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RE: How to Learn your Car...?

So, my problem is that I'm too timid, and I don't want to hit a curb and
bend a wheel (or worse).  I can't really make myself enter these
turns at a high rate of speed (some sort of instinctive reaction to 
slow down I guess).  Without snow, what's a good way to test the limits of
a car without causing any harm/problems?  With all the warnings
recently about not letting off the throttle in a turn, I want to know my
car well -- but not wreck it in the process.

In one word: autocross

There is no better and safer way to learn how your car handles at the
limit - and beyond. If you are in the States just contact SCCA and
inquire about local Solo II (autocross) events.