Over & Under Steer Explained
When taking a car past the limit, or at least the limit of the tire grip you might encounter some adverse affects. These are frequently either Under Steer or Over Steer. Lets talk about that.
Before We Start
If you driver slower or normally then there’s a good chance you’ll never encounter these phenomenon. Also it’s worth mentioning that most consumer cars have a slew of features to prevent under & over steer, it’s most commonly seen in racing vehicles, F1 is a great example.
This occurs when your front tires loose all grip in a corner (due to speeding), making steering nearly impossible. This will push the front end of your car towards the outside of the corner. In simple terms the cars weight and momentum give the car move influence than the steering wheel. Imagine you’re driving very fast towards a corner, then when turning the front looses grip. So despite your wheels pointing where you want to go the car simply slides forwards rather than towards where you steer. The same is true for braking too harshly in corners. Understeer is almost always caused by speed, so in the unlikely event you find yourself in this situation just ease off the gas & brakes. Don’t pull off completely, just slowly loosen up on the pedals. Want to avoid it in the first place? Don’t drive very fast.
Over Steer is pretty similar but the power comes from rear in RWD cars, so when it occurs from behind the back of the car wants to overtake the front. Again, by pushing tires past their limits by either massive speeding, braking or suddenly removing your throttle. Oversteer can look very cool though, and it’s often stabilized by drivers who enjoy drifting, they’ll force the car to oversteer and then stabilize it into a drift. It can be just as detrimental as understeer since you’re forfeiting a lot of control over your momentum and steering. On the racetrack it looks cool (but it won’t help you win) and on public roads it’s usually the sign of an accident about to happen. The same applies here when trying to wrestle with an oversteering car. That is to slowly and consistently reduce your throttling.
Driving Tips To Prevent Over & Under Steering
Oversteer and understeer are two common handling issues that can occur in cars. Oversteer is when the rear of the car loses traction and slides out, while understeer is when the front of the car loses traction and the car doesn’t turn as much as the driver intends. Here are a few tips to prevent oversteer and understeer:
Adjust your driving style: Oversteer and understeer can often be caused by driving too aggressively or entering corners too fast. To prevent these issues, try to drive smoothly and at an appropriate speed for the conditions. Slow down before entering corners and accelerate smoothly when exiting.
- Check your tires: Underinflated or overinflated tires can cause handling issues, so it’s important to check your tire pressure regularly. Make sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure for your car and driving conditions.
- Adjust your suspension: Some cars have adjustable suspension systems that can be used to adjust the car’s handling characteristics. If you’re experiencing oversteer or understeer, you may be able to adjust the suspension to correct the issue.
- Practice car control techniques: If you’re driving a high-performance car or are planning to drive on a racetrack, it can be helpful to practice car control techniques such as oversteer recovery and skid control. These techniques can help you maintain control of your car in difficult driving conditions.
- Install a performance anti-roll bar: If you have a performance car and are experiencing handling issues, installing a performance anti-roll bar can help. This device helps to reduce body roll during cornering, which can improve handling and prevent oversteer and understeer.
By following these tips, you can help prevent oversteer and understeer and enjoy a safer, more controlled driving experience. If you continue to experience handling issues, it’s a good idea to have your car inspected by a professional mechanic to ensure that everything is working correctly.