Free Transmission Diagnostic

I have a 2000 Dodge Caravan that would not shift. I went to AAMCO for their “free diagnostic”. They dropped the pan and looked. They saw mothing so they told me they would hook up there diagnostic machine for $100.00USD.What they did was hook up an OBDII reader for 30 seconds and write down the codes. You can buy a reader for $29.00 and get the same high quality information. The error code indicated a solonoid problem (P0755). AAMCO then told me that there was a catastrophic internal transmission failure and it would cost $2000.00 to fix. It turns out that the solonoid pack is on the outside of the transmission, cost $90.00, and has 3 bolts to change it. You can check the solonoids and switches, there are 3 switches and 4 solonoids, with an Ohm meter from the TCM connector. The switches should read around 300 Ohms from the ATX supply pin and the solonoids 2 to 3 Ohms from the same pin. This checks the harness and the individual elements. I was able to fix the problem myself for $100.00 instead of $2000.00 with the generous help from Transman on this forum as opposed to being RIPPED OFF by AAMCO. I would not recomend this company to put air in a bicycle tire much less fix a transmission. Thanks again to this forum and Transman for your help.

And now you know why I and other members of this board consistently advise people to AVOID AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, and all other chain transmission shops.

At those places, it is very likely that the unsuspecting customer will be told that their transmission “needs work”–whether it really does or not. Additionally, it is more likely that the repair work at those places will be substandard and will cost more than an independent shop would charge for the same work.

The success of those chain establishments is living proof of the value of advertising as well as P.T. Barnum’s favorite saying–“There’s a sucker born every minute!”

Didn’t you know that AAMCO is an acronym for All Automatics Must Come Out?


1 Like

Does AAMCO have a parent corporation? Anybody know the history of AAMCO? I don’t. If I was a AMMCO executive I would be concerned with this very widespread perception of my company,apparently AAMCO is not.

It does seem Sears and Firestone have taken steps to improve the situations in their automotive divisions,maybe I am not current on their efforts.

I think that the AAMCO people are laughing all the way to the bank.

Another ATTABOY for Transman.

That’s 2 big scores for him in as many days. Thousands of dollars saved. Thousands. Jeez, somebody buy him lunch.

They know.  It is part of the business model.  It is how they make money.  It is almost the same thing with the quick oil change places. 

 To make money they need to work fast (too fast to do a proper job). Hire people who are not really qualified and not allow enough time for them to do the job right and put them on commission so they only make money by selling un-needed work.

Thanks for the info? Not a mechanic but having first time transmission issues with my 1994 Buick Regal and don’t want to get taken. Do you guys know if there are shops that will check for free? I can’t drive it to a shop because none of the gears are working. Columbia SC

Do you work for free? No there are no shops that will check for free. If you would elect to have them fix whatever is wrong, though, many shops waive the diagnostic fee. Frankly, on a 1994 Buick Regal, I wouldn’t put the money into a new transmission

You’re welcome? :wink:
If you click on the link at the top of the page that is labeled “Mechanics Files”, you can use the searchable database to find shops in your area. Perhaps, one of them will be a trans shop.

If there are no trans shops listed in that database for your area, then your best bet is to ask friends, neighbors, relatives, and co-workers for recommended independent trans shops in your area. If any of them recommend Mr. Transmission, Lee Myles, Cottman, or–God forbid–AAMCO, ignore that advice.

Thanks for your honesty! Lol. Everyone has said it’s not worth it since the car has over 220,000 miles.

Appreciate the advice. FYI that was intended to be a period not ? Lol

With that many miles on the odometer, I would recommend that you not “invest” more than… maybe… a couple hundred dollars on repairing it. A trans overhaul would cost more than the book value of the car, and even if you did spend the big bucks to overhaul the transmission, the car has a VERY limited remaining lifespan.

Can you even get the shift lever out of park?

how’s the fluid level?

have you done a fluid and filter service every 30K?

I agree with the others . . . the car’s too old, and not worth enough, to justify a major repair

If you feel lucky, it might be something simple or at least not overly expensive to correct @Alisa_Dean . Note that I’m not saying this is likely, but such a thing is possible, Suggest to ask around at some inde repair shops, not necessarily trans repair shops, to see if one of the staff who knows Buicks of that era is willing to come to where your broken car is parked and take a look The worse they can tell you is “no”. In that case it’s your decision whether to scrap the car, or have it towed to an inde transmission shop. Worse case the transmission needs to be rebuilt. If so, and that’s too expensive for you, another idea, they might be able to find a used transmission. Whether any of this makes sense from a $$$ and cents point of view depends on the condition of the rest of the vehicle. But some folks just like their older car b/c they’re used to it, and prefer vehicles with not so many expensive to repair electronic gadgets as new cars come with these days.

Not only is the mileage high, but the car is 24 years old. Things are far more likely to break down in inconvenient places, original rubber parts (think radiator hoses) are likely to give up the ghost at any point from UV and heat damage over the years. Have the car buy you a drink since it’s of legal age and have a toast for it :tropical_drink:

And another ancient thread arises from the ashes.

Hi guys … I have a 2011 Chevy Malibu that has a slight jerk going into second gear … every other gear is fine … do you think I just have to replace the solonoids I have 169k miles on it … thanks for any help

Post this as a new post rather than at the tail of a year old thread. You will get more advice.