How do i perform my own wheel alignment?


My YRV has now done 100,000Kms

It has never needed one before, but after spinning the YRV around a corder, i noticed a prominent shudder in the steering over 100Km/h with slight pulling to the left.

I took it in for a wheel balance which fixed the shuddering problem and they did an alignment at the same time.

The YRV then pulled to the right, so they swapped the rims around and now its back to pulling to the left.

I am reluctant to go back to the same shop or pay for the same alignment again, so im curious if i can try to adjust it myself before forking out for another wheel alighnment.

Can anyone please give some direction?


This is how .....

I have an inspection pit and its necessary to get access to the underside of the wheels.

1. Get a length of rigid timber or steel about 5cm deep and 2cm thickness. The length must fit on the ground and between the front wheels.
2. Get two bullnose clips or similar device.
3. Cut two thin sticks or steel pointers which reach from the floor to above the mid-height of the wheel rims.
4. Put each stick towards the end of the length of timber and hold with the bullnose clips. The sticks can be used as pointers which can be moved/tilted to touch each wheel rim - the distance between opposite wheel could be measured. Measuring is unnessary.
5. Set the pointers at the front edge of the front wheel rims at centre height. Now carefully reposition the pointers at the rear of the front rims at centre height. Now you can measure any difference since distance will either be equal, short or a gap. A rigid steel rule is useful to measure any gap.
6. See your manual for the toe in/out and adjust the steering as necessary.

NB. You need to ensure the front wheels are in-line with the rear wheels. By looking at the steering wheel cross bars you can usually judge which wheel needs to have the track changed. When driving in a straight line is the steering wheel symetrical? If not, then in which direction does the tracking need to change. Adjust as necessary
[A guide is also to compare the thread lengths of the adjustments in the steering arm .... compare side with side etc]

NNB. I have set tracking on my own cars. When checked by a garage the track has always been 'spot-on'.


Tyre swap should not effect the 'pull' direction. If you swapped tyres and the 'pull' changed to the other side of the vehicle then I would suspect a tyre problem rather than a tracking problem.
I assume your vehicles tyre pressures are correct, tyre pattern similar, tyre depth similar, and no tread damage.

...... tracking ... see my method as a reply to your query.