There are a few different types of steering systems in cars, and each one has its unique benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we will discuss the difference between tilt and telescopic steering systems. Telescopic steering is more common than tilt steering, but there are still some vehicles that use the tilt system. Let’s take a closer look at each type of system to see which one is right for you!
Before we dive into the difference between tilt and telescopic steering, let’s first take a look at the history of both systems. Tilt steering was first introduced in the 1920s, while telescopic steering wasn’t introduced until the 1940s. Both systems were originally designed for use in trucks and other large vehicles. However, over time they have found their way into smaller cars as well. The tilt system is more common in larger vehicles, while telescopic steering is more prevalent among smaller ones (such as compact sedans).
What is Telescopic steering?
Telescopic steering is a type of steering system that has a collapsible shaft. This means that the shaft can be shortened or lengthened to adjust the amount of leverage you have when turning the wheel. Telescopic steering is often found in smaller cars, as it allows for better maneuverability in tight spaces. It also takes up less space than a tilt steering system, which makes it an ideal choice for compact sedans or subcompact hatchbacks. It can also be found in smaller trucks such as midsize pickups, and full-size vans like Ford Transit Connects (which are taller than compact sedans). The telescopic shaft is made of steel, aluminum, or carbon fiber depending on the manufacturer’s preference and cost considerations.
What is Tilt steering?
Tilt steering is a type of system that uses the same collapsible shaft as a telescopic, but with one major difference. Instead of adjusting how far away from you the steering wheel sits (which can be up to three inches), It only allows for height adjustments only by moving it up or down. Adjusting the tilt angle varies depending on the manufacturer but usually ranges from 0 degrees (straight) to 45 degrees with an average range of 30-35 degrees. This type of wheel is usually found in larger vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs. The tilt angle is beneficial for these types of vehicles because it allows the driver to adjust the wheel to their preferred driving position. It also gives them more leverage when turning, which can be helpful in off-road situations or when towing a trailer.
Now that we know a little bit about the history and workings of both tilt and telescopic steering, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each system.
1. Shorter collapsed length than tilt for the same wheelbase
Telescopic steering takes up less space than a tilt system, which makes it an ideal choice for compact sedans or subcompact hatchbacks. If you have a smaller car, then a telescopic steering system is the way to go.
Fitting a telescopic steering wheel in a bigger car is possible, but the trade-off is that you lose some leverage because larger cars need more leverage to make tight turns, so a telescopic system might not be the best choice for them.
2. Better maneuverability in tight spaces:
Since telescopic steering has a shorter collapsed length, it is better able to maneuver in tight spaces. This can be helpful if you find yourself in city traffic or parallel parking often. If you live in a place with a lot of tight turns, then a telescopic system is the way to go.
3. Takes up less space:
As we mentioned before, telescopic steering takes up less space than a tilt system. If you have a smaller car, then this can be a major advantage. It also means that there is less chance of your head hitting the steering wheel in a collision.
4. Can be found in smaller trucks
While telescopic steering is more common in smaller cars, it can also be found in smaller trucks such as midsize pickups and full-size vans. If you need a larger vehicle, then a telescopic steering system may be right for you.
Even though the telescopic steering wheel has advantages, there are some disadvantages.
If you’re on a budget, then a tilt system may be the better choice for you. because of the complexity of the system, telescopic steering can be more expensive than a tilt system. Telescopic steering wheels cost more to manufacture, so you may want to consider a tilt system if cost is a factor.
2. Less leverage:
While a telescopic steering system can be fitted in a larger car, the trade-off is that you lose some leverage because larger cars need more leverage to make tight turns. If you have a large car, then a tilt system may be the better choice.
3. Requires more maintenance
Another con of telescopic steering is that it requires more maintenance than a tilt system. This is because the telescopic shaft is made of steel, aluminum, or carbon fiber and can corrode over time. If you live in an area with a lot of salt on the roads, then you may want to consider a tilt system to avoid corrosion.
4. Complex mechanism
Finally, telescopic steering is more complex than a tilt system. This means that it is more likely to break down and require repairs. If you’re looking for a steering system that is low maintenance, then a tilt system may be the better choice.
1. Easier to adjust
The first pro of a tilt system is that it is easier to adjust. You can simply loosen the bolts that hold the steering column in place and then adjust it to your preferred position. This is helpful if you share your car with other people or if you want to be able to adjust your seat without having to readjust your steering wheel.
Another advantage of a tilt system is that it is less expensive than a telescopic system. This is because it is a simpler design and does not require as much maintenance. If you’re on a budget, then a tilt system may be the better choice for you.
3. Low maintenance
As we mentioned before, a tilt system is less complex than a telescopic system. This means that it is less likely to break down and require repairs. If you’re looking for a steering system that is low maintenance, then a tilt system may be the better choice.
4. Can have more tilt range than telescopic – up to 45 degrees
Again, because a tilt system is less complex than a telescopic system, it can have more tilt range. This means that you can adjust your steering wheel to a more comfortable position. If you suffer from back pain or neck pain, then a tilt system may be the better choice for you.
5. Better for off-road or hilly driving
Finally, a tilt system is better for off-road or hilly driving. This is because it gives you more leverage when making turns. If you live in an area with a lot of tight turns, then a tilt system may be the better choice for you.
Even though a tilt system has advantages, there are some disadvantages.
1. Less range of motion
The first disadvantage of a tilt system is that it has less range of motion than a telescopic system. This means that you may have to readjust your seat in order to be able to reach the pedals. If you share your car with other people, then this may be an inconvenience.
2. More difficult to adjust
Another disadvantage of a tilt system is that it is more difficult to adjust. You have to loosen the bolts that hold the steering column in place and then adjust it to your preferred position. This can be time-consuming if you share your car with other people or if you want to be able to adjust your seat without having to readjust your steering wheel.
3. Can’t be used in all vehicles
Finally, a tilt system can’t be used in all vehicles. This is because some cars have a lower ceiling, which means that a tilt system wouldn’t work. If you’re not sure if a tilt system would work in your car, then you should consult with a mechanic.
Differences between telescopic and tilt?
The first difference I would say between these two steering systems is how they work. Tilt steering uses a collapsible shaft that is adjustable in height to fit your needs. This simply means that you can move the wheel up and down to find the best position for you. Telescopic steering, on the other hand, has a collapsible shaft that is adjustable in length which also means you can change how much leverage you have when turning the wheel. So, if you are driving in a tight space or want more control over your car, telescopic steering in my opinion might the better option.
If you have ever used these two types of steering wheels you will realize that telescopic steering systems are heavier than tilt systems because of the additional metal components. This can be a downside if you are looking for a lightweight system that doesn’t add extra weight to your car. Tilt systems are much lighter because they don’t have any additional metal components and are made from light materials.
Again I would say telescopic steering provides better maneuverability in small spaces than tilt steering. This is because you can adjust the length of the shaft to fit your needs, giving you more or less leverage when turning the wheel. Tilt steering is not as adjustable, which can make it difficult to turn the wheel in tight spaces.
Furthermore, telescopic steering takes up less space than tilt steering because you don’t need as much room to adjust the height of the wheel. This is ideal for smaller cars like compacts and subcompacts. Tilt steering requires more space because you need to adjust the angle of the wheel as well.
Also, telescopic steering systems are often more expensive than tilt systems because they require additional metal components to make the shaft adjustable. Meaning that the cost of materials used for manufacturing this type of steering wheel is higher, which is then passed on to you (consumer) whilst the Tilt steering wheel, on the other hand, uses a standard collapsible shaft that is found in most cars. This makes the cost of materials and manufacturing lower and in turn, makes it affordable if you are on a tight budget.
6. More common
Lastly, I would say telescopic systems are more common than tilt because they’re easier to install and use less space in the vehicle’s cabin, making them ideal for compact sedans or subcompact hatchbacks (which don’t have much room). Telescopic steering is also more common on trucks because it takes up less space than tilt does whilst tilt steering wheels are mostly found in cars.
Which is better?
Do people always ask which is better Telescopic or Tilt? Well, I would say it depends on you. But the research I conducted about these two steering wheels showed that most drivers preferred Telescopic steering because it is adjustable in both height and length. This means you can find the perfect position for you no matter what type of car you are driving. Tilt steering is only adjustable in height, which can be a disadvantage if you are not able to find a comfortable position. Telescopic steering is also heavier than tilt steering, but this can be seen as a positive because it gives you more control over the car.