have you ever...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by marshman, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. marshman

    marshman just try to follow me....i dare ya...

    wondered why either car or boat, doesnt matter...can you hold the steering mechanism perfetly straight and still, but still not go in a perfectly straight line....?? i always wondered that...
  2. B.Lee

    B.Lee Well-Known Member

    I remember when I was a little kid, watching my dad drive, and asking why he was always turning back and forth. I don't remember his asnswer.

    I could tell you why, but I think ;)that would defeat the purpose of the question...

  3. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    1) Gravity sucks and the wind blows.
    2) Roads aren't flat, they're built with a tilt to get rainwater off quickly.
    3) Propellers spin and the direction of spin twists the hull in the other direction
    4) And who said you were holding the wheel/tiller in the perfect position to go in a straight line?


    I don't need a purpose, just a good question, and off I go.


    5) Coriolis effect?
    6) The earth is round, can't travel in a straight line and remain on a round object!
  4. B.Lee

    B.Lee Well-Known Member

    tires sidewalls flex, tread squirms, terra firma moves, wind blows (I think you said that one)

    Aside from that, numerous centripetal and centrifugal forces at almost countless different angles are pulling and pushing the vehicle in every direction. Amazingly you only have to slightly move the steering wheel to keep it all going in the same direction. :D
  5. paint it black

    paint it black Paddling away...

    Also, a good old fancy alignment can solve most issues.  If I let go of the steering wheel on my truck, it will usually keep a straight track for about a block distance. then it'll slowly start to wander in either direction. Unless there's something on the street, a hole, or a pedestrian. Then it goes off course quickly. :D
  6. Kemo

    Kemo The world is flat....and shallow.

    Yes, road surface matters al lot.  I used to drive on the PA Turnpike.  At the time, studded snow tires hand worn shallow grooves in the concrete road surface.  I could take my hands off the wheel at 60 MPH and my '78 VW Rabbit would follow these grooves and go through the curves by itself, if the curves weren't too steep.  Biggest difference between then and now:  Toe-in.  They used to use a considerable amount of toe-in to make a car track easily and handle better.  Very little tire wear as a result, but some decrease in MPG.  To improve mileage, they started using almost zero toe-in.  Best mileage, but loss of certain handling characteristics, resulting in "drift" caused by imperfect road surface.

     "6) The earth is round, can't travel in a straight line and remain on a round object!"  (Brett)

    True it's round and doesn't travel in a straight line, but it's mass and gravity so far outweighs an automobile that this could not possibly cause a noticeably discernable effect on the steering of your car.

    Kemo :cool: