More On Power Steering

The phrase “power steering” is typically used to describe a system that will supply mechanical steering assistance to the person who drives either a car or a truck .. and sometimes even a van! The whole power steering system that aids you when steering your Wheels is a type of servomechanism (hopefully you know what that is).

For most drivers - including me - turning the steering wheel in a car that doesn't have power steering usually requires more force than the driver feels comfortable. The steering force is actually really sensitive to the weight of the entire vehicle. In a car that comes equipped with power steering, when the driver comes to the point where they have to turn the steering wheel, the driver will then feel only a small retarding force. Because of this, a car issued with power steering can be driven by any healthy driver - even when you’re about to park the car.

This isn’t really something that you can get at an auto salvage yard, you have to buy the car already equipped with power steering. Most of the power steering systems that come in cars and trucks today are considered to be hydraulic. In some other cars, the steering force is provided by an electric motor - these you can most likely get at an auto salvage yard .. just saying.

Like I said before, most of the power steering systems will use a hydraulic system in order to steer the car’s Wheels & tires (yes, wheels and tires are two different things). The vehicle will normally get the hydraulic pressure by either a gerotor or rotary vane pump driven by the vehicle's engine. There’s a double-acting cylinder that will apply a force to the steering gear; this in turn will apply a torque to the steering axis of the roadwheels. The entire flow to the cylinder is controlled by different valves that are operated by the steering wheel. The more torque that the driver applies to the steering wheel and the shaft that it’s attached to, the more fluid that the valves allow to go through to the cylinder. Therefore, the more force is applied to steer the Wheels in the right direction.

If you happen to go to an auto salvage yard looking for an explanation of this, they’ll most likely tell you the exact same thing.

In the electro-hydraulic power steering systems, they’ll used the same hydraulic assist technology as standard systems, but the hydraulic pressure used in EHPS’s is provided by a pump that’s driven by an electric motor instead of being belt-driven by the engine.

The servotronic system (it sounds pretty futuristic to me) will offer the driver true speed-dependent power steering. This is where the amount of servo assist depends on road speed - consequently, there’s more comfort provided for the driver. There’s more power assist amount available at low speeds; when you go at higher speeds, there’s an electronic sensing system that will gradually reduce the level of the power assist. Because of this, the driver can control the car way better compared to if the driver has conventional power steering. Servotronic is actually used by several manufacturers including Audi, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, SEAT and Porsche. It’s known as a major trademark of the AM General Corporation.

In the end, I think that if you have it or get it installed, it’s going to work to your benefit and will probably be in benefit to your vehicle. What do you think?