Power steering, also known as engine power steering, is the most overlooked yet extremely important system on your vehicle. In fact, many car owners are completely unaware that their vehicle has power steering at all.
Without it, your steering effort would be so great, you’d need a tractor to turn the wheels. Power steering is an amazing invention that makes driving much easier and more enjoyable. However, many mechanics either ignore it altogether or install the wrong type of power steering fluid.
When this happens, your power steering will become ineffective or worse yet, your vehicle could possibly lose control. The end result is a very scary situation for the driver of the vehicle and a nightmare for the mechanic who has to repair the damage. Under is a list of types of Power Steering.
Integral Power Steering
An integral power steering system is one in which the power steering pump is mounted in the engine bay and directly drives the steering gear.
This type of setup has the advantage of being very compact and lightweight. It also eliminates the power steering pump from having to work against any external resistance, such as the fluid in the lines.
This type of system also offers the advantage of being extremely efficient because it uses a direct drive mechanism instead of an open-loop or closed-loop system.
In most cases, this type of setup is cheaper than other types of systems because it does not require the use of a rack and pinion or other type of gear assembly.
In some cases, it can even be cheaper than a mechanical system, which is the case when the vehicle being purchased has already been equipped with a hydraulic steering system.
Linkage Power Steering
A linkage power steering system is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to upgrade your power steering system.
It consists of a small hydraulic pump, a high-pressure control valve, and a power-driven power steering pump. The pump is mounted in the engine bay and connected by hoses to the power steering box.
The control valve is mounted in the power steering box and contains a metered orifice that regulates the flow of hydraulic fluid from the pump to the power steering box. The power-driven pump is driven by the engine through a belt and pulley system.
This eliminates the need for a separate electric motor and associated wiring. All of the parts are contained in a durable, attractive housing that is bolted to the underside of the vehicle.
Hydraulic Power Steering
A hydraulic power steering system uses pressurized fluid instead of mechanical linkages to control the movement of the vehicle’s steering wheel.
This type of power steering is much more precise and rapid in its response than the type using a rack and pinion mechanism.
It also has the advantage of being able to withstand the harsh conditions of an off-road environment. That means you can take your vehicle anywhere with confidence and not have to worry about it getting stuck.
Electric Power Steering
Electric power steering (EPS) is the process of using an electric motor to assist the driver in turning the steering wheel. This is especially useful for drivers who have a harder time turning the wheel than normal.
It can also be useful for people who have trouble with their sense of balance. Using this technology frees up your hands to operate the vehicle in other ways. For example, you can use them to drive the vehicle, operate the radio or adjust the temperature or A/C.
In most vehicles, when the steering wheel is turned even a very small amount, it is turned through a very large angle. With the help of EPS, the effort required to turn the wheel is greatly diminished.
This means that you will have a more comfortable and confident driving experience. You won’t have to struggle to keep the vehicle on course like you do now with a conventional mechanical steering system. You’ll have more control and the ability to make quicker and more precise steering adjustments.
This gives you a more fluid and responsive feel to the vehicle.
Electro-hydraulic Power Steering
This system is very common on luxury vehicles. It works by using an electro-magnetic force to create a hydraulic pressure in the steering gear.
This electro-magnetic force is created by using an electric current to produce a magnetic field. When a current passes through a wire, it produces a magnetic field around the outside of the wire.
This magnetic field is extremely strong near the surface of the wire, but it diminishes rapidly as you move away from the surface of the wire. In the case of the electro-hydraulic power steering, a steel rod is attached to the end of the valve shaft.
The other end of the rod is attached to the input shaft of the rack and pinion steering gear. This rod is called the “power” or “push” rod. It is this rod that is acted upon by the magnetic field produced by the electric current.
Advantages Of Power Steering
With power steering, the car is always easy to drive – even at low speeds and in low gear. This means that the driver can take his or her eyes off the road for longer periods of time without having to worry about the vehicle drifting out of control.
Power steering also makes it possible to travel at higher speeds with much less fatigue. The result: Increased safety for you and your passengers. Power steering has many other advantages as well.
It lowers the input torque and continuous steering function.
This allows the steering ratio to be reduced, which in turn lowers steering effort. Because the steering has proportionately less effort, the road wheels do not have to be as large to take the forces at high speeds and low speeds.
Steering servos (or power steering boxes) that provide a variable ratio of output torque to input torque (usually a reduction ratio that is close to 1:1) have been used for many years.
In power steering, the oil output is directly proportional to steer speed.
The power steering system consists of a hydraulic pump, a steering gear, and a steering motor. The steering gear converts the rotary motion of the steering wheel into a variable flow of hydraulic fluid which is delivered to a steering motor.
The flow of fluid to the steering motor is controlled by a valve located in the hydraulic circuit between the pump and the steering gear. In response to operator input, the valve opens (allows fluid to flow) or closes (prevents fluid from flowing) to adjust the amount of pressure in the circuit and thus control the amount of fluid supplied to the steering motor.
Disadvantages Of Power Steering
The design of the power steering is complicated.
The power steering unit contains many parts that are not directly related to steering. There are actuators, pumps, steering gears, reservoirs, and lines connected to the steering wheel. The system comprises complicated parts that need a fair amount of maintenance and it has a fluid leakage problem.
How to check the condition of the power steering fluid?
You can check the power steering fluid condition with the use of a dipstick, if the fluid is low, you should check the reservoir first. Then, if the reservoir is full, you should check the hose on the steering pump, then check the pump itself.
Is power steering maintenance required?
The power steering system on your car is designed to operate for an indefinite period of time with the only regular maintenance required being power steering system fluid changes.
When should you perform maintenance on your power steering system?
Whenever a leak is detected, a power steering fluid change should be performed. When the power steering fluid level is low, it should be refilled to the proper level. If power steering fluid leaks from the power steering pump, the pump should be replaced.
What is power steering fluid?
Power steering fluid is a special type of hydraulic fluid that is much different than the fluids used in your car’s brake system or engine lubrication system. Power steering fluid is an excellent conductor of electricity.
Is it necessary to install power steering?
No. Most cars manufactured before the 1970’s don’t have power steering, and many cars manufactured after the 1970’s don’t have power steering – they have manual steering.
How long does the power steering have to be used?
The power steering must be used for 30 minutes at least five times a week for optimum results.
Which power steering is the best?
The power steering that has been tested and approved by the Power Steering Committee is the Power Steering Master Pro by Power Wheel Fun.
Can I use other power steering units?
No, any other power steering units must be approved by the Power Steering Committee before use.
What happens if a power steering unit fails?
If a driver’s power steering unit fails for any reason, the driver must make a pit stop in the pits and replace the unit with a spare unit from their pit box.
How much do power steering units cost?
The retail price for a new power steering unit is $19,800. This does not include installation or shipping costs.
The closest thing you’ll get to “free” installation and shipping is if you buy from an authorized dealer. Otherwise, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $6,500 or more in installation and shipping charges
Where is the power steering unit located in the car?
The power steering unit is located in the car’s nose cone (the part that sticks up in front of the steering wheel). It is usually bolted to the firewall with four large rubber-band-like straps. Sometimes, it will be bolted to the floor pan under the carpeting. If it is bolted to the floor pan, you’ll have to remove the carpeting and remove a square foot or so of padding under the carpeting to access it.
Power steering is a very important part of any car. It makes driving easy and comfortable for you. This type of system works like a magnet.
As soon as you turn the steering wheel, the mechanism of the car will attract the object you are trying to reach. So, when you turn the steering wheel, the car will move in the direction you are turning it. This system is very useful because it allows you to drive comfortably and safely at any speed.
You should never neglect this type of system because it can save your life. If you own or drive a car, you should always check and test if the power steering works properly.
Hope this article can help you.