Your truck may need an alignment for many reasons. If the truck loses its alignment, driving becomes uncomfortable.
As there are no light-signals on the dashboard, it can be difficult to detect an alignment problem. Nonetheless, you can notice it as your truck may pull to one side, steering becomes shaky and vibrating. As a result, your truck loses performance.
Hence, it is mighty important to keep the alignment of your truck in the proper shape. In case your truck loses alignment, do you know how to do an alignment on a truck? In this article, we will provide you with the information.
How to Do an Alignment on a Truck?
First of all, you need an alignment machine to do an alignment on a truck. Now, this machine is very expensive, thus, random truck owners do not purchase an alignment machine. An Alignment machine is available at your nearby servicing station, where they buy it for obvious commercial purposes.
So, how to do an alignment on a truck? The answer is simple – drive your truck to a nearby servicing station and get the alignment of your truck back in a proper shape. An alignment work may cost you from 50$ to 100$.
An alignment work doesn’t mean only the alignment of wheels, which you can, somewhat, fix at home. We will discuss this topic below in this article.
An alignment work includes alignment of wheels, suspension, and axles. For adjusting the alignment into a proper shape, an alignment machine is set with these parts, and the alignment machine is then connected with a reading meter. Now, the qualified technician will read the reading of the meter. The reading is then adjusted to fix the alignment of the truck.
To do an alignment on a truck, a mechanic will work with the following areas.
The air-pressure of the tires is very essential. If the pressure is not sufficient, it may lead your truck to lose alignment. So, the first thing a mechanic will do is to check the air-pressure of the tires. If the air pressure is not sufficient, then they will increase it. Sufficient air pressure should solve the alignment problems significantly.
The suspension of the truck will be checked with the alignment machine. The mechanic will set the suspension according to the manufacturer’s specification to solve the alignment problems.
Now is the time to check the wheels’ alignment. A mechanic will check wheels’ alignment from different angles or perspectives. These are Toe, Camber, Caster, and Thrust.
You have to check if the toe angle of the wheels is alright or not. If you look at the wheels from above the vehicle, you can see the toe angle. The toe can bend inwards or outwards. The Alignment machine will check the position and sort it back to alignment.
Camber angle refers to the angle seen from the front or back end of the vehicle. Similarly, the camber can bend inwards or outwards. It causes the truck to pull towards one side. It also compromises the smoothness of riding. The camber can be fixed to its perfect alignment using the alignment machine.
Caster angle refers to the angle in which the tires are connected with the suspension. We can see the caster angle if we look at the tires from the side of the vehicle.
The caster can bend inwards to the centre of the vehicle. We call it a positive bend. Again, the caster can bend further outwards, which is called negative bend.
Due to the problems of caster alignment, the tires can become weary and it makes it harder to steer the vehicle. Alignment machine can fix this problem by adjusting the reading.
Thrust refers to the position of the axles. The front axle and rear axle must stay parallel to maintain proper alignment. The connection of the centerline and rear-axle is also checked properly to gain proper alignment of a truck.
Can you Do an Alignment on a Truck at Home?
We mentioned above, alignment does not only refer to the alignment of the wheels. So, you cannot do a proper alignment on a truck at home. Nonetheless, you can do an alignment of the wheels on a truck at home.
Before starting to work with your truck, you must have a proper knowledge about what you are doing. We recommend you to take assistance from a learned mechanic. Follow the below steps to do a wheel-alignment on a truck at home.
Step 1 – Check the Air-Pressure
First step is to check the air-pressure of the tires. There should be a signal-light at the dashboard for indicating air pressure. Produce sufficient air-pressure. Sufficient air-pressure helps to maintain alignment on a truck.
Step 2 – Lift Your Truck
Now, you have to lift the front-end and rear-end of the truck one after another using a jack. It is to work with the tires. Maintain safety measures to work with the jack stand.
Step 3 – Check Wheels’ Alignment
In this step, check the alignment of the wheels. You can turn a wheel and paint it. Then, track the painting to detect if there is any misalignment. The painting-line will not be straight if there is a misalignment.
Step 4 – Do Alignment
Now, work with a wheel at a time. Check if a wheel is bent inwards or outwards. If it bends inwards, then tighten the tire rod.
Likewise, if a wheel is bent outwards, loosen the tire rod. It will help to do alignment on the truck.
Now, these steps will primarily help to align the vehicle. But it is never a permanent solution. We recommend you to drive to a nearby station to get it fixed.
Misalignment significantly reduces the performance of your truck. It can pull the truck at one side, make the steering heavy, shaky, and vibrant. It can damage the tires permanently.
Bumpy roads, deep path-holes, or minor accidents can cause misalignment. If not fixed, the performance will not improve. Hence, drive to a nearby service station and do an alignment on the truck. It is always wise to check the alignment of your truck every couple of months.