Wheel Alignment refers to an
adjustment of a car's suspension.
The thrust angle (as shown in the
diagram above) is an imaginary line
drawn perpendicular to the rear
It compares the direction that the
rear axle is aimed with.
Looking at a car from above, you
would draw the thrust line
perpendicular to the rear axle.
This identifies the direction in
which the rear wheels want to roll.
If the thrust angle aims to the
right, this is called a positive
If the thrust angle aims to the left,
this is negative thrust angle.
A positive thrust angle will try to
steer the vehicle to the left, while a
negative thrust angle will try
to steer the vehicle to the right.
Wheel alignment is also referred
to as tracking.
It is not an adjustment of the tires
or the wheels themselves.
The key to proper alignment is
adjusting the angles of the tires
which affects how they make
contact with the road.
Three basic angles contribute to
proper wheel alignment:
camber, caster, and toe.
the angle of the front
tires when viewed from the
front of the car.
When the angle of the tire
slants away from vertical in either
direction, it can be a sign of
When your car's suspension and
all of the steering components are
lined up and straight, the
wheels are aligned.
Even so, it's a good idea to have your
alignment checked once a year.
Getting a tire rotation at the same
time is also recommended.
Your mechanic will typically
recommend doing the wheel
alignment every 2 - 3 years.
The wheel alignment is also
recommended when new tires
experience any of the
following problems, check
with your mechanic for an
Correct alignment is critical to safely
controlling your vehicle, braking
stability, extending tire life,
and ensuring a comfortable