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Wheels, car and friction concepts

  1. Apr 30, 2015 #1
    Hello, I am a high school student and I am studying about rotational motion this term. However, I am having a bit of trouble understanding some concepts about this idea; specifically about cars and turns.

    First of all before talking about cars turning corners and the forces there, I don't even think I understand how a car moves. I know that it uses friction, but the idea is unclear. Is it related to newton's third law, the car pushes on the road and the road pushes back, but where does friction come in play here?

    The second part of my question is related to cars when the turn around a curve. I've had a couple of problem solving about these types of questions and I was able to solve them because they are simply about finding the unknowns and using kinematics equations and newton's 2nd law. However, I don't understand again how friction plays a part in this. We took in class that centripetal force isn't actually a force, so other forces cause it. Like normal, gravity, friction... In the case of the car it is friction, but why and how?

    I've been searching for this for over a week now and although I found many detailed answers nothing really made me understand it yet :( , and I feel i am wont understand the lesson unless I can understand this part.
    So thanks alot for anyone who will take the time to explain this puzzling dilemma to me. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2015 #2


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    Science Advisor

    The pushing is via friction

    There are many threads on this. Search for "friction turning car" or similar.
  4. May 4, 2015 #3
    -Try to roll back with your hand over the other free hand feel the friction between your hands the roll hand pushes your free hand backward , if you add some oil on your free hand and repeat the experiment your roll hand won't be able to push the free hand backward)

    - Consider a rolling wheel the rolling wheel is now directed to certain angel via steering mechanism again the wheel try to push the ground backward but this time with a certain angle , a force will developed at this certain angle , resolving this force to the straight and side directions you will get the forces moving the wheel in forward and side directions. ( in vehicle dynamics they treat the subject more advanced ) but this is a good start to get it .
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