The steering system enables you to steer your vehicle in the desired direction. There are two basic types of steering systems: rack and pinion system and conventional/integral steering gear system, also known as “recirculating ball.”
Rack and pinion systems are the most commonly used today. The steering shaft turns a gear that moves the “rack” side-to-side, thereby turning the vehicle’s wheels. Conventional/integral steering gear systems are used most often on trucks. With this design, the steering wheel shaft connects to a gear assembly and a series of links/arms that turn the wheels to the left or right.
Service and Maintenance
Check power steering fluid levels periodically and add fluid when necessary. Have your vehicle inspected if it exhibits any of the following symptoms:
- Unusual noise when turning the steering wheel
- A shimmy or shake in the steering wheel
- Heavy or unresponsive steering at low speeds
- The steering wheel does not return to “center” properly
If you live in areas that experience harsh, winter weather, have the entire steering system inspected before winter arrives to help ensure safer driving.
Power steering is really “power assisted” steering. It allows you to steer your vehicle manually when the engine is not running or if a failure occurs in the power source.
Over the years, power steering has become standard on many vehicles. In fact, consumer demand for this system has resulted in it being used on over 90% of all new cars produced in the U.S. and Canada.
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