What is Power Steering

What is Power Steering

What is Power Steering?
Power steering meaning: The steering system of a vehicle is one of its key components. In a hydraulic power steering system, the effort required to turn the wheel of a vehicle by the rotation of the steering wheel is reduced with the help of hydraulic assistance.

Power steering meaning: The steering system of a vehicle is one of its key components. In a hydraulic power steering system, the effort required to turn the wheel of a vehicle by the rotation of the steering wheel is reduced with the help of hydraulic assistance.

History

The first power-steering system fitted to a production car debuted in the 1951 Chrysler Imperial, and the competition quickly followed suit. Not only did it do the obvious—allow the driver to steer a heavy vehicle with much less effort and greater comfort—but it also allowed engineers to improve steering response, which is how quickly the car changes direction when the driver turns the wheel.

Before power assist became available, cars’ steering systems had been geared so that it took many turns of the wheel to negotiate tight turns or to park. This slow gearing gave drivers more leverage against the high effort required to steer the front wheels. But the advent of it allowed engineers to quicken the steering ratio—how much the steering wheel has to be turned relative to how much the angle of the front wheels changes—because the additional steering effort could now be offset by the new system. It was more than just offset; steering a car became nearly effortless.

However, some of the best-steering vehicles—purebred, lightweight sports cars—have had no power-steering assist, such as the Acura NSX from the early 1990s, the Lotus Elise and Exige, and the Alfa Romeo 4C, which is the last remaining new car that forgoes it.

But these cars got away without it due to their lightweight and relatively narrow tires. And, still, it could be quite a chore to turn the wheel in these cars while stopped.

How does power steering work?

  • Hydraulic Power Steering: In this system, the effort required to turn the wheel of a vehicle by the rotation of the steering wheel is reduced with the help of hydraulic assistance. When the steering wheel is turned, a hydraulic pump, which draws power from the vehicle’s engine, starts to pump hydraulic fluid through the system’s lines. This high-pressure hydraulic fluid then enters a cylinder and exerts a force on the cylinder piston. This piston then pushes the hydraulic fluid ahead of it through the system’s lines, which in turn exerts pressure on the rack and pinion, coupling arrangement, multiplying the input force several times and resulting in the rotation of the vehicle’s front wheels.
  • Electric Power Steering: In this system, when the driver of a vehicle turns its steering wheel i.e., gives input, it is read by the sensors on the steering column and relayed to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) of the vehicle. The ECU, after analyzing these inputs, sends an electronic signal to an electronic motor. This motor is at the end of the steering column. The gears of this electric motor then provide torque based on the received signals from the ECU to the pinion which relays this torque to the rack and hence, turns the wheels of the vehicle.
  • Hybrid Power Steering: In this system, the entire working concept remains the same as that of the hydraulic power steering system. The only significant difference is that the hydraulic pump, which is driven by the engine, is replaced with an electric pump. This makes the whole system a bit more reliable than the one in which a hydraulic pump is used.

Is it dangerous to drive without power steering?

No, it is not dangerous to drive without power steering. What a power steering mechanism does is, it reduces the effort required to turn the steering wheel of the vehicle to change its direction. The lack of it makes this process cumbersome, especially at low speeds, resulting in driver fatigue. The effort required also increases with an increase in the vehicle’s weight.

Resource:

caranddriver.com

financialexpress.com

What is Power Steering - Kwik Kar Lewisville