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How Does Power Steering Work?

By: Milstead Automotive | Published 06/14/2021

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The power steering system relies on several mechanical parts. Power steering systems function to provide easier manoeuvrability and a better degree of control over the vehicle, making driving all the more effort-free. It is sometimes referred to as the steering assist system or SAS. Without it, steering would be physically strenuous and challenging to perform. Power steering systems can either be hydraulic, electric or a combination of the two. Steering a vehicle involves getting its front wheels to turn synchronously, either to the left or right. This is achieved with the help of different gear systems. The two main steering gear systems are the rack and pinion and the recirculating ball steering gear. 

How Does Hydraulic Power Steering Work?
Hydraulic power steering uses fluid to intensify the force applied to turn your front wheels. The hydraulic fluid is pressurized by a pump driven off the engine, which provides hydraulic pressure to the steering system. When you turn the steering wheel, hydraulic pressure is applied to your steering gear, which turns your wheels. The whole system relies on the flow of fluid. The harder you turn your wheel, the more fluid flows to the hydraulic cylinder, so the more force is applied to your wheels.
 
How Does Electric Power Steering Work?
The electric power steering uses an electric motor that draws energy from the vehicle's electrical system to provide steering assistance. Sensors detect the torque or effort that the driver is applying at the steering wheel, and a computer decides how much assist needs to be added. The major benefit of electric power steering over hydraulic power steering is that they can adapt to suit specific driving conditions. 
 
Avoid issues such as a power steering leak with a vehicle inspection from an auto repair shop. It's one of the best ways to ensure your power steering system and the rest of your vehicle's vital components can perform at their best. If you're finding it harder to turn than usual, then there's probably an issue with your power steering. Your steering should be effortlessly responsive. Schedule an appointment or bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop near you for power steering service. 

 

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