How To Adjust/Check Wheel/Tire Toe Alignment diy w/ tape measure easy and cheap

How To Adjust/Check Wheel/Tire Toe Alignment diy w/ tape measure easy and cheap


Today I’m going to be showing you how to do the front
toe alignment on your car so I’ve drawn out what the front toe alignment is so your front wheels on your car should be parallel to each other. These are
the front wheels and uh… that means that they should have no toe
or zero toe what that means is that the distance from the front of the wheels here is the same distance as the back of the front wheels here so…um… a good way to think about it is using your own feet as a reference so your front wheels should be parallel to each other, kind of like my
feet are where the distance from the front of the
wheels is the same as the back of the wheels that’s the front so this would be zero toe or or no toe so when you have your front wheels and
they are toe-in kind of like this um… then you’ll get excessive wear on the
outside of your tires so again looking at your feet as an
example if you have toe in kind of like this your front wheels then the outside of your tires will wear out faster than
the rest of them so this is toe in and thae same, and it’s also true for the
opposite which is toe out where your front wheels are kind of toed out then the inside of the tires wear out faster than the
rest the tires so toe out would kind of be like this
a bit and then again the inside of your tires will wear out
faster then the rest of your tires so what you want is your tires to be parallel to each other and again that’s the distance between the
front and the rear of the tires is the same and you’ll have zero toe and your tires will wear out evenly
across both tires okay so these are some of the things you’re going
to be needing you’re going to be needing 2 tape measures of at least I
think six feet or longer this is a 10 feet and 16 feet so
these are long enough you’re also going to be needing some wrenches uh… another wrench here and a straight edge this is basically an
oversize ruler uh… you can find these at any art store and if you’re eyes aren’t so good
you’re going to be needing a magnifying glass alright so, very quickly just to show you what we’re going to be
adjusting this is called the ball joint on the
car it attaches to the wheel with this ball joint here and this nut and then this is the whole section here and we’re
going to be loosening up this nut with a wrench and once this is loose we can
take this part here with another wrench and and uh… there are threads inside, this
threads into this piece here so by turning this either in or out we can
adjust this either in or out of this piece here and this will either expand this part
here or contract it making the wheels either uh… this wheel either making it go
this way or making it go this way simply by turning this, so if we if we turn this and we make it go into
this piece like this, it’s going to shorten the distance here so it’s gonna make
this we’ll go like this so if we want to make the wheel go the
other way we’re gonna have to make this come out of this piece here by expanding
it and it’s going to turn the wheel this way so this is the piece we’re going to be
adjusting so first things first, this is a toyota
corolla by the way and first you center your steering wheel
so that it’s at the center next you go ahead and take a look at the
wheels it’s very hard to see with a camera but i can sort of see how my front wheel aligns with the back wheel pretty evenly on the driver’s side of the car and just eyeballing it on the other side of the car this is the passenger side I can sort of see how that wheel kind of tilts in towards the inside of the car so it’s a little
bit toed-in it doesn’t quite lineup with the back wheel I know it’s very hard to see but i can kind
of eyeball it from here and i can see that the front passenger wheel is kind of tilted
in whereas the driver side wheel is pretty even with the back wheel so we’ll be adjusting the
passenger wheel since we’ll be adjusting the passenger
wheel we go ahead and we take our 2 tape
measures and we uh… take them out then we put them on um… the front and behind the passenger wheel so that
the other end sticks out at the other side so this is the driver side of the wheel
and you can see the two ends of the tape measures sticking out and you want to take your straight edge and you want to place it right above
where the rim ends on this side so the further most part here over the
rim now you might not be able to touch the
rim with it depending on how wide your tires are but you want to place it right up
against the tire, the sidewall of tire on the top and on the bottom so you just press it up against the tire just like so and what you want to do is you
want to drag the end of the tape measure into the
car so you wanna push push it in it’s kind of hard just by myself but you push it in and then that means that this starts at zero the measurement is
zero okay so this measurement is now at zero so next you do that to the back of the
front wheel and again you drag this into the inside of the wheel I mean towards the inside of the car so now the
straight edge is up against the tire and the tape measure is now zeroed in on the back so now the tape measure is is they’re both at zero either here and here they’re both at zero so I’m back on the passenger side of the
car and you can see the 2 tape measures on this side so this is an important part
don’t knock over the tape measures with your foot otherwise you’re going to have to start all over
so be careful not to touch the tape measures on this side anymore all right so you take your
straight edge and you place it up against the sidewall of the tire again on the furthermost part of the
wheel and you take the bottom piece and you get it as close to the tape measure as
possible without moving it or knocking it over and here I can see that that the measurement the first measurement is sixty six and about eleven sixteenths of an inch so less than sixty seven inches this is a good if your eyes aren’t so good it’s a good
time to use your magnifying glass so less than sixty seven inches next we take our straight edge and we go to the back tape measure we place the straight edge up against the wheel
again and we bring down our straight edge over the tape measure and here we can see that the measurement is actually bigger than
sixty seven inches so the distance between the distance in the back is bigger than the
distance in the front which means that my wheel is most certainly um… toe in so here you can see that it’s about sixty
seven inches and 1 2 3 about six sixteenths so what we have to do is get this back wheel because the distance in the back is greater we want to do this to the tire just slightly so that the distance between the front and the back the the the the measurement will be the
same or very close to it so this is where we’re going to adjust so again uh… this is the piece that we’re going
to be adjusting so what we’re going to do is we’re going
to loosen this nut here and we’re gonna make this piece here by
turning it we’re gonna make it go into this piece
because it has threads in it so you screw it into this piece here and what we want is for our tire to do this slightly to make the distance in the back of
the tires less so we’re gonna thread this into here now i
can actually stick my arm into here so I don’t have to get underneath the car but you might have to get underneath the
car or raise it up on jack stands to
get to this piece right here so, I’m gonna loosen this up and I’m gonna
be turning this okay so I loosened it up with my wrench and now I just turn it get it out of the way a little bit so here I’m turning it I guess from my point of view here its clockwise so just keep turning it a little bit so if I’m turning this clockwise in order for this part to go into here there’s a car passing so I’m gonna have to be turning this
counterclockwise from my point of view so I’m gonna be turning it like this so counter-clockwise so here I take my wrench in this case this is a
14 millimeter and you go ahead and there’s a little place right here where you can place your wrench
so you can turn it so you just put your wrench in like so and then you can start turning it little by little and you can
see how it goes it’s turning with your wrench txt so just keep doing that and then little
by little this piece is gonna screw into this piece right here so you just keep doing it just in small increments wow this is hard to do with one hand alright so just keep screwing it in then after you screw it in so after you keep screwing it in you keep
checking um… your distances with your straight edge um so you want to give it a couple
of turns and then just keep checking it I’ve already done it and uh… um you take it slowly little by little and then I can already tell that this is like
sixty seven and two sixteenths of an inch and then going to behind i can tell that it’s about that it’s exactly the same which is sixty-seven
and two sixteenths of an inch so now i know that both the front and the tape measure give me the same
reading which is sixty seven and two sixteenths and now i know that the distance between this and this is the same on both wheels so now my both wheels are are perfectly
parallel to each other and there is zero toe so now all you have to do is go back to your nut here and tighten it all the way down with your wrench and you’re done so that’s the easy way of doing your front toe
alignment on any car uh… using no major tools and for no
money so my tip to you is be patient and go slowly that way you get a nice accurate
reading in the final result and your wheels are perfectly parallel
with each other um… i’ve been doing it this way for
years and i’ve always gotten good results and uh… never had a problem with wearing out tires unevenly so um… if after doing this you notice that
your steering wheel is not centered whenever you’re driving straight that means that your wheels are probably just slightly either to the right
or left depending on which side you adjusted so all you have to do is just if uh… for
example they’re slightly to the right all you have to do is just adjust the
right wheel slightly and then the left wheel slightly so that they’re parallel and
then your steering wheel uh… is once again in the center
position so that’s it I hope this video helps you and
if it does comment below uh… Thank you for watching

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Very informative and easy to understand, I had an idea of what to do but now I feel confident and will be doing this tomorrow on my car thanks for the video

  2. Do you know the toe specs for 2000 Civic EX?
    Also, you can adjust the Inner Tie Rod when all four tires are on the ground, like what you have done?

    Very nice video tips!

  3. This is a great vid! Im all about DIY. Friends and fam always tell me to go to a mechanic to get this done. It takes more time and money after a new DIY tire rod replacement to drive to a mechanic just to get a wheel alignment. Thank you for your time and explanation.

  4. but how does this method work if i have to adjust both front tires? i mean if they are both off isnt it kinda impossible to start from 0 toe?

  5. @MrPureSin Your post didn't have a reply button, so I hope this works. If you have both wheels to adjust, it's a bit more work, but not impossible. What I would do is first center the steering wheel. This is where both wheels should be pointing straight ahead. So I would start with the driver's side wheel. I would go to the front of the car and see if it lines up with the rear wheel. Just eyeballing it you can see if it's really off. So I would adjust the tie rod arm on the driver's side until that wheel lines up with the rear wheel. After that, then you can adjust the passenger wheel against the driver's side with the tape measures. All of this while the steering wheel is still centered. According to the measurement you wrote, I agree with you and think that it's 62" front measurement and 62" rear measurement. So essentially it's a zero toe situation, like my car. Then when you take it on your test drive, pay attention to the position of your steering wheel when you're driving straight ahead. It should be in the middle, or very close to it. But you can give it a few adjustments to move the steering wheel if that's what you need. Just turn the tie rod end adjustment arms an equal number of turns on both the driver and passenger side and that will move the steering wheel in which ever direction you need. Adjust, drive the car and recheck your measurements and see where you are. That's how I've done it and I've never had a problem. It's just a bit more work. I hope this wasn't confusing and hope you get this reply.

  6. What if the first wheel or zero wheel is out of line? Or as long as there are parallel with each other its ok? Thanks

  7. @jcreswick If your car calls for them to be parallel, then it doesn't matter too much if the steering wheel is off by a bit. But if your steering wheel is off by quite a bit, and it wasn't before, then that's whey you look for the problem and figure it out. In your case, if they are both off, then I would start with first centering the steering wheel and adjusting just the driver's side wheel until it lines up with the rear wheel. Once yet that part, then you can start adjusting the passenger side front wheel with the tape measures. So it's just an extra step, and not really all that difficult. Then after doing the adjustments, roll the car back and then forward to make the car settle into the adjustments, re-check the toe and see if you need to keep adjusting. When you take it out for a test drive, just note the position of the steering wheel when you're driving straight. This will tell you if you need to keep adjusting the wheels to bring the steering wheel closer to the center. It's just a matter of being patient and adjusting a bit and checking. But it's totally do-able. Hope this helps you out.

  8. This is not a accurate way of measuring it.
    1) you need to draw a straight line in the center of each tire.
    2) your point of measurement should be half way up on the rim the furthest away
    gives you more accuracy.
    3) If you are not doing a front wheel drive, all cars need tow in from 1/32 to 1/8 refer to book.

  9. my car kinda drifts to the left if I let go of the wheel instead of going straight. is that because of a problem like this?

  10. Good video describing the process but there is one problem I noticed. Even after centering the steering wheel, this method works only if one side is zeroed out perfect already. The problem arises when there is already toe in or out on the wheel you're measuring off of even if very slight. If the starting reference is off then they can be parallel to each other running 0 toe but the steering wheel will be slightly off. A more accurate way is to measure off the center of the wheel to a specific amount from both sides, say two inches and use that as your reference point.

  11. Thanks so much you save me a hassle and about 80.00 dollars.those other guys comment on bad stuff but you clearly start with only one tire out of alignment not both so give you much props thanks,and keep up the good work,o,the way its better than the string method.

  12. I don't know why you have so many dislikes. Fuck them- This was brilliant, I fixed my car because you made this. So thank you.

  13. Thank You for sharing, you do it the way my father did back in the '60's. they were going to charge me $150. on my old '97 ford pickup when they charge everyone else $50., I guess because I'm an old woman, lol. My daughter has watch your video and she is going to work on getting that extra money. Thank You for the memories

  14. Awesome dood, I like this better than the kite string method, it even worked on my girl friends tits, one was a little toed in……thx.

  15. My nut on my rod won't budge… I'm smacking it with a wench and hammer but I think the rust got the best of it. Any suggestions?

  16. what if the car is lowered and u cant get under? will it still work if u drive it onto a ramp thing made of wood?

  17. it is not camber alignment, it is wheel alignment. when you deal about Toe in and Toe out of your wheels it means you are dealing with camber alignment.

  18. For more accurate "toe only" adjustment Most cars/trucks: (I have not
    been a mechanic since the 80's but this is what I used to do with great
    results)
    1st:
    Center the steering wheel and lock in place, securely tie if necessary.

    Next; all 4 tires on the ground, not jacked up in air as the slack in ball joints/suspension will be different than on the ground. Make sure the 4 wheels are pointing straight, use a string from rear tires to front making sure the 4 wheels are perpendicular to each other (string should be just touching on all 4 tires front and rear of each tire) if not, adjust to attain this by loosening the jam nut/clamps on both tie rod ends turning the sleeve in
    middle to get the wheels perpendicular to each other (may need to jack car to
    get to tie rods but measure with tires on the ground). With car on the ground roll car forward and back about 10-20 feet to center wheels,check again. With all 4 wheels
    perpendicular and pointing perfectly straight and steering wheel is centered:

    Get a piece of wood,hammer a nail threw it, jack car up,securely place the board with nail touching roughly in the middle bottom of tire,spin tire as to make a scribe mark around the center circumference of tire,lower car to ground. Using a tape measure (best results use a partner holding tape on the line on one side at the 1 inch or 10 mm. mark) measure the distance between the two scribe lines front and back of tire as close as possible to undercarriage (preferably directly across the center diameter/hub of wheel) Compare the two measurements.

    Turn the sleeve to get the required toe in adjustment for your car/truck. Make sure all jam nuts/clamps are tight after all adjustments are complete.

    My rule of thumb is 3/16"-5/32" toe in for rear wheel drive,Front wheel drive 0"-1/32" toe in.
    Referring to MrMac5150 said before me…Zero difference is not correct.
    most rear wheel drives need a toe in and front wheel drives need a toe out from
    1/32 to 1/8 of a inch. each car may be different.
    This should make your car/truck track straight down the road without wandering back an forth.
    Hope this helps all you do it your selfers like me out there.

  19. Great video! I'll definitely be keeping this in mind the next alignment I need to do. Keep up the great work!

  20. loved your video you are a good teacher I always wanted to understand what an alignment was all about thank you! Very clever how you adjust. I would probable duck tape the the tape measure down so not to move it.

  21. Nice! 5 years after upload. 2,000 likes out of 345,000 views. Simple, concise. I like it. Thank you. Notice the content is effectively communicated. How many videos do you see that are over produced that really have no content / knowledge. It's about imparting the knowledge not the wizz bang. 🙂

  22. I have a question. did you measure the distance between the measuring tape and the distance from the center of the axle to make sure it all squared up? that would eliminate the steering not being centered

  23. Okay so I have a Ford Expedition, I got hit, car works, minor external damage, but on my front drivers side the alignment is pretty off and I don't know if it's safe to drive or not but I'm trying to see if I'm able to fix it myself and I know this sounds a little odd but would this work for me?

  24. A bit of toe is good in some cases ( like .3 degrees, it's small but helps things like steering) but great video it explains everything spot on

  25. my 3 tires is still good but the right rear tire is not good anymore.
    its worn in the center. what cause of this? its a alignment problem or
    what?

  26. good info man ! thanks!.. hey I got a question for you. do you think a wheel alignment place will take care of this problem as well?

  27. Thanks you for the video. You did a nice job of explaining each step and the entire video is easily understood. congrats!

  28. Seems like it would be easy to get the wrong measurements because of the ruler not being the same each time. Wouldn't it have been better to turn it the other way so the other section of the ruler is lying on the ground? Assuming the pavement is flat.

  29. OK, so what if the wheel that you zero out on is out of alignment? You then set your toe and it will look like your car is going down the road sideways! To use this method you must start with a wheel that you know is aligned correctly…If you replaced parts, you should take the car to an alignment shop, preferably one with a high quality alignment machine or you may as well do it yourself…

  30. Never thought to just lay measuring tape down and use a straight edge against the wheel. Pretty cool and much better idea than other videos I've seen.

  31. Would adjusting tie rods on 2004 bmw x5 work to align the car without taking tires out? I was going to do it on my 2004 bmw x5 but other guys told me suspension setup is more complicated on bmws for toe in/out adjustment. Please help

  32. How were you able to determine to make the adjustment on only one wheel instead of both wheels? When the string method is used, adjustments are made to both sides of the wheel. How come it's not necessary to adjust both sides of the wheel with the wheel alignment method you applied?

  33. Friend, no need for the "ball joint" correction at ~2:45. The tie rod end is in fact a ball joint. Cool vid and very informative!

  34. So if you’re measuring off of one tire to another what happens if the other tire is out of alignment and it’s not straight you’re measuring off of a bad tire you need to find the centerpoint of the vehicle and adjust the first tire and then measure off the second tire to get the correct toe if one tire is off how do you get a proper measurement. If you’re really going to do it at home alignment I suggest the string method.

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