Electronic Vs Hydraulic Power Steering: Pros & Cons
The evolution from manual steering to power-assisted steering was received exceptionally well by drivers, as it significantly reduces the effort required to manoeuvre the steering wheel. Due to the addition of an efficient, energy-controlled mechanism, the electronic power steering (EPS) is replacing the regular hydraulic power steering (HPS). However, cars with HPS aren’t completely gone.
It’s important to know what type of power steering a vehicle has, especially when making a buying decision. If you’re looking for some key takeaways on electronic vs hydraulic power steering, keep reading.
What is Hydraulic Power Steering System?
One of the oldest types of power steering systems, HPS consists of components like pumps, pulley, drive belt, hoses, and fluid. All the parts come together to provide hydraulic power to steer the wheel in power-assisted mechanics.
Working of Hydraulic Power Steering
The hydraulic powered steering works with a rotary vane pump that produces hydraulic pressure when needed. As soon as the steering wheel is turned, the pump rotates to generate pressure that provides it with great force.
As the hydraulic fluid enters the hydraulic cylinder from different valves, the pressure keeps on increasing, which is delivered to the steering gear. The wheel moves easily as a result of this force, minimising the effort required for steering.
Advantages of Hydraulic Power Steering System
- Good feedback
- Comparably less expensive than EPS
- Greater reliability on the mechanism
- Steering force does not change even when the system has failed during driving
Disadvantages of Hydraulic Power Steering System
- Greater power consumption
- Time to time replacement of the hydraulic fluid required
- For high revving motors, pumps of HPS are not reliable
- The steering system is slightly complex
- Greater in weight than EPS
What is Electric Power Steering System (EPS)?
The electric power steering system uses fewer components compared to its counterpart. This steering system is dependent on the motor that operates electrically to generate the required pressure. The steering rack consists of the electric motor and precious sensors to detect the quantity of the torque or the traction of the vehicle. This signals the motor to generate the amount of pressure needed to turn the steering wheel.
Working of Electric Power Steering
As soon as the steering wheel is turned, the engine generates some electricity that is necessary to sustain the demand of the torque that’s put in. Since the motor produces electricity only when the steering wheel turns, it significantly prevents the power in the vehicle to get wasted. Consequently, engines operative on EPS last longer and require frequent repairs. Discussed here are some of the pros and cons of electric power steering:
Advantages of Electric Power Steering
- Greater fuel efficiency – the motor draws power only when the vehicle turns
- Eliminates hydraulic fluid maintenance/restocking from time-to-time
- Enables a variety of features
- Enables any driver-assist or convenience feature involving turning of the wheels without steering input
- Empowers other features like lane-keep assist, automated parking, lane changes, and guiding the vehicle around obstacles
- Allows the vehicle to be steered by an onboard computer when on automatic pilot
- Is more tolerant of out-of-spec alignment settings
- Is automatically adjusted to a crowned road surface (not requiring constant steering correction)
Disadvantages of Electric Power Steering System
- Poor feedback (none in some cases)
- Failure of EPS makes the steering wheel rock-solid
Electric vs Hydraulic Power Steering System-Which System is Better?
Electric vs hydraulic power steering system is quite a debatable topic. Some drivers still vote for the hydraulic system as a better driving feature, offering a better feel for the road. EPS makes the driving experience quite dull in their opinion. On the other hand, some believe it’s preferable to not get the road feedback, as in EPS, and experience silky smooth steering inputs during the drive. Since these opinions are subjective to personal recommendations, you must get behind the wheel of an EPS and an HPS vehicle to understand and decide better.
Gets power from engine
Gets power from alternator/battery
Require less maintenance
Affects fuel consumption
Doesn’t affect fuel consumption
More road feedback
Lesser road feedback
According to most car experts and manufacturers, electric power steering is far better with fewer and simple components. Whereas, a hydraulic system has too many parts and increases the risk of failure. As a result, drivers are prone to spend more on repairing these components associated with the HPS system.
However, the overall impact on the vehicle is of grave importance to decide on the “better” system. Hydraulic power systems use 90% more power of the engine and other resources when compared to electric power steering. Considering the other factors that we’ve discussed; it is evident that EPS is a better choice as it marginally decreases the potential wear and tear of the engine and provides a greater lifespan to the car-owner.
In this overview of the Electronic vs Hydraulic power steering system, we found that the power-assisted system requires lower consumption of fuel to perform the same function as the hydraulic system. On top of it, it brings in the added benefit of less car maintenance, lesser wear and tear of the engine, greater lifespan, and much better functioning. If you are interested in buying a car with electronic power steering, you can check the following second-hand cars in the UAE up for sale:
- Used Mercedes-Benz GLC 2021 for sale in the UAE
- Second-hand BMW X5 2021 in the UAE for sale online
- Used Audi Q8 for sale online in the UAE
Nearly all modern cars come with an electronic power steering system. Apart from the given options, dubizzle lists used models of many brands with hydraulic power steering system as well.
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