How does a steering rack work?
We can distinguish between different types of steering racks based on the principles they work on. Their common ground is that they multiply the moment of force of the driver on the steering wheel to a rotational movement of the front wheels. The input of the driver and the road conditions determine the rate of power steering.
Hydraulic power steering
Vehicles with hydraulic power steering consists of a steering rack that cointains a pistion which is connected to the wheels via tie rods. The steering rack contains chambers which are formed by closing the piston in the pistion housing with seals and teflon rings. In case of hydraulic drive the position of the steering wheel determines the pressure in the mentioned chambers. The steering direction determines to which side the pressure on the hydraulic system moves. Steering to the left means that the pressure will also shift to the left.
Oil in the steering rack
The oil pump is mounted on the engine. This pump is driven by a belt that is connected to the crankshaft of the engine. With each steering movement, the oil pump pumps pressurized oil towards the steering rack and pushes the piston in the desired direction. The pressure is regulated by an internal pressure regulator in the hydraulic pump. When the steering movement ceases, the oil flows back into the reservoir.