Is Understeer or Oversteer Better?

Oversteer and understeer are terms that are frequently used in the car industry. Each term describes the physics of the vehicle under turning conditions. You may have even experienced one or both of these occurrences without even knowing it. Find out what these terms mean and whether one is preferred over the other.

In the simplest terms, understeer occurs when you try to turn but go straight. Oversteering happens when the rear of the car tries to pass the front end. To further differentiate between the two, understeer usually happens in front-wheel drive vehicles. This is because the heavy load on the front side overwhelms the vehicle. Oversteer can also happen in front-wheel drive vehicles when you disengage the throttle too quickly. However, oversteering is usually a rear-wheel drive problem.

In reality, neither oversteering or understeering is really better. Both are turning malfunctions that should be addressed mechanically, or by a change in driving behaviors. In either scenario, the driver can simply perform a gradual release of the throttle to prevent the problem. Drivers should also turn with the skid if oversteering, and straighten out if understeering.

If your vehicle has mechanical problems, you don't have to keep dealing with it. Consider taking a test drive of a new vehicle at Motor City in Lafayette, LA.

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