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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.
Founded by a Scottish marine engineer in (you guessed it) Vauxhall, London in 1857, the company has been under the umbrella of American giant General Motors since 1925. Notable former Vauxhall cars include classics such as the Victor, Chevette, and Cavalier, while the current car range includes city cars like the Adam and Viva, extended range electric cars like the Ampera, the Astra, and the Zafira Tourer, a large MPV. Vauxhall also sells high-performance versions of a smattering of its offerings under the sub-brand VXR.
In the UK market at least, Vauxhall is regularly in the running with Ford to top the sales charts (although it’s never quite taken top spot).
About the Vauxhall Corsa
Due to generous offers on the sales front, the previous model of the Vauxhall Corsa was one of the most popular sold in the UK after its introduction, despite similar offerings from the other big producers. However, the current Corsa makes a number of improvements on its predecessor including loads of extra space and improved looks. With three and five door options, there’s something for everyone. The main issue that has come up with this make, particularly the 2008 Vauxhall Corsa, is clutch burnout. If that’s been a problem for you, we can help you find the right garage to fix the problem.
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