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Power Assisted Steering, or ‘PAS' as it is also known, is a mechanism that helps you to steer your car. In most vehicles, the PAS relies on a hydraulic system to aid turning the vehicle's wheels. If you have ever driven a car with no Power Steering you will have most certainly noticed the difference between having PAS and not. Power Steering used to be a luxury in certain vehicles, but nowadays it is almost standard in every type of vehicle.
In the early days of the automotive industry, power-assisted steering was a luxury and was only available in high-end vehicles. Most new cars now have it as standard. That’s because they’ve become heavier, with wider tyres and front wheel drive, and would be extremely difficult to drive without PAS. This makes a car not only more pleasant to drive, but safer to drive too.
There are two types of hydraulic power-assisted steering: rack & pinion and the recirculating ball. Rack & pinion is the most common. The recirculating ball is far less common and only really exists in vans and trucks. Both have high-pressure hoses that connect the steering rack to the two sides of the centre seal. One hose sends hydraulic fluid from the power-steering pump to the steering mechanism, while the other directs fluid back to the pump. When turned left or right, the steering wheel’s steering mechanism allows the hydraulic fluid to pass to respective side of the steering rack, pushing the seal and rack in the necessary direction.
Electric power-assisted steering is fully electric. The wheels of the car receive direct assistance from an electric motor which is mounted on either the steering rack or steering column or directly to the steering rack. Sensors decide how much assistance to apply at any time.
When hydraulic fluid lubricates and seals the power-steering pump and hoses to prevent corrosion it can leak or gradually become less effective, making it harder to turn the steering wheel. Typically, a mechanic will check hydraulic fluid levels during an annual service.
If the electric motor fails, power-assisted steering will stop working, so the motor would need replacing. As with any electrical system, software problems can occur, necessitating an update.
Boasting a lineup that includes one of the best-selling cars in the UK (the Qashqai), Nissan is a company known for being experimental. The Qashqai is noted as being one of the first true crossover SUVs. Alongside it, Nissan also offers the battery-powered Leaf, among lots of other cheap and cheerful options, such as the ever popular Micra, and the Note.
Since 1999, Nissan has been part of the Renault–Nissan Alliance, a partnership between Nissan and French automaker Renault. As of 2013, Renault holds a 43.4% voting stake in Nissan, while Nissan holds a 15% non-voting stake in Renault. Carlos Ghosn serves as CEO of both companies.
Selling cars under the Nissan, Infiniti, and Datsun brands, Nissan was the sixth largest automaker in the world behind Toyota, GM, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai, and Ford in recent years; however they are the leading Japanese brand in China, Russia, and Mexico.
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