Steering Wheel and Column

The purpose of the steering wheel and column is to produce the necessary force to turn the steering gear. The exact type of steering wheel and column depends on the year and the car manufacturer. The steering column, also called a steering shaft, relays the movement of the steering wheel to the steering gear. Major parts of the steering wheel and column are shown in Figure 46–13. The steering wheel is used to produce the turning effort. The lower and upper covers conceal parts. The universal joints rotate at angles. Support brackets are used to hold the steering column in place. Assorted screws, nuts, bolt pins, and seals are used to make the steering wheel and column perform correctly. Since 1968, all steering columns have a collapsible feature that allows the column to fold into itself on impact. This feature prevents injury to the driver. In most vehicles equipped with a driver’s side air bag, the air bag assembly is contained in the center portion of the steering wheel. This assembly must be disarmed and removed before the steering wheel can be removed.

Differences in steering wheel and column designs include fixed column, telescoping column, tilt column, manual transmission, floor shift, and automatic transmission column shift. The tilt columns (Figure 46–14) feature at least five driving positions (two up, two down, and a center position). Both fixed and tilt columns may house an emergency warning flasher control, a turn signal switch, ignition key, lights (high/low beams), horn, windshield wipers and washers, and an anti theft device that locks the steering system. On automatic-transmission-equipped vehicles, the transmission linkage locks also. Methods used to lock the shaft to the tube include a breakaway plastic capsule or a series of inserts or steel balls held in a plastic retainer that allow the shaft to roll forward inside the tube. There are also collapsible steel mesh (Figure 46–15) or accordion pleated devices that give way under pressure. After the vehicle has been in an accident, the steering column should be checked for evidence of collapse. Although the car can be steered with a collapsed column that has been pulled back, the collapsed portion must be replaced. All service manuals provide explicit instructions for doing this. The steering wheel is usually held in place on the steering column by either a bolt or nut.

Gambar & Muat turun: Klik melalui Menu “INFO AUTOMOTIF” di atas atau KLIK Steering Wheel and Column.

Reference: Erjavec, J. (2005). Automotive Technology: A System approach. 4th Ed. USA: Delmar Cengage Learning

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