When you do all the manoeuvring and cornering with more effort than normally required and your driving experience is not smooth on most trails, it is probably because of the bad handling of your car. It is important that your car has good handling to help you avert accidents or loss of control. So how can we explain in simple terms, car handling and what factors can affect your car handling?
1. Brief overview of car handling
In general terms, handling can be explained as the response of your car when you swerve, maneuver, or make a turn. The handling of your car can also be evaluated by the output when you accelerate and brake, and by its directional stability when in motion in a steady state. While the lateral acceleration can be exclusively discussed as road handling, the general efficiency of your vehicle is largely measured by its handling.
When an automobile manufacturer compromises comfort for handling or focuses more on the latter, they dub the product a sports car. Good handling is mostly associated with sports cars but the truth is that handling is important in regular cars as much as it is in racing cars, for example in emergencies.
Wheel alignment is important for good handling
Picture you turning a corner and you find that an oncoming vehicle is on the wrong lane approaching at top speed. You will need to do quick math with your steering wheel and brake pedals. It is either your car responds predictably to your inputs or loses control and skids off the road. That is why every car must have good handling.
In this post, we will walk you through some of the factors that cause poor handling and how to correct them. But do not forget to check out our in-depth reviews on cars to know what to generally consider when you are looking to buy a good used car.
2. Factors affecting your car handling
A range of factors are responsible for the efficiency of your handling. Some very common ones are discussed in the following paragraphs.
2.1. Bad shocks
The tires produce energy when the car moves. It is the function of the shocks to absorb energy. If the shock absorbers are in poor condition, your vehicle will have to deal with more up sprung weight. That will not be good for your car’s handling. Make sure your shock absorbers are in perfect shape.
Bad shock absorbers affect the handling
2.2. Inappropriate tires
Every car comes with specifications including the type of tires they should use. We have seen people use any tires on their cars as long as they roll. There are folks who also use inferior tires. But here is the fact: the poorer the quality of your tires, the worse your handling. You need treaded, high-performance tires and the right ones too. To ensure your tires are in good condition, carry out constant inspections on tires and periodic tire changes.
2.3. Improper suspension
For guaranteed safety, having a proper suspension is crucial for a car. Suspension travel is the total space between the top and bottom of the suspension. The role of the suspension is to always keep the tires on the road even on the roughest trails. If you have improper suspension, your car will lose its grip. So, always look for signs when to replace the suspension.
Without a proper suspension, the car finds it hard to keeps the tires even on the road
3. How can I improve the handling of my car?
This is a question that even some seasoned drivers ask. But safety is important and there is no shame in wanting to avoid road troubles. Here are a couple of tips to enhance car handling.
3.1. Make sure you have proper car suspension
If your car has poor suspension, do not try to cope with it. Make a revamp of your entire suspension. To do this, there are 3 things that are important to consider.
Relax the springs
The most efficient way to handle around corners without almost going to a halt is to fit lowering springs. As the center of gravity is further moved to the bottom, it helps the car handle a round shape bend even at considerable speed.
Coilovers add control to your wheels, which in turn enhances the handling. Coilovers are ideal for tuning projects if the height of the suspension is flexible.
Sports suspension kit
In order to fit the lowering springs perfectly, we strongly advise you use a sports suspension kit, which typically comes ready and easy to fit. This replacement kit makes your car swifter on the road as it helps reduce body roll.
If the tires are not properly aligned (can be seen by these 3 symptoms of car misalignment), it causes a number of things including poor handling and increased fuel use. When new, the alignment of a vehicle is perfect and will allow you to have a comfortable ride. But due to rough roads and other things the tires encounter, the alignment gets affected with time. Make sure you get expert auto mechanics to help re-align your wheels regularly. This is essential, particularly for used cars.
Good car handling is imperative for your comfort and safety. Let us go over it once again. Your shock absorbers, tires, and suspension all play a role in handling. These are 3 components that must be in the best working condition at all times. Also, make sure your ground clearance is low as possible for improved tire grip and general handling balance. Make sure to take unique care of these factors that affect your car handling for safe drives ahead!