• The Tyre Mart

What You Need to Know About Wheel Alignment


Tyre alignment, also known as wheel alignment, can help your tyres perform properly and help them last longer. It can also improve handling and prevent your vehicle from pulling in one direction or vibrating strangely on the road.


WHAT IS TYRE ALIGNMENT?

Alignment refers to an adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension – the system that connects a vehicle to its wheels. It is not an adjustment of the tyres or wheels itself. The key to proper alignment is adjusting the angles of the tyres which affects how they make contact with the road.


HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A TYRE ALIGNMENT?

There are a couple ways to tell if your car needs a tyre alignment. If you've noticed one or more of these indicators, you should have your alignment checked by a licensed service technician immediately. 

  • Uneven tread wear

  • Vehicle pulling to the left or right

  • Your steering wheel is off centre when driving straight

  • Steering wheel vibration


CAMBER, TOE, & CASTER

When a technician checks your tyre alignment, he or she is mainly concerned with three things:


1. CAMBER

This is the inward or outward angle of the tyre when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Too much inward or outward tilt, also known as negative and positive camber, respectively, indicates improper alignment and will need to be adjusted. Worn bearings, ball joints, and other wheel-suspension parts may contribute to camber misalignment.


2. TOE

Distinct from camber alignment, toe alignment is the extent to which your tyres turn inward or outward when viewed from above. If that’s confusing, just stand up and look down at your feet. Angle them inward toward the centre of your body. When the tyres on your car are angled the same way (remember, we’re thinking in terms of bird's-eye view), we call this toe-in alignment. Angle your feet outward and you have toe-out alignment. Both require adjustment.


3. CASTER

Your caster angle helps balance steering, stability, and cornering. Specifically, it’s the angle of your steering axis when viewed from the side of your vehicle. If you have positive caster, the steering axis will tilt toward the driver. Negative caster, on the other hand, means the steering axis tilts toward the front of your vehicle.


WHY TYRE ALIGNMENT MATTERS