Do You Know the Difference Between Oversteer and Understeer?

April 28th, 2020 by

If you’ve ever had steering problems, you might have experienced understeer or oversteer. These two terms describe opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to steering movements. Learn how to differentiate between the two so that you know when help is needed.

Understeer occurs when a turning movement does not result in a complete turn. In a sense, the driver’s turn is cut short. This happens when the tires do not grip the road correctly. The wheels of the car continue in a straight path while the driver intends to turn. This phenomenon is typically associated with front-wheel drive cars. It usually occurs when the driver accelerates too fast while performing a turning movement. Understeer can be corrected by making changes to the suspension or adjusting the tire pressure.

Oversteer describes an exaggerated turning movement. In contrast to understeer, oversteer occurs due to too much grip on the front-end tires. Oversteer is commonly referred to as fishtailing. It generally occurs with rear-wheel drive cars and is a dangerous situation in bad weather conditions. To fix oversteer, the suspension needs to be loosened to provide more flexibility.

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