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Vito Brinzo
Staten Island, NY
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OUR BLOG

10/11/2016

Wheel Alignment - Jargon Debunked

Most car-lovers enjoy taking car-maintenance into their own hands. In the last few months, we’ve talked you through how to undertake many aspects of basic maintenance at home - from changing your oil, to understanding your hazard lights, to adjusting fluid levels. But, there’s still one aspect of motor maintenance that many of us do not fully understand - wheel alignment. The specifications for our vehicles’ wheel alignment are made based on complicated physical and mathematical principles that are not necessary for even the most committed car fanatic to understand. Wheel alignment is measured in three aspects - Camber, Caster, and Toe. But what is Camber? What is Caster? And what on earth is Toe? In this blog, your local AMSOIL dealer- Vipasynthetics would like to give you a better understanding of how wheel alignment is measured, by explaining to you the meaning of each of these terms.

Camber

Camber is the degree to which each wheel is perpendicular to the floor or surface on which the car is parked. In order to assess Camber properly, you need to ensure that your vehicle is parked on a completely flat surface, as any gradient will affect your ability to detect subtle deviations from perpendicular. When the tire is perfectly perpendicular, the whole of the underside of the tire will be in contact with the surface, and the weight that it is supporting will be evenly distributed across all of its surface areas. If the top of the wheel points in, this is called ‘negative camber.' This provides benefits for handling, especially during corners, but means that one side of the wheel tends to get worn down more quickly than the other, reducing the lifespan of your tires, increasing the frequency of replacements and increasing the long-term cost. On the other hand, if the bottom of the wheel is closer to the body of the car, then this is called ‘negative camber.' This reduces your vehicle’s cornering abilities and is not a preferable setting for most regular vehicles. Setting the ‘Camber’ of your wheels means finding a balance between performance and longevity. If you are looking to optimize your vehicle’s performance, the best way to do this is by investing in a full synthetic motor oil change. Call your local AMSOIL Dealer - Vipasynthetics, today at 718 948 6384, to find about where to purchase these products near you.

Caster

This is the angle created at the steering pivot when looking from the hood to the trunk of the vehicle. Usually, these are positively angled - this means that if you drew a line through the pivots, it would reach the road surface slightly ahead of the tire. In this situation, the wheels tend to self-center in line with the caster angle. This improves that car’s directional stability, making it easier to drive, but less responsive. In models with a particularly positive caster angle, power steering is usually required.

Toe

Toe is a simple concept to understand. It is the angle of the wheels in relation to the car if you were to look down on them from above. Incorrect toe is often the culprit for uneven wear and reduced tire life. When wheels point either in or out, instead of facing straight forward, the pressure across them is unevenly distributed, causing uneven wear. However, sometimes is it worth sacrificing a little tire longevity for improved performance. When the tires turn in and face each other, this is called ‘positive toe’. This makes cornering at speeds more challenging but makes vehicles easier to drive on largely straight roads. The opposite situation, in which the tires point away from each other, is called ‘negative toe’. This increases cornering ability but reduces straight line stability. The engineers who designed your vehicle will have decided upon the most appropriate settings for each of these parameters. They will have based their models on the average person’s motoring needs, such as taking the kids to school, going on vacation etc. If you feel that your vehicle’s performance could benefit from adjustment, speak to your mechanic before making any changes.

Synthetic Oil Change in Staten Island

A great way to optimize your vehicle’s performance and increase its longevity is by making the switch to a synthetic motor oil. Experts have designed these bespoke products so that they deliver superior lubrication, protection from wear, and heat-management to your engine. Call your local AMSOIL Dealer - Vipasynthetics today at 718 948 6384 and find out how you could benefit from this new, innovative technology or take a look at the online store.
CONTACT

 718-948-6384


 3494 Richmond Ave 
Staten Island, NY 10312 
United States
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