Tire maintenance & safety

Camber thrust: Overview & maintenance

Last updated 10/17/2022 - Originally published 9/23/2020
Written by SimpleTire

Camber thrust is a term that is used to describe one part of the movement of a tire as it rolls. Camber thrust is the movement of a tire perpendicular to the direction it is rolling in. In simple terms, camber thrust, or camber force, acts on a tire in the direction of a tire's sidewall. If a tire is mounted on a vehicle, camber thrust forces a tire left or right. Camber thrust can make a tire roll more or less efficiently, make it better or worse for sport driving, and can positively or negatively affect the life of a tire among other things.

Different tires produce different amounts of camber thrust. Nearly every aspect of a tire affects its camber thrust. The design of the tire from its tread pattern to its height and width changes the camber thrust. The materials a tire is made of, the inner workings of a tire, and the air pressure inside the tire also have an effect on camber thrust.

Quality tires like those recommended by SimpleTire.com have been built to maximize the good effects of camber thrust and to minimize the negative effects. Well-balanced tires-those that experience relatively low camber thrust-can roll more efficiently, resulting in low rolling resistance. They can also potentially last longer because they will wear evenly. Most importantly, tires with low camber thrust have a smaller likelihood of making a vehicle pull to the left or right, which can be very dangerous. On the other hand, tires can also take advantage of higher camber thrust

Positive and Negative Camber

Many drivers who desire or demand a certain amount of performance from their vehicles will customize, or set the camber of tires to offer a desired feel and performance. This is especially true for those who race their vehicles. In an effort to offer more lateral stability to a car or truck, the camber can be adjusted to a negative camber, which means that the top of the tire is angled inwards toward the centerline of the vehicle. Such a camber is often incorporated in the world of rally racing in an effort to maximize stability and traction.

The opposite scenario, where the tops of the wheels are angled outwards, is known as positive camber. This is also a technique used in professional racing. Both negative and positive camber can improve performance depending on the kind of racing and the racing surface.

How to Maintain Camber Thrust

It is important that the camber thrust on all four tires is equal on passenger vehicles. Having your tires aligned will ensure that the camber thrusts of all of your tires are equal. Differing camber thrusts on your tires can negatively affect the quality of your ride, making it more difficult for your tires and vehicle to perform their best.

To get your wheels aligned, take your vehicle to a qualified automotive technician at your local auto dealership. The technicians there have been certified by the manufacturer of your vehicle to work on the particular type of vehicle that you drive. With that level of expertise and manufacturer-approved tools and replacement parts, you can rest assured that your tires will be perfectly aligned for maximum safety and performance.

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