What is power steering in cars


If you want to know what is power steering in vehicles, in this note we tell you everything you need to learn about it.

What is power steering in a car?

«Power steering” means “power steering» in Spanish It is an automotive system that uses an independent engine or engine power to minimize the effort required to turn the front wheels on the car. The assist allows drivers to steer the vehicle making it easier to maneuver at lower speeds. A nice feature when turning a corner at low speed and when parking.

There are three types of power steering in current car models:

  1. Hydraulic
  2. Electric
  3. electro-hydraulic hybrid

The three power steering systems they perform the same function as before with different methods. Each variety adds more energy to help drive a car, providing less force to turn the wheel.

hydraulic power steering

The hydraulic assistance it was the predominant type of power steering for over fifty years. The system consists of a hydraulic pump assembly that allows the power steering fluid to exert force on the steering assembly of the car and it turns the tires.

The belt-driven pump draws energy from the motor’s rotation to do its job. One system problem is the amount of energy that is wasted. The pump runs constantly, even when the vehicle does not require steering assistance when moving on a straight stretch of road.

power steering fluid

The liquid power steering It is the hydraulic fluid that transmits power in a power steering system. The pressurized fluid lowers the amount of effort it takes to turn the flywheel. Keeping the moving parts of the system lubricated and ensuring that the hoses, pistons, valves and power steering pump are working properly.

Power Steering Fluid Types

Check your owner’s manual to find out what type of power steering fluid your vehicle requires.

  • Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF): The same fluid that is used for automatic transmissions can be used in other power steering systems.
  • Synthetic fluid for power steering: Many newer car models use a synthetic fluid that is made in a laboratory. These varieties are designed for specific vehicle types or steering systems.
  • Non-Synthetic Mineral Power Steering Fluid: Mineral hydraulic fluid may be used in some cases that accept ATF.

How to check the power steering fluid?

If you start to hear a buzzing noise under the hood when you turn the steering wheel, or if it becomes more difficult to turn, your car may be running low on power steering fluid.

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Check your car’s power steering fluid in several steps. First, you will need to warm up the engine to normal operating temperature. Bring the fluid to the correct temperature while turning the steering wheel in one direction until it stops. Turn it fully in the opposite direction. Repeat this step several times. Follow the steps below:

  1. Turn off the motor.
  2. Locate the power steering reservoir under the hood and clean it as well as the cap with a cloth.
  3. Check the fluid level by looking at the dipstick in the cap. Remove, clean, and reinsert the dipstick.
  4. Remove the dipstick again and note how far the level goes. If it is below the MIN line, add new fluid not to exceed the max line
  5. The proper fluid will look clear and show no residue. Contaminated fluid will appear dark, cloudy, or foamy.

When to change the power steering fluid?

Power steering fluid should be changed every five years or 50,000 miles. You must follow the instructions in the owner’s manual, which may indicate a different time. Changing the fluid or flushing the steering system extends the life of other steering components.

Replace the power steering fluid if it appears dark or if dirt, debris, mud, or other contaminants are visible.

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Power steering fluid color

A good power steering fluid is clear and has a red, pink, or amber color. If the fluid looks dark brown, black, or foamy, it is contaminated. You will need to replace it then.

Power Steering Fluid Standards

Power steering fluid meets the requirements for viscosity, detergents, additives and other components. This ensures that power steering fluid is safe to use in some cars. Requirements vary between makes and models of vehicles.

power steering pump

At the heart of a car’s power steering system is the pump. A power steering pump is a simple machine that pushes hydraulic fluid. The speed of your vehicle determines the amount of flow that comes from the pump.

A rotary valve detects the force that controls the movement of the steering wheel so the system knows when to help you. If the steering wheel does not turn, the two hydraulic lines have the same pressure on the left and right sides. When the spool valve rotates, ports in the correct line open to provide increased pressure to help turn the wheels.

Signs of a bad power steering pump

A faulty power steering pump indicates:

  • Low fluid level in the reservoir
  • Puddles or stains in the garage or driveway
  • Whining, squealing, or whining noise when you turn the steering wheel
  • Greater resistance when turning the wheel
  • Erratic response to turns

engine belt

A belt runs from the car’s engine to allow the pump to operate by turning its pulley. Some cars have a belt that winds through various pulleys on the engine. Other models feature belts connected to individual pulleys. If any of the straps become glazed, frayed, or break, the system will not function properly.

engine belt problems

A common problem with power steering is the pump belt slipping. If the belt slips it will make a squealing noise when the steering wheel is turned to make a sharp turn.

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power steering hoses

For power steering to work efficiently, the hoses that carry hydraulic fluid in the system must be free of clogs and leaks.

Signs of bad hoses

A burst in the hose line will cause hydraulic fluid to leak, making it more difficult to turn the steering wheel. Hoses can deteriorate after years of use or crack and dry out. You can lightly squeeze the hoses to look at any weak areas that will feel mushy or spongy.

electric power steering

The electric power steering (EPS) It’s the norm for today’s cars. The mechanism connects to an electric motor and a control module.

The control module collects the data from the sensors. It determines how much assist torque the engine will apply by calculating the car’s speed, yaw rate, and steering wheel position. The amount of current used by the motor in the steering gear or the steering column causes the assistance of the power steering system to be affected.


Electric systems provide a lighter, quieter and more effective power steering. They contain fewer parts than hydraulic systems, require less maintenance, and eliminate hydraulic fluid handling. The EPS systems consume less power from the engine, improving fuel economy. Removing a drive pulley and engine belt minimizes wear.

Another benefit are the driver assistance features that use wheel adjustment and that are enabled by EPS. Lane keep assist, lane changes and automatic parking are functions that require a car’s electric power steering system.

electrohydraulic steering

The electrohydraulic power steering is a hybrid system. EHPS Gives smoothness to a traditional hydraulic power steering. Using electricity to create pressure instead of drawing power from the car’s engine. This system optimizes fuel economy by operating the electric pump when steering assistance is required.

Writing by Gossipvehicle

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