How To Do Your Own Alignment

VD August 08 2021

At one point or another, all of us must have come across a situation when properly aligning a car wheel seems like an absolute necessity. You may have hit a bump or driven through some nasty terrain. Most people think that without a mechanic or a proper wheel alignment professional, wheel alignment isn’t possible. This article proves it wrong! Keep reading, and you will find out how to do a wheel alignment with a tape measure and save not only money but also valuable time.

Wheel alignment is a common car maintenance procedure. Wheel alignment includes aligning the angles of the wheels of a car back in a linear and straighter way. As a result, the car can continue to drive with its full potential and road grip just like the driver wants. 

What are the consequences of misaligned wheels?

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One of the main consequences of misaligned wheels is decreased fuel efficiency. This is because the engine has to work harder to move the vehicle forward, which uses up more fuel. Additionally, misaligned wheels can cause excessive wear and tear on the tires and suspension components, as well as increased vibration and noise levels while driving. In extreme cases, misaligned wheels can even cause your car to pull to one side while driving. If you suspect your wheels are misaligned, it's important to have them checked by a professional as soon as possible.

In addition to that, the wheel alignment procedure helps to rescue the amount of pressure the tire is enduring. In this way, the extra load of pressure is removed from the tire, allowing to reduce tire wear and increase the overall durability of the tire.

What are the symptoms of misaligned wheels?

Misaligned wheels can cause a number of problems with your vehicle, including uneven tire wear, poor handling, and reduced fuel efficiency. Some of the most common symptoms of misaligned wheels are:

1. Uneven Tire Wear

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One of the most obvious signs that your wheels are out of alignment is uneven tire wear. If your tires are wearing down more quickly on one side than the other, or if the tread is wearing unevenly, it’s a good indication that your wheels are out of alignment.

uneven-tire-wear

2. Poor Handling

poor-handling-can-be-caused-with-misaligned-wheels

Another common symptom of misaligned wheels is poor handling. If your vehicle feels like it’s pulling to one side when you’re driving, or if it’s difficult to keep it in a straight line, it’s likely that your wheels are out of alignment.

3. Reduced Fuel Efficiency

reduced-fuel-can-be-caused-with-misaligned-wheels

Finally, misaligned wheels can also lead to reduced fuel efficiency. If your vehicle is having to work harder to move forward because the wheels are out of alignment, it will use more fuel than necessary.

It’s a fact: a tire alignment procedure is quite expensive. So, why pay extra money for something you can do at your home yourself by simply using a tape measure?

How to do a wheel alignment with a tape measure?

Before getting your tools to align your car tires back into their position, it is vital to recognize whether the car actually needs a tire alignment session at the moment. And there’s a simple way to check it out. If the car isn’t driving in a straight path, no matter how stable and firm you try to keep the driving wheel, then yes, your car needs a wheel alignment.

But how to do an alignment back at your home? First, you need some gadgets to work with. Get a solid piece of angle iron. The angle iron will allow you to get the durability needed while aligning your car tires.

Now, the real question here is how to do your alignment by using a tape measure. First, it is a good idea to get an exactly 48 inches long angle iron piece. This way, one can work perfectly with both tires by dividing the iron piece into two 24 inches long pieces.

Before starting the process, set the car on ground level and move it to and fro manually in the garage. In this way, the suspension will set its metrics according to a regular drive. In this way, the readings and measurements will become more accurate.

Now, place the equal in length on a brick against the pair of the tire under consideration. In this way, you can get a better idea of the alignment angle.

Place the set of tape measures on the front and back of the iron bar. In this way, you can quickly check whether the angles are in line or not. For a perfectly parallel set of ties, the measurements will be the same. 

But if the tires aren’t aligned perfectly, all you need to do is turn the tires in the corresponding direction and move the car again in a to and fro motion. In this way, the car suspension can adapt to the new tire alignment settings.

Is it effective to do a wheel alignment with a tape measure?

It may seem like more of a DIY project than something that works, but this is how you do a wheel alignment with a tape measure. And yes, it is effective regardless of the type of car you’re using. The whole suspension alignment feature allows the car to adapt to its new tire alignment settings. 

As soon as the car is set to a to and fro motion at a certain angle, the suspension system realigns the shocks system, changing the tire alignment back to the linear position under the damped pressure.

But the important thing here is that nine out of ten cars will show effective results through this technique. And for the remaining one car, this includes all the car brands with the built-in feature of self-alignment. Hence, you practically don’t need to learn how to do an alignment for these cars.

Conclusion

Wheel alignment is probably one of the most common mechanical issues faced by car owners. There are specific garage and car centers that are doing a fantastic job. But why pay extra when you can align your car tires back at home. All you need to do is to learn to do a wheel alignment with a tape measure.