What is Power Steering System in Cars?
Power steering reduces a driver's effort to turn the steering wheel at every round. Power steering is usually lightweight and much easier to manoeuvre during slow turns, such as when pulling into a parking spot.
Learn about power steering, normal steering, the difference between them, and more.
What Is Power Steering?
Power steering is a system that aids in vehicle navigation, reducing the effort the driver needs. It utilises hydraulic or electric mechanisms to amplify the force applied to the wheel, making it easier to turn. Power steering enhances manoeuvrability, control, and driving comfort in automobiles.
Power steering has become a standard feature in modern vehicles, greatly enhancing the driving experience.
What Is the Difference Between Power Steering and Normal Steering?
Find out the key differences between normal and power steering in the following table:
Power steering enhances piloting responsiveness by preventing resistance to the steering wheel.
Navigation speed is slower in manual due to variances in wheel movement resistance.
Power steering in cars reduces the amount of physical strength required for routing manually.
The driver is solely responsible for exerting the entire force for steering.
Drivers can make precise turns with a power steering wheel.
Drivers experience greater challenges controlling the manual system.
Power steering helps to cushion the impact of bumps and potholes, making for a smoother ride.
Manual steering can cause the steering to jerk or vibrate when the car hits a bump.
How Power Steering Works?
A power steering system comprises various components, including a steering wheel & column, universal joint, rack, and pinion. The steering wheel is connected to the steering column, which, in turn, connects to the pinion and rack via a universal joint. The rack's other end remains attached to the wheel assembly through tie rods.
The steering wheel serves as the interface between the driver and the vehicle, as the driver applies twisting force to rotate it.
However, the internal workings of power steering in cars function as follows:
Step 1: The driver's input on the wheel causes the rotation of the column.
Step 2: This rotational motion is transmitted through the universal joint from the steering column to the pinion and rack.
Step 3: The pinion and rack consist of two gears that facilitate turning the car wheels in the desired direction.
What are the Types of Power Steering?
Most modern cars come with a power steering system. You will mostly find these three steering system types in them:
Electric Power Steering
Electric power steering (EPS) is an advanced technology used to assist drivers in navigating their vehicles with ease. As opposed to traditional hydraulic power steering systems, EPS replaces the hydraulic pump with an electric motor. This electric motor is connected to the steering system and provides the necessary power assistance based on input from various sensors.
Hydraulic Power Steering
Hydraulic power steering (HPS) is a system that uses hydraulic fluid to amplify the driver's input, making it easier to turn the wheels of a vehicle. It is the most common type of power steering system in use today.
The steering gear is a hydraulic actuator that turns the wheels in response to the driver's input. The hydraulic lines connect the power steering pump to the steering gear.
Hybrid Power Steering
Hybrid power steering is an advanced technology that combines the benefits of both hydraulic and electric power steering systems. It is designed to provide efficient and precise steering assistance while optimising energy consumption.
In a hybrid power steering system, a combination of hydraulic and electric components assists the driver in turning the steering wheel. The system typically includes an electric motor, a hydraulic pump, a control unit, and sensors.
Is It Dangerous to Drive Without a Power Steering System?
No, it is not dangerous to drive without power steering. However, it is not recommended for several reasons:
It takes more effort to turn the wheel, especially at low speeds.
This can make it difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces or avoid obstacles.
If you have to make a sudden turn, you may not be able to do so quickly enough.
This could lead to a collision.
Without power steering, the wheel may feel "heavy" or "rubbery." This can make it difficult to control the vehicle, especially in slippery or windy conditions.
If the power steering fails while driving, it is important to stop by the side of the road as soon as possible.
What Are the Advantages of a Power Steering System?
There are multiple advantages to having power steering. Check out some of the most prominent ones below:
Reduced Effort: Power steering makes it easier to turn a wheel, especially at low speeds. This can be a major advantage, especially for older drivers or those with limited strength.
Improved Manoeuvrability: Power steering can help improve your vehicle's manoeuvrability, making it easier to park and manoeuvre in tight spaces.
Enhanced Safety: Power steering can help improve safety by making it easier for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles, especially in emergencies.
Increased Comfort: Power steering can help increase comfort by reducing the effort required to turn a wheel. This can be especially helpful on long road trips.
Improved Fuel Economy: Some studies have shown that power steering can help improve fuel economy by up to 3%. This is because power steering only comes into use when the wheel is turned, which is not frequent at higher speeds.
Reduced Driver Fatigue: Power steering can help reduce driver fatigue, especially on long trips. This is because it requires less effort to turn a wheel, which can help reduce muscle strain and stress.
Improved Handling: Power steering can help improve the handling of your vehicle by making it more responsive to your inputs. This can be especially helpful in emergencies.
Added Convenience: Power steering can add convenience to your driving experience by making it easier to park and manoeuvre in tight spaces.
Tips to Consider While Driving Without Power Steering
If you must drive without power steering, there are a few things you can do to make it safer:
Tip 1: Slow down. This will give you more time to react and make steering adjustments.
Tip 2: Avoid sharp turns. If you must make a sharp turn, do so slowly and carefully.
Tip 3: Be aware of your surroundings. It will help you anticipate potential hazards and make necessary adjustments.
Tip 4: Use your horn and signals. This will help other drivers know what you are doing and avoid collisions.
Tip 5: Keep your hands on the wheel at all times. It will help you maintain control of the vehicle.
Tip 6: Do not over-correct. If you make a mistake, do not try to correct it too quickly. It could make the situation worse.
Tip 7: Be patient. Turning the steering wheel will take more time and effort, so be patient and make gradual adjustments.
If you are concerned about driving without power steering, it is best to have it repaired as soon as possible. This will help ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.
By following these tips, you can safely drive without power steering until it is repaired. However, it is important to remember that driving without power steering is not ideal and should only be the last resort.
Power steering is a valuable safety feature that can make driving easier, more comfortable, and more fuel-efficient. If you are looking for a new car, it is a good idea to consider a vehicle with power steering.