Electronic Power Steering

Newer vehicles are coming equipped with electronic power steering instead of the hydraulic power steering systems used since the beginning of power steering. Electronic power steering has many advantages.

 

The electronic systems eliminate the need for an engine driven power steering pump and the hydraulic hoses required to carry the power steering fluid to and from the P/S pump and the steering rack or gear. Eliminating these items and the needed P/S fluid is a substantial weight savings, it reduces load on the engine required to turn the pump (which saves fuel) and eliminates clutter from an already full engine bay. Electronic power steering also eliminates the possibility of power steering fluid leaks and also paves the way for self parking/self steering cars. The electronic P/S system uses an electric motor which is integrated into the steering column.

The first electronic power steering systems I noticed were starting to pop up on a few smaller GM cars in the mid 2000’s. Now they are being used on several makes and models. I’m quite sure they will replace the hydraulic systems on all vehicles in the near future.

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Written by Larry Wieland