Wheel Alignment Basics

Camber, Caster, and Toe

Understand how wheel alignment affects your vehicle and look for signs of misaligned wheels. This preventative maintenance routine can improve your handling, fuel economy, and tire lifespan. Explore ways to fix these issues and enjoy quality services in Springfield, Virginia.

Three Key Alignment Angles

Your car’s wheels can be aligned in a number of angles to accommodate uneven terrain and sudden impacts. Without routine adjustments, your wheels can be knocked out of alignment. Here are the three basic angles that wheels can be aligned:

  1. Camber
  2. Caster
  3. Toe

When you view the front of your vehicle, the camber is the angle of the wheels leaning inwards or outwards. A positive camber means the top of your wheel is angled to the outside of your vehicle. A negative camber is the opposite — when the top of the wheel is angled toward the body of your car. The camber needs to be even on both sides to avoid your vehicle pulling to one side.

Caster measures the angle of the steering pivot when viewed from the side of the vehicle. The caster of your vehicle keeps it moving in a straight line. A professional mechanic will ensure your caster is equal and isn’t too negative.

Finally, the toe is the difference between the distances of the front and back of the tires. If your tires are toe-in, which means the front edges are closer than the back end, it can create uneven tire wear. Toe-out occurs when there is a longer front gap and can cause similar wear issues.

Signs of Misalignment

It can be difficult to spot subtle alignment issues without proper measuring equipment. Ask a mechanic to measure your wheel alignment for accurate results. One of the most obvious signs that you can spot is uneven tire wear. Check your tires to see if the wear pattern is greater on one side than the other and stop by a local auto shop for wheel alignment service.

Quality Services in Springfield, Virginia

Friendly customer service, high-tech equipment and expert technicians are all ready for you at Cardinal Plaza Shell. Schedule a service today to find out if you have a wheel alignment issue. Our technicians can quickly adjust your wheels to extend their lifetime and provide you with improved handling and fuel economy.

Written by Developer Autoshop

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