Last time we talked about how excessive positive or negative toe can hurt your car tires and make the wear out rapidly. In that article, linked below, we talked that when you take your car to an alignment specialist, he will check various dimensions and characteristics of the suspension of your car. Among those, besides toe in/out setting, is camber in or camber out setting. It is also called negative or positive camber, just like toe, and if done to excessively, it has adverse effects on your car’s handling, sometimes even making it unsafe for driving, and also can prematurely wear your tires out.
RELATED: Negative And Positive Toe Settings
Simply put, camber is the angle of the tire, compared to the flat ground. So if the tire is leaning outwards from the top most side, it’s called positive camber. And if the top most edge of the tire is leaning inwards, towards the engine of the car, it’s called negative camber. If the tire is standing straight, making a 90 degree angle with the surface, it will be zero camber. Have a look at the photo below, to fully understand how it works. Usually, the camber is kept negative, at front wheels specially, to compensate the body roll and counter-act the forced positive camber that occurs when cornering.
Now let’s talk how it effects your driving tire wear.
As mentioned above, generally the camber is kept in negative to counter-act car’s cornering behavior. It means, the tire is slightly inwards from the top most side, and when the car corners, let’s say to left, all the weight of the car will push outwards to the right side. This will make the right side shock and spring to compress to compensate the cornering speed, and this in return will bring the negative camber of right side tire to zero camber, making the contact patch of the tire fully bite and press on the tarmac.
Excessive negative camber will however eat the insides of your tires. The outside will be far less wear and tear. Same is the case with positive camber. It will wear outsides of your car tires far rapidly than the insides. That is why you need to rotate your tires, to ensure evenly wear and tear of the tires.