• Report: #281939
Complaint Review:

Big O Tires

  • Submitted: Tue, October 30, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, January 19, 2008

  • Reported By:San Fernando Valley California
Big O Tires
21311 Vanowen St Canoga Park, California U.S.A.

Big O Tires Alignment scams and more to get your money Canoga Park California


*Consumer Comment: ok

*Author of original report: Update checked the scrub radius

*Author of original report: Response to "consumer"

*Consumer Comment: You what?

REBUTTAL BOX™ | Respond to this Report! | Consumer Comment

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I have been going to this Big O Tire for a while now. I got new tires for my truck in 2004 from them, and at the time, they were very nice and helpful. Different management took over since then and they really screwed the place up.

Recently I took my truck into get the alignment checked. The truck was pulling to the right. When I went in to pick it up they insisted that:

a) I needed a total brake job now. My front rotors were shot and I would lose my brakes any day now. They promised me I would spend at least $800- the jerk who told me this had a big grin on his face.

b) My car had been in a huge accident ( as if I wouldn't know) and the alignment would not stay put due to bent parts. Of course, they were the ones to fix the problem.

They charged me for the alignment and the truck is STILL pulling- $90 down the drain. I also noticed a nice glass shard in my right front tire- not deep enough to do damage, but enough to try and make me go back and spend more money.

My car has NOT been in an accident, and I had just looked at my brakes not too long ago and they were fine. The alignment report they gave me is funny- the date is all wrong.

I looked over all my records and discovered something odd: The last time they did the alignment the SAI, or steering axis inclination, CHANGED ON THE RACK- before numbers were in spec, after numbers out of spec sharply. SAI is a non-adjustable parameter that is used to see if a steering part has been damaged or bent. If so it must be replaced- it is expensive to determine what part is bent and then replace it. SAI does not change while at the alignment rack- it is not a changable thing. It may change from alignment to alignment and only if you have a real accident, or hit a rock or something at 60mph- something big.

For another place that did the alignment a long time ago, the SAI is the SAME, as it should be.

They did this the last time I took the truck in. They also at the time wanted to change my struts, and changed my steering wheel center a bit. (This happens often in alignments.) This was annoying. I went back this time because they were conveinent and did a good job in 2004 on my new tires. Never again.

They're goal is basically to get me to go back there and spend all my money on their lies. They then would most likely do nothing- or then "find" more damage. That is the new trend in mechanic rip offs. The dude at the counter was just so full of glee at the idea that I may spend money for nothing. Who does he think he is, smiling like that? Does he think I won't check out the whole thing? Does he actually think I will buy anything from them with that grin on his face???

I also noticed they were empty- not many customers. I guess people are finding out what a bunch of jerks they are.

Now, there were many possibilities of what they may have done: They certainly did not do the alignment and tweaked the numbers to make it look like they did; and maybe switched out a good part with a bad one at some point. I have to run some checks to find out. I am considering filing a complaint with my bank and having the charges removed- it will be hard to prove they did not do the alignment- but if they damaged my truck that is another thing altogether.

There is NO WAY SAI can just change on the rack like that. I also found it odd that a glass shard just so happened to be in the upper edge side, right in plain view, when it had never been there to begin with. How did it get in such an odd place?

Don't EVER go to this or any Big O Tires. I am discovering that the best thing to do is do all your own maintenance and never trust any mechanics for nothing.

San Fernando Valley, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/30/2007 02:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/big-o-tires/canoga-park-california-91303/big-o-tires-alignment-scams-and-more-to-get-your-money-canoga-park-california-281939. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company


AUTHOR: Donna - (U.S.A.)

An alignment certainly was done on your 2000 truck, with a top of the line Hunter 811 Computerized Alignment System. All necessary adjustments were made.
Yes, you are right, the date and time is wrong on your report. But that has nothing to do with the performance and quality of our work. Your truck shows minimum negative SAI on the left side that cannot be corrected by alignment. And a copy of your alignment report is readily available for anyone's viewing.

You failed to mention the adjustments made on the toe on the right and left sides, and the camber on the left side, which were totally out of specs and were brought to within specs. A well-earned $89.99.

The tires on this truck are were purchased more than 4 years ago and, according to our records, have not been rotated as recommended (and it's free). Tires that are not rotated on a regular basis (every 6k) can create a pull.

Big O Tires Canoga Park is not in business to rip people off. We do not put "shards of glass" (or nails, screws, keys, etc.) in tires to make people come back and spend money, nor do we switch out good parts with bad parts, nor do we "tweak" numbers. We are an honest, reliable auto repair service provider.

This store is owned and operated by 2 women and we have built our reputation on trust and honesty, especially geared toward women that have been "ripped off." We "never ever" recommend work that is not needed. If work was recommended on your vehicle you can be assured it was necessary. We have many, many happy and satisfied customers.

If you had discussed this issue with management you would have found us to be more than willing to address your concerns.

You obviously have trust issues and we only wish you the best.
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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Nuri - (U.S.A.)

Sorry for not expressing my self correctly...I didn't mean you are ignorant, I meant the customers in general are.
Yes I fix cars for living by choice.
Let us know the year, model, make of your truck.
Let us know how much it pulls.
While you are on straight/flat surface, is your steering wheel turned and the car pulls to the same side or opposite side, is your steering straight but the car pulls to the side?
Try simply to rotate tires. More than often I see that the tires, even brand new, couse the pull.
Rock your vehicle, pushing the bumber up and down and let it bounce, count how many times it goes up and down until complete stop of movement. In Maryland, no more than 2 and1/2 times is allowed. That's about your struts.

Two days ago I had a customer check her oil level. I did and it was overfilled. I asked her why she wanted me to check oil. She said that the message on dasboard said no oil pressure. I told her that the engine needs to be running, and then if you have that message worry about it, not when the engine if off but the ignition is on. She insisted to add more oil. I refused and she took off upset,???
I deal with people like than not on a daily basis, but on a hourly basis.

The other one accused me of messing his exhaust, reported me to the attorney general. But luckily 4 surveliance cameras in the shop cleard me of wrong doing and earned him a charge of perjury and a credit card theft {He desputed}.

I know I had more to write to you, but I forgot what.
Just a suggestion:
Try to skip places that offer just limited speciality service or coupons. Coupons are meant to lure you in. I love when my customers look for me with the direct problem.
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#3 Author of original report

Update checked the scrub radius

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

On my own, very carefully I checked the scrub radius on the truck. It is exactly the same on both sides, meaning there are no bent parts likely and Big O simply screwed up the alignment- I think they made it even worse just to try and get me to go back in.

I will now take the truck into an alignment specialist to have it fixed properly. You can't trust the big guys anymore.
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#4 Author of original report

Response to "consumer"

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (U.S.A.)

In response to "consumer":

First off, they did cheat me.

1. They told me an outright lie about my brakes. If you read through complains on this company you will see that they do this. Many places, particularly big places do this nowadays.

2. The SAI does NOT change ON THE RACK. There are two numbers for the wrong wheel!! The before number, when they first put the truck on the rack was normal and within spec for the LEFT wheel, the non-pulling wheel, just like the right wheel. In fact, they were the same on both wheels, like they should be. Just like they were when I took it to Sears many years back. My truck is pulling to the RIGHT. If there were loose parts to begin with, the numbers would be off AT THE START. That would be expected since loose parts would ruin the alignment all the time. The second "after" number has CHANGED, by 1.1 degrees, and is suddenly out of spec. The Included Angle (Camber + SAI) can change, but not the SAI. Oddly enough, they left the IA the same as it was before but the SAI changed. It should be the other way around.

3. They did a lousy job or NO job on the alignment. Even if I decide to trust the print out they gave me ( I don't. The date is wrong totally.) They did it wrong. The Included Angle must be the same on each side, and it is not. When they did this to my car they easily could have adjusted the camber so that both sides would have been the same and the IA would have been the same. The SAI was the same and in spec, so everything would have been OK. To try and make more money, something happened that was not right. Then a non-adjustable item was changed.

Also, if the struts/shocks are the problem, the ride would be bouncy. It is not bouncy.

I get my information from Chilton's manual for my car and internet sites (www.familycar.com)

Unfortunately it is not possible for me to do anything myself to the suspension system without a special tool to remove the spring/struts. It is a very dangerous process. There is no other way to remove other parts- the steering knuckle, control arms, etc if they are in fact bent. (That would only be because they changed them out or something). If they did do something, I'll have to take it in to someone and watch them like a hawk. I will have to crawl under the car again, take pictures of what I can to make sure I'm not taken before I bring it in.

I can also measure the scrub radius. That will tell me for sure if the SAI is really off (who knows what they did), or they just want to trick me into thinking it is. I can also measure on both sides equivelant fixed points. I did notice that the adjusting cams on both sides are NOT the same- me thinks someone didn't do alignment on purpose.

As far as calling me ignorant, I'll have you know that my father is a mechanic- as a hobbie, not professionally, but he has been rebulidling engines and caring for cars for decades. I have looked under the car and asked about all the things there, looked on the internet, and read the relavent parts of the Chilton manual.

It seems to me you are not a "consumer" but in fact a mechanic who works on things professionally. Are you not happy with informed persons, for some reason?

The guy at Big O was just overjoyed, grinning like a complete moron that I may spend money on his lies. How does he expect to keep customers that way?? He makes it so obvious that he is screwing me over and laughing about it. How do you relate to that?

I'm a small girl- yet another reason he's acting that way; I bet he wouldn't pull a stunt like that on a big guy.

You said something about bushings. The only rubber bushings mentioned in the book are on the stabilizer bar and in the rear suspension. The Strut assembly is another thing altogether, and as I said, the ride is not bouncy.

I'll post another update when I crawl under again and check it out.
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#5 Consumer Comment

You what?

AUTHOR: Nuri - (U.S.A.)

The sai does change, as the bushings wear out. That's why they suggested to replace the strut mounts. The numbers can not be changed on alignment machine. the printer prints what the machine sees. If I did all the work, setting your car for alignment, and see the off readings, I would check or loose parts. Of course, the customer thinks we are cheaters, I dont get to replace bad parts. So I would set the alignment based on its reading.

Now, have in mind that the car doesnt move while the alignments beeing done, nor does the machine know there are loose parts. The reading will be -/0.

Once you start driving the car, the drag (force against the tires) will move all loose steering parts off. Therefore your steering will will be off, the car will pull and so on. your own ignorance doesnt solve your problems
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