Why is it that a cars chassis tilts right when revving, yet it’s stationary?



Noticed this particularly in cars with large engines. Is it something to do with torque? The forces caused by the driveshaft spinning?

In: Engineering

It’s caused by the torque of the rotaing mass of the engine. Even when the transmission isn’t engaged, the flywheel behind the engine is still spinning.

Most automotive engine flywheels rotate (as viewed from the flywheel) counterclockwise – left. According to Newton’s law, the engine and everything it’s attached to will want to rotate in the opposite direction- right.

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When the motor spins in one direction, the rest of the car feels a force* in the opposite direction. *(technically a torque; it’s like force, but in a rotational frame instead of linear.)

It’s like when a motorcycle accelerates too fast and pulls a wheelie. The rear wheel is spinning “forward”; the rest of the bike gets spun the other way. If this torque is strong enough to overcome the force of gravity, the front wheel lifts up off the ground.

In your car’s engine, it’s the same thing, except the spinning motion is sideways, so your car lurches to the (other) side instead of to the back.