Potential Aem Ems Problems

08-18-2006, 07:53 PM
I am affiliated with one of the premier speed shops in northern California. I have worked at the shop for many many years and have sold millions of dollars worth of products. Included in this price are thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars worth of AEM products; from intakes, to filters, to ems computers, to headers, etc. I have always been happy with the quality of products, in fact, I have been so happy that I run them on my own vehicle.

However, recently I have become quite concerned with the quality of parts and customer service. I have sold 5 srt4 engine management systems. Of those 5 boxes, 2 have already gone back for repairs, one needs to go back right now, and I am having issues again with my box. So if you do that math that’s 4 out of the 5, or 80% box failure. 80% failure is unacceptable in any book. To take that a step further, the fitment of the box leaves much to be desired. The plug that connects the car to my laptop is unacceptable, especially for the $2000+ price tag. I cannot go more than 50% throttle before the cable falls out of the ALDL port. So much for street tuning!!! I had to go elsewhere to get a proper cable in order to run more than 15psi. I ordered up a new connector from OBDIICABLES.com, and had them at my door in 2 days, all for a whopping $20. It works great! So why has it taken 4 months and we still don’t have an upgraded cable, which we were all promised?

But, we need to move on to the real issue. Lets discuss the box fires and failure issues with the AEM EMS computers. On my way to school several months ago, my car cut out. I had to tow it home because it was completely shot. After pulling apart my vehicle I found the problem, my box had melted down and took my engine wiring harness, and coil out with it. It took me 13hours to rewire my engine bay and get my car back up and running, not to mention the price tag of the parts (approx $100 for coil, and the engine harness would have cost me $200+ had I not had the parts laying around to fix it!!!) this is of course before labor charges, which would have been thousands more, as the engine would have had to come out of the car. It was also quite disheartening to miss an entire day of classes as well!

After getting a hold of AEM to fix the problem, I was box less for more than a month waiting for mine to be repaired. The problem, as I was told, was that the solder that was used on the coil driver, was not designed to take the heat. AEM reduced the dwell setting for the coil in hopes of taking care of this issue, however, there was no compensation for my time or my expenses (which included a tow, and a new coil…I’m glad I’m good with tools and competent about wrenching, otherwise it would have been significantly more!!!).

I was told, and subsequently believed, that mine was a one-time occurrence, and that the problem was fixed. That was until I had another customer, who purchased the kit had an issue and couldn’t get his car to run right. After looking at, tuning, and driving his car, we realized that the car had a real problem. Tech support was not very nice, as I had to argue to get an RGA number to send it back, eventually I had to demand the number. After sending the box back we found a similar coil issue that mine had experienced. We got the box back in and then realized that his UEGO sensor had fouled out due to the factory mapping and the coil issue. We ended up replacing the oxygen sensor and eating the cost of it as a shop. The customer was not happy about running the box, because of the problems, and was quite nervous about driving his car around. He wanted his money back because of the headache; luckily I was able to convince him to try it out. He loved the box and the added power it made, however, just a couple weeks later, he was stranded on the side of the road because of a very similar issue. After getting a hold of our rep. it appears that AEM is not willing to stand behind their product and make a customer happy. They are only willing to repair the box, and not willing to credit the customer (on a side note, the customer bought the box nearly 6 months ago, and has driven maybe 100 miles on it since dumping the money.

I am starting to get the cutout like I did on the side of the road months ago. AEM believes that its my decel fuel cut, but that is turned off and its still there, and what’s really scaring me is that it only happens when I hit bumps in the road, like railroad tracks or washboard roads, places where the car oscillates and jumps about. Though, I am still working through my tune to verify that it is in fact the box, and not me being retarded.

After getting nowhere with AEM, I have decided to make it public knowledge and say hold off purchasing until this problem has been taken care of. There has been known problems with the box, and potentially dangerous issues. Imagine getting stuck on the side of the road late at night, or in the middle of nowhere. Or worse yet, it cuts out and you’re jumping into traffic. This of course leaves out the potential of an engine fire, or even a complete car fire.

The first picture is a quick snapshot of the melted connectors, mind you they are connectors you cannot purchase independently, but instead have to be purchased as an entire wiring harness. And for the record, repining the connector requires lots of patience, special tools, and a good comfort level with automotive wiring. If you cross two wires, the car will never run right, if your lucky, never run if your not. If you look closely at the right side of the picture, the right connector you will see brown burn marks, though they aren’t as clear as I would like, I will say that there is flame damage done there. The marks are not from radiant heat. The second picture is the damaged coil, which was popped because the box shorted out.

This is unacceptable from a product that costs thousands, and the fact that I am stuck fighting this. All I am asking for is that AEM takes care of their customers and that they fix their products. Not too much, in my humble opinion. This has been cross posted on every forum that I am apart of, including srtforums, where I am a moderator in the AEM EMS section. It needs to be known that there is a real problem that needs to be fixed. Thanks you all for your time, and I will be updating this as time goes on.

-Tim “TEX” Walker



08-19-2006, 03:01 PM
Holy shit

Tisk tisk aem

08-20-2006, 12:30 AM
the point of this thread is 3 fold.

1. to notify everyone that AEM has had problems
2. to see what AEM is doing or going to do to fix these issues
3. to see how AEM is going to take care of their customers, and stand behind their products.

i do not feel i am asking too much, and if anyone thinks i am, please tell me so

08-20-2006, 06:34 PM
No, they should remedy this...Aem has the money and shouldn't be ripping the little guy out there. Honestly, I wouldn't have expected this from them, of all companies...

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