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Tata Capital > Blog > Loan for Vehicle > What are Power Steering Systems: Their Types, Functions, and More

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What are Power Steering Systems: Their Types, Functions, and More

What are Power Steering Systems: Their Types, Functions, and More

The power steering system is a mechanical device that assists drivers in turning the vehicle's wheels with less physical effort. It consists of various components, including a power steering pump, which pumps a special fluid into the steering system to make it easier to turn the steering wheel. There are two types of power steering systems: electric and hydraulic. Both types provide extra muscle to help you steer, especially when driving at regular speeds or when your vehicle is stopped.

Hydraulic Power Steering System

The hydraulic power steering (HPS) system uses fluid power to assist in steering. When you turn the steering wheel, a pump driven by your car's engine kicks into action and pushes super-pressurized hydraulic oil through a series of tubes. This high-pressure oil then heads into a cylinder with a piston inside. The oil boosts the piston and multiplies your steering force, making it easier to turn the wheels.

Electric Power Steering System (EPS)

On the other hand, an electric power steering (EPS) system uses an electric motor instead of hydraulic fluid to assist in turning the wheels. When you twist your steering wheel, a sensor on the steering column detects your movements and sends signals to the car's brain, called the PCM (powertrain control module). The PCM then sends electricity to an electric motor at the end of your steering column. The motor gears stay connected to the steering system and provide just the right amount of extra force to steer your front wheels.

Types of Power Steering Systems

Apart from hydraulic and electric power steering systems, there are other types as well that cater to specific needs and requirements.

1. Integral Power Steering:

Integral power steering is designed to provide power assistance when the steering wheel requires between two and five pounds of effort. It consists of a steering gear with a worm-and-ball bearing nut and a hydraulic rack piston along the worm shaft.

2. Linkage Power Steering:

Linkage power steering separates the power cylinder from the steering gear and connects it to the steering linkage. The power assistance directly affects the steering linkage.

3. Hydraulic Power Steering:

Hydraulic power steering systems, used from the 1950s to 2000s, rely on hydraulic assistance driven by a continuous pump. Although this system has drawbacks like energy wastage when the vehicle requires no assistance, it is well-established and reliable.

4. Electric Power Steering (EPS):

Electric power steering systems replace hydraulic components with electric motors and sensors. They are more energy-efficient and offer precise control and adjustments, making them a popular choice in modern vehicles.

5. Electro-hydraulic Power Steering:

Electro-hydraulic power steering is a hybrid system that combines hydraulic and electric power steering elements. It uses an electric motor to drive the hydraulic pump, reducing energy waste.

Power Steering vs Manual Steering

Now that we have discussed various types of power steering systems, let's explore how they differ from manual steering.

Power Steering:

Power steering makes it easier to steer by assisting drivers with turning the wheels. It reduces the physical strength required and provides a smoother driving experience. Power steering is quicker, absorbs shocks on bumpy roads, and allows drivers to control the wheel with less effort.

Manual Steering:

Manual steering requires drivers to use their strength to turn the vehicle's wheels. It is slower than power steering as it lacks assistance from external mechanisms. Manual steering is less effective at absorbing shocks on uneven roads and requires more effort and strength from drivers to control the wheel.

Electric Steering vs Power Steering

Electric steering and power steering are two different technologies used to assist drivers in turning the wheel.

Electric Steering:

Electric steering, often called Electric Power Steering (EPS), uses an electric motor that assists drivers with turning the wheel. When drivers turn the wheel, sensors detect their movements and send signals to the electric motor, which provides the necessary assistance to turn the wheels. Electric steering is more energy-efficient and allows for precise control and adjustments. However, it relies on electrical components and may fail in case of an electrical failure.

Power Steering:

Power steering is a broader term that includes various systems, including Hydraulic Power Steering (HPS) and Electro-hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS). Hydraulic power steering uses hydraulic fluid to assist in turning the wheels, while electro-hydraulic systems combine hydraulic components with electric controls. Power steering offers consistent assistance regardless of electrical issues, is a well-established technology, and provides a familiar feel for many drivers.


In conclusion, power steering systems have revolutionized the driving experience by assisting in steering the wheels. From hydraulic to electric systems, different types of power steering offer unique features and benefits. While power steering makes driving easier and more comfortable, manual steering requires more physical effort from drivers. Electric power steering is more energy-efficient and precise, while hydraulic power steering is well-established and reliable. Understanding the different types of power steering can help you choose the right system for your vehicle.

Remember that just as power steering is essential for easy vehicle handling, car insurance is also necessary for complying with government-mandated laws. Ensure you are adequately protected by availing Tata Capital's range of insurance solutions that cater to diverse needs. If you are looking for a used car loan, check out Tata Capital's website for instant solution. Explore more vehicle loans whether it is a two-wheeler loan or a new car loan on Tata Capital.

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