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Wheel Alignment

Why Wheel Alignment is Important

When the front wheels of a vehicle are correctly aligned, they will roll without dragging or slipping and with a minimum of steering effort.  Tires wear evenly and less strain is placed on front suspension parts.  All this contributes to greater driving safety.

Five angles are involved in proper wheel alignment:  Caster, camber, toe-in, toe-out on turns and steering axis inclination.  Actually, six measurements are involved, since most manufacturers specify the checking of front suspension height before making any adjustments.  Caster, camber, toe-out on turns and steering inclination are measured in degrees and minutes:  Toe-in and suspension height (some models) are adjustable; toe-out on turns and steering axis inclination are factory set and non-adjustable.  On some vehicles, caster and camber are not adjustable.

 

Toe-In

The wheels on the same axle are closer together in the front than they are in the rear.  When toe-in is excessive, the tire wear shows feather edges.

Toe-Out

The wheels on the same axle are closer together in the rear than they are in the front.  Tire wear shows feathered edges.

 

 

Camber

This designates the tilt of the wheel.  Positive camber is when wheels are closer together at point of road contact.  Negative camber is when wheels are closer together at top.  Too much camber results in excessive wear on one side of tyre.

Caster

This is the backward tilt of the axle or inclination of the kingpin at the top.  Too little caster causes the wheel to wander or weave-result, spotty wear.  Excessive caster may cause wheel "fight" or shimmy wear.  Unequal caster causes wheel to pull to one side, resulting in excessive and uneven wear.

 

 

 

 

     

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Last modified: June 24, 2015