Steering Marks – Part 2
“Dry Steering” an article from Quora
From Dan Tucker – Master Defensive Driving Instructor (Wasilla, Alaska)
Blake has some good information below, but I’ll add a bit more.
The action of ‘steering’ – turning the steering wheel while the vehicle is not rolling is often referred to as ‘dry steering.’ And dry steering is very hard on tires, the ground (pavement), and the vehicle.
Tires – because when they are not rolling they are purely ‘grinding’ as they are turned. Try this – stand on one foot and try to ‘turn your foot.’ Do you feel torque and hear the grinding? Picture this with hundreds – perhaps thousands of pounds of pressure pressing down instead of you paltry few. Oh, and the ‘grinding’ action just wears and tears ‘miles’ of tread-life off or your tires.
Ground (pavement) – look around in a parking lot where cars do a lot of turning and notice the black ‘skid marks’ (many of them ‘circular’) and some of them that actually ‘tore up’ the asphalt. That represent the number of times and places someone ‘ dry steered.’
And vehicle – the ‘twist’ you tried on your own foot up above… Multiply that by a few hundred times for the torque on your steering parts. Blake mentioned the power steering – which is a powered assist for the steering gear box, the machine that turns your steering wheel action into tires moving. There are many moving parts underneath the vehicle that are put under severe stress when you turn the steering wheel. Some time when you have the chance, either watch underneath the front of someone’s vehicle while they steer it or have someone turn your steering wheel while you watch it. If this is done while the vehicle is moving – even ever-so-slowly – then it is a relatively non-stress action. But do that when the vehicle is not moving and it’s like trying to turn your foot – as you did in the first step above. Steering is always easier, whether you’ve got power steering or not, when the vehicle is moving – just a bit harder when you don’t have power steering. Back when nobody had power steering we called that ‘armstrong steering.’
Don’t dry steer – even with a car. It wears out your tires much faster and will wear out your vehicle front-end parts much more quickly.