Wheel Alignment – How Do They Do That?

I was asked the other day “How do you align the front end of a car?”

These are pictures of an alignment machine in our shop. We drive the vehicle onto a special lift that raises the vehicle off the ground.

Then special laser beams “heads” are attached to each wheel. These lasers shoot a precise beam of light from the back tires to the front tires.front-end-alignment-017


Extremely precise calculations are made with the alignment computer as it checks the current tire alignment against the specifications made by the manufacturer. On the display screen the mechanic will be notified if one wheel is leaning in or out at the top, is pushed back in relation to the other tires or is bent inward to the vehicle.

Once the mechanic makes the needed adjustements the alignment computer will verify that the wheel are now perfectly in alignment with each other.front-end-alignment-018


It’s a good idea to get a copy of the final print out from your repair shop to keep in your record books. Incase there is premature tire wear or unusual front end wear you have a baseline print out to compare alignment readings.

We always attach a copy of the print out to our customer files after we do a front end alignment, this protects us from paying false claims of tire wear caused by a faulty alignment done in our shop. When it leaves our shop it IS in factory specs….for how long, that is up to you.


Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."