Power Steering

Power steering assists the driver of an automobile in steering by directing a portion of the vehicle’s power to traverse the axis of one or more of the road wheels. As vehicles have become heavier and switched to front wheel drive, particularly using negative offset geometry, along with increases in tire width and diameter, the effort needed to turn the steering wheel manually has increased often to the point where major physical exertion is required.

To alleviate this, auto makers have developed power steering systems: or more correctly power-assisted steering on road going vehicles there has to be a mechanical linkage as a fail safe. There are two types of power steering systems hydraulic and electric/electronic.

A hydraulic-electric hybrid system is also possible.A hydraulic power steering (HPS) uses hydraulic pressure supplied by an engine-driven pump to assist the motion of turning the steering wheel. Electric power steering(EPS) is more efficient than the hydraulic power steering, since the electric power steering motor only needs to provide assistance when the steering wheel is turned,whereas the hydraulic pump must run constantly.

 In EPS, the assist level is easily tune able to the vehicle type, road speed, and even driver preference. An added benefit is the elimination of environmental hazard posed by leakage and disposal of hydraulic power steering fluid. Also in the event of the engine cutting out, assist will not be lost where as hydraulic will stop working, as well as making the steering doubly heavy as the driver has to turn the power-assist mechanism on top of the steering system itself.


A Interesting and innovative outgrowth of power steering is speed sensitive steering, where the steering is heavily assisted at low speed and lightly assisted at high speed. The auto makers perceive that motorists might need to make large steering inputs while maneuvering for parking, but not while traveling at high speed. 

The first vehicle with this feature was the CitroënSM with its Diravi layout, although rather than altering the amount of assistance as in modern power steering systems, it altered the pressure on a centering cam which made the steering wheel try to ”spring” back to the straight-ahead position.Modern speed-sensitive power steering systems reduce the mechanical or electrical assistance as the vehicle speed increases, giving a more direct feel. This feature is gradually becoming more common


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