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What Does Steering & Tracking Mean While Driving?

by Mandy Slake

Driving terminology can be confusing at times. Some words have more than one meaning, and others are unique to the driving experience.


Steering refers to the action of piloting the car in the direction the driver wants it to go. Steering is accomplished by turning the steering wheel. The shaft on the wheel is attached to a toothed rod called a pinion. The pinion sits over a bar with matching teeth called a rack. When the driver turns the steering wheel, the pinion causes the rack to move, turning the wheels.


Tracking is the movement of the car when the steering wheel is at dead center. When the wheel is at dead center, the car should travel in a straight line. If the car veers off to the side instead, it is said to be tracking to the left or right. Tracking can be caused by alignment problems, uneven tire wear or different tire pressures.

Tracking the Driver

Tracking can also mean tracking the car's location. There are GPS devices that parents and companies can use to track their drivers at any given moment. Some cell phone companies offer services that can track a driver's location using his cell phone. Others require special hardware installed in the vehicle.


About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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