Wheel Alignment Explained

Wheel alignment is just how it sounds. It refers to how each wheel is aligned in relation to the other wheels and the centre line of the vehicle.

Measuring wheel alignment involves establishing the exact direction in which each wheel is pointed in all three dimensions and is usually measured to 10ths of millimetres and 10ths of degrees.

How accurately your car's wheels are aligned has a significant effect on how the car handles, its driving comfort, fuel economy, and how quickly your tyres wear out.

Using highly advanced equipment, such as the equipment we have in our branches, the following aspects of wheel alignment can be measured and adjusted.

Alignment (toe in and out)

The toe measurement is the difference in the distance between the front of the tyres and the back of the tyres. Toe-in means that the fronts of the tyres are closer to each other than the rears. Toe-out is just the opposite.


Caster is the forward or backward tilt of the upper ball joint relative to the lower ball joint. When viewed from the side of the vehicle, if the top of the pivot is leaning toward the rear of the car, then the caster is positive. If it is leaning toward the front, it is negative.


Camber is the angle of the wheel when viewed from the front of the vehicle. If the top of the wheel is leaning out from the car, then the camber is positive, if it's leaning in, then the camber is negative.

Set Back

Set back is the amount by which one front wheel is further back than the other. If the left wheel is further back than the right, setback is negative. If the right wheel is further back than the left, setback is positive.

Thrust Angle

Thrust angle is the direction that the rear wheels are pointing in relation to the centre line of the vehicle. If the thrust line is to the right, the angle is said to be positive. If the thrust line is to the left the angle is negative.

Wheel alignment can also be modified away from the manufacturer's specification as part of a track day wheel alignment setup for high-performance vehicles; so long as you can provide the setting you require.

To enquire whether your local branch has this facility and to arrange an appointment, please follow the Branch locator link.