We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Torque Steering?

By Eric Tallberg
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Automobiles with front-wheel drive-trains (FWD) are often subject to what is called torque steering. As the name implies, torque steering is essentially the application of too much power, or torque, to the driveshaft of one front wheel too quickly. Thus, the over-powered wheel spins quicker than the other, resulting in the auto pulling to one side under heavy acceleration.

The most common mechanical cause of torque steering is uneven driveshaft lengths, and the uneven twisting of the shafts under acceleration. With this uneven length, engine power is transferred to the wheel with the shorter driveshaft a fraction of a second before it reaches the opposite wheel. This first wheel gains traction and pulls the vehicle toward that direction before the other wheel can gain enough traction to compensate. As acceleration is increased, traction and lag in the front wheels are also increased exponentially. Hard acceleration, therefore, leads to high torque steering.

Apart from differing driveshaft length, other mechanical causes of torque steer include poor tire sidewall design, engine movement from side to side that is the result of differing flexibility in engine mounts, and differences in road surface beneath the separate front wheels. While the mechanical problems associated with torque steering are fixable, each is expensive and ordinarily beyond the capabilities of the average driver. Examination of an auto’s FWD system by a prospective buyer before purchasing or driving the vehicle ought to alert the buyer to potential steering torque problems. Autos with a double-wishbone suspension, for example, are less prone to steering torque issues.

It’s obvious, however, that the most effective and least costly method in mitigating torque steering is to maintain steady incremental acceleration of a vehicle from a stop. Gentle acceleration allows both wheels to maintain even traction. This controlled traction will keep the vehicle headed in the desired direction, with little or no pull to one side.

Steering wheel torque, steering stem torque, and power steering torque, though occasionally equated with torque steering, are actually separate system dynamics having to do with the actual movement of the steering wheel, and the effort needed to turn the auto. Each may, however, contribute to the effects of torque steer, either positively or negatively. Steering wheel torque, steering stem torque, and power steering torque involve the actual force required and delivered by the steering system in turning the wheels in the direction desired. Steering torque is as much dependent on driver muscle power as on any power-assisted mechanical means. Torque steering essentially overpowers steering torque, taking steering control, at least momentarily, out of the hands of the driver.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.