The power steering system is a complex but necessary part of any car. It’s possible to drive without power steering, which gives us easy control over the direction we turn the wheel in, but it’s not safe and it’s definitely not fun. If you’ve ever wondered how power steering works, we’ve got a simple guide for you.
There are several components of power steering systems. One is the rotary-vane pump, which encases a set of retractable vanes that spin inside a chamber and provides hydraulic power to the steering. The engine powers the pump using a belt and pulley. The vanes are what move the hydraulic fluid through the system.
The power steering system remains inactive when the driver isn’t turning the wheel, so it uses the rotary valve to tell it when the wheel is being turned. A metal rod called a torsion bar is connected to the steering wheel and the pinion that turns the wheels, so when the driver turns the wheel it applies torque that turns the wheels.