Wheel Alignment, Toe, Camber, Castor
Proper wheel alignment helps you maintain control of your car.
Wheel Alignment Check
- Proper wheel alignment helps you maintain control of your car.
Why is wheelalignment important?
Wheel alignment ensures that a vehicle’s tires are pointingin the right direction. There are many different causes for vehicles losingtheir wheel alignment. Some of these causes include driving over pot holes,driving over objects, hitting the curb, and tire wear. Misaligned tires caninhibit your control over your vehicle by affecting steering and carsuspension. Most importantly, it can affect your safety, and cause your tiresto wear faster.
How oftenshould I get my wheels aligned?
The general rule of thumb for scheduling a wheel alignmentis every 6,000 miles. If you wait too long, your tires will lose theirelasticity and the ball and socket joints can loosen. Tire alignment can beaffected if the tires shift even a tenth of a degree or hundredth of an inch.As time goes on, this misalignment can cause premature and uneven wear.
How can Itell if my tires need alignment?
To the naked eye, it is nearly impossible to tell if yourtires need alignment. Simply put, even a fraction of a degree can affect yourtires alignment and technology is needed to diagnose your tire’s alignmentsituation. It’s better not to wait until your tires are prematurely worn downto get your alignment fixed, but tackle the problem early and secure a longertire life and save yourself some money down the road.
Camber, Toeand Caster
Wheel alignment can be simplified into three main elements:Camber, Toe, and Caster. Camber angle can be described as the angle in degreesthat the tire is tilted along a vertical axis. A camber angle of zero degreeswould be the wheel aligned vertically perpendicular to the surface, meaning thetire is aligned perfectly straight up and down. This is ideal for even tirewear and longer tire life.
Toe angle is the angle that the tires are pointing inward oroutward when you look top-down at your vehicle. It is easy to visualize toeangle if you picture yourself walking with your toes pointing out or pointinginward (pigeon toed). Maintaining correct toe angle is important to reduce wearon tire edges, due to scrubbing against the surface of the road.
Caster is the hardest to visualize, and is the angle createdby the steerings pivot point from the front to theback of the vehicle. Car racers will often adjust their caster angle tooptimize performance in certain driving situations.