What Alignment Adjustments Do

Alignments are an extremely common repair that usually are done when new tires are bought, or when the vehicle rides incorrectly. To understand why alignments do what they do, you need to understand some basic terminologies.

Toe is the direction in which the front of your wheels point. Think of it just like your own toes and how they point. Do your toes point straight forward? Do your toes point out? How the toe of your wheels is set controls if the vehicle over-steers or under-steers.

Camber controls how your tires lean. Back to the analogy of feet, consider where you place your weight. Do you stand flat or on the edges of foot? A vehicle with positive camber (wheels leaning out from the top) make a more stable ride. Negative camber (wheels leaning in from the top) have better turning ability.

Caster controls stability and turning. Perhaps the best way to think of caster is like forks on a bike. The forks are turned slightly back in order to increase the stability of the bike. If you put the forks at 0 degrees, you’d be able to turn a lot quicker, but you’d probably make the bike so unstable it couldn’t be ridden. Your car is similar. by adjusting how your suspension components sit, you adjust how stable the vehicle is. Setups that are too stable, however, prevents the vehicle from turning. A happy medium is always the goal here.

Questions? Call Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, at 704-545-4597