So you’ve just taken your car back from the tyre shop, where they also helped you do tyre alignment on your car. But now you may be wondering, what exactly are they adjusting on your car?
What is done?
When your car is taken for tyre alignment, there are 3 main things that are adjusted to make sure that your car can drive properly, which is the camber, caster and toe. All three of them serve a different purpose, but each one of them is crucial enough that having just one out of alignment can severely affect the handling of your car.
Camber is how much your tyres tilts inwards or outwards from your car, where it affects which part and how much contact of your tyres with the road. Neutral camber means that your tyre is fully straight, where negative means your tyre is slanted into your car, and positive means your tyre is slanted away from your car.
Most cars have neutral camber, so that they can maintain proper grip with the road, whereas sports cars have a little bit of negative camber, to help them get more grip when cornering at high speeds.
Caster is the angle between your steering axis and the suspension components of your car, where neutral means that the angle is perfectly upright in line with your car. Positive caster means that your suspension will be angled to the front of your car, and negative caster means that your suspension will be angled to the back of your car.
Most cars from the factory come with neutral camber, but sports cars might have positive caster to improve their handling. Caster is one that can easily affect how your car handles. But caster can’t be as easily adjusted as camber as toe.
Toe is how much your tyres point inwards or outwards in parallel to the road, where toe in means that your tyres will be faced inwards to your car, and this can help keep your car driving straight, and toe out means that your tyres will be pointed away from your car, increasing its turning ability but will make it harder to drive in a straight line.
Most cars have neutral toe, where the tyre is pointed straight, toe adjustment is mostly unneeded on everyday cars, and are mostly used on sports cars. Too much toe will also wear down your tyres quicker, as they are always rubbing against the road.