Some vehicles use alignment shims to correct rear alignment settings. Without access to an alignment rack, it’s difficult to know what alignment shims you need to align your vehicle.
INSTALL LEVEL OF DIFFICULTYDifficult
What is an Alignment Shim?
Installation of alignment shims is relatively straightforward and would be considered “easy” were it not for one big detail: you need access to an alignment rack or machine to install alignment shims properly. The vast majority of DIY mechanics and automotive enthusiasts leave aligning their vehicles to the professionals. If your car needs an alignment service, call your local Pep Boys and schedule an appointment.
How do Alignment Shims Work?
There are many different alignment shim designs, including aftermarket products designed to make performing an alignment service easier. Alignment shims are designed to correct camber and toe measurements that are out of factory specification.
How are Alignment Shims Made?
Though it’s possible to create your own rear alignment shims at home, it’s not possible to perform an accurate alignment without expensive, specialized equipment. There are methods of aligning your vehicle without an alignment rack, but these methods require specialized knowledge and plenty of free time to execute. Alignment shims are typically mass-produced using machine shop tools.
Why do Alignment Shims Fail?
- It is perfectly normal for steering and suspension components to wear out as you drive your vehicle.
- Often, it’s not the alignment shims that fail. Alignment shims are used to correct misaligned components when it’s not necessary or even recommended to replace these components.
- If your alignment cannot be brought back to spec with alignment shims, you may need to replace other components before your vehicle drives straight and true.
What Are the Symptoms of Alignment Shim Failure?
- Excessive tire wear upon visual inspection.
- Excessive tires noise while driving.
- If steering and suspension parts become severely worn, you may hear clicking, clunking, or rattling noises coming from under your vehicle as you drive.
What are the Consequences of Alignment Shim Failure?
- Excessive tire wear increases the operating costs of your vehicle.
- Poor alignment may make your vehicle unstable in slick conditions or when you need to make evasive action.