How to Align Your Front Tires
If your car’s wheels are out of alignment, it can cause all sorts of problems. The most obvious symptom is that your car will pull to one side or the other. You may also notice that your steering wheel is not centered when you’re driving straight, or that your tires are wearing unevenly.
If you suspect that your car’s wheels are out of alignment, the best thing to do is take it to a mechanic and have them check it for you. Most mechanics will be able to tell right away if your car’s wheels are out of alignment and they can usually fix it quickly and easily.
- Park your car on a level surface and turn off the ignition
- Jack up the front of your vehicle and remove the front wheels
- Suspend the front axle with jack stands
- Measure the distance from the fender to the center of each wheel using a tape measure or ruler
- Adjust the tie rod ends until both sides measure an equal distance from the fender to the center of each wheel, then tighten the jam nuts with a wrench to secure them in place
- Reattach your wheels and lower your car back to ground level before taking it for a test drive to verify that your steering is aligned properly
Can I Align My Tires Myself?
It is possible to align your own tires, but it is not recommended. If you do not have the proper equipment or experience, it is very easy to make a mistake that could cause further damage to your vehicle. Even if you are able to get the alignment perfect, it is likely that it will not stay that way for long.
Over time, your tires will slowly become misaligned again and will need to be readjusted. Unless you are willing to constantly monitor and adjust your alignment, it is best to leave it to the professionals.
Can You Align Just the Front Tires?
It is possible to align just the front tires, but it is not recommended. Doing so will cause the vehicle to have an incorrect toe setting, which can lead to tire wear and decreased fuel economy. Additionally, it may be difficult to steer and handle the vehicle properly if only the front tires are aligned.
For these reasons, it is best to have all four tires aligned when possible.
How to Perform Wheel Alignment by Yourself
How to Do an Alignment Without a Machine
If your car is pulling to one side or the steering wheel isn’t centered when you drive straight, then your car probably needs an alignment. Most people take their car to a mechanic to get this done, but it is possible to do it yourself without a machine.First, park your car on a level surface and turn off the engine.
Next, loosen the lug nuts on your front wheels so that you can remove them later. Then, jack up your car and place jack stands under the frame to support it. Remove the front wheels and set them aside.
Now, find something that you can use as a reference point – like a curb or line on the ground – and measure the distance from each tire to the reference point. Adjust the tie rods until both sides are equal. To do this, turn the adjusting sleeve clockwise to lengthen the rod and counterclockwise to shorten it.
Finally, put everything back together again – replace the wheels, lower the car off of the jack stands, and tighten up those lug nuts! Your car should now be driving straight as an arrow!
If your vehicle is pulling to one side or the other, it’s likely that your front tires are out of alignment. This can happen gradually over time, or it can be caused by hitting a pothole or curb. Either way, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible.
There are a few signs that you can watch out for that will indicate your front tires need to be aligned:1. Your vehicle pulls to one side when driving straight 2. Your steering wheel is off center when driving straight
3. You notice uneven tire wear 4. Your vehicle feels like it is shaking or vibrating when driving at high speeds