If you have ever experienced the feeling of steering a vehicle without power steering, then you can most likely appreciate how much power steering assists you while driving your car, especially at a slower rate of speed, like when parking the car for example. Going further in depth of the mechanics of power steering, your car uses a hydraulic system which will allow you to turn the car a large amount without putting in as much effort.
To put it in a more simplistic way, your vehicles power steering system’s job is to convert a gentle force (your steering) into a strong force (the car actually turning), this means that the mechanism itself is usually under a large amount of pressure. To ease your system’s struggle, you should get regular maintenance. Periodically, your vehicles system will require a bit of maintenance, especially if it has not been properly serviced in a long time. However, to properly take care of your vehicle, and its power steering system, you should have a better understanding of how it works.
Power Steering Basics
Before you are truly able to understand how your vehicle’s power steering works, it is vital to understand the basics of how an automobile’s steering system works in general. The main mechanism of a vehicle’s steering system is the rack and pinion.
Rack and Pinion Steering System
Let’s start with the most basic mechanism, your car’s steering wheel. When you are steering your vehicle and make a turn, it causes the pinion to rotate, which also makes the rack move either left or right. This basically makes the wheels turn in the appropriate direction.
However, the hydraulic system in a vehicle also assists in the turning process and actually helps steering become easier and more controllable for the driver.
Hydraulic Power Steering
Adding power steering requires a bit of modification to the way that the rack and pinion are setup. To be more specific, in a power steering setup, a section of the rack becomes a hydraulic piston and cylinder.
However, another large portion of a power steering system is the power steering pump, which essentially pressurizes the fluid for power steering before it gets delivered to the cylinder (which is inside the unit of the rack and pinion.)
With that being said, the world is often progressing, and with recent technological developments, more modern-day details to certain vehicles’ power steering systems are becoming more prominent. However, if you are able to understand the main components, then you will most likely understand the basics of power steering.
Electric Power Steering
Continuing with the technological developments we discussed earlier, a large majority of cars are now able to electrically assist your power steering. There are advantages of electric power steering and technological developments like this, such as the driver having power assist even if the engine is not on, the opportunity for automobile manufacturers to program the system to provide many assist methods (for many situations), and it uses an electric motor, which actually means it is a more economical operation for the automobile’s engine.
These are great advancements, however, there are even more happening, especially in assistive technology for automobiles. A few of the other advancements are parking assist devices, automatic braking, as well as other accident avoidance technology.
Common Power Steering Issues
While driving, you are essentially taking a very pressurized system, and holding it accountable for generating hundreds of pounds of force, with that being said, it is completely understandable that your vehicle’s system will be under stress. There are a few common problems associated with your vehicle’s power steering system (including ways it can either wear out or break down) that we have listed below:
- Power Steering Fluid Leak
- Contaminated Power Steering Fluid
- Problems with the Power Steering Pump
- Power Steering Rack Failure
Agape Auto Service prides ourselves on having the most qualified technicians to work on your vehicle while also using the top quality equipment and products. Agape Auto Services uses BG Products to protect you, your family, and your vehicle. If you’re experiencing any issues with your power steering system or would just like a routine inspection of your vehicle to prevent any issues, give us a call today or click here to make an appointment.