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Tyrepower Kogarah explains oversteering and understeering.

A car travels on a wet road being cautious of over and understeer.

Most of us have experienced some kind of steering loss while driving but most in particular while cornering. This loss of control, or driving sensation, is known as understeering or oversteering.

Whilst cornering, there are many contributing factors to steering loss. Tyre wear is possibly most serious followed by speed, road surface conditions and the driving line in which you are performing the turn. Combine all of these and you have a solid recipe for disaster.

Kogarah Tyrepower has over 25 years in the game. We know a thing or two about driving and what it takes to stay safe on the road.

Let's break down each of these a little further to get a better understanding.

Over Steering / Oversteer

Demonstration of oversteer by Kogarah Tyrepower


Put simply, oversteer is when the traction of your front and rear wheels is shifted. Your rear wheels lose traction and the back of the car steps out in a drift or slide action.

Sounds fun? Not really, not when you have other motorists on the road or the family in the back. When you lose the rear of your car, chances are you’ll be put either in a spin or slide through the corner out of control.

(Random Sidenote)

On the other end of the pendulum is the sport of drifting where oversteering is the name of the game. During a controlled drift, the driver purposely applies the handbrake sending the vehicle into oversteer. The driver then controls the car through the corner exiting with wheels spinning in a cloud of smoke. Sick!

A perfect example of a controlled drift or oversteer.


Preventing oversteer in a corner is simply achieved by taking a safe speed into the corner, allowing your vehicle to achieve maximum grip on all four tyres.

Once you have entered the corner, try to refrain from pushing down on your right foot in a hurry. Ease out of the corner and you will maintain a safe grip.

Making smooth adjustments will help prevent oversteer. Try not to make aggressive or drastic changes in direction on the steering wheel. Sometimes you might feel you have to correct the car by spinning the wheel in the opposite direction but try to do it slowly and smoothly while holding the steering wheel firmly.

If you happen to find yourself on the verge of a spin, gently take your foot off the accelerator and smoothly apply pressure to the brake. Try not to aggressively over correct the wheel and if you have room on the road, straighten out and gently turn back into the corner while the car slows.

Understeering / Understeer

Understeering is the result of losing front wheel traction when cornering.


Understeering is the direct result of a loss of traction in the front end of your vehicle. Generally the car will veer straight or be forced offline with your steering locked in a turn.

Understeer can be extremely dangerous while driving on country roads. The vehicle can be forced across the road into oncoming traffic, or pushed off the side of the road depending on the direction you are turning.

Common occurrences of understeering can be:

  • Bad tyre tread - resulting in a loss of traction
  • Ice and oil on the inside line of the corner - when grip is most needed
  • Too fast - your vehicle is travelling too fast into the corner, carrying too much speed and will lose grip


Knowing the tread depth of your tyres is important in keeping your vehicle in a safe and reliable condition. Simply do a walk around the vehicle, inspecting your tyres for any obvious signs of wear and tear. Kogarah Tyrepower is here for any assistance in assessing the safety of your tyres.

Speed is a big factor when it comes to understeering during cornering. Maintaining a safe speed in and exiting a corner will prevent any chances of understeer and remember don’t be so aggressive on the accelerator when committed to a corner.

Check your local weather for driving conditions. Things like frost, ice and potential water hazards from overnight rain require you to be on high alert. Drive to the conditions and stay safe, that’s our advice from Tyrepower Kogarah.

For the latest range of tyres to suit your needs and the up and coming seasons, drop into Tyrepower Kogarah or call us today on (03)9587 3366. We have a team of car and driving enthusiasts who are here to help.

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