How To Adjust Toe In Of Wheel Alignment [Answered]

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Why spend extra bucks on toe-in alignment when you can fix it with nothing but basic automotive tools? To adjust the toe-in of the wheel alignment, you need to adjust the tie rods gradually. The process requires much more preparation before that. Or else you will not be able to access the tie rods.

To reach the adjusting tie rods, measuring the front wheel distance is a must at the back and front. Seems intimidating? Well, let us make the whole process a breeze as we walk you through some safety tips.

Why Do You Need to Adjust the Toe-In Of Wheel Alignment?

Four-wheelers usually have slightly inward-facing front wheels, known as toe-in. It helps the vehicles to stay in a straight line instead of inclining towards the side.

But if your vehicle drags to the corner and you cannot drive straight, you must adjust the toe–in specs. Also, here are more significant reasons for the adjustment –

Tire Lifespan

If the front tires are not correctly aligned, they will scrub against the surface too often, especially at an angle. Thus, it will stress the tires, and cracks will appear on the tire treads.

Such tires are more likely to wear out sooner than expected. And to prolong its lifespan, we noticed that toe-in adjustment works like magic!

Vehicle Stability

Improperly towed or unaligned front wheels pull the vehicle to one side. Thereby, the vehicle feels too unstable in terms of driving smoothly.

Also, it makes it harder to steer correctly. We have seen some drivers reporting that they had to under or oversteer due to the toed-in issue. What we mean is you will feel the steering wheel is too sluggish or sensitive. It will not respond to your input quickly.

Hence, we do not see any alternative to toe-in alignment if that happens to you to eliminate the possibility of fatal crashes.

Fuel Efficiency

Toe-in or front wheel adjustment is necessary for fuel economy. If the wheels have excessive toe-in, inward, or outward-facing angles, it increases the rolling resistance, which eventually decreases fuel efficiency.

Let us explain – if the front wheels do not have proper toe–in measurement or adjustment, the surface provides more pressure over the tires. And due to this rolling resistance, the vehicle consumes more fuel to maintain the motion of the wheels.

So, we believe that you should add fluid more often. In order to eliminate such a scenario, make sure to adjust the toe-in alignment as early as possible!

Tools Required for Adjusting Toe-In of Wheel Alignment

Although toe-in adjustment is a tricky process, the tools required for it are easy to find and handle. So, we advise you to gather the following tools beforehand to make sure you finish the task without any unnecessary pause –

  • Collect 4 pieces of dry cardboard for placing 2 boards under each front wheel. 
  • Take a long measuring tape and white chalk. 
  • Gather wrenches and pliers for adjusting necessary parts. Depending upon the size of the nuts, locks, and bolts of the vehicle, you may need to go for small or larger wrenches. 
  • Keep a jack lift and jack stand together to lift the vehicle. It is only advisable if you cannot work in a narrow space.  
  • Last but not least, get yourself safety gear and clothes.

How to Adjust Toe-In Of Wheel Alignment?

Adjusting toe-in requires meticulous attention so that you can properly align the front wheels for driving safety. So, let me break down the steps to do so –

Step 1: Preparation/Vehicle Parking

First, place some sturdy cardboard on the surface you will park your vehicle on. In case you want to lift the car, use the jack lift and place the jack stands under it. For a lifted vehicle, cardboards are not necessary. 

If you want the vehicle on the ground, park your vehicle on flat ground. Ensure the tires have the proper air pressure recommended in the manual and keep the suspension compartments loaded.

Step 2: Measure the Front Side of the Front Wheels

Using chalk, mark the outer edge of the front side of the front wheels. The marking spots should be at the same height and side of both tires.

Place one edge of a measuring tape at one marked spot of the tire. Measure the distance or gap between the two chalk spots. It is the measurement of the front of the tires. 

Step 3: Take Measurement of the Back of the Front Wheels

Let’s rotate both the front wheels so that the chalk markings face the rear of the vehicle. Again, mark the front-facing outer edges of both tires that you have rotated. 

Now, measure the distance between the now front-facing chalk spots. Remember that it is the measurement of the back of the front tires.

Step 4: Locate the Tie Rods

Let’s compare the two measurements. You will notice that the distance measurement of the front of the tires is greater than the back of the tire measurement.

In that case, locate the tie rods with the help of a manual. Feel free to watch the tutorial to find the rods easily: 

Step 5: Adjust the Tie Rods

With the assistance of a wrench, loosen the lock nuts located on the end of these tie rods. Keep rotating the tie rod ends until the back side of the front wheels has ⅛ inches longer distance than the front of the wheels. Then, tighten the tie rod locks carefully.

Finally, we’d recommend going for a test drive. If the front wheels do not drag too drastically to the left or right, you have adjusted the toe-in successfully. 

Safety Precautions and Tips for Properly Adjusting Toe-In Alignment

Any automotive task requires taking safety precautions beforehand so that you do not put your life and the vehicle’s functionality at risk! Following that, if you maintain some basic tips, the toe-in adjustment will be a DIY hit. 

So, let us get your back with these short yet significant task guidelines:  

  1. Wear safety gear, such as gloves, goggles, and sturdy pieces of clothing. Avoid wearing clothes that can get caught on the complex compartments or tools.
  2. Place the boards on a dry surface. If the floor is wet, wait for it to dry. Or else the tires cannot turn quickly.
  3. While measuring the distance of the front and back sides of the wheels, ensure you place the measuring tape on the same points of each tire. 
  4. Never forget to check the tools are in better condition before work. It will make sure you do not need to adjust the tools in between the tasks.
  5. Do not make large adjustments on the tie rods at a go. Instead, make small adjustments to prevent over-adjusting the front wheels.
  6. While doing the task, keep someone beside you to help you with the tool handover and ensure your safety.
  7. Follow the toe-in specifications mentioned in the manual. 
  8. Do not rush to test drive after adjusting the toe–in. Rather, check whether you have placed the loose compartments and parts properly or not.

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