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Is it true

Someone told me that if you lower your car you loose grip in the wet.

Is this true or were they talking bollox? If its true can you please explain why? Thanks

  Corsa 1.3 CDTI

I always thought grip was down to the tyres you are using and I am hoping the laws of physics havent changed to much since leaving school !
  Astra 1.9cdti XP

I alway though that lowering = firmer suspension = more chance of a wheel lifting of the ground (due to uneven surfaces etc = less grip

I take it its not true then!


Im booked in to get Koni adjustables fitted on Monday.

I didnt think it could possibly be true.

In theory lowering your car may affect wet-weather grip, but there are lots of other factors involved (tyres, tyre pressures, srings, dampers, anti-roll bars etc.).

One reason why race cars are set up softer in the wet than the dry is to do with weight transfer. For instance, on a right-hand corner you would want most of your weight over the l/h front wheel (this why you see kart racers trying to headbutt their front wheels in the wet).

By lowering your car you are lowering its centre of gravity, thereby reducing weight transfer.

However, on a FWD car this may actually help traction (less transfer to the rear).

Having said all that (and its not a very clear explanation) I would have thought you would have to lower the car by a lot to make a noticeable difference on the road.

Geordiepaul - correct I think.

If you have less ground clearance you will probably have to run the car stiffer to stop it grounding out. Stiffer = less grip.
  Williams 2, STi N12

Not strictly true. Lowering the car should give you more grip in the wet!! This is due to the ventura effect, as used on most racing cars. The high pressure/low pressure differential increases and hence so does the amount of downforce and mechanical grip.

Obviously this depends on a lot of different factors so Im not sure it would apply to a normal road going car. The major factor is tyre contact with the road.

I was talking about mechanical grip rather than aerodynamic grip.

I would have thought this effect would be negligible at normal road speeds unless the cars front end and underside has been modified.
  Corsa 1.3 CDTI

To lower the centre of gravity so you can corner faster and you get less body roll on hard springs as well.

ive had my 16v lowered on koni dampers and springs and it handles much better than before! less body roll, no change on amount of grip as its mostly down to your tyres! and plus it looks better too!

its not so much the height of the car, but the settings your running.

in the wet, i rnu the rear track narrower than the fronts, this helps heep weight over the front wheels as your altering the pivoting point and the polar moment of inertia.

in the wet, the key to fast progress is SMOOTH!!! on everything. smooth on the throttle, brakes and steering. having asoft setup stops the car taranferring weight as quicky as it would with hard dampin/compression and spring rates. ARBs are often taken off sot he car can roll and generally slow the speed of weight transfer. This helps by not unsettling the car and loading any one tyre by a huge amount. You will never lift a rar wheel in the wet unless you have some amazing tyre that works like velcro!!

there is no one defining setting, it all depends on driver skill/style and enviromental factors.

i wouldnt worry about it.