The steering and suspension systems of a car are critical for safety, and they also enhance the comfort level of the vehicle because they control how smooth your ride is. The two systems are directly related to each other, so repairs to one often require repairs to the other.
Steering and suspension problems may cause noise, jostling or ongoing tire misalignment, but sometimes they exhibit very few symptoms. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced, ASE-certified auto expert investigate your system for signs of wear or damage.
There are three basic types of steering and suspension systems:
- Standard mechanical
- Rack and pinion
- Electronic power assisted
Standard Mechanical Steering
Using a system of linking arms to ensure wheels pivot in the same direction at the same time, a car with standard mechanical steering connects the steering wheel, steering box and steering column in a way that allows you to turn your tires up to 90 degrees. A special high-pressure steering fluid helps facilitate the movement and manage steering capabilities to the steering gear, pitman, idler arm, drag link, inner and outer tie rods, and other components.
All of these interworking pieces help create the movement necessary for functional steering. Our ASE-certified technicians have the experience necessary to handle this widely-used steering system. We make the repair process fast and easy for you so you’re back on the road in a reasonable timeframe.
Rack and Pinion Steering
A more direct connection from the steering wheel to the front wheels, a rack and pinion system relies on pivot points formed by ball and socket joints. Within the rack is a pinion that moves a piston to the steering gear. This type of system functions in the same way as a standard mechanical system, with many of the same parts.
One of the disadvantages of ball and socket joints is that they wear down over time and usually require replacement. If you have a steering system using a rack and pinion, it’s important to get it checked more frequently because parts can loosen over time, which increases the amount of wear on your front tires.
It’s important to have the steering checked at least once a year. Colony One Auto recommends checking out this type of system when you bring your vehicle in for an oil change.
Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPS or EPAS)
The two previous systems operate on a manual or semi-manual basis, but the motor for electric power steering is completely automatic. Sensors detect motion and torque of the vehicle, and an onboard computer senses how much steering pressure needs to be applied to your wheels. This is an ideal system in locations with varied climates because it can sense a wide variety of driving conditions and adjust the amount of pressure accordingly.
When the EPS system is not functioning properly, the vehicle relies on a system similar to the rack and pinion, but this should not be used as a “backup.” If your EPS exhibits a problem, it should be corrected promptly so as not to apply more wear on your wheels and suspension.
The Colony One Difference
We know the importance of a properly balanced vehicle, and understand the technicalities of steering and suspension. Colony One has the experience and certifications required to repair all these types of systems, leaving your car running smoothly and reliably. If you begin feeling a difference in the drivability of your car or truck, Contact Colony One Auto to learn which type of system you have and receive an estimate for repairs.
Stafford, TX & Sugar Land, TX’s Premier Auto Repair Shop
In case you didn’t know, steering and suspension services are just one of the complete range of auto repair services we provide. Stop by our conveniently-located Dulles Avenue shop to learn more or view all the auto repair services we offer by clicking here.