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Toyota Camry Wheel Alignment

Q. Mr. Ciulla, I have a 1986 Toyota Camry, 4 cylinder, automatic transmission, with 254,000 miles. It has fuel injection, non-ABS brakes. It's got AC and cruise. Ive got a tire alignment question for you. This weekend I took my car to the shop to get the wheels aligned because I have noticed the tires have been wearing more on the inside.

Toyota Camry Wheel Alignment

This was true on the left and the right, and it appeared worse in the front than in the back.

Tire Pressure in all four tires has looked fine every time Ive checked it. I havent had any trouble with the car pulling to either side at any time (acceleration, braking, steady driving). When I picked my car up, there was a sheet of paper with, what are presumably, the results from the Computer Alignment machine at the shop.

I've attached the information from the sheet below. It looks like they adjusted the front toe (left, right, and front). It also looks like they didn't touch the camber. The left front, front cross, and right rear camber are out of the specified range. Also, the left front and right front caster, though in range, are beyond the specification.

Question 1: What exactly are camber, caster, and toe?

Question 2: By only adjusting the toe, did they fix the problem of my tires wearing on the inside? Will the camber or caster being out of spec cause the problem to continue?

Question 3: Did they do a complete alignment, which I paid them for? Or did they do only half the job?


A. Answer 1: My article Wheel Alignment will answer your questions about what camber, caster, and toe are.

Answer 2: Toe will cause a saw tooth type of wear pattern, caster doesn't cause tire wear and camber will cause the edges of the tire to wear. Inside edge wear is to much negative camber and outside edge wear is too much positive camber. So the short answer here is yes, since the camber was no adjusted the tire wear will continue.

Answer 3: According to what you sent me and the specs I have for this car, it doesn't seem like they did anything but set toe. This is probably due to the fact that most Japanese cars do not have adjustments for caster and camber, only toe. But on your car front camber, caster and toe-in are all adjustable.

The right rear camber is too negative, you may notice some inside tire wear there. Toe is almost right.

I would take it back and tell them I want it done and done right this time.

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