My car's serpentine belt snapped so I towed it to Advanced Auto Care Center. They replaced both of the tensioners and belts on my car. This repair seemed justified as tensioners are usually replaced in unison with the belt. They were willing to work with me on the price, which I appreciated. When I drove off the lot, I heard a loud, intermittent noise that I had never heard before in my three years driving the car. The next day I drove it back to the shop. Without taking it into the garage, a mechanic kept it in the SAME parking spot, looked under the hood for 5 minutes and quoted me for $650 to replace my water pump. The way to diagnose this DEFINITELY did not pass the eye test. They ended up taking it into the garage only because I asked them to. The manager later said leaving it in the parking spot and diagnosing it was normal, but maybe those reading this review can decide that for themselves. I went into the garage with them and looked underneath the car. The mechanic said that the sound could be attributed to both the compressor and a "wobbly" water pump. He COULD NOT give me a straight answer as to why this issue WASN'T noticed the day before other than "things happen" (paraphrased). Keeping my spending in mind, I then asked him if the compressor was an urgent fix and if I could drive on it. He said I could drive with the condition of the compressor, but the wobbly water pump definitely needed to be replaced. So I told them to go ahead with the water pump replacement. I noted the belt was off the tensioner pulley roughly a half inch. They persistently said that was how the old belt was sitting, but would not take into consideration if that's how it should have been all along. I went home but still heard the same, loud noise. After exchanges back and forth about the diagnosis of the car, they offered me a new compressor at a great price which I appreciated. By the time the compressor came in, I was already 150 miles south for the weekend so instead scheduled it for Monday. On my way back to Gainesville Sunday night, my belt SNAPPED and had to get it towed home. The compressor clutch locked up and the pulley stopped spinning, which caused my belt to snap again. I called Advanced Auto Care Center Monday morning and they denied that they told me it was okay to drive on and basically called me a liar. I ultimately did not get my car towed to Gainesville (and have them fix it for a good price) because I didn't want them to touch my car again. Instead I paid a pretty penny more to get it fixed at a local mechanic I knew. My local mechanic replaced the compressor and the now the belt sits PERFECTLY flush and straight on the pulley, which Advanced Auto Care Center couldn't / did not want to figure out. Long story short: I am skeptical if the mechanics knew what they were doing with my car. Overall, it wasn't the price of the services, but the services themselves that made my experience here bad. Many questions still remain: - Why wasn't the water pump pulley diagnosed the first day? - Why does this mechanic think looking under the hood for 5 minutes and quoting someone $650 is okay? - Why did they refuse to believe the belt needed to be flush with the tensioner pulley? - Why wasn't the condition of the compressor stressed a little more? EDIT: Response to the owner's first comment The belts weren't running straight after the tensioners were installed. I declined the compressor work because the manager DID NOT stress the need to replace it. Moreover, I drove the car home for the weekend because the manager DID NOT stress the need to replace it. As for your comment about shops not having bays, the water pump is very tucked away hard to see without looking underneath and taking off the tire. To look at it for five minutes without looking at probable cause of anything else was disrespectful. You know and I know, belt issues cannot be properly diagnosed without fully inspecting every pulley. Don't play these people with that bull. As for your "great price," it wasn't about the price, it was the SERVICE!
Mr. Haddad, I am very sorry you feel this way. As you stated in your review the noise you heard was intermittent and after the tensioners were installed the vehicle was quiet and the belts were running straight. The reason your belts were not always running on track was due to the bearing in the water pump that was wobbling badly as we showed you. It was explained to you that belt tensioners (which were clearly bad) could strain other accessories that are run by the belt and that other things could come up in the future. The first time you were in the A/C Compressor was discussed and you declined the work. As far as the technician checking your vehicle outside in the parking lot, There are many shops that do not have any type of roof or covering with lifts and flat bays outside the main building. I know this seems to be the area that disturbs you the most but if the vehicle does not require being put in a bay and lifted in the air, then what would the difference in diagnosis be? You are paying for a technicians knowledge and experience in his field, not the building. The Technician that was diagnosing your vehicle is a Factory Trained, ASE Master Certified technician with over 35 years in the field. I trust him with my own vehicles and every single vehicle he works on. In closing, i would like you to understand that even replacing the compressor there still are several accessories that are run by that belt that still could be old or worn out and that could still give you issues in the future and that the worst needed to be replaced first. I think we tried to help you pretty well as you stated but again, your vehicle like everyone else's is just a machine and could break down at any time without warning. We understand your frustration and that is why we offered to replace your compressor at cost and no labor. All your parts have been saved and shown to you. Everything replaced WAS BAD and needed replacement. I will say that your review was not fair to us and that we tried to help you in every way possible. We treated you very well, gave you great pricing, Explained everything to you in depth and even in the end tried to help with the intermittent problem you were having. YOU CHOSE to take the vehicle on a long trip prior to your compressor getting here. We or anyone else could not predict EXACTLY when any part would fail. All we can tell you is it is going bad due to noise and it needs replacing.
- Advanced Auto Care Center Florida