Tackling The Twisties: Three Often-Overlooked Upgrades That Will Make Your Car Handle More Like A Go-Kart

When it comes to improving a car's cornering ability, a lot of drivers think it's sufficient to simply upgrade their stock springs and shocks with an aftermarket coilover kit. Performance coilovers certainly can improve your car's handling: they reduce its ride height which lowers its center of gravity. They also use stiffer springs and shocks to reduce body roll when cornering at high speeds.

However, if you want to get maximum handling performance out of your car, aftermarket coilovers are only the start of the story. There are a number of additional supporting modifications you should install, some of which will actually improve handling even more than upgrading your stock springs and shocks.

Summer Performance Tires

When it comes to handling, tires are the name of the game. No matter what kind of suspension system you install, your car's cornering speeds are ultimately limited by the amount of grip your tires have.

For the sake of efficiency, most cars come from the factory with a set of all-season tires that offer adequate performance in virtually every scenario. In contrast, summer performance tires are designed to deliver maximum grip on dry, warm pavement. You'll lose some performance in wet and cold scenarios, but you'll have far more grip when you're carving up twisty roads on nice days.

Performance Control Arms

Upgraded control arms are the perfect compliment to a set of performance coilovers. Essentially, your car's control arms link its shocks to its chassis, which helps keep the suspension stable while cornering or going over bumps. Most cars come from the factory with relatively flimsy control arms that are designed to flex under loads to make the car as smooth and comfortable as possible.

In contrast, performance control arms are thicker and more rigid. They are also available with polyurethane bushings, which are less flexible than the rubber bushings found on stock control arms. They work in conjunction with stiffer springs and shocks to tighten up your car's suspension and minimize body roll when cornering. All of that translates into increased feedback from the road and faster cornering speeds.

Performance Brakes

When it comes to navigating twisty roads, your car's braking performance is just as important as its cornering ability. Upgrading your brake system lets you slow down later before entering a corner, meaning you'll be able to stay on the throttle longer on straightaways. Performance brakes can also take more abuse before overheating so you won't have to pull over midway through your spirited drives to let your brakes cool down.

The first upgrade you should perform is a set of performance brake pads. They bite harder than stock pads giving you more stopping power, and they can handle higher temperatures. If you want even more performance, upgrade your stock brake rotors. Performance rotors are larger so they are better at dissipating heat than stock units, further increasing the endurance of your brakes.

For maximum performance, you can also install a set of performance calipers. They're larger than stock calipers so you can install larger pads for maximum stopping force. They're also available in multi-piston designs to give your brakes more bite and improve the feedback from your brake pedal.

In Conclusion

Unless you own an all-out supercar, many of your car's stock components are designed to be cost-effective while delivering maximum comfort for everyday drivers. Swapping out your car's stock tires, suspension, and brake components for performance units can completely transform the way your car drives, making it much more capable on twisty roads.

Of course, proper installation all of these components is extremely important to make your car safe to drive. If you're not amply experienced with automobile maintenance, have a reputable repair shop perform your upgrades for you to ensure that everything is installed according to factory specifications. For more information, contact companies like Furgersons Garage.