Power steering is a mechanical wonder that many of us often take for granted. For some, it is hard to even remember a time without power steering. Today’s systems are cost effective to manufacture and are very reliable with just basic maintenance. It is likely that these systems will remain in place for several more years despite the pressure to continually increase fuel economy.
The power steering system consists of a reservoir, pump, relief valve, control valve, power cylinder, and high/low pressure hoses. The system is effective because of the pressure differential that is created by the power steering pump. A quick explanation of how power steering works is in order. The reservoir supplies the fluid to the pump, which is driven by the engine via belt. The fluid is pressurized and sent to the control valve and the relief valve. When the steering shaft is turned, the control valve sends fluid to the power cylinder and the power cylinder uses a piston to aid in reducing steering effort. (more…)