Camber, Toe, and Caster: Understanding Your Vehicle Repair

A mechanic is using a device on a red car's tire

If you’re not a mechanic yourself, it’s difficult to understand all the complicated lingo used at a car repair shop. Big Chief Tire is your resource for auto service and repair, and anything else vehicle-related. We want you to feel right at home when you’re at our shop, and we’ll teach you anything you don’t already know and answer any questions you have while we’re working on your vehicle. Here’s the difference between camber, toe, and caster for your next repair visit.

What Is a Camber?

Camber is the angle at which a vehicle’s tire makes contact with the ground. Camber is important because it not only affects how your tires wear, it also impacts traction, braking, and stability. Camber can either be positive or negative, both of which have an effect on your vehicle’s drivability.

Positive camber creates greater traction on the front and rear wheels and increases braking when turning a corner. The vehicle has more instability when driving in a straight line, and there’s reduced traction for accelerating and braking in a straight line. It also leads to early tire wear, meaning you’ll have to replace sooner.

Negative camber increases a vehicle’s stability and requires less effort to steer and turn. It offers reduced traction when turning a corner, braking, and accelerating in a straight line. However, it too causes tires to become worn prematurely.

What Is a Toe on a Car?

A toe on a car is actually not a component at all; also called tracking, toe is the angle at which a vehicle’s wheels sit in relation to the body of the vehicle. If the wheels are “toe-in,” this means that they are angled toward the center of the vehicle. Wheels that are “toe-out” are angled away from the center of the vehicle and towards its outer body. Both of these issues can make steering, braking, and driving in a straight line extremely difficult; ideally, a car’s toe will be straight and not angled at all.

What Is a Caster on a Car?

A caster on a car is also not an actual component, but it refers to the top-to-bottom angle of the component that attaches the vehicle’s interior frame to the wheels. It’s also called a caster angle and like camber, it can also be positive or negative. A vehicle performs best when the caster angle is at 0 degrees, and if it’s off-kilter even by a marginal amount, your car will have much less stability and maneuverability on the road.

Schedule Your Next Vehicle Repair at Big Chief Tire in Jacksonville, FL

At Big Chief Tire, we not only want to make sure your vehicle is running as smoothly as possible, we’re also dedicated to helping our customers understand the confusing ins and outs of repairs. We want you to trust us with your car, and that starts with full transparency. Contact us today to schedule your vehicle service appointment.

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