You know that when you turn the steering wheel in your car, the wheels turn. Cause and effect, right? But a lot of interesting stuff goes on between the steering wheel and the tires to make this happen.
We'll see how the two most common types of car steering systems work: rack-and-pinion and
recirculating-ball steering. Then we'll examine power steering and find out about some interesting future developments in steering systems, driven mostly by the need to increase the fuel efficiency of cars.
• But first, let's see what you have to do turn a car. It's not quite as simple as you might think!
• You might be surprised to learn that when you turn your car, your front wheels are not pointing in the same direction.
• For a car to turn smoothly, each wheel must follow a different circle. Since the inside wheel is following a circle with a smaller radius, it is actually making a tighter turn than the outside wheel. If you draw a line perpendicular to each wheel, the lines will intersect at the center point of the turn. The geometry of the steering linkage makes the inside wheel turn more than the
• There are a couple different types of steering gears. The most common are rack-and-pinion and recirculating ball.