Any Subaru dealership in Albuquerque, NM will tell you that a good steering system will help your car handle well when you’re on the road. But not every car uses the same steering system. Depending on what system your car has, it may have certain maintenance measures that you need to follow when you’re checking up on your vehicle.
a guide to the different steering systems that your car may have
under its hood.
Steering Gear System
the 1950s to the 1980s, most automobiles used the conventional
steering gear system, otherwise known as the recirculating ball
system. However, this system has become rarely used outside of
vehicles such as trucks and SUVs.
system uses a part called the worm gear. This gear can be broken down
into two main parts, a metal block with a threaded hole and the
pitman arm. The former engages a gear to the latter. The steering
wheel connects to the mechanism using a threaded rod, which sticks
into the block’s hole. This rod is fixed like so: when the steering
wheel is rotated, the block is moved, which moves another gear that
turns the wheels.
system uses ball bearings that recirculate the gear while it turns.
These balls serve two purposes: reducing the friction and wear in the
gear as well as reducing slop buildup within the gear.
the Conventional/Integral Steering Gear System
kind of steering system is very complex to maintain. When inspecting
a vehicle with this kind of steering system, it is best done on the
ground or on an alignment rack.
inspect the pitman and idler arms. Next, inspect the worm gear.
Ideally, there should be about two inches of free play in the
steering wheel and no binding when the wheel is turned from full lock
to lock. This also applies to the recirculating ball gear. If the
ball steering gear looks worn upon inspection, the usual best course
of action is to have the steering box replaced by a trusted
and Pinion Steering System
rack and pinion steering system is the more popular among the two in
more modern cars, small trucks, and SUVs. If you drive a newer
in Albuquerque, NM,
your car likely uses this kind of steering system.
to the recirculating ball steering system, the rack and pinion is a
much simpler mechanism. This system has a rack and pinion gearset
enclosed in a metal tube. Each end of the rack protrudes from this
tube. A tie rod is then used to connect each end of the rack. A
pinion gear is then attached to the steering shaft, which moves the
rack as the steering wheel is rotated. This system makes turning the
wheels of the car much easier.
Rack and Pinion
rack and pinion systems are power-assisted, so it’s a good habit to
check the power steering fluid level and its condition every
maintenance session. It’s also best to inspect both the boots and
pinion seals of the system for any leaks or other internal problems.
If the gear is damaged, the best way to approach it is to replace it
with a new or remanufactured one.
to get a new car with the steering system that you like more? Check
out Fiesta Subaru car dealer located in the Albuquerque, NM area for
a variety of car models.