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Testing tires for vehicle handling
Understanding how and why tires steer makes a tire expert out of a tire dealer.
The handling of a vehicle is its response to a rapid turn of the steering wheel or to outside forces such as wind or a dip on one side of the road. Handling becomes most important at high speed or high angle of turn. The term is used to describe how satisfied a driver is with the control of a vehicle during critical maneuvers.
Tests for handling
Handling is affected by so many tire and vehicle properties that no laboratory test can give adequate ratings. So tests are made on conventional vehicles driven on roads or courses that are designed to give repeatable results. Although some computerized methods have been developed to rate handling, final ratings are generally given by drivers.
Test courses are built and used by vehicle manufacturers, tire manufacturers, government agencies and independent testers. Routes, marked by pylons, are laid-out on well-defined surfaces. Different courses are used to simulate different driving situations that can produce handling problems. A common course is a circle. Drivers see how fast they can go without knocking down pylons that mark the circular route.
Another course is the slalom. Drivers see how …