self-aligning torque


self-aligning torque
A torque which is created by the tire when the vehicle corners. The force created at the tire patch acts toward the rear of the actual center of the wheel. This action is called "pneumatic trail." It has the same effect as positive caster and can be increased by increasing the positive caster. Thus the trail distance (distance from the point at which the cornering force acts to the center of the wheel or steering axis) is a moment arm that results in a torque that tends to decrease the existing slip angle and force the wheel back to the straight-ahead position. This self-aligning torque is transmitted through the steering mechanism to the steering wheel and can be felt as steering effort or road feel.

Dictionary of automotive terms. 2015.

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