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FYI: It is recommended that you have a reputable automotive service shop handle the wheel alignment process. This may save you time and headaches down the road. Most auto shops may have wheel alignment specials so check with your local shop.
Honda Civic Pre-Alignment Inspection Procedures
Before making wheel alignment adjustment, perform the following checks:
1. Tires should be equal in size and runout must not be excessive. Tires and wheels should be in balance, and inflated to manufacturer's specifications.
2. Wheel bearings must be properly adjusted. Steering linkage and suspension must not have excessive looseness. Check for wear in tie rod ends and ball joints.
3. Steering gear box must not have excessive play. Check and adjust to manufacturer's specifications.
4. Vehicle must be at curb height with full fuel load and spare tire in vehicle. No extra load should be on vehicle.
5. Vehicle must be level with floor and with suspension settled. Jounce front and rear of vehicle several times and allow it to settle to normal curb height.
6. If steering wheel is not centered with front wheels in straight-ahead position, correct by shortening one tie rod adjusting sleeve and lengthening opposite sleeve equal amounts.
7. Ensure wheel lug nuts are tightened to torque specifications.
RIDE HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT
Before adjusting alignment, check riding height. Riding height must be checked with vehicle on level floor and tires properly inflated. Passenger and luggage compartments must be unloaded. Bounce vehicle several times, and allow suspension to settle. Visually inspect vehicle from front to rear and from side to side for signs of abnormal height.
Measure riding height. Riding height between left and right sides of vehicle should vary less than 1" (25.4 mm). If riding height is not within specification, check suspension components and repair or replace them as necessary.
WHEEL ALIGNMENT PROCEDURES
Honda recommends using commercially available computerized 4-wheel alignment equipment. Follow equipment manufacturer instructions to obtain vehicle alignment settings. Use following procedures for necessary adjustments.
Compare camber settings with vehicle manufacturer recommendations. If camber is incorrect, check for bent or damaged front suspension components. Replace faulty components. Recheck camber.
DO NOT use more than 2 shims. If more than 2 shims are required to adjust caster angle, check for bent or damaged suspension components.
Compare caster settings with vehicle manufacturer recommendations. If caster is incorrect, check for bent or damaged front suspension components. Replace faulty components. Recheck caster.
1. Secure steering wheel in straight-ahead position. Measure front wheel toe-in. If adjustment is needed, loosen tie rod lock nuts. Turn both tie rods equally in the same direction until front wheels are in straight-ahead position and toe-in reading is correct. Tighten tie rod lock nuts. Reposition tie rod boots if twisted.
2. Ensure parking brake is released. Check rear wheel toe-in. If adjustment is needed, hold adjusting bolt on rear compensator arm and loosen lock nut. Adjust rear toe-in by sliding rear control arm until rear toe-in is correct. Install NEW lock nut, and tighten it while holding adjusting bolt.