How To Do Your Own Alignment

Winter weather can be tough on your tires, and if you are not taking care of your tires, you could find yourself losing all traction on the road. There are a few ways that you can test to see if your tires still have traction. One easy way is by taking a simple quarter and inserting it Washington’s head down into your tire tread. If you can see the top of his head, your tire treads are running dangerously low. One of the best ways to extend your tires’ lifespan is by routinely doing your own wheel alignment. If you want to find all the parts and tips you need for this DIY project and more, come into your local U-Pull-&-Pay today.

Establish Your Camber

The first step in doing a proper wheel alignment is establishing your car’s current camber. The camber of your wheels is the angle that they are sitting. Positive camber is when your wheels are angled with the tops further out than the bottom of your wheels. Positive camber is not usually a good thing, as the outer arches of your wheels will wear down quickly and you will not have enough grip to properly handle corners, especially at higher speeds.

Negative camber is when your wheels appear to be leaning in towards your vehicle, with the bottom of your tires angled further out and the top. You will typically want just a slight bit of negative camber, usually between 1-1.5 degrees. This will allow you to have a good amount of surface area directly in contact with the road for the straightaways while giving you enough space on your tires to easily take corners at higher speeds. Make sure to not overdo this negative camber as too much of an angle will cause your tires to wear out almost as quickly as your oil.

Make sure that you are also measuring your caster as well, as this will greatly affect the steps you need to take in order to properly align your tires.

Doing Your Alignment

  1. Before you do any measurements, make sure that you check your tire pressure and get your tires properly filled. This will allow you to properly measure the angle of your wheels.
  2. Check your owner’s manual for specifications! This may go without saying, but each vehicle will require a different camber and caster. Getting the right numbers first will save you some serious time and money.
  3. Check your front suspension. Loose or worn out parts in your suspension can cause your measurements to be off.
  4. Determine your current camber and caster using either a string or a camber gauge. You can also measure your camber with a straight edge lined up to the bottom of your tire. Measure the difference at the top with a ruler, and you have your camber.
  5. Adjust your tire rod ends, loosen your lock nuts, and make the proper adjustments based on the measurements you have taken.

You can easily take care of your alignment and any other DIY project with the help of the expert staff here at your local U-Pull-&-Pay. Our DIY experts will help you find all the parts you need and give you the tips you need to become a DIY expert.

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For a car to be complete, the following criteria must be met:

  • No major mechanical components are missing, including the catalytic converter, engine or transmission
  • All wheels are included
  • All major body parts are intact, including all doors, hood and trunk