Negative camber is often seen as a modification to make street racing cars look cool and perform better around corners. However, it can also happen on your front wheels due to a worn-out or broken part. So, how do you fix negative camber on front wheels to prevent them from causing worse problems?
Negative camber can be fixed by adjusting the strut and steering knuckle until the front wheels are at the ideal angle. However, you’ll have to replace damaged parts if they are causing the negative camber condition on your front wheels. Either way, wheel alignment is necessary after those repairs to ensure that the suspension’s angles are ideal.
This article will help you understand the root causes of negative camber on your front wheels. Then, you’ll learn how to fix it and what happens if you delay those repairs for too long.
What Causes Negative Camber?
Before you fix the negative camber on your front wheels, you must first understand what’s causing it. That’s because the solution you will use later will depend on the root cause.
There are three problems that can cause excessive negative camber on your front wheels, and they are:
- Deliberate modification: Firstly, remember that some people have negative camber on their front wheels because they chose to modify their vehicles that way. You’ll often find this done on heavily customized cars for aesthetics, better handling, or both.
- Potholes and bumps: One of the biggest threats to a car’s suspension is road impact, particularly from driving into potholes, over bumps, or even hitting kerbs. When that happens hard and often enough, it will cause the suspension system to become misaligned, including having excessive negative camber.
- Old parts: Lastly, worn-out and damaged suspension parts can also cause excessive negative camber on your front wheels. You’ll often find that to be true on older vehicles, especially if they’ve been neglected and allowed to rust far too much.
As you can see, taking some time to understand why your front wheels have excessive negative camber is crucial. Not only will it help you decide which solution is necessary to fix it, but it will also let you know if other repairs and part replacements will be necessary.
How Do You Fix Negative Camber On Front Wheels?
Suppose you have too much negative camber on your front wheels. In that case, you’ll want to use one or more of the following solutions, depending on what’s causing it.
1. Thorough Inspection
First and foremost, your troubleshooting must begin with thoroughly inspecting your car’s suspension system. That also applies to if your negative camber is due to a deliberate modification.
An inspection is critical because you gain an understanding of your suspension system’s current state. That way, you get the full picture before you begin fixing the negative camber.
For example, if the problem is caused by damaged or worn-out parts, you must know which ones require your attention.
Besides that, you want to ensure that the suspension on your front wheels is in excellent working order so that the negative camber problem does not happen again in the future.
2. Readjust The Camber
Suppose your front wheels have negative camber because they were deliberately adjusted that way. Or, it happened because you ran over one too many potholes.
In that case, you can fix the problem by readjusting the affected parts.
More specifically, you’ll have to adjust the position of your strut and the steering knuckle until your camber is at the ideal angle.
Naturally, you’ll need an adjustable camber tool to see the current camber on your front wheels and how far you’ll need to adjust them. These tools are affordable, but you’ll need to buy one if you plan on doing it yourself.
Alternatively, you can rely on your preferred mechanic to do it for you. They’ll have more high-tech equipment that can help them adjust the camber much more precisely.
3. Part Replacement
Now, let’s assume that the negative camber was not deliberate and is instead the result of damaged or worn-out parts.
In that case, you’ll have to replace the affected part to ensure that your car’s suspension system can function correctly.
Some of the common culprits that cause that problem include:
- A spindle, strut, or control arm that’s bent out of shape
- A strut tower that has become dislocated
- A control arm bushing that’s worn out or collapsed
- A spring that’s broken, worn out, or weak
The suspension system is crucial for your car’s comfort and safety, so you must replace the affected part as soon as possible. Not only will the part cause the negative camber, but it can also lead to much more expensive repairs later if you don’t sort it out quickly.
4. Wheel Alignment
Whatever the case might be, you’ll also want to get a wheel alignment done on your car. In some minor cases, an alignment could be all that’s necessary to resolve the problem of negative camber on your front wheels.
Still, an alignment is also an excellent idea after replacing parts in your suspension system. That way, you’ll ensure that all your wheels are aligned correctly and in excellent working order.
What Happens If You Don’t Fix Negative Camber?
Negative camber on your front wheels might not seem like such a big deal at first glance. Unfortunately, it can lead to more severe problems later if you do not correct the camber quickly.
Here’s what will happen if you don’t fix the negative camber on your front wheels:
- Excessive suspension wear: Firstly, negative wear on your front wheels can place an excessive burden on certain parts of your suspension system. For example, it will cause your car’s wheel bearings to wear out much sooner than average.
- Unbalanced tire wear: Negative camber will also apply an uneven amount of pressure on your wheels. Over an extended period, the inside of your front tires will wear out unevenly. In other words, the part of your tires that touch the road will become bald faster than others.
- Reduced stability: Even the slightest negative camber on your front wheels can undermine your car’s stability. That’s because the imbalance in camber angles between both wheels will cause your car to pull to one side more than the other. As a result, you’ll have to find yourself applying more force just to keep your car going straight.
- Reduced acceleration: Negative camber also has an adverse effect on your car’s acceleration when you’re moving in a straight line. Remember that your wheels exist to transfer your engine’s power to the ground. So, if the tires are not pressed onto the ground at the correct angle, you won’t get the optimal acceleration that your car’s normally capable of giving you.
These are just some of the side effects that occur resulting from negative camber on your front wheels.
The negative camber on your front wheels can happen for many different reasons, and they’re not always unwanted. Some people modify their cars to deliberately increase the negative camber for aesthetic and performance reasons.
However, it can also happen if your suspension has suffered a hard impact or if its components are damaged.
Whatever the cause, the negative camber should be corrected by readjusting the suspension or replacing the affected parts. Doing so will save you from bigger headaches later caused by more severe damage to your car’s suspension system.