I've always found the Aamco Transmission commercials to be a little strange. The ads all currently make a big production of the fact that "half the cars brought into Aamco don't need a new transmission."
Half?! You're telling me that if I go to an Aamco, I have a 50/50 chance of needing a new transmission? Hey, for all I know that may be the industry standard, but it's not something I needed to know. I would have guessed that less than ten percent need new transmissions and the rest can be repaired. Let me live in ignorant bliss when strange noises emanate from below my seat.
I've never been to Aamco, and thankfully I've never had to replace a transmission, but I have been to Tustin Transmission. Not often, but each time they have done right by me. The first time, if you can believe it, the problem was so minor that they suggested I just get a transmission tune-up and they would charge me nothing for the repair. Most recently, I took in my Ford Expedition because for about a year the little needle on the shift indicator did not match the actual gear. Coincidentally that was also the same time my daughter
was learning to drive, so we had to made some conversions.
"OK, Sweetie, 'R' stands for rest. When you park the car, put it in R for Rest. Now, we're going to back up, so you need to move the shifter to to N, for "NOT going forward." Good job. Now, to pull forward, you move the shifter to '2', for 'I want 2 go forward. Good job. Watch the parked . . . I mean resting cars, Sweetie."
Since Tustin Transmission was in the running for Best Transmission Shop award based on feedback we have received, I was curious to see if any effort would be made to up-sell me. You see, transmission shops are apparently required by some secret oath to do that metal filings thing. You've probably had this done to you. You take your car in for a simple oil change, and the guy (not being sexist, it's just that a woman would never do this) walks over to you with the transmission pan or whatever it is called in his hand. Every transmission, within
five miles of the manufacturing plant, even if the car is being transported by rail, will have metal filings in the pan. It's metal gear against metal gear, so of course some shavings are going to be thrown off. But he shows you those filings and says, "see these filings? That's a problem. You've got to get this fixed right away or your transmission could blow up and take out most of the city" (or words to that effect).
So I take my askew transmission to Tustin Transmission. My completely uninformed sense was that this was just some linkage thing, really having nothing to do with the transmission, but for all I knew it could mean that my transmission had rolled onto its side. The manager listened to me describe the problem and said that this happens all the time in old Fords, and that it would cost $75 to fix. The car was ready later that day just as promised, with no extra charges or up-selling. After I paid for the service and was heading out the
door, he said, "there are metal filing in the pan, but nothing unusual for a car with that many miles." I was quite impressed. He satisfied the secret oath, but did it in a way that didn't amount to an effort to up-sell me.
My experience matches what has been reported to us by others. Tustin Transmission actually appears to be an honest repair shop. All repairs are guaranteed for 12 months or 12,000 miles. For these reasons, Tustin Transmission wins the award for Best Transmission Shop in and around Tustin.
-- Aaron Morris
November 3, 2009
14122 Newport Ave
Tustin, CA 92780
Mon-Fri 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat 8:00 am - 1:00 pm