67 steering system

steering system

By Vukasin Herbez on 2018-07-06 17:14:59

Each time you turn your steering wheel, your front wheels react turning your car in wanted direction but we are sure that you never thought of what exact processes are happening underneath the car and how the car manages to turn so smoothly and correctly. Today, we will explain to you what happens with the front wheels and how the car‘s steering system really works.

1. From your hands to the front wheels

The steering system is a relatively simple car system with just a few major parts but it is also one of the most important ones since, without it, you couldn´t be able to accurately place the vehicle. Also, broken or problematic steering is very dangerous and can cause accidents, so knowing and understanding your steering can help you be a better driver.

When you turn your steering wheel, the movement is transmitted through the steering column to the steering rack which is located between the front wheels. The rack is responsible for moving the front wheels which are connected via link rods. When you turn your steering wheel, the steering rack will move the link rods thus moving the front wheels in the direction you want.

The most common steering type in modern vehicles is rack-and-pinion which means that when you turn the steering wheel, a small gear (pinion) moves on the steering rack, forcing it to move and turn the front wheels. This means that steering, in fact, converts rotational movement of the wheel into linear movement of the steering rack.

2. Manual steering

Manual steering is the most primitive type of steering system which can be found in classic cars. It features a direct physical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels making it extremely difficult to turn the wheel at lower speeds. Simply, you need the sheer strength of your arms to turn the wheel since manual steering has no power add-ons which help to turn. Once you get the car going it is much easier to turn the wheel but maneuvering in a parking lot can be a real exercise. That is one of the reasons why classic cars have big steering wheels, to help you turn.

3. Power Steering

Power steering has been the industry‘s standard since the ‘70s and it is now used in all types of cars. Power steering is much easier to use since it features a high-pressure hydraulic steering pump. This means that you can turn the steering wheel quite easily regardless of the speed and the pump will provide additional pressure to the steering rack and place the wheels exactly where you want them. However, if the power steering pump fails and eventually they do, you will need the same level of strength to turn the wheel as you would if you had manual steering vehicle.

4. Electric steering

Even though hydraulic steering works just fine, the electronic revolution affected this car component as well. In recent years, we have witnessed several high-end manufacturers introducing new models with electric steering systems which are more precise than hydraulics and somewhat lighter. Each day, more and more manufacturers are installing this feature in their models so we can expect that the electronic steering systems will fully suppress the hydraulic ones.

The trick with the electric steering is that there is no physical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels. When you turn the wheel, the electronic impulse is sent to the electric motor located on the steering rack which then turns the wheel in a wanted direction. Electric steering allows the installation of progressive steering software which can make steering extremely light under low speeds and maneuver on the parking lot and make it heavier on higher speeds to add to driving dynamics and feel.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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By Vukasin Herbez on 2018-07-06 17:14:59

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