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Tire alignment

If you’re talking about alignment, you’re talking about the adjustment of a vehicle's front and rear suspension parts. And it needs to be correct. If the alignment is off, the vehicle isn’t safe to drive. View the animation below to understand the three main adjustments made during alignment:

Caster

Caster is a bit tough to define. If you`re viewing the side of a vehicle, the caster angle identifies the forward or backward slope of a line drawn through the upper and lower steering pivot points. Think of a motorcycle and its front steering forks and front tire. Its angle is towards the rear of the motorcycle, so it has positive caster. Negative is just the opposite. Long story short, positive caster helps your vehicle go straight, much like the motorcycle.

Camber

Camber is the angle of the wheel, in degrees, when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Positive camber is when the top of the wheel is leaning out from the center of the car. Negative camber is when the top of the wheel is leaning into the car. If the wheel leans too far from the center, uneven wear will occur. (However, negative camber helps racing cars improve cornering.)

Toe

Toe is the difference in the distance between the front of the tires and the back of the tires. Usually, tires are set so that they are parallel with each other. If the fronts of the tires are closer, the wheels are toe-in. If the rears of the tires are closer, the wheels are toe-out.

When to Check Alignment

Yes, those never-ending potholes and bumpy railroad crossings are seriously annoying. But they, along with more severe circumstances like a car accident, can knock your vehicle out of alignment. So, be sure to have your alignment checked if :

 

  • You’ve hit something substantial
  • You see a wear pattern developing on the shoulders (outer edges) of the tires
  • You notice a difference in your vehicle’s handling

Although not available online, we may be able to help you find a tire that fits your selection.

Please tell us the year, make and model of the vehicle for which you would like a tire recommendation. Also please let us know which tire features are important to you. Finally, let us know the area of the country where you do most of your driving. This way, we can provide you with our best recommendation.

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