You can have the best engine in the world, but if a car lacks grip, it’s in trouble. Ultimately, the strength of the contact with the road is what allows the car to perform.
The purpose of this post is to act as a primer on the science of grip and why it is critical to any car enthusiast. While having a 600 bhp engine is fun, it needs a system that transmits that power to the road.
Why Grip Is So Critical
Grippiness is critical for car owners for numerous reasons. The most obvious is safety. We’ve all seen what happens when a vehicle skids on ice and is completely out of control.
Performance is also another crucial factor. The grippier the tyres, the faster vehicles can make their way around the track without skidding off uncontrollably.
But perhaps the most critical reason for wanting more grip is driving enjoyment. Cars that have a proper connection to the road behave more predictably, letting you push them closer to the limit without constantly putting the tail out or spinning.
What Affects Tyre Grip?
Friction on the road is a function of the weight of the vehicle above, tyre compounds, and road surface characteristics. These factors combine to determine how many lateral G’s you can put into a corner and come out of the other side unscathed.
Naturally, therefore, tyres play a big role. Slicks work well in the dry, but if you plan on using your car on the road, you’ll want tyres that have a deep tread for clearing water and other debris. Remember, though, that all-season tyres are a compromise. These products add convenience to your life but won’t perform optimally in extreme weather conditions.
Suspension and chassis design also affect grip. Cars with stiffer suspensions (like track cars) usually have better grip. However, you wouldn’t want to drive them for a long time because of the ride’s harshness. Likewise, cars with softer suspension feel nicer to drive but aren’t as good in the corners, thanks to things like body roll.
How To Improve Your Vehicle’s Grip
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve your vehicle’s grip and get the most out of it.
If you make no modifications to your vehicle, driving sensibly can assist tremendously with grip. Avoiding things like hard braking and going around roundabouts as fast as you can reduce the risk of spinning out of control.
Turn On The Traction Control
You can also try turning on the traction control (if it isn’t on already). These systems constantly monitor the speed, performance, and position of the wheels, directing optimal energy to each with extreme precision to prevent them from spinning.
Check Your Treads
If your treads are low, get mobile tyres to replace them. Being unable to clear water can cause aquaplaning during rainstorms.
Increase Tyre Pressure
Finally, you can also try increasing tyre pressure. Under-inflation can reduce grip and prevent the rubber from making proper contact with the road.