Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Wheel alignment and tire damage

Wheel alignment and tire damage

A four-wheel alignment aligns multiple angles of your tires to ensure the vehicle drives straight ahead with minimal tire wear. If you drive with your wheels out of alignment, you’ll wear out your tires. So improper wheel alignment and tire damage go hand-in-hand. You actually save money by driving with your wheels alignment.

Here are the most common problems that cause wheel alignment and tire damage issues

Camber is out of spec

camber and tire wear

The Camber alignment angle refers to the inward or outward angle of the tire when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Too much inward (negative) camber will cause accelerated wear on the inside shoulder area of the tire. Too much outward (positive) camber will cause accelerated wear on the outside shoulder of the tire. Improper camber is often caused by worn wheel bearings, worn ball joints, worn strut mounts, bent control arm, or worn control bushings.

Toe is out of spec

What is toe

When the tires don’t point straight ahead, the outer or inner edge of the tread blocks is being “erased” by scuffing along the road surface. The result is a feathered tread block where the outer edge of each block is thinner than the inner edge. In severe cases, you can actually see the feathering, while in less severe cases you can detect it by running your hand across the tread. A feathered edge on the inside of the tread is a sign of excess toe-in, while a feathered edge on the outside of the tread bar indicates toe-out.

Camber and toe are out of spec

The toe setting is affected by the camber and caster. Because camber is affected by suspension height,  worn springs, worn ball joints, and worn control arm bushings can cause both camber and toe wear.

When the camber and toe are out of spec, the outer tread

camber and toe wear

Tire wear from camber and toe problems

blocks will be almost or completely worn away, while the inner tread blocks will be feathered.

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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