Custom Exhaust in Truckee, NV
Beginner’s Guide to Custom Alignment Services: Reduce Lap Times
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full-time track star, you could shave seconds off your lap times and save big on upkeep with a custom alignment service. With Automotion Service and Repair on your side, it’s never been easier to perfect your specs.
Read on to learn how we are helping drivers feed their need for speed with custom alignment services in the Truckee area or call (775) 284-9444 to speak directly with a custom alignment expert near you.
Custom alignment service: Reduce lap times
Custom alignment services not only improve vehicle responsiveness and performance tire tread life—they can also set vehicles up to oversteer to reduce lap times and satisfy your need for speed.
But what is oversteering, exactly, and is it right for your ride? Let’s review.
When most cars roll off the factory floor, they’re set up to understeer, so that they turn less sharply in response to steering inputs.
This added stability helps less experienced drivers stay safe by reducing the risks of fishtailing or “drifting,” so they can accelerate earlier and faster out of corners. When you feel your front wheels lose traction as you hit the corner, all you need to do is let off the gas, allowing the weight to transfer over to the front wheels again, and you can continue the line you were trying to cut.
Oversteering does the opposite, making your vehicle extremely sensitive to steering inputs and allowing the rear wheels to slip. For pros, this can be a huge advantage, allowing you to take corners faster and stay balanced with the throttle. But for the uninitiated, it can be a huge liability, making your vehicle feel very unstable, even dangerous, and drastically increasing your risks of spinning out.
But this is an oversimplification; just as every track vehicle is unique, so too is every custom alignment different. For example:
- For road course cars, we typically recommend running zero toe in the front to eliminate drag on the straights, then adjusting camber and spring/sway bar rates to achieve the desired oversteer.
- For lower horsepower cars, we typically recommend zero toe in the rear to reduce drag on the straights, whereas higher horsepower cars may run positive rear toe to avoid unwanted rotation under throttle when exiting corners.
- Higher horsepower cars should avoid having too much negative camber in the rear, as this can produce over-steer under throttle when exiting corners.
- For dedicated track cars, we typically recommended having the front camber set more negative than the rear.
- Street cars typically run close to zero camber. Spirited driving cars or combination street/track vehicles do well with -1 to -1.5 degrees of camber. Dedicated track vehicles driven by professionals may be set to -2 or even -3 degrees of camber.
To max out your vehicle’s performance and tires’ tread life, you need a custom alignment that is tailored to your ride, track, weather conditions, driving demands, and skillset. And we can help!
Go pro: Get a custom track alignment in Reno
If you are interested in a custom alignment to improve your track performance, make sure you choose a shop with real racing experience, as any other shop will only be able to provide manufacturer recommended settings for daily drivers.
By going pro with a track-focused auto shop, you get:
- More value out of your performance upgrades—After adding any suspension parts, such as springs, shocks, and sway bars, or fitting your vehicle with sticky performance tires, you’ll need a proper alignment to get the most out of these upgrades.
- Custom alignments tailored to specific tracks and driver experience—For example, if you’re a new driver about to hit a super-fast track with lots of turns and walls everywhere, the last you’ll want is aggressive rotation. Conversely, if you’re running a road course with lots of straights, you might consider running zero front toe to eliminate drag.
- One-stop shop convenience—At Automotion Service and Repair, we work with all track vehicles (autocross, track and street), all custom alignments (drag, street, and even aggressive wheel fitments), and all experience levels. What’s more, we carry all the most popular performance parts and track tires. The more you bundle together, the more you save!
To schedule a free consultation and get a quote on your custom alignment service, you can call (775) 284-9444 or book an appointment online.