How do I know if my car’s camber is set properly? I set the tires so they’re perfectly straight up and down, but I know they’re supposed to lean in a little.
If you’re happy with your car’s handling with “straight-up” tires (for the record, that’s “zero camber”), then don’t sweat it. For most cars and trucks, 0–3 degrees of negative camber is typical. “Negative” means the tires lean in, toward the chassis. “Positive” camber is when the tires lean out, which is never used. So what’s the right amount of camber? If you’re racing, it’s whatever angle gives you the handling you’re comfortable with—and the lowest lap times. Camber will also affect tire wear, which will likely matter less to racers but is important if you’re looking for maximum tire life for fun running. If you notice your tires aren’t wearing evenly, try increasing negative camber to cure wear toward the outside sidewall, and vice versa; increasing one degree at a time is plenty. To measure accurately, get a camber gauge. RPM makes the all-time classic version of this must-have tool; it’s item no. 70992.
A camber gauge is a pit-box essential. Here, 5 degrees of negative camber is shown, which is a lot. More common is 0–3 degrees.
Tires with fine-tread details (like the thin “sipes” in this Bfgoodrich design) are useful as wear indicators. If your tires aren’t wearing evenly across the tread, adjust camber to suit.