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Wheels: Maintenance Tips

To ensure your car handles well, it is important that several things are setup correctly.
Here's some helpful tips....

 Scrub radius 
The scrub radius is the distance from the point where the steering axis meets the ground, to the centre of the contact patch of the tyre (see diagram).  Zero scrub radius is desirable.  Increasing the scrub radius will result in increased steering effort, and more kickback through the steering wheel when you hit bumps.

The track is the distance between the centre-line of the left wheel and the centre-line of the right wheel.  It is not uncommon for the front and rear wheels to have different tracks.  Decreasing the track will make the car better to drive in a straight line, however the car will not corner as well.  By increasing the track you will obtain better cornering, however this also increases tramlining.

 Tracking and alignment 
If you modify your suspension, hit a kerb or pothole, fit new tyres or wheels, then there's a good possibility that your wheels tracking/alignment will be 'out'.  Your local tyre dealer will be able to align everything up again.

 Wheel balancing 
Balancing all four wheels will result in a smoother ride.  Basically, this involves careful positioning of those ugly blocks of metal attached to the rim of your wheel.  Don't spoil the 'look' of your wheels by fitting the balancing blocks to the side of the wheel that faces you, hide them on the opposite side of the wheel.

Last updated: 23 Feb 2004 - 7:03pm GMT