You may have heard the words handling and cornering quite a bit through the years as they relate to the way your car drives, but do you know exactly what is meant by each of those terms? They are actually not interchangeable descriptions of how your car takes on curves, but in fact, have very distinct definitions. Let’s take a look at the difference between handling and cornering, as explained by Michelin.
It’s easy to see why people confuse handling and cornering, as they both can relate to the same maneuvers you perform in your car. Handling, however, specifically refers to how your vehicle responds to you as the driver. For instance, how well does it move when you turn your steering wheel? Handling is related to the safety, performance, and overall enjoyment of your drive, and it is affected by three different factors: the shape and weight distribution of your vehicle, the elements involved in your ground-to-vehicle contact (tires, steering, and suspension), and driving assistance systems (stability control and steering axle).
Cornering refers to how your car is specifically capable of making turns, in particular sharp turns. The centrifugal force that you generate when you make a turn puts pressure on your tires. For better cornering, most cars today employ a technique called under-steering. This means that they are designed so that the front axle should have a lower slip angle than the rear axle. However, there are extreme conditions that can affect cornering. That’s why you should slow down around sharp turns, particularly when the roads are wet.
Did you know that your tires can have a big impact on both your handling and your cornering? In fact, tires can affect your fuel efficiency, your safety, and much more. Your tires should always be inflated to the right pressure. While the exact PSI can be found in your owner’s manual, your door jam will probably have that information, too. In addition to tire pressure, you should check your tread, or have your tires regularly examined by a technician as recommended.
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More Information About Handling And Cornering
Do you want to know more about handling and cornering? At Amigo Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, we have experienced service technicians who work on issues related to cars, trucks, and SUVs every day, and we are always happy to answer questions about how your car works. In addition, we have a stock of new cars on our lot, so if you want to get behind the wheel and experience the difference between handling and cornering on various models, we would love to help. Come by and see us anytime.
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