Adjust the lane correctly in the car

Adjust the lane correctly in the car

How important is the car’s lane and how can I tell if my car’s lane is set incorrectly? We give you a brief overview of all the measures that you can do yourself and when the next workshop visit to check the track is essential.

What does the track do to the car?
The track describes the position of the car wheels on an axle in relation to one another. When the tires on one axle are completely parallel to the longitudinal axis of the car, toe-in is zero. If they are slightly inward, so that they would run towards each other if they were not attached to the axle, then this is toe-in. In the opposite situation, the tires are slightly outwards and would drive away from each other if they were not attached, this is referred to as toe-out.

What lane does a car usually have?
Most cars come from the factory with either toe-in or toe-out. Typically, rear-wheel drive cars have a slight toe-in, and front-wheel drive cars have a slight toe-in. This setting by the vehicle manufacturer serves to counteract the driving forces. When cars with rear-wheel drive approach, the wheels on the front axle are pushed apart, which is why a slightly adjusted toe-in, i.e. wheels inwards, can counteract this. In cars with front-wheel drive, the wheels are slightly pulled inwards when starting off. In this case, a slightly preset toe-out helps. The vehicle-specific values can be read from every car manufacturer.

How do I recognize that the track is blocked?
You can easily tell when your toe-in or toe-in is misaligned. So your steering wheel is not centered even though you drive straight ahead. You can also tell from the tire itself or from the uneven tire wear if you drive with a distorted track for a long time. If the outer edges of the tire are more worn, this means too much toe-in and inner tire wear means too much toe-out.

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You will also notice a change in driving behavior. Your car pulls left or right. In addition, the steering wheel no longer easily returns to its original position after turning.

It is important to know that a defective track is often a symptom and the result of a larger defect. For example, there may be wear on the wishbone or the tie rod.

When should I have the track adjusted?
There are no regular, prescribed intervals at which toe should be adjusted and axles measured. The recommendation is: Do not have the track adjusted and the axle measured every time you change the tires, this will only result in additional costs. Dubious workshops suggest this every time a tire is changed, without there being any signs of a defect.

Our tip: You should have the track checked if you have these symptoms and opportunities:

Unevenly worn car tires
The steering wheel is not centered when driving straight ahead
The car has a left or right spin
For curb bumps
Driven the tire into an obstacle
Driven through a deep pothole
Repairs were made to the steering and chassis system
How much does it cost to have the track adjusted?
As with most car repairs and services, the current market prices vary greatly depending on the vehicle type, whereby the costs are made up of the inspection and wheel alignment (approx. 30 to 70 euros) and the subsequent adjustment (approx. 70 to 140 euros).

In addition, costs can be incurred if spare parts, such as spacers, are installed. It is therefore always worth comparing prices, speaking to the workshop in advance and obtaining a cost estimate.

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Can I set the track myself?
Very important: Please do not make any track corrections with your own eyes. In addition to the important point of accuracy, which only a professional workshop offers, camber and spread are also determined and corrected during the associated wheel alignment by a professional.

This requires professional equipment and experience to set the track correctly. This is rarely given by the home hobby workshop.

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