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Old 18th January 2011, 18:04   #1
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Arrow TAD: Reducing Understeer By Varying Tyre Pressure

There are a lot of great threads in this forum but most seem to be oriented mechanically. Wouldn't it be a good idea to discuss the various technical aspects of driving here as well?

For example, and I will start off with this:

Most of us here in India drive FWD cars and FWD vehicles by nature, understeer. While there range a drastic number of ways to minimize this (from rear sway bars and stiffening rear suspension to stiffening the chassis with braces), the simplest one I had found was just to let the rear have lesser grip than the front by varying tyre pressures.

Two fundamentals need to be addressed at this juncture. Firstly, contrary to popular belief, less tyre pressure actually gives LESS grip, and vice versa (as long as the tyre pressure isn't so high to cause uneven contact, and consequently uneven wear through the middle).

Tyre pressure when the tyres are warmed up (once we have driven say 7-10 kms) is about 3 psi higher than when they are cold (at start). That is, if the manufacturer recommends 29 psi on all four tyres, you wouldn't be terribly wrong if you set 32 psi after you drive from home to the petrol bunk.

Now, back to the subject of handling. Has anyone tried setting a warm pressure of 36 psi in the front tyres and 33 psi in the rear? Overlooking the sudden loss of ride comfort, do you notice a sudden improvement in the grip and the overall handling of the car, specifically the understeer?

Would love to hear more inputs on this topic and if you will, your experiences too.

- lynx

: The psi values are arbitrary and you could try experimenting with your own values on a free day and find the sweet spot for your car and your set of rubbers.

Last edited by lynx : 18th January 2011 at 18:11.
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