Have you ever felt your car is turning more or less than your feed while cornering? It happens with most of us but we generally ignore it. Here we are talking about understeer and oversteer of the cars.
These are the terms related to the automobiles. One doesn’t understand these terms easily, as one thinks of it as a core concept of automobile engineering. But, it is quite easy to understand. In this article, we are going to discuss what these terms are about and how they affect the movement of a vehicle.
What is Understeering?
It is a condition when front tyres of car slip outwards in a corner due to excess speed. The car continuously moves straight even when the steering is moved for cornering. It appears to an observer outside that driver has not given sufficient steering for the turn.
Understeer occurs in the front wheels of the cars particularly when a car has front-wheel drive. When front-wheel-drive cars go through a corner it can be subjected under various loads due to braking, turning and simultaneously driving power from the engine. The front-wheel cannot withstand the forces at once and hence, they don’t turn as the feed given.
The most common cause of understeering is braking or suddenly accelerating into a corner. When you pressure the brake pedal hard, front wheels have to bear the load of the vehicle and also maintain the grip on the road. On top of it, when the steering feed is given, the wheels lack enough grip to turn.
Similarly, when the acceleration is given, the front wheels grip loses for steering. The more acceleration gives the lesser grip will be available for steering. Therefore, to stop understeering from happening, less or no acceleration and braking should be given while turning the vehicle.
What is oversteering?
This concept is similar to understeering but it happens when rear wheels lose the grip while taking a turn. The loss of grip makes the back of the car to move outwards. It occurs generally in rear-wheel-drive cars. The most common cause of oversteering is a wheel there is more than needed acceleration, wheels lose grip and begin to slide. Another reason for oversteering can be when we suddenly stop accelerating, this transfers the weight of the car to the front due to which rear wheels loses grip.
Oversteering when done in a controlled manner is called drifting. When have seen cars drifting around the corners in the rally races. It looks cool, car slithers around the corners while billowing smoke from its tyres. However, this might not look cool on the normal road, so we should look forward to the ways of controlling it.
In oversteer too it is recommended to slow down the car and do not accelerate or brake suddenly while taking a turn.
Apart from the above-mentioned factors, a car oversteer or understeer due to worn out tyres, slippery road surface and bad handling of the vehicle.