In automobiles (vehicles), power steering is also known as steering assist system (SAS) or power-assisted steering (PAS). It is a system for steering that uses power from the engine so than it helps drivers steer by augmenting steering effort of the steering wheel.
The aim of Power Steering
Preferably, the power steering would do its job of creating steering easier without having any adverse effects on the handling of the vehicle. The steering would still be fast and accurate without being too sensitive to control simply, and the driver would still be able to notice what the wheels were doing at all the times. All the vehicle manufacturers try to accomplish these goals with their power steering systems, and most of the times they performed. Modern power steering systems that are working accurately usually don’t have a large, adverse effect on the handling of the vehicles.
How does power steering work?
Power Steering helps you to rotate your vehicle while driving it at little speeds. The faster you are driving your vehicle the small portion of tires is in touch with the road. When you are driving at lower speeds the vehicle mass is pushing the tires to the ground with more part of the tires are in touch with the ground creating more friction which makes the steer of the vehicle harder to control by the driver. But power steering helps you steer the tires very quickly with the extreme weight of the vehicle on them.
Types of Power Steering
There are two types of power steering;
- Hydraulic power steering
- Electric power steering
How does power steering affect handling?
As above mentioned that power steering isn’t adversely effect’s the handling of the vehicle. But still, there’s always at least some effect on handling. It’s tough to design a power steering system that allows easy low-speed maneuvering while still providing the good response to the driver. There is no power steering system yet manufactured which can give the road feel of a well-designed manual system on a sports car. There are trade-offs involved, and some vehicle’s power steering systems provide road feel, while others support ease of driving. In performance cars, the steering may feel heavy a little at times (although not nearly as much as in cars with manual steering), while in luxury cars, or specifically, in big utility vehicles, the steering may feel fingertip-light, even when parking. The steering wheel may never vibrate, even on rough roads, but it may also be harder to say what the wheels of the vehicle are doing.
Which cause Power Steering to fail?
The most ordinary reasons for power steering failure are:
- Loss of power (hydraulic and electrical systems both), either because of engine failure or because of loss of power to the steering system alone
- Pump failure (hydraulic systems only)
- Power steering fluid leak, from a slow or sudden leak (hydraulic systems only)
What happened if Power steering fails?
The significant effect on handling that results from power steering. However, this is what happens if the system fails. Power steering failure is very unusual, but it is essential to know what to expect if it does occur. When your power steering goes out, then it can be challenging to steer the vehicle with ease. A steering system that is manufactured to operate with power assistance is not designed to be driven without that power and because of steering gear ratios, other geometrical aspects, and drag in the system. It can be astonishingly hard to turn the wheel when this happens. If it occurs when you are driving at high speed, then the result can be terrifying because it may feel like you have lost steering control and a severe accident may happen.