how to align wheels

How to do an alignment on a car

If your car has been a little cranky lately and you suspect that it needs an alignment, Then this article on ” how to do an alignment on a car” will prove very helpful to you. Vehicle alignment is a mechanical process that aligns the axles and wheels so that the tires make even contact with the road surface. This is done by adjusting the suspension to the right configuration. Additionally, it guarantees that the wheels of a vehicle are “squared up” to one another.

When a car drives over small flaws in the road, it gradually loses alignment over time. Or it could occur rapidly after a single impact, such as going over a large pothole or curb. In the absence of such a situation, you should align your car as recommended in the owner’s handbook at regular intervals. Thus, we’ll be discussing how to do an alignment on a car.

how to align wheels

So, let’s begin!


Types of car alignment

Front-end, thrust, and four-wheel alignments are the three primary types that are offered. What kind of alignment your automobile will get depends on the type of suspension it has. The ideal alignment type for your car might be suggested by your mechanic.

Front-end alignment

The front axle is adjusted during a front-end alignment. The most fundamental alignment method is not usually advised for use with contemporary automobiles.

Thrust alignment

To make sure that all four wheels are parallel to one another, a thrust alignment combines a front-end alignment with a thrust alignment. Usually, a solid rear axle vehicle requires this kind of adjustment.

Four-wheel alignment

The components of the front-end and thrust-angle alignments are combined, and the rear axle angles are also positioned, in this thorough alignment. All-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, and front-wheel drive vehicles with adjustable or independent rear suspensions often require a four-wheel alignment.

The mechanic will advise on the best alignment for your car.

How to do an alignment on a car

A test drive and evaluation of the vehicle’s suspension settings are the first steps in alignment. The automobile will then be lifted by the mechanic so that he can look underneath it. Before the alignment process starts, any necessary tire or suspension repairs or replacements will be completed. Before attaching the car to the alignment machine, the mechanic will also check and adjust tire pressure.

Once the car is linked, the mechanic will measure the toe, camber, caster, and thrust angles and make the necessary corrections to align the suspension.


When viewed from the front of the car, this is the tire’s inward or outward angle. Incorrect alignment is indicated by excessive inward or outward tilt, also known as positive or negative camber, and requires adjusting. Camber misalignment can be caused by worn bearings, ball joints, and other wheel-suspension components.




The caster angle you choose aids in balancing cornering, stability, and steering. In particular, it refers to the angle of your steering axis as seen from the side of your car. The steering axis will lean in the direction of the driver if you have a positive caster. The steering axis tilts toward the front of your car when there is a negative caster, on the other hand.



Toe alignment, as opposed to camber alignment, refers to how much the curve of your tires is inside or outward when viewed from above. Just get up and gaze down at your feet if that’s unclear. They should be angled inward toward your body’s center. We refer to this as toe-in alignment when all four tires on your automobile are oriented in the same direction (remember, we’re thinking from a birds-eye perspective). You can align your toes outward by angling your feet outward. Both call for adjusting.

A test drive is conducted to make sure that all problems have been fixed and everything is in working order.

Why tire alignment is important

Your tires may prematurely and unevenly wear out due to improper wheel or tire alignment. Following are some specific examples of excessive tread wear caused by misalignment:

Heel/toe tire wear

This occurs when one side of your tread block loses strength circumferentially more quickly than the other. As viewed from the side, the tread will feel and appear like saw teeth as you run your fingers over it. A lack of rotation or underinflation may show up as heel and toe wear.

Have a specialist check your alignment if you notice any of these unusual wear patterns. While preventing tire degradation is a solid reason to keep your wheel alignment under control, the effects of misalignment can also be seen in the way your vehicle performs as a whole. An alignment issue is likely to be the cause of a car that pulls to one side or steers erratically.


When the tread is smooth on one side and pointed on the other, tires are said to be “feathered”. This typically indicates a misaligned toe.

Camber wear

With this type of tread wear, the inside or outside of the tread is much more worn than the center. Positive or negative camber, as the name suggests, generates this kind of wear.

Professional or DIY Alignment

It requires a high degree of precision to align a vehicle properly. Although you can do the work yourself, it is significantly more difficult than replacing a headlight bulb or changing the engine oil. Given the exact angle measurements and corrections required to get it perfect, a vehicle alignment has a substantial margin for error. The general advice is to contact a professional to handle this operation for you because service garages have the necessary equipment, expertise, and training to make these calibrations.

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Can I align my car by myself?

It’s preferable to have a skilled car mechanic perform a good wheel alignment on your vehicle, regardless of the type. On a front-wheel drive vehicle, you might try to do it yourself with the necessary equipment.

How is alignment done on a car?

Your car will probably be hoisted up by your mechanic, who will then utilize alignment equipment with clamping mechanisms for the wheels. To get everything precisely aligned, the machine is connected to a computer, and your mechanic makes exact modifications to a series of measures.

How do you know if your alignment is done right?

  • Fast or uneven tire wear.
    Driving straight and having a crooked steering wheel.
    Raucous steering.
    Either pulling left or right.
    Tires making noise.

What happens if your car is not aligned?

Uneven tire wear can result from driving a car with bad wheel alignment. The tires of a car could prematurely deteriorate and become unsafe if the issue is not fixed right away. To prevent excessive tire damage, fix alignment issues right away.

What can happen if you don’t align your car?

Uneven tire wear is a result of driving a car with bad wheel alignment. The lifespan of the tires will be significantly shortened if the issue is not fixed immediately, costing you a lot of money to replace them before they wear out completely.

How many times should I align my car?

The majority of auto experts advise having an alignment performed every other oil change, or roughly every 6,000 miles.

Do I need an alignment after replacing the tires?

Following the installation of new tires, an alignment is advised. By doing this, you can extend the lifespan of your new tires. After a large accident or notice of uneven tire wear, wheel alignment inspections are always recommended.

Does an alignment make your car drive straight?

Maintaining the alignment of your car’s wheels helps you drive straight down the road and safeguards the health of your car as a whole. Poor alignment can make your tires wear unevenly and have a negative impact on how your car handles as a whole.

How long does an alignment take?

Normally, whether it’s a two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive car, a wheel alignment will take an hour or less. It will take longer since some parts need to be changed if the suspension system, steering bushing, track rod, or other elements have too much wear and tear or damage.

What suspension parts affect alignment?

Toe-in, camber, and caster are the three variables that have an impact on alignment.

Can all cars be aligned?

There are a few exceptions to the rule that most contemporary vehicles need a four-wheel alignment. Vehicles with a solid, permanent rear axle—often large trucks, SUVs, vintage cars, or cars produced by particular manufacturers—cannot have the rear suspension adjusted.

That’s all for this article where we discussed how to do an alignment on a car. Hope it was helpful. if so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.