I brought my 2005 Subaru Baja Turbo to these guys 6 weeks ago because it was loosing power when accelerating, and making a whirring noise under the hood. The manager Steve seemed very professional on the phone and in person. It was to be about $100 for initial diagnostics. The first mechanic said there was a power loss. The manager later told me there was no power loss, and said it was b/c I was hearing a noise from the bad alternator on accelerating, and was instinctively taking my foot off the gas, and the alternator needed to be changed. I argued this b/c it seemed ridiculous that it A) had not just shut down the ignition system if it was bad, and caused instead a DECREASE in power. and B) I had been driving this car for 5 years, and know I wasn't laying off the gas, and C) Why would an alternator with 46,000 miles on it go bad. They nevertheless reluctantly talked me into changing the alternator (for $600+) with some convoluted story about how it could cause a power loss like I was experiencing, and this was after doing further diagnostics which were supposedly "very involved", and would now cost about $300 in total. After the work was done (5 days later now), the manager calls me and says "I know why you're having a power loss, you have a bad turbocharger".
They now wanted to charge me the $600+ PLUS the cost of a repair to the Turbo. At this point their supervising manager named John got involved. He was extremely difficult to deal with, kept changing the subject, and would not budge on the price for the repairs which I believed I did not need. He told me "I know your alternator is bad" I said, "but it was putting out the right voltage, and we have a source for the power loss now, how do you know it's bad?" to which he said "I could hear the noise it was making with the stethoscope we use to listen to the parts". Later I asked John what it would take to fix the Turbo, John told me "I don't know, we have to ask the mechanic" I said "you're not a mechanic?" he said "no, I'm not" but yet he was able to BS me into believing that the alternator was the source of the problem with intimidation, and 4 syllable words.
Finally I got a call from the owner, who said " we don't work on Turbo's, you don't owe us anything on the car, but we don't want to have anything to do with it anymore". This was after they had the car for 5 days and had countless man-hours into it. He first said he would drop the car off with me, but then reneged when I told him I wanted my old alternator back in the car,
He put back the old "bad" alternator, I picked my car up, brought it to the dealer, within 24 hours they told me the Turbo unit was bad, and 48 hours later I had a new unit installed, they even changed the oil at no charge.
This was a hellish experience. Dealing with the managing staff was very stressful, and they became rude when I would ask them intelligent questions.
I would tell everyone reading this to STAY AWAY FROM THIS AAMCO CENTER!!! They should call it SCAAMCO! BTW, 2000+ miles later, and my "bad" alternator is still humming away with no problems.