Automotive Steering System

By on July 28, 2013

Steering system (Automotive Steering System) is an important system in every automobile. Without the steering, it is impossible to drive any vehicle. Generally people know that basic function of steering is to steer the vehicle at drivers input, but actually it takes care of some other conditions too.

Automotive Steering System - Know the world

About Automotive Steering System

Basic functions of steering system are:

1. Provides direction to vehicle on driver’s input.

2. Maintains true rolling motion of wheels in turns

3. Provides directional stability

4. Gives road drive/feel feedback to driver.

Good qualities of  automotive Steering System is to provide the optimum effort while negotiating a turn and should give good road feel in dynamic condition to the driver for smooth cornering of vehicle which means there should be progressive torque built up with proper reactions on hand wheel or steering wheel. On the other hand, it should also provide the isolation of road vibrations to steering wheel. The automotive Steering System always has some driver related demands & vehicle related demands which includes damping of shocks, on-center feeling, passive safety requirements, return of steering wheel after negotiating a turn, kinematics, system package and last but not the least is COST.

There are basically two major types of steering system designs which are found on cars & suvs.


Lets have a look on Rack & Pinion Type design, which is now majorly used in cars.

Automotive Steering System R&P SYS - know the world

Rack & Pinion (R&P) Steering System has the following sub components:

  1. Steering Column
  2. Intermediate Shaft with universal joints
  3. Steering gearbox with tierods (R&P)

When driver tries to steer through steering wheel, the rotating motion is transferred through steering column to intermediate shaft which connects to column & gear through universal joint.

The gear has a rack & pinion connection, in which the rack is connected to tierods at both ends, which are further connected to the wheel ends of the vehicle. So when the steering wheel is rotated, the motion is transferred to pinion through the specified connection. Refer the fig. As the pinion rotates, it moves the rack through which further moves the tierods. And as the tierods are connected to wheel ends, it rotates the road wheel in the direction desired by driver. Here, the rotatory motion is transferred into translatory motion. Refer the below figure for the macroscopic view of Rack & Pinion steering gear.

Automotive Steering System R&P MACRO - know the world


I hope you like this article. Next will be on the Power Steering Systems.

If you have any queries or suggestions about Automotive Steering System, then you can post here, I will get back on Automotive Steering System with more info.

Happy Reading…..


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