Complaint: I tried to contact a representative of Cottman through their web site. When I sent the e-mail they said I would be contacted within a few workdays. Since no one has bothered to contact me I decided to send a letter to: tMr. Todd Leff, C.E.O. Cottman Transmissions Systems, LLC 201 Gibraltar Horsham, PA 19044 I took my 1990 Chevy. Full size conversion van to Cottman transmission in Cedar Park TX (1915B on South Bell). At the time I had a slight wine coming from the transmission. Since we were going on an extended vacation through Minnesota Boston New York I decided ,since I had so much mileage on the van (226,591), to have the transmission overhauled. Other than the slight wine the transmission seemed to be functioning fine. Cottman gave me the sales pitch saying that without taking the transmission apart he could not give me an estimate. Because unlike others, Cottman checks all parts to see if they are within factory specifications and only those that do meet those specifications are replaced. The savings are then passed on to the customer. When the estimate came in I was told the transmission needed to be completely remanufactured. He said it would be remanufactured to service grade II specifications. Not knowing what all that meant I asked and was told it is simply meant getting it within factory specifications. After the transmission was rebuilt I took it out with the Cottman rep. I notice a very slight noise that sounded like when you turn the steering wheel all the way to one direction. You get this hydraulic noise. The sound was very faint and if you did not listen for it you probably would never notice it. I was told this is normal and some transmissions are noisier than others. Recently when coming back from a trip the noise became progressively more noticeable. Then the transmission would lag in shifting out of first gear. And then the final trouble. The transmission no longer goes into overdrive. And the noise is a lot worst. So here I am 42,991 miles later with a blown transmission. I put 226,591 miles on the original transmission and at that time it seemed to be functioning fine. My 1 year warranty and 12,000 miles is up. What is so sad is that Cottman said that if anything failed it would probably fail within the warranty period. I should have known that you get what you pay for. Instead of spending $2,350.00 plus installation for a factory rebuilt I spent $1778.00 with Cottman. What is even worse, I never asked until recently when I was checking around again about the warranty. For the $2,350.00 I get a 100,000 mile warranty. When I first went to Cottman I was under the impression of a large company. I was not aware that it was a franchise company and that each shop was independently owned and operated. Thus no matter what the advertisement says about the quality of workmanship it is only as good as the local owner. In my case the workmanship has a lot to be desired. I sent a copy to the Cedar Park Cottman Transmission Center as well. I never received a response from Todd Leff. I received a response from Chris Purcell the new Center Manager. He seemed very responsive to my complaint and wanted me to bring my van in. We talked about several points of concern I had one of them being the distance to Cedar Park. He said he would make arrangements for the Round Rock center to check out my van. I drove my van to the Round Rock center to meet with the Regional Sales Manager. I told him after driving the distance the transmission seemed to be working more smoothly, but it still shifted abruptly. He turned the van over to a technician and came back with the results saying there was nothing wrong with the transmission and that it was shifting too soon instead of too late like I was complaining about. He recommended that I replace the kick down cable($85 plus installation). He also said that since the transmission is a truck transmission I could not expect it to shift smoothly like a car. I declined to have him do the work since I am able to do a lot of work myself on automobiles. I said I was very upset with the people who told me they would have to replace my transmission when I had them check my van out. They were the ones who prompted my letter to you. I went home and when through the check out procedure for the kick down cable. I followed the instructions for checking the cable for operation and then followed the instructions for adjusting the cable. I road tested my van with no improvements. After letting the van sit for a couple of days I road tested it again and found the van shifted from first gear at about 30-35 miles per hour. The shifting was again very abrupt. After driving for a while the shifting smoothed out somewhat and shifting was closer to 20 mph. I called Chris and he said he would really like me to bring the van to him. So I drove the van to him and by the time I got there the van was shifting somewhat normally. Chris had a technician check the van out and he came back saying there was nothing wrong with the transmission. He said if I wanted them to do any more work it would require them to tear down the transmission. He would be willing to give me a break on the normal tear down cost but refused to give any hint of what he would do about the cost of repairs. I told him I was very concerned about having Cottman work on my van. The Round Rock regional sales manager gave me wrong information as well as trying to tell a customer who has been driving a van for 250,000 miles that he did not know how the van normally shifted. Why should I trust and pay Cottman perhaps as much as the original cost to repair my van again?? This last experience with Cottman has made me realize that the Cottman technicians are only capable of tearing down a transmission and contrary to what they say, shoot gunning (replace most all major moving parts) the transmission. I believe they have a basic parts list that they replace and if there are other parts that they can see are truly defective they replace them at additional costs. If this is not true then why did they say the kick-down cable was my problem? The kick-down cable is used for kicking into passing gear and when the engine starts to lug down when going up a hill and you are pressing on the accelerator. Lowell Georgetown, TexasU.S.A.
Tags: Auto Repair Service
Address: (1915B On South Bell). Cedar Park, Texas U.S.A.