owners of electric power steering cars

Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
1,588
Location
Ohio
It's not drive-by-wire. There is still a mechanical connection to the steering rack, just as in hydraulic power steering. The hydraulics have just been replaced with electric motors providing the power assist.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
13,821
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Well, my daughters '06 Mazda 3i is electric P/S but, not DBW! And I didn't know it was electric for over 1 year of ownership. I may be wrong still as I can't really tell. I don't feel any differences with the P/S compared to our other vehicles w/o electric P/S. The car is a bit less refined than our others so, it's apples/oranges. One would need to do a side-by-side drive in vehicles that are equipped with both hydraulic and electric and I'm not sure that this is available. Although, I thought the Chevy Cruze had both! I am not familiar with any vehicle that has a true DBW steering except the new Infinity Q50, which I HAVE NOT driven! I'm not sure if I am all that crazy about owning a true DBW steering smirk
 
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Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
6,043
Location
DFW
My 2012 Mazda3 Skyactiv's steering feels no different than other P/S systems. It is still hydraulic. The only difference is that the fluid pump is electric rather than belt driven. It makes a noticeable sound that I can hear clearly in my office parking garage. It is variable assist and allows for just as much road feel as any other P/S car I have driven.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,050
Location
New Jersey
SBW steering? No thanks. Reason being that hooptys don't get the same maintenance as an F-16, and so while dbw might cause a stall, lack of steering is an unacceptable failure. It's a vehicle end of life issue, and to me, unsafe. I believe the wife's vw is electric. No complaints.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
944
Location
Michigan
I really enjoy the electric power steering in both of our vehicles (Signature line). Now when I am driving a vehicle with regular hydraulic PS, I feel like Ive downgraded significantly..lol I honestly dont feel like I lose a lot of road feel - but really - is that a bad thing? I dont want the wheel to be jerking or thudding when I hit a tiny pothole or cracks in the road anyways. I feel like just because people are used to having a system that wasnt nicely refined but are used to it, they are threatened by improved technology "the way it should be". All in all, I do however, feel a more linear, smooth and "clean" assist when turning the wheel at low speeds or when Im stopped. Im glad manufacturers are making the shift towards electric. Toyota seems to have done a great job with the PS, while our Escape steering wheel feels very light, maybe too light.
 
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Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
6,762
Location
Connecticut
My mom's 2011 Honda Fit has electric power steering. The car steers very nicely, but then again the wheels are so small it probably doesn't even need power steering. grin
 
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
17,119
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Most cars ive driven steer terribly. I would put it at: cheap strut geometry employing excessive caster angle, too fast a ratio and negative scrub radius - along with excessive rear toe. The electric assist is absolute a downgrade AFA "feel" goes. This can be fixed with smarter system programming and development. The Subaru BRZ/ TOYOTA uses EPS but is purportedly well developed. IDK I haven't tried one yet. I Don't like "girly" coupe styling.
 
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Joined
Aug 1, 2012
Messages
1,305
Location
TN
My Ion and Mom's VUE both have electric steering. I'd hate to go back to hydraulic. The electric requires no fluids, no hoses to leak, no pump to go bad, and it doesn't squeal if you turn it too far. I have as much road feel as any other vehicle I've driven, except for the Bug (in which you FEEL every grain of asphalt).
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
13,904
Location
Buffalo, NY
I've owned two E-steering vehicles to date. First was a 2007 Chevy Cobalt, second is my 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek. The Chevy's system kept the servo motor for the steering rack under the dash/steering column. The Subaru's system looks like the pic above, where the motor is under the car, tucked into the front subframe. All I can say at this point is I've had zero problems with it, where this hasn't been the case at all with my hydraulic R/P steering vehicles.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
16,775
Location
NE,Ohio
Some are pretty numb "video game" type steering some actually are tuned pretty good. 2009 hyundai elantra felt very numb and over assisted my 2015 subaru feels fine.. can barely tell its not hydraulic.
 

01rangerxl

Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
10,527
Location
Birmingham, AL
I prefer the feel of hydraulic PS in general. I have driven some EPS vehicles that felt "twitchy," or seemed to deliver the wrong amount of assist. On others the EPS was decent and didn't feel like driving an arcade game. As far as reliability, I agree with others that eliminating a fluid is nice, but EPS isn't exactly bulletproof reliable. Sensors and motors can and do both fail. GM has recalled numerous EPS vehicles over the years for problems with either the motor and/or torque sensor. Sometimes the torque sensors are bad off the shelf! That said, I haven't found PS fluid (in my case ATF) to be much of an issue. I've never actually done a full change on my truck or the other rack & pinion hydraulic PS Fords I have had. A couple turkey baster changes over the years, kind of just for the [censored] of it while changing the engine oil. That's it. Never changed a pump, rack, hose, or even all of the fluid. The only time I have gotten so much as a squeak out of it was when turning sharply with a 110K mile serp belt. The "major" advantage of EPS, at least to the manufacturers, is fuel economy.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
36,987
Location
ME
My wife's HHR has it. It's tolerable. I can feel the "boost" kick in when I slow under 1.5 MPH. Car has a bum intermediate steering shaft that rattles due to road bumps or brake "warpage", and I feel it in the wheel. As far as driving it in the snow... on snow tires but without ABS/Trac/Stability, I can feel what's going on, well enough.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
Messages
2,008
Location
grande prairie AB
my versa feels great. It had am electric motor to spin the ps pump. You don't get the inconsistent feeling from different speeds of the ps pump. Very nice system in fact.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
17,298
Location
OH
I always found cars without PAS to be more pleasant to drive. Cars we've owned without PAS include three Civis, an MGB, a Vanagon (an upper body workout with every drive), a 280Z 2+2 (steered like a truck), a Corvair, a Vega and an old Corona. We have yet to have a car with electric assist. In terms of road feel and reversion, rack and pinion is fully reversible while recirculating ball isn't. This is why old MBs used recirculating ball as did most American cars through the 'seventies. No irritating kickback through the steering wheel on rough surfaces. For an unassisted setup, recirculating ball also has less internal friction than does rack and pinion, so it steers more easily. That said, most of the cars we've owned without PAS had rack and pinion steering.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
6,043
Location
DFW
I have been fortunate to have the only two cars I've driven in the past 25 years come with excellent steering. The third generation Honda Accords had an early version of variable assist - full power assist at speeds below 35 mph and none above 35 mph. Initially, it was a totally different animal to my 72 Catalina, but it was great. Mazda's "electro-hydraulic" system seems to give the best of both worlds.
 
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