I have been taking my 2002 VW Eurovan for maintenance service, to Fred?s Garage since January 2006 or when the car had 55,655 miles on it.
They seemed to do good work and were reasonable, but from the very start I had concerns about their unorganized and haphazard
approach to service. Despite the fact that they are forgetful they don't keep records and every time you go in it is as if it is the first time the car is being serviced with no past history or record of work done. You have to keep reminding them of the work they did.
At 60,000 miles they changed the fluid in the transmission of my car and despite the fact that I took the car for service every 5K miles after that, including major tuneups at 80K and 100K, at 108K after I had been complaining about the transmission behaving strange intermittently, and they had said they would keep an eye on the transmission, Tom did finally checked out the transmission and told me that I needed a new one for $6K. At that point I thought I might as well drive the car until the transmission died before replacing it and just asked them to change the fluid. Tom changed the fluid and told me that it was extremely low and felt slimy and gritty. I started to think about why the fluid level would be so low since I had regularly taken the car for maintenance service to Fred's. I took the car back at 115K for another service and asked them to check the fluid level which they found to be low by half a quart. It immediately became obvious that this was what had happened the first time they changed the fluid at 60K . The fluid level was slightly low so it operated at higher temperatures and eventually burnt off and became excessively low and caused internal damage. They failed to check the fluid level as is stated in the service manual and top it off despite the fact that I took it in for service every 5K miles.
I finally took the car to a transmission re-builder at 118K who rebuilt it for $3.5K and told me point blank that the only reason the transmission failed was low fluid level for a prolonged period of time which had damaged the clutches and contaminated an internal valve.
Fred's Garage have yet to acknowledge their negligence.
If you take your car to Fred's make sure you have a maintenance schedule from a dealer and be vigilant in telling them what to do and what to look for.
Pros: Reasonable pricing
Cons: Unorganized, forgetful, not systematic or thorough