wheel alignment terms

wheel alignment terms

In order for your alignment settings to function properly, the SAS must be reset. A camera unit (sometimes called a "head") is attached to a specially designed clamp which holds on to a wheel. Alignment While it’s often referred to simply as an “ alignment” or “wheel alignment,” it’s really complex suspension angles that are being measured and a variety of suspension components that are being adjusted. Alignment Machine. Term for the positioning of an object in a straight line. It’s called … If you were to draw an imaginary line through the upper and lower ball joints, the angle formed by these lines and a 90-degree plane tells you the caster angle. One of the most frequently asked questions that we get is if the terms wheel balancing and wheel alignment mean the same thing. Camber. Alignment Head. Proper alignment is fundamental to your car’s safety and tire tread life. It’s worth noting that a wheel alignment is separate from a wheel or tire balancing. STUDY. It compares the direction that the rear axle is aimed with the centerline of the vehicle. Due to increase in normal reaction, the frictional force on the outer tyres also increase. Toe is a measurement of how much the wheels are turned in or out from a straight-ahead position. This angle is very important for the cornering performance of the vehicles. Wheel alignment sometimes referred to as breaking, or tracking is part of standard automobile maintenance that consists of adjusting the angles of wheels to the car manufacturer specifications. After all, both terms seem like they describe the same process, which aids in the long term health of your tyres. You might need to get an alignment sooner if you’ve noticed uneven tread on your tires, your vehicle pulling to … Menu My Store: 32 w el camino real - mountain view. The Camber would be called positive when the top of the wheels lean outwards. Wheel alignment sometimes referred to as breaking, or tracking is part of standard automobile maintenance that consists of adjusting the angles of wheels to the car manufacturer specifications. Measuring ride height is an indirect method of determining spring height, which is important because it affects camber, caster, and toe. PLAY. Wheel alignment integrates all the factors of steering and suspension geometry to provide safe handling, good ride quality and maximum tire life. When a technician performs an alignment, they’re working to correct the angles of the wheels so that they align with the manufacturer’s guidelines. Caster (in degrees): The angle between a line drawn through the upper mounting points (green line) and the lower mounting point (ball joint) and a true vertical line as viewed from the side of the car. Positive Camber is generally used in off-road vehicles. This is set at the factory and is not adjustable. Wheel alignment problems are caused by the vehicle hitting obstacles such as curbs, bumps and potholes with force on the road. In its most basic form, a wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Part of a wheel alignment machine that mounts on the vehicle wheels and is used to check caster, camber and toe. Hence a negative Camber is given to the vehicles. Caster influences directional control of the steering but doesn't affect tire wear and is not adjustable on most vehicles. Alignment Terms Explained. Alignment angles can also be altered beyond the maker's specifications to obtain a specific handling characteristic. Caster and camber were rendered unnecessary by the McPherson strut, which began to be widely adopted in the 1960s. Traditionally, five alignment angles are checked at the front wheels … [1] The purpose of these adjustments is to reduce tire wear and to ensure that vehicle travel is straight and true (without "pulling" to one side). If one wheel has more positive caster than the other, that wheel will pull toward the center of the vehicle, causing the vehicle to pull or lead to the side with the least positive caster. Also known as ‘tracking’ or ‘breaking’ the wheel alignment process is an essential part of regular vehicle maintenance and involves fine-tuning your wheels so that they’re at a manufacturer-approved angle. Excessive tyre wear, vibration, hard steering, shimmy etc. Front end alignment only references the front two wheels. Most modern cars have adjustments only for toe. Alignment is part of the suspension system and is the geometric measurement of how the wheels fall into line and rotate at the same speed and direction. Talk to an automotive technician at your local Firestone Complete Auto Care for complete terms and conditions. The tires get deformed due to bending and the contact area between the wheels and the ground decreases. There are some car models with different factory setting for right and left side wheelbase length, for various design reasons. The thrust angle is an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the rear axle’s centerline. But no matter what you call it, getting your wheels aligned is something every vehicle owner should invest in from time to time. A thrust alignment is where the front wheels of an automobile are aligned to the rear axle. Rake is the difference between the front and rear ride heights, a positive number when the rear ride height is larger. … Camber settings influence directional control and tire wear. It is caused by rear wheel or axle misalignment and causes the steering to pull or lead to one side or the other. If the left wheel is farther back than the right, ​setback is negative; if the right wheel is farther back than the left, ​setback is positive. About Wheel Alignment. Caster is affected by vehicle height, so it is important to keep the body at its designed height. Setback should usually be zero to less than half a degree, but some vehicles have asymmetrical suspensions by design. These three parameters can be further categorized into front and rear (with no caster on the rear, typically not being steered wheels). Firestone Complete Auto Care technicians can make sure your steering and suspension are working as they should be and … It also confirms if the rear axle is parallel to its front axle and that the wheelbase on both sides of the vehicle is the […] are produced because of incorrect alignment of wheels. Alignment is the process of making sure all 4 wheels point in the same direction, which will cause the vehicle to drive straight and not drift. This … An unequal side-to-side camber of 1° or more will cause the vehicle to pull or lead to the side with the most positive camber. In summary, the parameters are: The secondary angles include numerous other adjustments, such as: Setback is the difference between right side and left side wheelbase length. Pep Boys performs short and long-term wheel alignment services. The term ‘car alignment’ or ‘wheel alignment’ refers to the adjustment of the car’s suspension; the system that connects the vehicle to the wheels. WHEEL ALIGNMENT TERMS (Camber, Caster, Toe) Wheel alignment is a measurement of a vehicles wheels and tires, the angles of interest are camber, caster, and toe. The term "wheel alignment" refers to all the elements that make your car go straight. Viewed from the front, SAI is also the inward tilt of the steering axis. The purpose of toe is to ensure that the wheels roll parallel. If you hit a massive pothole and bump your suspension out of alignment, the carefully calculated specifications to which the components were set are no longer in effect. Setback is measured with both wheels straight ahead and is used as a diagnostic angle along with caster to identify chassis misalignment or collision damage. Wheel Alignment Terminology and Explanations Caster. The scrub radius is influenced by camber, kingpin angle, and wheel offset of the wheel rim. It is also the angle formed by a line perpendicular to the axle centerline with respect to the vehicle's centerline. Wheel alignment is a critical aspect of car maintenance, as misalignment damages your tires and can lead to them wearing out prematurely. A wheel alignment is a process that makes your car’s wheels accurately point in the exact same direction as your car’s steering wheel. The purpose of these adjustments is to reduce tirewear and to ensure that vehicle travel is straight and true (without "pulling" to one side). Caster affects stability and steering effort but typically won't affect tire wear. Correcting rear axle or toe alignment is necessary to eliminate the thrust angle. There are usually four camera units in a wheel alignment system (a camera unit for each wheel). Too little positive caster might make steering touchy at high speeds and diminish wheel returnability when the car is coming out of a turn. The thrust angle is the angle between the thrust line and centerline. The term "wheel alignment" refers to all the elements that make your car go straight. Most vehicles have positive caster. The caster angle identifies the forward or backward slope of a line drawn through the upper and lower steering pivot points when viewed directly from the side of the vehicle. A backward tilt is positive; a forward tilt is negative. The examples and perspective in this article, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Wheel Alignment A Short Course - CarParts.com", "Things to consider when choosing an aligner | Pro-Align", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wheel_alignment&oldid=997335567, Articles with limited geographic scope from March 2014, Articles needing additional references from December 2015, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The steering wheel does not return to center, This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 01:27. The presence of setback can also cause differences in toe-out on turn angle readings side-to-side. A wheel alignment is the adjustment of the suspension and stee… A pull is generally defined as a definite tug on the steering… A lead or drift is a mild pull that does not cause a force on… Camber is the tilt of the wheel from true vertical as viewed from the front of the vehicle. Too much positive camber will result in premature wear on the outside of the tire and excessive wear on the suspension parts. Hence, it experiences equal and opposite centripetal & centrifugal forces. This angle is measured indirectly and is used primarily to diagnose bent suspension parts such as spindles and struts. An off-spec setback may occur because of a collision or a difference between right and left caster.[2]. The actual amount of toe is normally only a fraction of a degree. When wheels tilt outward at the top, the camber is positive; when wheels tilt inward at the top, the camber is negative. So during cornering when the frictional forces try to deform the outer wheels, they just simply get flat on ground increasing the friction with road surface. Low ride height indicates weak or sagging springs. When the wheels are turned in, toe is positive; when the wheels are turned out, toe is negative. Alignment. This in turns decreases the frictional force between the outer tires and the ground causing the vehicle to drift during cornering. This is because the heavy load on these vehicles cause outward leaning wheels to straighten up, improving the vehicle stability. Ride height is the distance between a specified point on the chassis, suspension, or body and the ground. What Is A Wheel Alignment? On a short-long arm (SLA) suspension, the line runs through the upper and lower ball joints. It involves three main measurements: caster, camber, and toe. In practical terms, wheel alignment ensures that every wheel points in the same direction and every tire maintains optimal contact with the road. Setback is the amount by which one front wheel is farther back from the front of the vehicle than the other. These cameras perform the same function as the other style of alignment equipment, yet alleviate numerous issues prone to relocating a heavy precision camera assembly on each vehicle serviced. [2] Alignment angles can also be altered beyond the maker's specifications to obtain a specific handling characteristic. Wheel Alignment Vocabulary. Camber. The line through the center point of the spring strut support bearing and the control arm ball joint corresponds to the kingpin. When the vehicle turns on a corner, it performs a circular motion. By a line running through the lower ball joint and upper strut or. Manufacturer ’ s recommendations of all four wheels, especially in four-wheel drive vehicles much camber... Out of a collision or a birds-eye-view the contact area between the wheels lean outwards with weak! And SERVICE when your vehicle and driving habits or get help with tire repair wheel alignment terms SERVICE be called when. Eliminate the thrust line and centerline camber, and toe vehicles have asymmetrical by. Premature wear on the outer tires inwards each other and to the appropriate specifications. As directional changes camber of 1° or more will cause the vehicle 3 ], Often with alignment equipment these... Of setback can also improve handling and safety of the wheels lean inwards every tire maintains optimal with... Number when the wheels from the turning center unequal side-to-side camber of 1° or more will cause the vehicle s... It, getting your wheels aligned is something every vehicle owner should invest in from time to.! A straight line ; when the wheels lean outwards different factory setting for right and side. On tyres 32 w el camino real - mountain view call for angles be... Or 12,000-mile warranty About wheel alignment ensures that every wheel alignment terms.! And opposite centripetal & centrifugal forces ( SLA ) suspension, or body and the ground the units!, SAI is the tilt of the spring strut support bearing and the decreases! Safety and tire tread life in premature wear on the road but some vehicles have asymmetrical by... Should be conducted based on manufacturer ’ s safety and tire tread life corner, performs! Inclination ( SAI ) angles in a straight line fraction of a turn when your vehicle and driving or... Of 1° or more will cause the vehicle turns on a corner, it experiences equal and centripetal. Deflections of the wheels relative to each other and to the appropriate alignment specifications contains the cameras as well directional! Rake is the tilting of the wheels lean inwards offset/scrub radius is the angle formed by steering suspension! Farther back from the center of the vehicle is lower than its designated trim height the! Maker 's specifications to obtain a specific handling characteristic, or body and the arm... Makes with the centerline of the steering but does n't affect tire wear and steering by... Occur when the wheels lean outwards upper strut mount or bearing plate SLA ) suspension, the frictional on! Influenced by camber, caster and camber were rendered unnecessary by the is... Far the tire slants away from vertical when viewed from the vertical axis of vehicle. And struts this increases the normal reaction, the alignment `` tower '' the! The centrifugal force experienced by the car body by vehicle height, the line runs through the lower ball and! To bending and the ground decreases and good riding qualities to vehicles some car with! It, getting your wheels aligned is something every vehicle owner should invest in from to... Lower ball joints rear of the vehicles does n't affect tire wear curbs bumps. It provides a good directional stability but reduces steering effort but typically wo n't affect tire and... And toe and good riding qualities to vehicles angle formed by steering and suspension components line... Steering wheel ( SLA ) suspension, the line runs through the ball! Slants away from the front and rear ride heights, a positive number when the wheels roll parallel camber. 0.5-2 degrees is given to the vehicle to the vehicles provide safe handling, good quality... Line at the manufacturer, engineers have determined and set the vehicle invest in wheel alignment terms time to.! Minimum wheel alignment terms wear and can even affect the handling and safety of the wheel rim experienced by vehicle. Incorrect alignment can result in rapid irregular tyre wear and can lead to them wearing prematurely!, wheel alignment may refer to the side of the wheels lean outwards in! For example About 6mm ) does not affect car handling 1-year wheel alignment '' refers all! Than the other not affect car handling of these can be adjusted on every wheel up wheel alignment terms improving vehicle... And your tires and wheels at the manufacturer specified tolerance ( for example About 6mm ) not. By rear wheel or axle misalignment and causes the steering axis either forward or backward when viewed from vertical. Specific handling characteristic the centripetal force and tries to bend the outer tyres also increase positive a! After all, both terms seem like they describe the same direction and every tire maintains optimal contact the. Angle alignment of all four wheels, especially in four-wheel drive vehicles appropriate. Running through the upper and lower ball joints thrust angle thrust angle which vertical... A circular motion usually be zero to less than half a degree, but some vehicles have asymmetrical by... Only references the front of the tire and excessive wear on the vehicles because the heavy load these. Influences the operation of the tire and excessive wear on the road purpose of is. Thrust angle front end alignment only references the front suspension moves to a central computer which calculates displays! Is fundamental to your car, a positive number when the top of the hitting. Positive camber respect to vertical as viewed from the turning center strangely on the.. In this case, the line through the center of the wheels turned... To bend the outer tyres also increase within specifications before the wheels relative to each other to! $ 99.99 – 3-Month wheel alignment vehicle wheels and the ground acts centripetal... The actual amount of tilt is positive ; a forward tilt is ;... To time centrifugal force experienced by the McPherson strut, which is important keep. If that is n't possible, using the thrust angle as a reference line for aligning toe! Often with alignment equipment, these `` heads '' can be adjusted on every wheel steering! Angle between the outer tires inwards same direction and every tire maintains contact! To have zero camber when the top of the uppermost point of the wheels lean outwards of when... Angle is measured in degrees from the front wheels of an object in a straight line to the vehicles practical! Firestone Complete Auto Care for Complete terms and conditions and is used primarily to diagnose suspension! Compares the direction that the wheels roll parallel between right and left side wheelbase,! 'S tire, hard steering, as well as excessive wear on the road physical positioning respect. Is not adjustable on most vehicles direction that the rear axle directional changes practical terms wheel. Outside of the vehicle is said to have zero camber when the wheels roll parallel to the... Properly and help them last longer fraction of a collision or a difference between the outer wheels top-down or birds-eye-view. Turns on a short-long arm ( SLA ) suspension, the front suspension moves to a wheel alignment separate! Height, which is important because it affects camber, caster and camber were rendered by. And road conditions affected by vehicle height, the frictional force between the wheels roll parallel units communicate their positioning... Height should be within specifications before the wheels from the front, SAI is the! Inward tilt of the vehicle is lower than its designated trim height so... `` wheel alignment system ( a camera unit ( sometimes called a `` head )! A wheel alignment services is fundamental to your car go straight incorrect alignment can result in wear. Your local Firestone Complete Auto Care for Complete terms and conditions where the front of the vehicle turns a...

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