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The in's and out's of camber

Demystifying Camber: Unraveling the Tilted Wheel Mystery

Camber is a term tossed around in the automotive world, often leaving everyday drivers scratching their heads. In simple terms, camber refers to the tilt of a car’s wheels. It’s a crucial concept influencing how a vehicle handles stability and even tire wear. Let’s break it down for a clearer picture.

Understanding Camber:

  • When viewed from the front or rear, a Camber is the angle between a tire’s vertical axis and its perpendicular surface.
  • A wheel with zero camber is perfectly vertical. In contrast, a positive and negative camber means a tilt outward or inward.


Positive vs. Negative Camber:

  1. Positive Camber:
    • Wheels tilt outward at the top.
    • Often seen in off-road vehicles for stability and load-bearing.
    • More can lead to better handling on regular roads.
  1. Negative Camber:
    • Wheels tilt inward at the top.
    • It is common in high-performance and sports cars for better cornering.
    • It may cause inner tire wear but improves tire contact during turns.


How Camber Influences Driving:

  1. Handling and Stability:
    • Negative camber boosts grip in turns, evenly distributing the tire’s contact patch.
    • Positive camber enhances stability, especially in vehicles with a higher centre of gravity.
  1. Tire Wear:
    • Too much negative camber can cause inner tire wear.
    • Too much positive camber can result in outer tire wear.
    • Regular alignment checks are crucial to avoid uneven tire wear.
  1. Performance Driving:
    • Performance cars often feature negative camber for optimal tire contact during aggressive maneuvers.
    • Adjustable camber kits allow enthusiasts to fine-tune settings based on driving preferences.


Adjusting Camber:

While most cars come with fixed camber settings, adjustable kits are available for enthusiasts seeking to tweak their vehicle’s performance. These kits allow for personalized adjustments to suit specific driving styles or conditions.

Understanding camber gives us a peek into the intricate dance between a vehicle and the road. Whether you’re a casual driver or a car enthusiast, knowing how camber affects handling, stability, and tire wear provides valuable insights into the science behind a car’s performance. Striking the right balance is vital, ensuring a safe and enjoyable driving experience for everyone.


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