Does Autocross Hurt Your Car?

Michael Deem

February 12, 2023

Michael W. Deem

Autocross is a car control event that’s similar to road racing but with a much lower speed. Drivers go one at a time through courses defined by traffic cones on large parking lots or airport runways.

Few things can hurt your car during an autocross run, especially if it is running on street tires. But there are some things that you can do to help protect your vehicle and improve your performance.


Autocross is a low-speed, timed driving event where drivers get to test their skills and their car’s capabilities. They can also learn how to avoid unsafe situations and maximize their performance.

Brakes are an essential part of your braking system during an autocross event. They generate heat when brake pads contact a spinning brake disc at the front or rear of your vehicle.

The friction generated by the pad against the disc slows down the spinning disc, generating heat that causes air bubbles to form in the brake fluid. That boils the fluid and reduces your brakes’ stopping power.

Fortunately, you can improve your braking performance during an autocross event by making simple modifications to your braking system. The results will benefit your car both on the street and on the race course.


During an autocross event, tires are vital to your car’s performance. They help you navigate the course by providing vast amounts of grip and traction to the road surface and extreme steering responsiveness so you can control your car with incredible precision at all speeds.

The best autocross tires must have a soft and sticky tread compound to maximize their grip on the track. With this, you will be able to achieve the best possible results at your next autocross event.

A good autocross tire must also have a high treadwear rating to keep up with the harsh conditions you will encounter during an autocross event. A good tire should wear about half as quickly as a standard street tire and be rated around 140 to 150 for its treadwear.

Many different tire types can be used for autocross racing. These include DOT-approved slicks and treaded/shaved tires.


The steering of your car during an autocross event is essential. It will help you maintain your position on the slalom cones, saving you time.

To achieve this, you must have smooth and quick steering inputs. That doesn’t mean slow steering, though it can be done if you practice.

You should be able to see your front tires when steering, which will give you an idea of where you are pointing at the car.

Reducing your wheel weight is a good idea, as this will make the steering much more responsive. You can do this by lowering the wheel hubs or reducing the unsprung weight (which includes your wheels, tires, and axles).

When navigating an autocross course, you must be careful not to oversteer. This will cause your rear tires to lose traction and your car to go sideways. Avoid this as much as possible by braking early and staying wide of the corner.


Autocross is a fast-paced motorsports event that requires a high level of skill and precision. It’s a great way to test your car’s limits and better understand how it responds to different situations.

The transmission is critical to your vehicle’s performance and can be affected by several factors. These include slipping, symptomatic noises, and lack of fluid due to leaks or overheating.

Depending on your car’s specific transmission, it might need to be replaced. It may also need to be serviced and inspected by a professional.

Before participating in autocross, ensure your transmission is maintained correctly and that you have enough fluid to keep it lubricated and functioning. This will help to prevent any severe damage from occurring during the event.


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