A wheel alignment is a series of mechanical adjustments made
to a vehicle’s steering and suspension system. Contrary to popular
belief, wheel alignment generally does not cause or reduce vibrations.
Additionally, drivers may not realize their vehicles are out of alignment, as
some wearing angles can be enough out of specification to wear tires, but may
not offer drivers enough feedback to be noticed. It’s a good idea to have
your vehicle’s wheel alignment checked by a professional at least once each
The goal of wheel alignment is to adjust your car’s
suspension and steering systems so all the tires are aimed in the same
direction as the geometric centerline of your vehicle, and to ensure your
vehicle’s steering wheel is centered.
If you would like to have your wheel alignment evaluated, your nearby AAA Car Care location will check it for FREE!
alignment consists of three primary adjustments:
Toe - Toe affects
the way your vehicle handles and is a wearing angle. Too much toe-in or toe-out can virtually erase
the tread on your tires. It is
just like scrubbing a pencil eraser back and forth on a rough surface!
Camber - Similar to
toe, camber also affects handling and is a wearing angle. If your vehicle’s camber angles are
incorrectly adjusted your tires can quickly wear on the edges, which may not be
appropriate for street driving and enhancing tread life.
Caster - Caster
affects handling and on-center feel. It
is more of a handling angle than a wearing angle, but incorrect angles can
create odd wear patterns.
When adjusted properly to vehicle manufacturer
specifications, these three angles work
together to insure a straight tracking vehicle that steers and handles
correctly, does not pull to one side or the other, and extends the life of your
aligned vehicle will pay you several additional dividends, including:
lasting suspension components due to reduced wear and tear
levels of driver fatigue