Understanding Toe And Camber: Tire Alignment

In order for your car to function properly and for your tires to wear as they should, you need to make sure that your tires are in proper alignment. This alignment will vary somewhat depending on what kind of vehicle you drive. Still, if your tires get out of alignment, you may wear out your tires prematurely. 

What Causes Tires to Get out of Alignment?

Normal driving should not cause your tires to fall out of alignment, but hitting potholes, curbs, or other rough driving can. Also, if the mechanical components of your wheel start to wear out, your wheels may not hold their alignment like they should. In any case, you will know your tires are out of alignment if your steering wheel pulls one way or the other; you may also notice a wobble in your steering wheel.


There are different measures of how a tire should sit, and one of these is camber, which is basically a measure of whether the tire leans inward or outward. In order for the tire to run flat when there is a load in your car, it should lean slightly out so that when you get in your car, there is no tilt. On the other hand, your tire can lean too far out, in which case, you will see more wear on the outside of your tire rather than the inside. If you have inward camber, you will see more wear on the inside than the outside of the tire.


The toe of your tire refers to the front edge of your tire when viewed from above. If the front of the tire is angled outward or inward, your car will not behave like it should. You may have some situations where you have one tire that has poor toe alignment, you may have both facing inward or outward, or facing different directions. Running into objects can cause poor toe alignment. Bad toe alignment will cause poor wear and effect the handling of your car. 

If your tires are out of alignment, it does not take too long for your tires to wear so badly that you have no choice but to replace your tire. Also, bad alignment can strain the mechanical components of your wheel, causing undue wear. In any case, you should pay attention to the steering wheel pull and vehicle wobble. You should also inspect your tires for unusual wear and then take your car to a tire sales and repair shop to have the wear corrected.