Wheel alignment refers to how flat your tyres sit on the ground and how straight they are when going down the road. In technical terms, your vehicle’s wheel alignment can be measured in terms of its camber, its toe and its caster.
Toe-In and Toe-Out (Front and Rear)
Toe-in and toe-out are generally the most understood of all wheel alignment terms. When measuring toe, we’re looking at how parallel the wheels are in relation to each other, especially when viewed from above. If the wheels are closer together at the front, we call that positive or “toe-in.” If the wheels are closer together at the rear, then they’re negative or “toe-out.”
The reason why we have toe-in or toe-out is that the position of the wheels change between the vehicle being parked or in drive. This movement is because of the flexible suspension mountings that shift when the vehicle is in motion. Toe-in or toe-out can normally only be set when the vehicle is stationary, so this movement must be taken into account.
For rear-wheel drive vehicles, the front wheels are set with a small amount of toe-in. This is because the vehicle is being “pushed forward,” which flexes the front wheels backwards or out, on their mountings, as the vehicle is being driven. This causes the front wheels to run parallel while the car is is motion.
Likewise, front-wheel drive vehicles generally have the front wheels set with a small amount of toe-out. This is because the vehicle is, in effect, being “pulled along.” The front wheels flex forward on their mountings to a parallel position.
Dealing with Incorrect Toe
Incorrect toe can cause the following problems for your vehicle:
- Wear on the outside or inside edge of the tyre
- “Feathering” across the tyre tread
- A mis-aligned steering wheel
- Poor handling on the road
- Higher fuel consumption (due to tyre friction)
It varies according to each vehicle, but a lack of wheel alignment can result from incorrect toe, which can occur because your vehicle isn’t correctly adjusted, it’s using the wrong vehicle specifications or calibrations or because its steering components are bent. Remember, you can always bring your car into your shop or to one of our service vans for a proper evaluation, so that we can save you both time and money on future repairs and calibration.
If you feel that your wheels are in need of a realignment, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re available by phone, so you can schedule an appointment either at our shop or with one of our mobile service vans. We promise your vehicle will be given the best care at the best prices!
To schedule an appointment for repairs or maintenance, please give us a call at 0161 464 6537.