Steering Gears

Steering Gears

There are different forms of steering systems available for cars today. A few of them include: rack-and-pinion steering, manual steering, and power steering. Each of these steering systems requires a steering gear to manage the directional movement of your car. This gear, typically enclosed within a gearbox, moves the axle rod horizontally based on the rotation of the steering wheel, but also provides lubricant for the steering arm area. The steering gear design was created with a specific steering geometry (Ackermann), which forces the wheels to turn based on a rod and gear design. This design is necessary to ensure that both wheels are turned simultaneously at an equal distance.

 

The steering system converts the rotation of the steering wheel into a swivelling movement of the road wheels in a way that the steering-wheel rim turns a long way to move the road wheels a short way. This steering system allows the driver to steer the car with minimal effort. The rim of a 15 in. (380 mm) diameter steering wheel moving four turns from full left lock to full right lock travels nearly 16 ft (5 m), while the edge of a road wheel moves a distance of only slightly more than 12 in. (300 mm). If the driver swivelled the road wheel directly, he would have to push nearly 16 times as hard.

 

The steering effort passes to the wheels through a system of pivoted joints. These are designed to allow the wheels to move up and down with the suspension without changing the steering angle. They also ensure that when cornering, the inner front wheel - which has to travel round a tighter curve than the outer one - becomes more sharply angled. The joints must be adjusted very precisely, and even a little looseness in them makes the steering dangerously sloppy and inaccurate.  Although steering gears often last for the life of a vehicle, the gearbox can develop leaks or the gearbox case can crack. This would be a clear indication that the steering gear got damaged and needs repair or replacement to prevent any accidents or risky situations.

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