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Tire Alignment Basics: Camber, Caster, and Toe

Tire Alignment Basics: Camber, Caster, and Toe

In this blog, we define camber, caster, and toe as they relate to your tire alignment.

Tire alignment services are a standard part of any vehicle’s maintenance routine. While many drivers are unfamiliar with their car’s particular alignment settings, some auto enthusiasts have specific preferences for their tires’ camber, caster, and toe settings. If you’re a tire alignment newbie, don’t fret! In this blog, we define camber, caster, and toe as they relate to your tire alignment. Keep this information in mind the next time you visit your local auto mechanic for tire alignment services.

Positive and Negative Camber

Your tires’ camber settings refer to each tire’s vertical angle. To visualize camber, think about your car’s two front tires. When tires have a positive camber, the top of each tire is angled away from the car’s center. The tires are angled slightly to form a “V” shape. Negative camber means the opposite: the top of each tire is slightly inward, and the tires are angled to create an “A” shape. Zero camber means that the tires are perfectly vertical and parallel.

Caster Settings are Vital for Proper Tire Alignment

Caster angles can be a bit trickier to conceptualize. In cars with dual ball joint suspension, each tire has an upper and lower ball joint. The imaginary line drawn between these two joints is called the steering axis. When wheels have a neutral caster setting, the steering axis is entirely vertical. Your car’s caster settings can have a significant impact on steering, and proper tire alignment and caster settings provide greater directional stability and control.

Toe In vs. Toe Out

Finally, your mechanic will consider whether your tires are “toe in” or “toe out.” This refers to whether your tires are angled inward or outward when looked at from above. You can picture wheels in a toe-in or toe-out position by looking at your feet. If your tires look like the feet of someone standing with their heels together, they’re toe out. If they look like the feet of someone standing with their toes together, your tires are toe in.

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 30th, 2021 at 10:54 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.