I always confuse myself with understeer and oversteer. Do you have a tip for me?
I mean, just like stalactite and stalagmite. One is above while the other is on the ground. I just remember where C is for ceiling while G is for ground.
So, stalaCtite is above and stalaGmite is on ground.
I don't have a similar way of remembering this... it is just that:
- understeer is when the front wheels are laterally slipping... and you have to turn the steering wheel MORE than you would if they were not slipping. It is UNDER steering.
- oversteer is when the rear of the car is skidding laterally... and typically, then, you have to turn the front wheels... i.e. the steering wheel - to follow the rear of the car, i.e. in the SAME direction as the skidding direction.
- So, say you are turning left... but the rear wheels are skidding out (and accordingly the centreline of the car is rotating more to the left than you want it to...i.e. it is OVER steering); then, you have to apply opposite-lock steering ... meaning you have to turn the steering wheel to the right... to, so-to-speak, chase-after the rear of the car.
- oversteer can occur due to the application of more throttle than the tires can stand, by way of adhesion (when it is a rear wheel drive car); or
- oversteer can also occur when the weight transfers to the front wheels, like say, when you back-off the throttle. The more (vertically) heavily loaded front tires then tend to skid less (when going around the corner), and the less (vertically) loaded rear tires tend to skid MORE... and so you get "trailing throttle" oversteer... say, on a Front Wheel Drive car... but indeed, on any car, whether fwd or rwd. It's just, with an FWD car, you cannot get oversteer by applying the throttle. Applying throttle, indeed, does the opposite: it gives you more understeer.
Transitioning the weight distribution can also occur with a light application of the brakes while turning. This is known as "upsetting" the chassis, and it will lead to oversteer. This is 'kinda where the "left foot braking" term comes from.
To close: the only two ways you can get a front wheel drive car to oversteer is - with trailing throttle, or by upsetting the chassis. A rear wheel drive car can be induced into oversteer in exactly the same way... but it has the added flexibility (if it is powerful enough) to allow excessive throttle application to ALSO cause oversteer. Drifting is just this throttle-induced oversteer.
For performance applications, usually, folks favour rear wheel drive cars - as they are more flexible, so to speak. Having said this, rally drivers can really wheel an FWD car around in the dirt... pendulum turns and all, hehe.