How Your Steering Works

November 6th, 2018 by

Steering Wheel in a Car

For the driver of a car, truck, or SUV, the steering wheel is pretty simple. There’s not much you need to think about once you get used to how your vehicle handles. But, there’s a lot more to your steering than most people realize. In fact, steering and just how your steering wheel works is a pretty impressive feat of engineering. How does it work? Thompson Sales can explain in this new blog.

Rack and Pinion Steering

Rack and pinion steering has become one of the most popular systems in modern cars. Rack and pinion steering works by having a pinion, also known as a gear wheel, inside its own housing. This pinion is connected to the steering column, which feeds up to the steering wheel you use to control your vehicle.

The pinion has teeth that mesh with another set of teeth along a long bar — the rack — that attaches to the wheels via track rods. Turning the steering wheel moves the pinion, which in turn feeds the movement to the wheels. The relative simplicity of the rack and pinion system, along with the low number of moving parts that make maintenance and repairs easier, is a big aspect of its popularity.

Power Steering

Along with the rack and pinion setup becoming standard, power steering is also extremely common. Most modern or new cars come equipped with power steering, especially when it comes to trucks, SUVs, or utility vehicles. Power steering is designed to make it easier to steer your vehicle. Older vehicles without power steering can feel significantly “heavier” when you’re steering, needing more effort to turn the wheel and maneuver your car. Power steering is either hydraulic or electric.

Hydraulic Power Steering

Hydraulic power steering works by using a piston to add extra power to the movements you make with the wheel, meaning there’s less physical effort for you.

Electronic Power Steering

Electronic power steering is a more modern alternative to hydraulic, although some cars use a hybrid of both. Electronic power steering uses a simple electric motor to replace the more complex piston of a hydraulic steering system.

Find Your New Car at Thompson Sales Today

If you’re looking for a new or used vehicle, you’ll find it at our car dealership in Springfield, Missouri. We’ve been offering new and certified pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs for people in and around Springfield for decades, and can bring the benefit of our experience and dedication to customer service to you. Contact our car sales team for more information.

Posted in Driving Tips