How To Check Toe Setting

Remove any heavy loads from the car. Inflate all tyres to the right pressures. Check the steering and suspension joints for wear .

Make sure that the track rods are straight and the same length on both sides.

This does not apply to those VWs and Audis with one adjustable and one fixed track rod 

Place the car on a flat, even surface — not a road, which is cambered — and centre the steering. Push the car forward a few yards, letting it stop without using the brakes.

Bounce it a few times to settle the suspension. After this, do not touch the steering wheel or get in the car.

Find measuring points on each front wheel. The car handbook usually gives the toe setting as measured between the inner wheel rims at their front and rear edges at the level of the hub.

There are, however, few cars on which you can stretch a string or wire straight between these points because the axle is in the way. Measuring between the edges of the tyre treads is not usually practicable because the tread often has no clear edge.

Therefore measure from one outer wheel rim to the other. A wire check cannot be truly accurate, so it does not matter too much that you are not measuring from the 'right' points.

All you can establish is whether the wheels have a slight toe-in or toe-out — not exactly how much the measurement is.

Stretch the wire round the tyres as close to the height of the hub centre as possible, and pull it taut at both front and rear.

Mark this level on the tyres with chalk and a ruler.

Mark the wire near one end, then get a helper to hold the mark on one measuring point and take the wire over to the other.

Pull it taut and mark the wire where it touches the second measuring point.

Repeat the process at the rear of the wheel, trying to keep the same tension on the wire. The distance between the first and second marks on the wire is double the toe-in or toe-out.

Double check by rolling the car forward so that the wheels make half a turn, bounce the car and repeat the whole test.