All You Need to Know About Power Steering
Power steering is one of the best labor-saving technologies in the automotive industry. In the sense that basically what a power steering does is that it reduces the effort needed to control the steering wheel. If power steering wasn’t a thing some vehicles would be extremely heavy to handle especially at low speeds.

An example of a low speed man oeuvre is when you slow down into a parking spot, pulling into the gas station queue or turning a sharp corner.

History of Power Steering

The power steering rack system was initially introduced in the Chrysler Imperial 1951 model. When power steering first came out it reduced the effort required to control the car plus it also allowed or much better steering response. Steering response refers to the rate at which the car turns when the steering wheel is rotated by the driver.

You must be wondering how steering was before 1951. Before power steering was a thing the wheel was geared so the driver had to tow the wheel quite a bit before pulling into a parking spot or making a tight turn. Thanks to power steering the steering ratio has drastically improved over the years. Steering a car is now effortless and smooth.

Hydraulic Power Steering

Hydraulic power steering was the first type of power steering to enter into the market in 1951. As the name suggests this type of steering uses a hydraulic fluid that is pressurized with the help of a pump that is powered off the engine.

Hydraulic Power Steering has been around for quite some time now but there are some disadvantages of using such a system. The first and most obvious downside is the wasted energy so the inefficiency of the pump which is running nonstop. Even when there is no turning of the steering wheel the pump will keep running.

Electric Power Steering

Hydraulic power steering is a thing of the past now because EPS or Electronic Power Steering has reduced the inefficiency and energy loss and has become the norm in today’s automotive industry.

The design is almost similar to a steering shaft connected from the steering wheel to the rack which controls the tires but everything else is electronic.

An EPS consists of an electric motor that utilizes the electrical system of the vehicle to provide power steering. The motor is either fitted on the steering column or on the steering rack which is the norm or luxury and sports cars.

What basically happens here is that the motor uses a couple of sensors to detect the effort applied by the driver and decide how much assist it should give. The computer chip also factors in the speed of the vehicle.

Electro Hydraulic Steering

As the name suggests this is a combination of the EPS and Hydraulic system. The steering system used a hydraulic fluid but instead of a pump, the pressure is created using an electric motor.

These are 3 main types of steering systems in the market right now. EPS is the clear winner in this battle as it offers the best handling, steering ratio and comfort.

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