Regardless of whether your car cost £8,000 or £180,000 to manufacture when it was brand new, carmakers tend to compromise between cost and function when it comes to developing the best handling for their vehicles.
All too often, car owners complain about certain characteristics of their car’s handling being somewhat lax or inefficient; for example, some of the most common complaints about a car’s handling is its inability to go around corners at speed without it feeling like it’s about to topple over!
So if you own a Ford Fiesta or a Ferrari F40 (or something in between), and you want to fix your car’s lacklustre handling, here are 5 practical ways to help you do so!
1. Fit bigger wheels
In order to keep costs down to a minimum for lower spec cars, manufacturers will often fit what people in the motor trade call “skinny wheels”; these are typically 13-inch steel wheels with narrow tyres, such as 165/65 R13 sizes.
You will often find small hatchbacks and city cars with such small wheels, but the good news is that you can upgrade to bigger wheels to help your car stick to the road like a go-kart!
2. Fit premium tyres
It is a fairly well-known fact that cheap budget tyres (and even some mid-range tyres) are pretty much useless in anything but perfect road and weather conditions. Aside from your brakes, your tyres are the thing that will keep you from crashing your car if you make an error of judgment when you drive.
There are many premium-quality tyres that you can buy for all sorts of wheel sizes, and quite often they are more cost effective as you don’t need to replace your tyres as often as if you were rolling around on cheap budget tyres!
3. Lower your car
Sometimes known in car modifying circles as “slamming your car to the deck” the process of lowering your car refers to fitting replacement spring and shock absorber suspension components on all four corners of your car.
Lowering kits can cost anything from £100 to £1,000 as it depends on how much you want to customise your suspension geometry. A drop of 20 mm to 30 mm from the standard height will ensure better road handling without sacrificing ride comfort.
4. Get your wheel balancing and alignment checked
This might not as exciting as improving the visual stance of your car, but getting your wheels balanced and aligned are still as equally important an improvement as any of the others on this page.
For example, when you buy your car secondhand, either the wheel alignment or wheel balancing (or both) can be incorrect, causing premature tyre wear and adverse handling.
5. Change your control arms
Sometimes known in the trade as “lower arms”, the control arms on your car are essential to the operation of your suspension, wheel and braking systems. They contain rubber bushes which dampen any vibrations from the road or engine, and after a while these bushes deteriorate, causing poor handling (and a noisy suspension setup).