Explaining What Happens During Oversteer and Understeer

Oversteer and understeer are terms that refer to vehicle dynamics when drivers turn their vehicles. No matter how experienced you may be behind the wheel, you're bound to experience both of these phenomena at some point while driving. Here are situations that describe when both oversteering and understeering can occur.

Oversteer occurs primarily in rear-wheel drive vehicles. It happens when you apply more power than is needed to the engine. In turn, this causes the vehicle's tires to slip and push in the opposite direction of travel. The result is the rear of your car will come out to one side. Drifting is called controlled oversteer.

Understeer occurs mostly in front-wheel drive vehicles and happens when your car does not turn as much as you expect. Many newer vehicles have a feature called active understeer control that detects when understeering is about to occur and corrects it.



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