Types of power steering systems

Have you ever seen a customer complain that they can’t turn their steering wheel enough to fit in a parking space? To solve this problem, you need to know the power steering of the vehicle. In this video, Tire Review’s Maddie Winer goes over the three different types of power steering that you’ll likely see in your store in the Tire Review Continental Tire Garage Studio at Babcox Media.

Power steering has evolved over the years, and today there are three types your shop may encounter: hydraulic power steering, electric hydraulic power steering, and all electric power steering.

Let’s start with the hydraulic power steering. This system uses hydraulic fluid supplied by a pump driven by the engine to help turn the flywheel. The pump supplies pressurized fluid to the power steering pressure hose and distributes it to the input side of the steering rack to be then directed by a spool valve. The power steering fluid is then extracted from the reservoir, which is filled by a low pressure power steering hose that returns the fluid from the gear.

In the search for better fuel economy, manufacturers have introduced electrical systems to reduce the load on the engine. Electric power assisted hydraulic steering uses components similar to traditional hydraulic units, but the hydraulic steering pump is driven by an electric motor instead of the motor.

All-electric power steering is a non-hydraulic system assisted by an electric motor, which is operated by a software-driven power steering module. An all-electric system reduces the load on the engine and is only active when the flywheel is turned in either direction, improving fuel economy.

Remember that each system has its own characteristics. If a customer complains about the feel of their direction, ask a few basic questions first before citing a repair.

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