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.

What can go wrong?

Normally, the process is as described above. The most common problems in the hydraulic steering system are leakage or slack. Leakage can occur due to wear and tear, ageing or pollution. During a rebuild of your steering rack, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts will be assembled and, where necessary, the latest modifications are applied. Throughout the entire rebuild process and modification, your steering rack will be cleaned, checked and recalibrated. Testing of steering racks is done with 30% more pressure than usual. This way we can check if the steering rack has the right amount of power.