How to Align Your Wheels After an Upgrade Credit: Tire Pros

After upgrading your wheels, ensuring they are properly aligned is crucial for optimal performance, safety, and longevity. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you align your wheels after an upgrade.

1. Understand the Importance of Alignment

Proper wheel alignment ensures that all four wheels are parallel and sit flat on the ground, affecting steering, handling, and tire wear. Upgrading wheels can alter the vehicle's suspension geometry, making alignment necessary.

2. Know the Types of Alignment Adjustments
  • Camber: The tilt of the wheels inward or outward from the vehicle's centerline.
  • Caster: The angle of the steering pivot, influencing steering stability.
  • Toe: The angle at which the wheels turn inward or outward when viewed from above.
3. Check Manufacturer Recommendations

Consult your vehicle’s manual or the wheel manufacturer for recommended alignment specifications. These specs guide the adjustments needed for optimal alignment.

Prepare for Alignment
  • Inspect Suspension Components: Ensure your suspension components are in good condition, as worn parts can affect alignment.
  • Inflate Tires: Ensure your tires are properly inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure.
5. Use an Alignment Tool or Visit a Professional

Alignment requires specialized tools for accurate measurements:

  • DIY Alignment: If you have experience and the proper tools, you can attempt a DIY alignment using toe plates, camber gauges, and digital angle finders.
  • Professional Alignment: For the best results, take your vehicle to a professional alignment shop with computerized equipment for precise adjustments.
6. Perform the Alignment

Toe Adjustment:

  • Adjust the tie rods to bring the wheels to the correct toe-in or toe-out angle.
  • Ensure both wheels have the same angle relative to the vehicle's centerline.

Camber Adjustment:

  • Adjust the upper or lower control arm to achieve the correct inward or outward tilt.
  • Maintain symmetry on both sides for balanced handling.

Caster Adjustment:

  • Adjust the control arm or strut to achieve the correct steering pivot angle.
  • Ensure the caster angle is identical on both sides to prevent steering drift.
7. Test Drive and Recheck

After completing the alignment:

  • Test Drive: Take your vehicle for a test drive to check for any drifting, steering issues, or unusual tire wear.
  • Recheck Alignment: If issues persist, recheck the alignment or have a professional shop inspect it.


Aligning your wheels after an upgrade is essential to maintain handling, safety, and tire longevity. Whether you choose a DIY approach or visit a professional, proper alignment will ensure you get the best performance out of your new wheels.