Getting Revenge Against Pot Holes and Proper Wheel Alignment - Boyds Tire

April 29th, 2015

Wheel alignment OhioA highly important factor in ensuring the longevity of your tires is maintaining proper wheel alignment. A car with proper wheel alignment will give a smooth and comfortable ride that will be vibration-free and void of any drifting that can occur, when wheel alignment is incorrect.

When a car is being aligned, it is actually the suspension that is being tuned and not the wheels and tires. However, it is important how your car's wheels and tires are directed and angled in the end. There are four main parts to a proper wheel alignment: the caster, the camber, the toe, and the ride height:

Caster - Caster angle or is the angular displacement from the vertical axis of the suspension of a steered wheel in a car, bicycle or other vehicle, measured in the longitudinal direction. It is the angle between the pivot line (in a car - an imaginary line that runs through the center of the upper ball joint to the center of the lower ball joint) and vertical.

Camber - Camber angle is the angle made by the wheels of a vehicle; specifically, it is the angle between the vertical axis of the wheels used for steering and the vertical axis of the vehicle when viewed from the front or rear. It is used in the design of steering and suspension. If the top of the wheel is farther out than the bottom (that is, away from the axle), it is called positive camber; if the bottom of the wheel is farther out than the top, it is called negative camber.

Toe - In automotive engineering, toe, also known as tracking, is the symmetric angle that each wheel makes with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle, as a function of static geometry, and kinematic and compliant effects. Positive toe, or toe in, is the front of the wheel pointing in towards the centreline of the vehicle. Negative toe, or toe out, is the front of the wheel pointing away from the centreline of the vehicle.

Ride Height - Ride height is the amount of space between the base of an automobile tire and the underside of the chassis. Ground clearance is measured with standard vehicle equipment, and for cars, is usually given with no cargo or passengers.

The uneven wear of your tires is a direct result of improper wheel alignment. If you notice uneven wear on your tires, you can be almost certain that your car needs an alignment. Tell those pot holes to “kiss your asphalt” by having your auto or tire care technician check for proper wheel alignment every time you have your tires rotated.

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101, Tire 101