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Power Steering

Everyone has heard the phrase “Power steering”. Or at least the steering wheel; that familiar with that circular thing that is used to control the movement of a vehicle; even small children when demonstrating driving always find a circular material to turn.

But then, have you ever wondered how that small circular piece of metal (nowadays it has plastic, leather, buttons and all sorts) manages to turn the tyres and do it easily?

Let’s Hit-The-Garage and disassemble: “Power Steering”

Power Steering

The Power steering is a powered steering – okay that’s saying the same thing. It is the augmenting of the steering effort applied by the driver to make turning the wheels much easier.

It was patented by Robert E. Twyford on April 3, 1900, but Chrysler Corporation introduced the first commercially available passenger car power steering system on the 1951 Chrysler Imperial under the name “Hydraguide”.

Types of Power Steering Systems

  1. Hydraulic system
  2. Electro-Hydraulic System
  3. Electric system
  4. Drive by wire

Hydraulic power steering systems

They work by using a hydraulic (oil pressure) system to multiply force applied to the steering wheel inputs to the vehicle’s steered (usually front) road wheels.

The hydraulic pressure typically comes from a gerotor or rotary vane pump driven by the vehicle’s engine. A double-acting hydraulic cylinder applies force to the steering gear, which in turn steers the roadwheels. The steering wheel operates valves to control flow to the cylinder.

In other words, when you turn the steering, the engine drives the pump, and the pump sends pressurized oil to the steering gear, and the gear turns the wheels

The more torque the driver applies to the steering wheel and column, the more fluid the valves allow through to the cylinder, and so the more force that is applied to steer the wheels.

In other words, the more you turn the steering, the more pressurized oil is sent to the steering gear and the easier it is to turn the wheels.

Electro-hydraulic System

Electro-hydraulic systems, sometimes abbreviated EHPS, and also sometimes called “hybrid” systems, use the same hydraulic assist technology as standard systems, but the hydraulic pressure comes from a pump driven by an electric motor instead of a drive. Electric power assisted steering (EPS/EPAS) or motor-driven power steering (MDPS) uses an electric motor to assist the driver of a vehicle belt at the engine.

Drive by wire

Power steering systems (such as those in the largest off-road construction vehicles) have no direct mechanical connection to the steering linkage; they require electrical power.Systems of this kind, with no mechanical connection, are sometimes called “drive by wire” or “steer by wire”, by analogy with aviation’s “fly-by wire“.In this context, “wire” refers to electrical cables that carry power and data, not thin wire rope mechanical control cables.

ELECTRIC SYSTEMS

Electric power assisted steering (EPS/EPAS) or motor-driven power steering (MDPS) uses an electric motor to assist the driver of a vehicle .

These systems have an advantage in fuel efficiency because there is no belt-driven hydraulic pump constantly running, whether assistance is required or not, and this is a major reason for their introduction.Another major advantage is the elimination of a belt-driven engine accessory, and several high-pressure hydraulic hoses between the hydraulic pump, mounted on the engine, and the steering gear, mounted on the chassis.

This greatly simplifies manufacturing and maintenance. By incorporating electronic stability control, these systems can instantly vary in torque assist levels to aid the driver in corrective maneuvers.

My power steering, My ease

It’s never a good thing for your power steering to fail you in the middle of a trip.

Follow these five steps to ensure a stress free driving!

Check your power steering fluid level

Power steering fluid is essential to the operation of the entire system. The pump creates pressure so that the fluid can apply that pressure to the piston. Most times, problems arise because a leak has developed and the fluid is low. You may start to feel that the steering wheel is harder to turn and hear a squealing noise when you turn the wheel.

Being caught on the road with no power steering is never fun. We always suggest that you check the fluid level before you go on a long trip and after you return. Otherwise, checking the power steering fluid when you get an oil change is a good practice to follow

2. Check the high and low-pressure hoses

Two hoses transport the power steering fluid. One supplies the fluid with high-pressure and the other returns it to the fluid tank with low-pressure. It’s common for leaks to develop in these hoses. They should be checked periodically to make sure they aren’t rubbing against each other and protective coverings are intact.

3. Change the filter every year

Some drivers aren’t even aware there’s a power steering fluid filter. You should change this filter every year or when your owner’s manual dictates. It’s always important to keep the fluid clean and free flowing to reduce wear-and-tear on your pump. The amount of contaminants that find their way into the fluid would amaze you.

4. Inspect the power steering fluid

Changing the filter and keeping your fluid contaminant free also protects the quality of the fluid and how well it works. You can try to determine the quality of the fluid at home by taking a sample, inspecting the color and checking for pieces of metal and other dirt and grime. The darker the fluid, the worse off it is. If the fluid is dark and has particles floating around in it, the fluid should be flushed and replaced

5.Replace the pump if needed

Low fluid levels and dirty fluid can impact your pump in a negative way. If you start to hear a whirring or whining sound as you drive, it could be a sign that your pump is about to fail. It’s always smart to have it checked by an automobile mechanic and replaced if need be. There are much more expensive power steering repairs that could follow a bad pump if not repaired.

Stay tuned to iknowmotors.com while you enjoy a stress free driving.

30 thoughts on “Power Steering”

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