My grandmother has a 1994 Buick LeSabre. She received it from her mother who was too old to drive. My grandmother recently purchased a new car and decided to give the Buick to my mother. My mother recently lost her job and did not have a car, so the Buick was a Godsend! The only problem was that the transmission had been acting funny.
So during the last week of February, we took it to the Aamco shop in Hermosa Beach, CA. Unfortunately, my grandparents picked the shop because they were paying for the repairs and the Aamco is close to their home. The shop didn't provide a written estimate, but promised to have the car out in a week. They proceeded to keep the car for more than a month! Five different pick-up dates came and went, each without any courtesy phone call from the shop. We had to call them ourselves, and were given a new excuse each time - the mechanics had the flu, the parts weren't fitting correctly, etc. Finally, we had enough. We went to the store (my mom, grandmother and I) on Monday (3/21) to tell them that they either fix the car immediately or we were taking it elsewhere and they wouldn't see a dime from us! Magically, they provided a written estimate and promised to have the car done the next morning. So we pick up the car. First, they didn't give us any warranty paperwork or an itemized list of what they did - just a paper with the amount paid and a "paid in full" stamp on it. So we had to go back. At my grandma's house, which is two blocks away, we discovered that the car had no radiator fluid, so we replaced it. The hood wouldn't latch! We had to use zip ties to keep it secure while my mom and I drove the car back to our home, an hour away.
We didn't even make it home! Approximately 25 miles down the freeway, the power steering failed on the car. The "service engine soon", "low battery" and "high temperature" lights all came on, despite the temperature gauge giving a normal reading. We were just barely able to pull off the freeway without incident. When my uncle came to tow us home, we found out what happened: the fan belt wasn't connected to the car! Also, the power steering unit was missing pieces and the inner workings were visible! As we hooked up the tow hitch, we also noticed that the protective plastic pan underneath the car (to protect the radiator and fan from rocks or debris) had never been put back on the car.
We called Aamco the next morning. They insisted that there never was a protective pan under the car, and that they didn't tamper with anything. The fan belt had to have been removed in order for the mechanic to get to the transmission. Clearly, they did not replace it correctly, which resulted in the car being completely useless now.
Aamco refuses to pay up! Even their "consumer affairs" department won't take calls. When they do bother to call us back, they're rude and say that it's not their problem.