EV Glossary

Steering

The steering system is a set of components that enables a driver to manage the vehicle’s direction. It comprises the following key parts:

  • Steering Wheel: Positioned in front of the driver, the steering wheel serves as the input device for the steering system and is linked to the steering column.
  • Steering Column: This shaft connects the steering wheel to the steering gear.
  • Steering Gear: The steering gear is a mechanical device that transforms the steering wheel’s rotational motion into the linear movement needed to turn the front wheels.
  • Tie Rods: These rods link the steering gear to the steering arms on the front wheels.
  • Steering Arms: Attached to the front wheels, steering arms are levers responsible for turning the wheels when the tie rods move.

There are two primary types of steering systems: manual and power-assisted. In a manual system, the driver exerts all the force needed to turn the wheels, whereas in a power-assisted system, a motor or pump assists in applying some or all of the force required for steering.

The most prevalent steering gear found in modern vehicles is the rack-and-pinion steering gear. In this system, a pinion gear, connected to the steering wheel, engages with a rack gear linked to the tie rods. When the driver turns the steering wheel, the pinion gear rotates the rack gear, causing the tie rods to move and thus turning the front wheels.

Power-assisted steering systems are commonly used in modern vehicles as they make steering more effortless. They come in two main types: hydraulic and electric. In a hydraulic power-assisted system, a hydraulic pump delivers the force needed to turn the wheels, while in an electric power-assisted system, an electric motor provides the necessary force.

The steering system is a critical safety component in a vehicle, enabling the driver to control the vehicle’s direction and avoid obstacles. It is vital to maintain the steering system in good condition to ensure safe and effective driving.

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