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Working Principles of Electronic Power Steering

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How do you feel when you move the steering wheel when turning? Can you move the steering wheel easily? If you can easily turn the steering wheel when the vehicle is stationary or moving, then you can be sure that your vehicle is equipped with the power steering feature. If you feel heavy when turning the steering wheel, then your vehicle does not yet have a power steering system feature. Usually cars that have not used power steering are old cars, produced in the 1950s to 1970s.

Power steering is a feature on vehicles that function to ease the driver's work when turning the vehicle either it’s stationary or running at low speed. Power steering on old type cars uses hydraulic power, where the power steering pump will work when the engine is operating even though the car is not moving. This causes a loss of engine power because the engine speed is used to drive the power steering pump and the engine speed becomes burdened, causing reduced fuel efficiency. To improve fuel efficiency and lighten the engine load, a power steering system operated by electric power was designed which became known as Electronic Power Steering (EPS).

Electronic power steering (EPS) is a system found in the latest cars which consists of a mechatronic circuit that helps the driver to control the direction of the vehicle in the steering system. The difference in the EPS lies in the driving force of the steer. If the hydraulic power steering uses hydraulic power, the EPS uses an electric motor to help control the steering wheel.
EPS Working Principle

Also read: Adaptive Cruise Control Working Principle

In vehicles with the EPS system, the working principle is to rely on an electric motor device to move the steering rod according to the angle of rotation of the steering wheel and the speed of the vehicle.
The EPS motor gets power from the battery to rotate the EPS motor, while the hydraulic power steering system relies on engine rotation to drive the pump in order to produce high-pressure power steering fluid which will then be forwarded to the steering rack which is connected directly to the wheels on both sides, so it will feel light when turning the steering wheel.

However, EPS will not always be operated continuously, EPS will be deactivated when the vehicle is traveling at high speed. Through information from the vehicle speed sensor when the vehicle is traveling at high speed (more than 80km/h), the sensor will inform the system. This is done to increase safety when the vehicle is driven at high speed, causing the steering wheel to feel heavier. The advantage of EPS compared to hydraulic systems is that in the EPS system the driver does not need to change the power steering oil so it is considered maintenance free. However, EPS also has a weakness, namely if the EPS system is exposed to water, for example a flood, there will be a malfunction in the EPS system, because as we know that the operation of the EPS system is carried out by electricity.

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