Wheel alignment is an important aspect of car maintenance that ensures a vehicle's safety and performance. It involves adjusting the angles of the wheels so they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Knowing some terms related to wheel alignment can help you understand potential issues with your vehicle. Here are five wheel alignment words you need to know.
Caster refers to the angle between the steering axis and the vertical, which determines how easily the wheels turn. Caster also influences camber, the inward or outward tilt of the tire relative to vertical. The caster angle can be adjusted for a vehicle's steering system to operate more efficiently and safely. Adjusting the caster requires making changes to two areas: changing shims within suspension components or adjusting tie-rod ends where they connect with steering arms.
Camber is an element of wheel alignment that impacts how a vehicle drives. As previously mentioned, it refers to the inward or outward tilt of the tire relative to vertical and can significantly impact how well your car handles corners, brakes, and accelerates. The camber angle can be adjusted for suspension components to operate more efficiently, improve comfort, and perform better.
Toe is another component of wheel alignment that affects how a vehicle handles. It refers to the angle between the wheels when viewed from above and can significantly impact tire wear and overall performance. Toe is measured in fractions of an inch (such as 1/8-inch toe), and it's recommended to align all four wheels with each other for maximum efficiency and safety.
Thrust angle, also known as thrust line or thrust vector alignment, is an aspect of wheel alignment that ensures a vehicle’s safety and performance. The thrust angle is the direction in which power from the engine is applied to the wheels, and it affects handling characteristics and acceleration capabilities. It can be adjusted through suspension components, such as tie-rod ends, that connect with steering arms. Another option is replacing worn-out bushings inside control arms.
Steering Axis Inclination (SAI) is an important aspect of wheel alignment that affects a vehicle’s handling. It refers to the angle between the steering axis and vertical as viewed from the side and can greatly impact steering response, ride comfort levels, and fuel economy. Measuring SAI requires specialized tools, such as an angle finder or laser measuring device, which will determine if any adjustments are necessary.
Now that you're aware of these five common wheel alignment terms to know, you can better understand your vehicle. Check out WheelerShip's high-quality selection of Toyota Corolla sport wheels if you need new wheels for your vehicle!