Improper toe is the number one cause of tire wear on a vehicle. Your vehicle can have either negative toe, toe-out, or positive toe, toe-in. Toe-out occurs when the tires are angled away from each other ( /) when you look at them from the front of the car. Toe-in is when the tires are angled towards each other (/ ). Ideally you want to have a slight toe-in to compensate for the tires spreading apart while driving.
You can visually check the wheel alignment of your front tires. The simplest way to do this is to park your vehicle on a level surface, chalk the rear tires, bounce the front end two or three times and step back from the vehicle and look at the front tires. If you can notice them angled towards or away from each other than some adjustments may need to be made.
If you can’t see any angle on the tire you can take a tape measure and measure the distance between the inside of the front tires at the front of the tires and at the rear of the tires and see which distance is greater. If the distance from the front of the tires is greater the vehicle has toe-out and needs the wheels aligned. If the distance from the rear of the tires is greater the vehicle has toe-out.
Adjusting the wheel alignment is a fairly straight forward process. There are two types of front end set ups you may run into when adjusting the toe. The first one is on rack and pinion steering. To adjust the toe on this type of front end you need to first loosen the jamb-nut the holds the outer tie rod end tight to the inner tie rod. Next you will turn the inner tie rod to adjust the alignment. If you need to toe the tire in and the tie rod connects to the rear of the spindle you will turn the inner tie rod counter-clockwise if you are looking at the inside of the tire. If the tie rod is on the front of the spindle you would turn the inner tie rod clockwise to toe the tire in. After a half to a whole revolution on each side you should bounce the front end a few times and re-check the wheel alignment. Once you get the desired alignment be sure to tighten the jamb-nuts back up.
The other type of front end has the inner and outer tie rods connected by an adjustable sleeve. There are two pinch bolts on the adjustment sleeve. Once you loosen the pinch bolts you can rotate the sleeve and adjust the toe on the vehicle. Just like on the other front end turning the adjustment sleeve clockwise will toe the wheel in if the tie rod is attached to the front of the spindle and turning it counter-clockwise will toe the wheel in if the tie rod is attached to the rear of the spindle. After a half a revolution on each side bounce the front and check the toe. When you get the alignment you are looking for tighten up both of the pinch bolts on both sides.