It can be challenging to decide when to take your car to a professional and when to try to fix it yourself, especially if you have some experience fixing cars. When it comes to wheel alignments, you need to consider a couple of factors. Who will do a better job and how many tools are you willing to buy? If you think you want to give it a try, keep reading to find out from our panel what you need to get started and whether or not it is a good idea.
Mike Skoropad

Mike Skoropad

Mike Skoropad, Owner of tire technicians and retailers United Tires.

DIY Wheel Alignment

Performing a wheel alignment, yourself involves two steps. First, you need to measure the degree of misalignment that you currently have, and then you need to readjust your axle and tires to fix the misalignment issue.

The DIY measuring of wheel misalignment is done via the “string test.”

To do this, you need:

  • A tape measure
  • A spool of string
  • A camber gauge
  • Four jack stands

To realign wheels once you know the misalignment you need:

  • A 24mm wrench
  • A 13mm wrench
  • Upper and/or lower control arm shims (depending on which wheels need adjustment)

Mechanics have more precise tools for measuring wheel misalignment than the string test. Therefore, the wheels will be more precisely aligned than if you do it yourself. Although this increased precision may not make a huge difference in terms of safety, it can make a slight difference in terms of steering performance.

DIY Tools and Advantages of Hiring a Professional

If you’re going to work on a DIY car wheel alignment project, what you need are:

  • A spool of string
  • Tape measure
  • Camber gauge
  • Four jack stands
  • An adjustable wrench
  • A 13mm wrench
  • Control arm shims

If you’re going to see a professional mechanic for wheel alignment, here are some advantages you can enjoy:

  • Your wheels will be properly aligned
  • You can avoid wearing out your car parts unevenly
  • You’re protecting yourself from future expensive auto repairs
  • You’ll have an assurance that your car will always run correctly
  • You can prolong the lifespan of your tires
Arnold Chapman

Arnold Chapman

Arnold Chapman, CEO, and Founder of ELDFocus.com.
Rory Davis

Rory Davis

Rory Davis, an Auto Industry Consultant for Superior Honda of New Orlean.

DIY Wheel Alignment Will Save You Money Over Time

A DIY car wheel alignment requires three tools: an angle iron and two tape measures. However, a few other tools make DIY alignments more efficient.

These tools include:

  • Wheel alignment measurement tool
  • Multiple car jacks

Buying these tools will cost about $100, which is more than the average cost of $50 for a professional car wheel alignment. However, you should align your car wheels every two to three years, meaning doing a DIY wheel alignment will save you money over time.

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