What is Power Steering? – How Does It Work?

Power steering is a mechanism put together to allow drivers to steer their vehicles. Mostly, the power steering system works on a hydraulic system that provides the power to turn the wheels of the vehicles.

The majority of cars nowadays include the power steering that can exist in two types.

power steering

Two types of power steering systems

1. Rack-and-pinion

This is the more common of the two.

The system has two main parts: the rack-and-pinion and the power steering pump; the former is found at right angles between the wheels of the vehicle.

It is a metal piece tubing, three inches in diameter, and nearly one meter in length. It contains a flat piece of metal with teeth inside the tubing. In its center is a round seal that seals either side of the rack. The seal has two high-pressure hoses linked to both of its sides: one of them involves the hydraulic fluid of high pressure coming from the power steering pump to the steering mechanism, while the second one enables the fluid to go back to the pump.

As the steering wheel is turned to the sides – either right or left – the steering mechanism leads the hydraulic fluid to that particular side of the rack.

2. Recirculating ball

The recirculating ball is one of the first systems to be used in vehicles. It is still in use for some modern trucks.

It is smaller, and attached to the vehicle frame at the side of the driver.

It consists of a threaded shaft as well as an input one that connects it and the steering column.

Apart from these details, the system works similarly to the first one, the rack-and-pinion system; the fluid passes through the steering mechanism, allowing the vehicle to be turned to either right or left.

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