There are many things you can potentially change about your car, including the tilt of the wheel, but there is some significant controversy surrounding whether or not this is a good idea.
However, those who are unfamiliar with tilted tires may wonder what they are and how they affect performance. If you’d like to learn more, keep reading to see what I found out!
What Are Tilted Tires?
Generally, most tires these days are tilted inwards to help improve the stability of the vehicle. However, sometimes these tires are tilted even more on larger vehicles such as dump trucks. Tilting the tires outwards is also possible and typically occurs in race cars and those that do a lot of high-speed cornering.
If you’d like to learn more about the purpose of tilted tires, what tilted tires are called, if slanted tires are illegal and more, keep reading for more facts!
What is the Purpose of Tilted Tires?
Generally, a positive camber is used for off-roading vehicles, as it provides greater stability when the vehicle is moving in a straight line. Therefore, it’s a great option for agricultural vehicles, as they tend to just move in a straight line.
As well, they can be used for recreational vehicles to prevent them from straying to the side on uneven terrain.
Furthermore, some vehicles with heavy loads use a positive camber to help them stay straight. For instance, dump trucks and cement trucks often use positive camber to make drivin them easier.
On the other hand, negative camber causes a “stanced” car. For the most part, this sort of tilt is good for cornering, as it increases contact with the road surface. Overall, it increases your car’s handling and helps you corner at greater speeds.
It also reduces tire wear, as it spreads out the load of your car. However, a negative camber also increases the wear on your tire. In other words, you’ll spend a lot more money changing your tires.
Negative cambers are typically only used for those who drive at high speeds and do a lot of cornering. Beyond that, there isn’t a huge use for them.
What is it Called When Your Tires Are Tilted?
When a tire is tilted, it’s “cambered”, as the tilt of the wheel is known as a camber angle. Pointing the bottom outward is called a negative camber, while pointing the top outward is also called a positive camber.
Are Slanted Tires Illegal?
Typically, slanting your tires is not illegal as long as you don’t have them extremely tilted. In this case, you might get in trouble for your tires extending too far past your car’s body, but you won’t get in trouble for the slant itself.
The extreme form of slanting called “hellaflush” is illegal in some areas. This type of stancing involves dropping a car to the ground as much as possible and getting an extremely negative camber. In many cases, this is the sort of stance that is used for racing vehicles.
Usually, advocates for these laws claim that hellaflush makes the car dangerous, especially when low-quality parts are used.
Is Negative Camber Bad?
Negative camber isn’t necessarily bad, but it can produce a few side effects that may make you think twice about slanting your wheels.
First, tilting your tires too much can make them wear down much faster. One of the huge positives of a negative camber is the added wheel contact. While this contact increases handling, it also makes the rubber wear down faster.
In the end, you may be out quite a bit of extra money due to constant tire changes. Second, a negative camber makes it harder for your car to accelerate and stop when moving in straight lines. On the other hand, it’s great for turns.
Third, cambering your wheel makes the impact forces with the road unevenly distributed, causing the burden to fall to a smaller section of the wheel. In some cases, this may make the wheel more prone to breaking off.
Fourth, cambering can affect other parts of your car as well. In some cases, the brakes may not work properly and can lockup in average, everyday situations.
Sometimes, the steering may also be affected, causing it to lockup. Usually, this occurs during sharp turns, which often occur during emergency situations.
Furthermore, tires with a negative camber are bad at driving in wet conditions. They get very little traction in these conditions, which can cause steering and braking problems.
Finally, if one wheel loses traction, the car will be automatically pulled in one direction. While this won’t cause issues by itself (all wheels should preferably always have traction), it can make emergency situations much worse.
Does Camber Cause Tire Wear?
Small amounts of camber usually won’t cause wear problems, as it would take extreme amounts of camber for it to matter.
Typically, it’s recommended that wheels are cambered at less than 2-degrees, as the wear can begin to increase if they’re tilted anymore.
Furthermore, there are also other safety concerns, such as steering problems, that come with extremely cambered wheels. In some cases, these extra tilts may even be illegal.
What Are the Effects of Positive Camber?
The biggest benefit of positive camber is that it makes driving in a straight line easier. Therefore, positive cambers have much more stability, though turning can be more difficult.
In many cases, positive camber is used for cars that specifically need more stability, such as heavy vehicles like dump trucks. Agricultural equipment also uses positive cambers, especially since they tend to move in straight lines.
Furthermore, cars that often drive on uneven terrain may find a positive camber useful, since it will help them continue to move in a straight line. Often, off-roading vehicles fall into this category.
Is Camber Good for Drifting?
Usually, you don’t want to camber your tires at all when drifting. Staying as close to zero as possible provides you with the best forward bite and grip and will also help with the tire wear.
If you want a little more grip, you can choose a negative camber. However, this isn’t usually recommended or necessary. If you do have a camber, it should be very slight, and you’ll want to keep the angle under one-degree.
To know more about tires, you can also read our posts on how long does it take to balance tires, if bigger tires affect the speedometer, and if tires affect acceleration.
You can tilt your tires two different ways. First, you can tilt them so that the top is inwards, which is called a negative camber and helps cars corner faster. A positive camber is the opposite and is pointed outwards.