One of many items that need regular checking and calibration for cars is the wheel alignment angle, which is mainly the camber angle, caster angle and Toe angle. The maintenance of this item may need to be done after 10,000km, or an average of 30,000km should be inspected once. Because this is an item that for cars after rolling time, 4 wheels will be deviated from the manufacturer’s specifications.
In a nutshell, the wheels are connected to the car through the suspension and all are calculated and calibrated by the manufacturer so that the car operates optimally according to the design, which affects the ability to steer correctly, affecting the grip of the wheel ….. But over time operating, due to many factors affecting that wheel angle is no longer accurate according to the original parameters anymore. , so this item needs to be calibrated over time.
There will be 3 main callers for the front / rear wheel system is Toe Angle, Caster Angle, Camber Corner, I would like to call all wheel corners. And below is a quick summary of these 3 corners, if the deviation will affect how the vehicle operates.
Precision – Toe angle
Imagine two wheels like your feet, when you look from high down to see the heels close to each other, and the two toes are facing outwards, if on the front wheel of the car, too. it is a negative precision, the opposite is positive, but when the two wheels are parallel to each other, the angle is calculated as 0. If this TOE angle is no longer accurate according to the design, the phenomenon occurs that you will probably notice that the vehicle is slightly (or very light), the steering wheel vibrates slightly (depending on the level of deviation). Long-term wheels will appear irregularly worn out marks on the sides, if heavy, it may emit a noise when you walk on the floor, the floor is painted glossy (even if you go straight without steering). But many owners of cars due to long-term familiarity with the car may not detect the phenomenon, so it is not necessary to check and adjust, periodically 30,000km to check. Alignment for good condition.
In short, this is the angle viewed horizontally, the angle between the steering wheel and the wheel. If it is perpendicular, the angle is zero, and if the steering axis is inclined to the driver is positive, and vice versa. This angle will affect the steering control of the vehicle, the steering wheel may be unusually heavy, the vehicle may tend to deviate to one side, or the vehicle can be visibly heavy even though the vehicle is straight but the body the car is always diagonal with the direction of the moving car … This is the angle of the wheel that is related to the safety of the driver, as well as the ability to drive correctly, or the good turning angle also depends on the coefficient of this angle. .
Camber angle is the angle that the wheel will be facing inward or facing out if viewed from the rear of the vehicle. And this is also a very common angle that causes uneven wear. Here I would like to repeat, all 3 wheel corners are calibrated according to manufacturer specifications, so that when you go behind a certain car (especially a German car), it will be easy. Seeing the rear wheels of the car tend to face up (negative camber), this is also one of the many reasons why the wheels are worn unevenly. Or for the “oversized” wheel, the alignment of Camber will no longer be in accordance with the rules of the manufacturer anymore, usually the Camber angle will be very negative.
The adjustment of the wheel angle will bring the best traction for 4 wheels, safety for the ability to control the car, as well as the feeling of smoothness when operating the car, on the other hand also makes The suspension operates correctly, the position as well as the tire sets achieve the best life, the reference cost for this alignment is about 600,000 VND (in a garage I know), not too much for the 30 thousand kilometers that we traveled. And also an opportunity to be able to pay more attention to the wheels of the vehicle if old.
How to adjust Camber, Caster, TOE angles
The alignment of the wheel angle before the introduction of modern machinery is done by hand, with practical wire balancing and test driving skills. However, at present, there are high precision technical machines, saving more working time. Popular on that market is the Hunter balancing machine.
Before putting the car into the Hunter machine, the initial work is to clean the rocks or hard objects stuck to the wheel spikes, then dynamically balance each wheel (balance wheels – clamps) for 4 wheels. It will then be taken to the Hunter bridge to attach sensors to the 4 wheels.
Each vehicle will be tweaked according to its own Profile, these profiles are according to the manufacturer shared with Hunter.
The adjustment is completely manual and made by technology, directly compared to the display system of the Hunter machine to know the exact adjustment. Whether the alignment is correct or not depends on the thoroughness of the workman, after calibration on the machine, will also need to run the test to continue checking, or there may be some errors arising. For example, before that the car had a steering wheel deviation, recalibrated but still deviated, it could be because the steering wheel had a problem. The cost for adjusting this wheel corner reference price in some places that I used to weigh is 600k, excluding the cost of lead-down scales if your car is new to clamping-clamps, you do not need to do steps. This is also.
On the sidelines a bit if you have any questions about this calibration system, here I am mentioning a fairly common type that is Hunter. Because previously heard “rumor” that in BMW or Mercedes has a better and better balance machine, I also asked and found out in detail and summarized that. Currently the market is popular with 3 types of Hunter machines, distinguishing them based on color (also between generations – the upgrade is temporarily not mentioned). The white Hunter is the kind that Hunter provides to BMW in Vietnam, almost exclusively, the black Hunter is for Mercedes-Benz in Vietnam, and red is the universal one. market (universal). The difference here is that the calibration support software system, as well as the software system to receive profiles of 2 models, have many models, and the latest models will soon be updated with this profile system. In addition, the two luxury car companies mentioned above with the suspension system are usually custom carriers, for example, the multi-link suspension system, but the BMW car is customized with a difference from the traditional, thanks to the Profile system. With the above-mentioned preference, the available documentation will help the mechanic easily adjust the system of the cars.
In a nutshell, the outside red Hunter machine can completely calibrate many other vehicles exactly the same, different or not only in the case of whether the mechanic tailors to the real standard car, and time. of a mechanic who has to put in order to calibrate a car.