If you have noticed from driving different cars, some seem easier to maneuver than others. A steering mechanism of one car could be smoother and requires less effort than another car. This is because steering systems are not the same. Generally, there are two types of steering: power steering and manual steering.

The steering can be difficult to maneuver, depending on the vehicle a driver is driving. However, nowadays, vehicles are manufactured with a smoother, more convenient, and easier steering experience with power steering. Unlike old models that use manual steering, cars today make driving a more pleasant experience in this aspect. Although that might be the case, many drivers still prefer manual steering because of its simplicity and reliability.

Power Steering vs Manual Steering: What’s the Difference?

The power steering system supplements manual force with some power, making steering a little less effortful on the part of the driver. It provides an optimal steering feel with a quick response time and little resistance to the wheel. It’s ideal for heavy-weight vehicles. With power steering, the control is safer and preferable under dangerous situations. It also helps with shock absorption.

Power steering can have either a hydraulic system or an electrical system. A hydraulic system involves a pump that applies pressure to a two-way ram that pushes or pulls the rack in a certain direction. Meanwhile, an electric system involves an electric motor that controls and assists the driver in steering.

More manual force is needed with manual steering, as suggested by its name. A manual steering system achieves the rotational movement of the vehicle’s steering wheel through the use of a rack and pinion. Because it relies heavily on manual force, the response time is considerably slower than that of the power steering system. But as long as this is used for less heavy vehicles, it’s a viable steering system.

woman driving

Common Problems in Steering Systems

Car owners today might not have driven old cars with manual steering before. Given that most cars that are manufactured today use a power steering system, it’s worth knowing more about. Damage to a car’s steering system can compromise the driving experience and even the driver’s safety. Knowing the common signs of damage is the first step in avoiding bigger damage and accidents.

A fluid leak is a common problem in the power steering system. Noise from under the hood while turning, a  trace of fluid beneath your automobile,  or a decline in performance are all signs of a leak. If you have a leak in your power steering system, get it looked at immediately. It’ll only be a matter of time before the fluid levels drop significantly that the power steering becomes less effective or fails completely.

Other possible problems can also be caused by contaminated fluid, a damaged steering belt, a malfunction in the pump or its parts, and more.  If you see any signs of power steering malfunction, you should have your car serviced as soon as possible. Look for a reliable complete auto care service provider for routine inspection and maintenance of your vehicle.

Which One Is Better?

Both power and manual steering systems are valid and reliable, depending on the weight of the vehicle. A power steering system is more responsive to the slightest steering effort from a driver.  On the other hand, manual steering is more precise due to it requiring more manual effort to move the wheels in a certain direction.

Of the two systems, power steering is the one with a clearer picture of technological improvements in the future. Although manual steering was widely used back in the day, it has seen little improvement over the years. Most advancement efforts have been focused on power steering, especially when it comes to improving its precision at minimum steering effort.

Although efforts for advancement are mostly geared towards power steering, there are still some folks who prefer manual steering. It’s good news for drivers who are big fans of power steering though. As long as a car is used with care, the steering system shouldn’t be a problem.

At the end of the day, the choice should depend on the driver’s preferences and needs. Whichever system provides the most optimal experience for driving is the best. But regardless of which one you end up with, it’s important to keep a routine inspection and maintenance schedule. This won’t only keep your car in good shape; it will also prevent major and costly repairs. Prevention will always be better (and cheaper) than the cure.

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