How Car Steering Works

Turning the Car

You might be surprised to learn that when you turn your car, your front wheels are not pointing in the same direction.

For a car to turn smoothly, each wheel must follow a different circle. Since the inside wheel is following a circle with a smaller radius, it is actually making a tighter turn than the outside wheel. If you draw a line perpendicular to each wheel, the lines will intersect at the center point of the turn. The geometry of the steering linkage makes the inside wheel turn more than the outside wheel.

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There are a couple different types of steering gears. The most common are rack-and-pinion and recirculating ball.