Adjusting toe-in and toe-out

Toe-in and toe-out adjustments are made by screwing the track-rod ball-joint ends up or down the track rods to alter their length.

It is not possible to make totally accurate adjustments at home without proper wheel-aligning equipment. But the measurements obtained by the wire method already outlined should enable you to adjust the settings accurately enough to drive to a garage for expert attention. Few cars have a toe-in or toe-out of more than 3 mm, so try to adjust to within that measurement if possible.

It is not necessary to disconnect the track rods; the inner ends of the track rods turn freely on their ball joints at the ends of the rack as you turn the rods to adjust their outer ends.

Adjust both rods by equal amounts, except on VWs and Audis, which have only one adjustable rod to alter their steering. Even when the fixed rod has been replaced with an adjustable exchange part, the steering is still adjusted by altering a single rod.

You may be able to adjust the track rods without raising the front of the car. This saves time and labour, since you have to check the toe setting each time you have to make a trial adjustment and this must be done with the wheels on the ground.

But on some cars you may have to remove the wheels to gain access to the ball-joint locknuts.

If you have to raise the car and work under it, use ramps (or axle stands if you have to remove the wheels) not jacks.

Apply the handbrake firmly, and chock behind the rear wheels.