About the Author: Michael Flood

81 Comments

  1. Much easier to go tread to tread front and back of wheels with a tape measure, split the difference and once more to account for tie rod end being halfway to center from the tread.

  2. Ive watched about 5 videos with the string method, and i think that method just stinks. Better to measure side to side in the front tires. But who knows..i guess no DIY will be as accurate as a shop and we are all relegated to 90 bucks and two hours per alignment

  3. Way too complicated. Just get a measurement at the center tread at back and front side of tires from under the car. It will get you close enough for a trip to the alignment shop.

  4. I did a wheel alignment years ago on my then 1963 Jeep truck. Lot's of room to work and job was pretty easy.

  5. Hi! Thanks for the video! My car has 20k on it and tires are Hankook Ventus v2 Concept 2. These came with my car and still have normal thread. I know that usually alignment may be needed or advised when replacing 4 tires. Do you think when time comes to buy new tires and if I pick exactly the same tires that manufacturer put on my car, may I skip the alignment if car doesn't pull to either direction and there is no abnormal wear?

  6. Awesome video. One of my brothers showed me how to align doing the tape trick. I just eyeball it though then take it to get aligned. Thanks for sharing this informative video.

  7. Could you not just hold a 4ft level horizontally against the front fenders and measure the front and back of the tire and make any adjustments if necessary based on those measurements too?

  8. Have ya tried using a level?? If the tire is like this (/) and needs to be like this(|) then I would think a level would be great to get the wheel straight?

  9. When you measure the string 1 inch from center cap on the rear and then 1 inch on the front your string will be on an angle giving false readings. Most cars have a different width from one axel to the other.

  10. I think squaring the string is better method over the tape measure from tire to tire on same axle. The tire to tire method tells you its the same distance (ideally) from rear to rear of front tires & front to front of front tires. So all that says is they are parallel to each other, not the actual toe for each tire. So using that method the driver side can be toe out 2 degrees and the passenger toe in 2 degrees and that method says pass when you really are failed & in a left turn by default. I would only do that as a check to confirm the fist string box method. Am I missing something?

  11. Shop said they did front end alignment. Took it back twice. Said couldnt be straightened. I watched the second time. Saw they were only doing a wheel balance. Didn't touch tie rods. I paid them to do it cause I didnt want to do it. Seems better option doing your own work. You cant pay people to do a simple job

  12. I run a string right up against the front and rear edge of the rear tire at center cap height to get my straight edge. My tires do stick out wider than the car body so it's a better method than measuring an inch, or whatever clearance is needed on both center caps. Just less margin for error running against the tire if you can. Then run the string against the front tire and with the string just barely touching the rear edge of the tire, i can get the 1/16 measurement, the thickness of the twine i use, of the gap at the front edge of the tire. I use a straight edge ruler against the rim edge. not a carpenters ruler against a spoke. I can get under my car to unlock the bolt and make adjustments without turning my wheel to get at it. I also keep checking the centering of the steering wheel as I make adjustments. Using the tape measure across the backside and frontside of the tire is good for a final check but not for doing the alignment. Both tires could be toed to the right and measure 1/8 but you would not be in a alignment.

  13. I’ve done this a couple times with good results. Sometimes I’ll have to test and tweak it a bit, but it allows me to do repairs like tie rods and struts myself, then align it good enough to get it to a tire shop. Saves thousands

  14. This method assumes the rear alignment is good. What if you do 4 wheel struts? Get it close, then take it in for a pro job

  15. I have watched several videos. This one is the best that iv seen as far as how good it works. Mine drive nice and straight. My wheel is a little slanted to the driver side but I dont have a steering wheel lock. Thanks

  16. This actually works never aligned a car ever in my life and I tried your method and the steering wheel is factory straight now!!!!! Thx

  17. Thank you guys. I'm the # 1,544 thumb up. 5 stars for your guys and So much Thanks for all these Videos . Your guys Sells Parts and No need to do Videos but your guys do and that Really help us a Lot. Keep going guys and Thanks Again.

  18. that will get the toe only close. on new vehicles you gotta hook up a proper machine. Use this trick to not peel tires off on your way to the alignment shop.

  19. Thank you for being responsible and telling people that this is just a temporary procedure and not an actual wheel alignment. I'd just like to comment on a couple of things I saw in the video. The first is looking at the steering wheel to judge if you made an improvement. While its true that you can correct an off center wheel with an alignment, the position of the steering wheel itself has nothing to do with it. Its a purely cosmetic issue. I can literally adjust a car so the steering wheel is upside down, and have the car still be in perfect alignment. Also, for the type of adjustment you're doing here, there's no need to put the string over the back wheels. Its beyond the scope of what you can do using this method. The rear wheels can also be out of alignment and they're almost always a different width across than the front wheels. Without substantially modifying the procedure, factoring the rear wheels into the equation will hurt more than help. Just do everything up front. Get the front wheels as close to parallel as you can, and don't worry about having a straight steering wheel.

    Its also worth noting that there are several other alignment angles that need to be measured, and possibly adjusted as well. Without putting the car on a machine, there's no way to tell if they need to be adjusted. And if you do adjust them, they effect the others. For example, if you have toe adjusted perfectly and adjust camber, adjusting camber will move toe a significant amount, so you would need to re-adjust toe. Everything is connected.

  20. Place a piece of tape over the top of steering wheel and steering column cover… centered. Then take a razor blade and cut the tape in the gap of those two parts. This way you get the steering wheel back in the same position each time after turning it, by aligning the tape up. Takes the guess work out of where to put the steering wheel back.

  21. That's the way to do it, I like this method better,? to the measuring of the tires. But I prefer using 4 Jack Stands with fluorescent fishing line. I also prefer using the "Dream Stick" Alignment tool (which you can buy on line) it makes it much easier to actually see your measurements without having to use the tape measure.

  22. I hope I get to do this enough one day to answer my own question, but for mental energy savings.. My steering wheel tilts more to the left in order for the car to stay straight, so does that mean the right wheel is too far out? or are both wheel aligned toward the right?.. I had mine done at the shop and got these results hence why I am trying to learn to do it myself. If you want it done right as they say..

  23. Ive seen videos on YouTube using this method for wheel alignment but wondered if there was some validity to it. If 1A Auto Parts says it will work. Im convinced and will try it. Thanks for the video. I like the quality parts you sell and your my goto parts store

  24. Tried this years ago with my wifes van. Needless to say I was buying her new front tires and a real alignment 3 months later. That was dumb.?

  25. Man that outside of that tire was almost bald.. I'd say it's got a camber issue too. Also that ford needs new sneakers

  26. CAn you answer me this, I jack up my front end and both wheels spin freely but I go to wiggle my wheels it turns the steering wheel. My steering wheel doesn't lock. CLK430 Benz. oh when I hit a bump the car sways left or right really bad.

  27. @6:50 this is where the problems really begin when you discover the track rod end is welded to the track rod with years of rust

  28. 7:53 do not tighten the tie rod like this if you want anything close to accurate results. Twisting the entire tie rod while tightening the nut will definitely throw it off alot. Grab the tie rod with a wrench and tighten the nut and dont let it spin until the nut is already pretightened somewhat.

    Tightening the nut without throwing off the alignment is a freggin skill of its own outside this whole diy setup.

  29. you want your string line as tight as possible for accurate readings not loose like this., string line can have alot of drop if not tight enough.

  30. I've always hated alignment issues, and hated even more having to pay someone to do it. This was a great explanation, and with patience this worked incredibly well.

    To make the tie rods easier to access, I put a couple 4x4s together and lifted the car onto those. That way I could reach underneath without having to move the steering wheel, and could check the adjustment as I was making it. Instead of cardboard, I used a plastic sign that I had found and cut up (I have to work in the rain, cardboard doesn't hold up too well in those conditions, I don't have a nice warm shop to work in!)

    Hardest part was loosing the nut. Try loosing the track rod a bit (creating more toe in), then flood the thing with some sort of penetrating grease and let it sit for a while. Twist the nut over the clean threads, before trying to twist it over all the rusted part. Once you move it, you can also take a wire brush to the rusted part and clean it up a bit. It wasn't easy, but it worked. Just have to work the nut back and forth, both directions, then set the alignment and tighten.

    Thanks for posting this!

  31. the only smart thing you said was 'take it to a shop and have it alinged' P.S. set the toe and let it go is not a wheel alignment.

  32. Just out of curiosity, at 4:48 when you come up to the driver's side wheel, you say to measure it from the inside back of the wheel spoke. You do that on the rear edge of the wheel, but when you move up to do the forward part you measure from the outer face of the rim rather than behind it. Then when you adjust a re-measure the passenger's side, you measure both the rear and the front part of the wheel from the outer lip. Why is that?

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