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BBB Accredited Business since

ARS Automotive

Phone: (412) 795-4059 Fax: (412) 795-9673 405 Davidson Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15239 View Additional Email Addresses

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This company offers mechanical/body repair.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that ARS Automotive meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for ARS Automotive include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 2 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

2 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 2
Total Closed Complaints 2

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on ARS Automotive
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: April 27, 1995 Business started: 11/01/1969
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Pennsylvania Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program
1101 S. Front Street, Harrisburg PA 17104
Phone Number: 800-265-0921
The number is 8905.

Business Management
Mr. Dan Frohlich, Owner
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Dan Frohlich, Owner
Business Category


Alternate Business Names
A R S Automotive
Industry Tips
Auto Repair Auto Towing

Additional Locations

  • 405 Davidson Rd

    Pittsburgh, PA 15239 (412) 795-4059


BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

5/1/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I took my car to ARS Automotive to be repaired for a simple misfire. Before I took it there, my car was in very good condition. It was running a bit funny, so I figured I better take it in and it also needed inspected. They said that the car was misfiring and I needed some coils and spark plugs changed. After that he called and stated it was fixed and running great!!! I asked if they would be able to inspect it now. The manager, ***, told me that it would not pass admissions because I needed to follow some steps for it to pass. I said ok thats fine, is there anything else wrong that I need to fix? He stated that he would take a look when he could fit it in real quick like he was doing me a favor. Never told me he was going to charge me for a full inspection!!. I went to pick it up and he gave a list of what he stated needed fixed. (By the way I had this checked out by a different mechanic, he told me that one of the parts listed, the ball bearing, was not damaged and did not need fixed) Then I realize that he charged me to inspect it knowing it would fail!!! Then charged me over $500.00 for a simple $200.00 tune up. The list they gave me was the instructions on what to do to get the car to pass admissions (even though he already failed my car for the admissions test and charged me) I did what the instructions said. I fill the tank full and I let it rest for 8 hours as stated. The next step was let the car idle for 15 seconds then drive until the engine temperature reaches the middle gauge. Then drive for an additional 5 minutes at 40 MPH. I never made it past step 4. I was driving for about 2 minutes, and my car starting acting funny.I had to turn up a hill to get it back to my apartment. It died on me. They said they fix it again. Charged me another $530.00 and it is still broken. Now they want $2100 to repair something they caused to break on my car. Then lied and laughed at me. and said I dont want you to leave mad. Maybe we can make a deal or something?WHAT?REALLY?

Desired Settlement: I want my money back so I can take it to get it fixed correct this time. I have had serious pain and suffering over this. I have no car and almost wrecked into someone's house after they gave it back the first time and said it was running great!!! I have anxiety problems and I have medical records stating so. I could have died. I paid these people over $1,000 and my car is in worse shape then it was before I brought it in.I can't even drive it! Then they laughed in my face after they lied to me.

Business Response:

2003 Ford Escape, hereinafter referred to as “vehicle,” was first presented to ARS Automotive on Friday April 11, 2014.  Our customer, hereinafter referred to as “she,” stated that she wanted the PA annual Safety Inspection and Emissions Inspection.  She also stated that the vehicle had had a misfire problem “for a while.”  When asked, she stated that the Check Engine Light was on.  She was informed that the vehicle would not pass the emissions test due to the Check Engine Light, and that further steps would need to be taken to make the vehicle ready to pass the Emissions test – those include the testing, repair, and performing a Drive Cycle.  (Note: a Drive Cycle is a specific set of driving conditions required to verify the repair, which also allows the vehicle’s on-board engine control computer to test and record those tests with a passing grade, thereby allowing the vehicle to pass the Emissions Test.)  She authorized the testing of the misfire.  At that time, the only misfire present was due to Ignition Coil #1 malfunctioning (vehicle has a 6 cylinder engine).  Spark plugs were also recommended at this time since they were all worn larger than the acceptable gap.  To access Ignition Coil #1, the Intake Plenum must be removed, which would require new gaskets when reinstalled.  She was provided a price for this repair, including #1 coil, 6 spark plugs, and the intake plenum gaskets.  She was also informed that we would look the vehicle over for the Safety Inspection after the engine repair.  She authorized the repair, which was then completed.


The vehicle was road-tested to confirm its performance, and there were no more misfires present.  A road test is also required for PA Safety Inspection, which was accomplished at the same time.  The vehicle was then checked for the Safety Inspection.  The items which failed the inspection were listed very plainly on the phone and on her Repair Order #*****, which were:

  1. Must pass the emissions test or qualify for emissions waiver.
  2. Parking brake inoperative
  3. Right rear brake drum was stuck on and some right rear brake components may be damaged if more force was used to remove it
  4. All four brake hoses cracked
  5. Left front lower ball joint worn.


She informed us that she would have #2 through #5 repaired by someone else.  Her mother came with her to pick up the vehicle.  At time of pick up, she was provided a specifically-written list of driving conditions required to complete the Drive Cycle, which she would perform herself.


Between 5:00pm and 5:30pm on that same day, her mother called the shop to complain about being charged our normal fee for the Safety Inspection (which had just been paid).  It was nearly impossible to interject on the phone, during which she exclaimed that they “would never come here again!” and then disconnected the call. This was rather shocking, since one of the service requests made was FOR the Safety Inspection, and AT NO TIME was she informed that the Safety Inspection would be performed for free.


Since we do not have the phone number for her mother, we phoned the customer immediately in an attempt to determine how we could assist, or further clarify.  She was not interested in any explanation, claiming that she was lied to regarding the inspection.  Her claim is that she was told we “would look it over for inspection.”  We are not certain how she concluded that that was a service we would provide for no charge, as it was never stated or implied.



She scheduled her vehicle for Monday April 21, 2014 to have the engine checked again, stating that it was doing “the exact same thing” as it was doing prior to the first appointment.  We agreed to, for NO CHARGE, recheck the repairs we had performed to verify that those items were still working correctly.  When her engine was started in our parking lot, it was running so poorly that we did not perform a road test prior to examining the engine.  Using a scan tool and by doing a physical inspection, we rechecked our previous repairs, and the #1 ignition coil was still firing properly.  However, the vehicle had now developed misfires on cylinders #5 and #6 due to faulty ignition coils.  We verified that we did no damage to these coils when the spark plugs were changed by physically inspecting them. She was informed of this new problem, and stated that that was the same problem as before.  We informed her that the vehicle’s previous problem was #1 ignition coil, and that #5 & #6 were now malfunctioning like #1 did prior.  We also recommended, due to the amount of labor involved, that the #3 ignition coil be replaced also, since there would be no additional labor charge, and it may save future labor charges if it ever failed in the future.  She was given a price to replace a total of 3 ignition coils, including the parts and labor and tax, which included a labor discount in an effort to ease this financial burden.  She had to make other arrangements of some sort to pay for this repair, and called back to authorize the repair as it was stated.  Just to confirm, at this visit, we were to replace ignition coils #3, #5, and #6.


After this repair, we discovered that the EGR Valve (an emissions control part) was malfunctioning, as read by the data on our scan tool.  A physical inspection of the EGR Valve confirmed that its internal diaphragm was damaged and leaking.  She was notified of this discovery, and was given the price to have a new EGR Valve installed while the vehicle was here.  She authorized this repair immediately, and it was performed.


Upon finishing these repairs, the vehicle was taken for a road test.  During the road test, the vehicle would barely accelerate to 10 MPH.  It was turned around immediately and brought back to the shop for further investigation.  Upon further testing, it was determined that at least one of the upstream catalytic converters was clogged, which doesn’t allow the engine to function well.  Both upstream oxygen sensors were removed from the exhaust pipes for testing purposes, at which time we found broken and melted pieces of the internal substrate of the catalytic converter.  Initially, we determined a price to replace both of the upstream catalytic converters at about $2100.00.  She was called with this new information about the converters and what the price would be to replace them both.  She called back to inform us that we were to do no more repairs to the vehicle that day.  She was informed at that time that the vehicle was barely drivable, but stated that she was going to pick it up as is.


At that time, we reinstalled the oxygen sensors that were removed.  By then, it had been determined that only one converter, the front-most (Bank 2), was the one that was mainly clogged.  Moments later, she and her mother arrived to pick up her vehicle.  Her mother was irate and was voicing her opinion rather adamantly about how they “would never EVER come back here again,” and how her “lawyer would be in touch with us.”  At this time, she was informed of the new findings about only needing the Bank 2 catalytic converter (front-most), and how the price for that would be approximately $900.00 installed.  She insisted that she could obtain a new converter for $100, and then showed on her smart phone a list of the converters for the vehicle from an aftermarket supplier.  Upon further inspection, the correct converter she would need for the vehicle was identified on her phone, and was $482.00 minimum.  At this point, neither she nor her mother would listen to any further explanation or reason.  The repair work was paid for at the previously-authorized price.  In parting, her mother alerted us that we would have to “answer to God” and how we were “…going to burn in Hell.”


Knowing that the vehicle would only operate at 10 mph or less, we offered to tow the vehicle, at no charge, to another shop of her choice or to her home. She accepted the offer and we towed the vehicle to her home at no charge. When she accepted the offer, we told her that if she wanted the converter replaced, we would do what we could to keep the cost as low as possible.


To address “they charged me for an inspection, knowing that it would fail”:  Our inspection charge is structured like most inspection stations in the state.  The fee is for the actual labor to do the inspection, and is charged whether the vehicle passes or fails. The fee is not for the act of putting inspection stickers on the windshield.  How else would one know what safety items may need addressed for the vehicle to pass inspection?  Per PA law, the emissions test has to be passed or a waiver issued, before the safety inspection sticker can be placed on the vehicle.


To address “they laughed at me”:  When her mother stormed back into the office and proclaimed that we would all “Burn in Hell”, our receptionist nervously chuckled in amazement that someone, to whom we had been trying to calmly explain ourselves, had resorted to saying something like that to us.  She and her mother would not stop their ranting long enough to listen to reason.


In a good faith effort to restore this customer’s faith in our repair facility, we are willing to install an aftermarket converter with her paying the actual cost of the part (no mark-up, around $490) or she may supply the converter from another vendor.  There will be no charge for the installation labor.  There is no charge for the final safety inspection if and when the customer corrects the safety concerns noted earlier.  There will also be no charge for an emissions waiver if the check engine light remains on after the converter installation.


Her refund request cannot be granted because she has the new parts on her vehicle which were needed to correct the misfire, and did.  We were not able to explain, when she was here, that she would qualify for an emissions inspection waiver due to the expense she has incurred attempting to correct the check engine light.

Consumer Response: Hello,


??I have filed a complaint on ARS Automotive and I cannot see how to respond to their response on the internet. I must have this response in within 10 days.  Here is my response to ARS Automotive:


 Response to complaint ID ********:

 I am responding to the response from ARS Automotive.  No, I am not satisfied with their response as it is not the whole truth and contains many lies (which were not unexpected at all) .  I am not going to spend any more of my time arguing with this company when they know they have done me wrong and will not take fault for their mistakes and for seriously over charging me.  I took my car somewhere else and it only cost me $400.00 TOTAL. Inspection included!!! Not $2,100, NOT even $900.00. When I took it to be properly repaired, I was told that “someone” had disconnected the check engine light.  The last person to touch my car was ARS Automotive. This is the lowest thing anyone could possibly do. Well, besides ripping me off.  I was never “offered” to have my car towed to them EVER. Only when I picked it up the last time, they offered to tow me because they “felt bad” and “wanted to make a deal with them”?????????? REALLY.  I drove my car for 1 day with the engine light on. This would have not caused my converter to fail in one day.  It sat in the driveway for weeks until I received my income tax. (I told them this) I also found out that there was nothing wrong with my Ball Joint.   (As stated in their response) NOTHING.  My car now runs properly because I took it to a shop that has integrity. I am sending this letter as a fair warning to others so they do not get ripped off as I did. (Or get their engine light “disconnected”).  I never asked ARS to inspect it because they told me it would not pass. The owner told me would take “a look” at it, but did not state that he was charging me any more money and not inspecting it, He acted like he was doing me a “favor”. This was right after he gave the total for my car!!!And when I did bring my car back they stated that there was no charge…..REALLY? Another $500.00 to fix something they broke?   They all laughed at my mother. Total disrespect for others.  When they state that “they were not able to explain that I qualify for an Admissions waiver “is false I sat in their parking lot for over 10 minutes while they looked for my papers (that they misplaced) and while the tow truck was hooking up my car. Why did they not tell me this then? I would love to know!!!! BECAUSE THEY LIE.


This is a WARNING TO OTHER CONSUMERS.  IF YOU TAKE YOUR CAR TO ARS AUTOMOTIVE, BE PREPARE TO GET RIPPED OFF AND TREATED LIKE A PIECE OF CRAP”  I hope this is publically posted so people can read this and be fairly warned.



Thank you,


******* ** ******

4/22/2014 Problems with Product/Service

Customer Review(s)

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Customer Reviews Summary

0 Customer Reviews on ARS Automotive
Positive Experience (0 reviews)
Neutral Experience (0 reviews)
Negative Experience (0 reviews)