The purpose of the steering system allows the driver to control the direction of the vehicle by turning the front wheels. The steering system consists of the following component parts.
(1) Component parts
<1> Steering wheel Handles the steering operation.
<2> Steering column Joins the steering wheel and the steering gears.
<3> Steering gears Convert the steering torque and rotational deflection from the steering wheel, transmit them to the wheel through the steering linkage, and make the vehicle turn.
<4> Steering linkage A steering linkage is a combination of the rods and arms that transmit the movement of the steering gear to the left and right front wheels. Also, there are two types of steering.
• Rack-and-pinion type
• Recirculating-ball type
2. Requirements of steering system
The steering system has the following requirements.
<1> Excellent maneuverability When the vehicle is cornering on a narrow, twisting road, the steering system must be able to turn the front wheels sharply yet easily and smoothly.
<2> Proper steering effort If nothing is done to prevent it, steering effort will be greater when the vehicle is stopped and will decrease as the speed of the vehicle increase. Therefore, in order to obtain easier steering and better feel of the road, the steering should be made lighter at low speeds and heavier at high speeds.
<3> Smooth recovery While the vehicle is turning, the driver must hold the steering wheel firmly. After the turn is completed, however, recovery – that is, the return of the wheels to the straight-ahead position – should occur smoothly as the driver relaxes the force with which he is turning the steering wheel.
<4> Minimum transmission of shock from road surface Loss of steering wheel control and transmission of kickback due to road surface roughness must not occur.