If you’re like most drivers, you probably think that power steering is the only way to go. After all, it’s a lot easier to turn the wheel with power steering, right? Well, not necessarily. There are pros and cons to both manual and power steering, and it ultimately depends on your driving style and needs. In this article, we will discuss the differences between manual and power steering so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
Differences Between Manual and Power Steering
Manual steering, also known as rack and pinion steering, is the most common type of steering system. It uses a gearbox to convert the rotational motion of the steering wheel into linear motion, which turns the wheels. It is a simple and reliable system that has been used in cars for many years. Most cars with manual steering have a steering feel that is considered “sporty” because you can feel more of the road.
Power steering on the other hand is a hydraulic system that assists you in turning the steering wheel. It uses fluid pressure to make it easier to turn the wheel. As a result, power steering requires more maintenance than manual steering and is more likely to leak fluid. However, it does provide a smoother and easier driving experience, especially at higher speeds.
Now that we know the difference between these two types of steering wheels lets take a look at the pros and cons of each of them.
Pros of Using a Manual steering
1. More responsive:
Since there is no power assist, you have more control over the car because when driving at high speeds, manual steering provides an immediate response to driver input. As mentioned earlier it uses a gearbox to convert the rotational motion of the steering wheel into linear motion.
2. Simpler system:
Manual steering is a simpler system overall and therefore requires less maintenance. I remember a time when I was driving my friend’s car and the power steering went out. We had to pull over to the side of the road and wait for a tow truck. Thankfully, this is not a problem you have to worry about with manual steering because there are no hydraulic fluids to leak or power steering pumps to fail.
3. Sporty feel:
Many people enjoy the “sporty” feel that manual steering provides. Since you can feel more of the road, it gives you a better sense of control over the car. This is especially true when driving on winding roads or in bad weather conditions. If you live in an area with a lot of snow, you may find that manual steering is easier to use because you don’t have to worry about the power steering going out.
4. Cheaper to repair:
Since manual steering is a simpler system, it is also cheaper to repair. If something does go wrong, you can probably fix it yourself or take it to a mechanic who will charge you less than if you had power steering. The mechanics are less likely to take advantage of you because they know that you are knowledgeable about the system.
5. Weighs less:
Since there is no power steering pump or hydraulic fluid, manual steering weighs less than power steering. This is important because the weight of the car affects fuel economy. Every little bit counts when it comes to saving money at the pump!
Cons of Using a Manual Steering
1. Requires more effort:
The main disadvantage of manual steering is that it requires more effort to turn the wheel. This can be tiring, especially when driving in city traffic or parallel parking. If you have a manual steering car, you may want to consider upgrading to power steering if you find that you are getting tired of turning the wheel all the time.
2. Not as smooth:
Another disadvantage of manual steering is that it is not as smooth as power steering. This is because there is no power assist to help you turn the wheel. If you are looking for a smooth ride, you may want to consider power steering.
Another downside of manual steering is that it can be tiring to use, especially on long drives. This is because you have to constantly apply pressure to the steering wheel to keep the car going straight and since you’re using your muscles to turn the wheel, manual steering can also cause increased wear and tear on your body, especially if you’re driving a lot.
4. Limited to lower speeds:
Manual steering is limited to lower speeds because it becomes more difficult to turn the wheel at higher speeds. This is true because, unlike power steering which helps you turn the wheel, manual steering puts all of the responsibility on you. If you are looking for a car that you can take on the highway, you may want to avoid manual steering.
5. Not as common:
Since manual steering is not as common as power steering, it can be difficult to find a mechanic who is familiar with the system. This can make repairs more time-consuming and also if you are supposed to find replacement parts, it may be more difficult to find them.
6. Harder to sell:
If you are thinking about selling your car, you may want to consider power steering because it is more common and therefore more attractive to potential buyers. Imagine trying to sell something that is not as common, it may be a little more difficult.
Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of using manual steering, let’s also take a look at the pros and cons of using power steering to enable you to make an informed decision on which one you would prefer.
Pros of Power Steering
These are some advantages of using the Power steering
1. Easier to turn:
The main advantage of power steering is that it makes it easier to turn the wheel, especially at low speeds. If you have a weak upper body or arthritis, power steering can make driving much easier. Power steering is also helpful when parallel parking or making tight turns. All you have to do is turn the wheel and the power steering will do the rest.
2. Smoother ride:
Since power steering helps you turn the wheel, it also provides a smoother ride. This is because the power steering pump assists you in turning the wheel, making it easier for you to keep control of the car. If you are looking for a smooth ride, power steering is the way to go.
I remember I used to be very keen on manual steering because I like being in control but after I drove a friend’s car with the power steering I was hooked because it just made life so much easier, especially when parking.
3. Better fuel economy:
One of the benefits of power steering is that it can help you save money on fuel. This is because power steering pumps are run by the engine and use less power than manual steering. This means that you will use less fuel overall and save money in the long run.
4. Increased safety:
Another advantage of power steering is that it can help you stay safe on the road. This is because power steering makes it easier to control the car, especially at high speeds. If you are driving in an emergency situation, power steering can help you keep control of the car and avoid an accident.
5. Less wear and tear:
Since power steering takes some of the strain off of your body, it can help you avoid wear and tear. This is because you won’t have to use your muscles as much to turn the wheel. Power steering can also help you avoid injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Cons of Using Power Steering
These are some disadvantages of using the Power steering
1. Requires more maintenance:
One of the disadvantages of power steering is that it requires more maintenance than manual steering. This is because there are more parts in a power steering system and these parts can wear out over time. Power steering fluids also need to be checked and changed more frequently than with manual steering.
2. Can fail:
Another disadvantage of power steering is that it can fail. This is because there are more parts in a power steering system and these parts can wear out or break. If your power steering fails, you will have to turn the wheel manually, which can be difficult especially if you have never done it before.
3. Can be hard to control:
One of the disadvantages of power steering is that it can be hard to control. This is because the power steering pump assists you in turning the wheel, which can make it difficult to control the car. If you are not used to power steering, it can take some time to get used to it.
When I first started with power steering, I have to admit it felt really strange and took a bit of getting used to but now I couldn’t imagine going back.
4. More expensive to repair:
Another factor is the cost of repairs, If something goes wrong with your power steering, it can be more expensive to repair than with manual steering. This is because there are more parts in a power steering system and these parts can be expensive to replace.
5. Can be dangerous:
If your power steering fails, it can be dangerous. This is because you will have to turn the wheel manually, which can be difficult if you are not used to it. Also, if you are driving in an emergency, power steering can help you keep control of the car and avoid an accident.
Which is right for you?
Manual steering or power steering? If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, manual steering is the way to go. However, if you’re looking for an easier option, especially if you have a weak upper body, power steering is the way to go. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide!
Overall, manual steering is the more affordable and lighter option and also If you’re looking for a more responsive and sporty feel then manual steering is the way to go but if you’re looking for an easier and more comfortable driving experience, power steering may be the better and easier option for you but also requires more maintenance.
I strongly suggest you choose power steering since it will provide more safety to you and your car. But it’s important to consider your needs when deciding which type of steering system is right for you. If you have. However, whichever you choose, make sure to stay safe on the roads!