the new motor installed in the truck.

Import? Not a 1985 Toyota Pickup, this truck, and very similar models are everywhere. We are not talking about a rare import car or truck here like an Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Lotus, Peugeot, etc, etc, etc. Now these I could understand being a lot more involved because they are very rare to the United States. Toyotas are made in the United States!!! Toyotas are everywhere!!! So the import issue and lack of parts in this line 6, to me has no affect or bearing what so ever in my case.

So because AEI left out this: uneducated mechanics that AEI employs everything in line 6 should be thrown out the window. No one at the shop ever told me about any delays that pertain to line 6 except once on March 8th, 2006 by the secretary. What I was told almost every time I called for an update was they are working on it or they are having problems getting the harmonic balancer to fit right. Now dose any of these statements pertain to line 6? NO, these are not acts of God, strikes, import issues, lack of parts, delays because of parts, war, rebuildable core issues or custom engines. These statements are telling me the mechanics that work at AEI don't know what they are doing. So because the mechanics are uneducated and incompetent I have to suffer financial hardships for their stupidity? WRONG that's not how it works, AEI should have added this uneducated mechanics that AEI employs to line 6 of their Terms and Conditions if they want line 6 to hold any water.

Damages American Engines has caused me and my family.

$4612.98 Paid to AEI (total refund) for credit card and
Roth IRA
$1000.00 I owe Eric for the truck rental
$3000.00 I will need to only START fixing what AEI messed up
$3000.00 I will most likely need to fix the rest of the undiscovered problems AEI has caused to my truck.
$288.93 I paid Toyota to diagnose the truck thoroughly
$225.00 I need to pay Greg for the second carburetor rebuild (this is his charge for parts and labor)
I would like to continue to use his services in the future because he is an honest mechanic and we are not on good standing because of the this whole deal
$6400.00 In lost income that was directly effected to the poor workmanship of AEI.
$??? Plus any Attorneys fees that I acquire for this matter.

With this money I can fix and catch up on my bills and get another truck or fix the Toyota. This amount would undo all the damage AEI has caused, and nothing more. It would only get me where I should have been at this point in my life. AEI crippled me financially and emotionally, just to write this report I had to waste about 2 weeks of my life that I could have spent with my family.
$18,526.91 Is the total damages AEI has caused me, and that's not including attorney fees witch will be added to this.

(ror redacted last name for security purposes)

Offender: American Engine Installations

Country: USA   State: Colorado   City: Colorado Springs
Address: 3455 Astrozon Ct
Phone: 7193910444

Category: Cars & Transport


Only registered users can leave comments.
Please Register on our website, it will take a few seconds.

Quick Registration via social networks:
Войти через FacebookВойти через Google+