What is an alignment?

Sterling, VA Auto Alignment Services – Revtech Performance

Alignment is an adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension system. What’s being adjusted is the angle of the tires which will affect how they contact the road. Tire contact is crucial to performance, proper wear and tear, and your safety.


Toe, Camber, and Caster are the terms used to describe the different possible angle adjustments that need to be made to your vehicle’s alignment.


Toe refers to the whether the tire angles inward toward each other or outward away from each other. Think of your own two feet as wheels of a car. If you rotate your ankles inward so that your toes are angled toward each other, this is a Toe in adjustment. Toe out would be if you rotate your ankles away from each other so that your toes are facing somewhat opposite directions.


Camber is the amount of inward or outward angle of the tires when viewed from the front of the vehicle. Tires can find themselves out of proper camber alignment due to wear and tear on ball joints, bearings, or other worn suspension parts.


Caster is the angle seen when viewing your car from the side. A positive caster means that the steering axis leans toward the driver while a negative caster means the steering axis is leaning away from the driver and toward the front bumper of your vehicle.

Tire wear determines the type of alignment needed.

Well trained technicians spot the type of alignment needed based on the visual wear of a tire.

  • Feathering tread is when the tire is almost unworn or sharp on one side and smooth on the other. This is generally caused by poor Toe alignment.
  • Heal/Toe wear occurs when one side of the tire tread wears quickly in a circumferential direction. It’ll look like saw teeth from the side.
  • Camber Wear means that the inside or outside of the tread is more worn than the center tread. A positive or negative camber will cause this.
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