Wheel Angles Explained
Camber, Caster, & Toe
These names refer to the angles at which a vehicle’s wheels meet the road. When a car is manufactured, it’s wheels are specifically aligned for optimal performance, but over time they may be pushed a few degrees off of this standard. That’s why wheel alignment service is necessary! Wheel alignment corrects slight misadjustments to protect a vehicle’s ability to drive straight, corner properly, and maintain driver control. Let’s explore each of the three angles to understand how wheel alignment helps your vehicle!
Camber angles are best seen from the front or back of a car. A positive camber would have the top of the wheels sticking out over the bottom, as though they are falling outwards. A negative camber is the opposite. The bottom half of the wheels are pointed out. To optimize control when cornering and increase the contact area between the tire & the road, a negative camber is used.
The caster angle is associated with a vehicle’s steering. The wheels turn left or right around a steering axis, which is never vertical. The caster angle refers to the angle of the steering axis and helps to return the steering wheel to a neutral position after cornering.
Of all three angles, the toe is the most sensitive to road conditions and may fall out of alignment over time. The toe angle is best pictured from a view above a vehicle. If the front wheels face out and the opposite of one another, it is called toe-out. The opposite, toe-in. A neutral position is best for optimal fuel efficiency and minimizing tire wear. But a slight toe-in is best for straight-line driveability. In other words, it can help the car resist minor movements from bumps in the road and continue driving in a straight line.
Professional wheel alignment service checks and corrects these angles to improve overall vehicle performance in a straight line and around corners. It can also reduce tire wear and improve fuel efficiency! To get the benefits of perfectly aligned wheels, bring your vehicle to DK Hardee Automotive today!