Saturday, 3 May 2014

Car Steering Alignment (Camber Bolt Scam)

I admit that this will be a little off topic especially on my motorcycle major blog but why not as long as it is something useful?

I just recently had my mom's car suspension damper changed and of cause have the steering wheel aligned properly. This give me an idea to write this up and clear off some mind about what is actually wheel alignment?

First of all, a car suspension consist of a damper and a spring. Our wheel is attached to the damper unit where 2 bolts hold it in place. Normally one has to get their car steering alignment done if he had an accident and something has to do with the wheel; most of his/her driving is on bumpy and moon like road; or it is just simply the steering bar has been ware off.

Most people must have the experience that when you come to a tire shop to do steering wheel alignment, the shop will tell you to purchased camber bolt because your camber already run out, if you don't, they are not able to do alignment. Well this is some tactic use to earn extra sales by most tire shop now days. Unless your car have involved in a serious accident or damaged on the wheel site, else, camber adjustment to get alignment done is just simply hilarious. Let me show you why.

Wheel Camber is how of the angle of a wheel positioned vertically from the center axis of mounting. Negative camber improve high speed cruising and high speed cornering stability but increase steering wheel turning afford. Positive camber improve low speed turning ability only but sacrifice every aspect while on high speed, a neutral camber will be 0. Most normal car has a 0 degree camber angel where some more sport cars come with slightly negative camber angel as stock. As  a result, adjusting camber angle is just simply unnecessary and if you have step into a situation where your camber angel already run out, that will be time to change your suspension or wish bone structure as they already damaged.

A bent camber bolt

Changing to a aftermarket camber bolt can be hazardous as most of the aftermarket parts are off OEM specification if not choose correctly. It can bent easily as the quality of steel is not on par. How it works, it is pretty simple, insert the camber nut to the upper insert of your damper unit and adjust the wheel camber angle by referring to a water level gauge.

Just bare in mind that whenever you go for alignment, do not let the shop to fool you and be another victim of this scam. Happy driving!