Owning a car can bring so much joy. You can enjoy the liberty of going anywhere. But when things become complicated, you should take charge of making a good decision. So you should make a good judgment when answering this question, “Can I drive without power steering?”.
Power steering has reduced the efforts exerted by drivers to do basic movements. The innate consolidation of an electric power steering is made in a way that you are not obliged to work your muscle out. However, when it comes to the possibility of driving a car without power steering, you must understand that the situation is quite unusual. It is necessary that you comprehend the possible emanations.
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What is a Power Steering?
Power steering was first introduced in the early period of the 20 century and it served an important role in lowering the volume of car accidents. In other words, power steering is an unconventional steering system that essentially lowers the required effort to drive the front wheels through electric assistance, hydraulic assistance, or both. Currently, around 90 percent of the vehicles running on the road are fitted with power steering.
The attachment of power steering to vehicles has given several advantages:
- It lessens steering efforts. For those who own a car without power steering, they can attest that the car is difficult to turn, particularly below 25 mph. The attachment of power steering would help you achieve a light steering wheel and it essentially lessens weariness to the driver.
- It results in fast steering response. Today, it has become normal to get into a threatening condition that needs fast steering reflexes. The attachment of power steering helps you turn the steering wheel fast to prevent danger. Hence, it lowers the volume of car accidents on the road.
- It facilitates the return of the steering wheel. You may have noticed after a turn that the steering wheel goes back to a straight position. A vehicle that has power steering will have a more ideal steering wheel return.
- It gives you a more stable car. As the bumps get consumed and diminished by the suspension, a sufficient force is still conveyed to the steering system. This turns the steer even against the will of the driver. Attaching the power steering to the car will essentially offer more defiance to bump steer.
What Happens If You Drive without Power Steering?
Although it is possible to drive a car without power steering since cars were designed to run even without this feature, it is still not recommended to drive without power steering due to safety measures. Several things can happen if you insist on driving without it:
- It would be rational to say that you are putting your life and the life of your passenger in danger if you drive without power steering. You cannot steer fast enough when an emergency occurs since you have to conquer the hydraulics as well as the power steering system so that you can turn the wheels.
Running your car at an average speed (40 to 60) can create minimal or no impacts observed particularly if you are driving in a smaller vehicle. However, if you attempt to drive your car at a lower speed, you will notice that it becomes difficult to turn your steering wheel. You may have to apply a greater amount of force and your arm should move at in bigger angle.
- Parking your car can also be very challenging if there is no power steering attached.
- Aside from restricting the mobility of your vehicle, there will be involved in liability. If you happen to encounter an accident and it is learned that the accident occurred because of your laxity to keep the vehicle working, it is possible that you will be sued.
What Happens If You Drive with Low Power Steering Fluid?
You can still steer even if you decide to drive your vehicle with low power steering fluid. However, you will have to exert plenty of force. Diversely, the wheels of your vehicle can still be turned. This is because of the direct mechanical linkage. But what can further happen if you drive with low power steering fluid?
- You will notice that the steering would feel heavier.
- You may have to apply a massive torque to the power steering wheel and may feel added resistance in the hands.
- You will notice that there is noisy turning. As you know, the power steering system utilizes a pump to put pressure on the steering system. The pump has to flow the fluid to facilitate even steering. Nevertheless, if more air occurs in the pump and the power steering fluid is low, strange sounds are created each time you turn your steering wheel.
- The wheel will feel jerky when you turn the steering wheel. You may notice this occurring more while you slowly drive or turn into a designated parking space.
- The steering wheel can be locked. You may see yourself driving calmly on a road and suddenly learn that the steering wheel will not rotate.
- Furthermore, an insufficient power steering fluid may also form an irreversible threat to the steering pump. You may notice a weird noise from the pump. Ultimately, the price involved in fixing the pump is quite high.
The power steering system is an important component in the latest car models. It helps us get a precise and effortless control in the car. Unfortunately, the system is not resistant to breakdown, so anything can happen and that includes untoward accidents. We do not want to go through these sad incidents so you should always make sure that your car is properly equipped.
Can I drive without power steering? Fortunately, the steering system of the car is made to function even without attaching a power steering. However, that does not imply that it is an acceptable idea to drive without power steering. You should understand that running your car without power steering is quite dangerous – not just to you but also to your loved ones. It is always best to fix your car before something awful happens.
James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.