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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.
A French dealer renowned for the sporty qualities of its small cars, Peugeot is as popular now as it was nearly a hundred years ago. A part of PSA Peugeot Citroen, the family business that preceded the current company was founded back in 1810, although in those days they manufactured bicycles and coffee mills!
While still known for its small, sporty and economical models, Peugeot now make a wide variety of differently shaped and sized cars. You’ll also notice that Peugeot have defiantly skipped the long-standing trend of naming their cars, instead choosing to use numbers and letters (3008, 5008, and RCZ, for example).
Today the range includes three sporty vehicles - the 208 and 308 GTi, which are hatchbacks, and the RCZ coupe, among others. The range spans ultra compact cars to spacious SUVs, and family friendly vehicles to more flashier options, like the aforementioned RCZ.
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