25 Car Terms You Need To Know

Polar Moment of Inertia

Meaning: In the car world, this term refers to any car's resistance to turning. To figure out an individual car's polar moment, you need to know the individual weight of all components of the car separately -- as well as each component's distance from the car's center of gravity. Then you multiply the weight of each component by the square of its distance from the car's center of gravity.Therefore, larger polar moments of inertia occur when individual components of the car with heavier weight are further away from the car's center of gravity. If you're a racecar engineer, you already know this. If you're a car enthusiast who just wants to drive better on the street, you may not have the patience to do all that math. To explain it very simply: keep heavier car components as close to your car's center of gravity as possible in order to lower your car's polar moment issues. A mid-engined car will have a fairly low polar moment, assuming it isn't towing an elephant.

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