Torque, like horsepower, is a word that car manufacturers like to use when they promote the vehicles they manufacture. The fact is that torque is just as important as horsepower although it isn’t often given the credit it deserves. In the 1980s, torque was rarely mentioned, in fact. Today’s cars, however, have a significant amount of technology, comfort and safety features which add to the weight of the vehicle. For this reason, torque is important to the engine to get the vehicle moving properly.
What is Torque?
Torque is the engine’s rotational force and is normally expressed in relation to an engine speed. A car feels more responsive when peak torque occurs in low rev ranges, but there are many people who enjoy driving vehicles with engines that must be revved significantly before peak torque is reached. The larger the vehicle, the more important torque is. For example, a tiny Smartcar does not need a lot of torque, but an SUV towing a boat will need a significant amount of torque.
How to Measure Torque
Torque is simply a mathematical equation and is computed by multiplying the force needed to move an object. If it takes you 20 pounds of force to tighten a lug nut on a vehicle with an 18-inch wrench, the equation would be “20 (lb) x 1.5 (ft) = 30 lb” of torque. In other words, tightening the lug nut would require 30 pounds of torque.
What is Braking Torque?
Braking torque is the force applied to the brake wheel to stop something from moving. In other words, braking torque is the power of the braking system. To determine braking torque, multiply the force exerted by the caliper with the effective radius of the system. Braking torque changes with the force applied by the caliper or the radius.
What is the Difference Between Torque and Horsepower?
Torque differs from horsepower as horsepower refers to how quickly an engine delivers work while torque explains how much work an engine can exert. Torque is often referred to as “pulling power” while horsepower is usually referred to as simply “power.” Torque is normally referred to in either Newton metres or pound feet.
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