The world of cars is changing significantly. Each and every year, the car companies are introducing new driving, technology and safety systems. Ford is one fine example, and its latest deployment of the Ford EPAS system illustrate that perfectly.
Just like with every new system, the positive and negative feedbacks are present, and Ford is facing a huge debate right now. For an instance, Blue Oval carmaker ditched the hydraulic steering system for the new EPAS technology. The opinions are different, so let’s find out more about this system and its pros and cons.
What is EPAS and how it works?
The EPAS is an acronym that stands for “Electric Power Assisted Steering System”. This system is replacing the hydraulic one, and it deploys power steering when needed. Logically, the whole car’s world is slowly turning to electric systems instead of aging and more traditional systems.
With the EPAS system, the motors are placed at the base of the steering column or on the steering rack, directly. Moreover, the EPAS system will continue to monitor and the road conditions and try to adapt to them. As the name suggests, this is an assisted system so the main argument against the EPAS is the steering feel that is gone.
Why should you opt for the EPAS system?
The EPAS system replaces the hydraulic steering system as we wrote. While the hydraulic system is using fluids, pumps, pulleys and other features, the EPAS system is using a computer named ECU. So, why you should opt for the EPAS steering system?
First of all, it is lighter than the hydraulic one. EPAS deploys variable power assist, which is helpful at lower speeds and less at higher speeds. The fuel economy is better, so your car could squeeze some extra miles per gallon. This system compensates the car drifts and pulls. Moreover, active park assist is available too. Ford EPAS is programmable while the hydraulic system is not.
Cons of the EPAS system?
This system is very complex. For example, Ford EPAS includes a Torque Sensor, Steering Wheel Position Sensor and Power Steering Control (PSC). If there is something wrong with one of these systems, it is hard to diagnose the problem. Imagine that one of the sensors is not able to read the data.
Moreover, this system is prone to premature failures and loss of control is the most likely outcome. Of course, the system is offering a mechanical backup so the driver is still able to steer, but with more effort. One of the main reasons why the customers aren’t opting for the EPAS system is the weaker sense of steering.
Face the reality
You can like this system or not, but you’ll have to accept it. Ford EPAS is slowly overtaking all of the Blue Oval’s vehicles and the same is happening with the other larger car companies. Porsche deploys this system on its 911 model, Chevrolet as well.
Of course, the hydraulic system exists for over five decades and it reached the perfection. The same will happen with the younger and fresher EPAS system. Will there be problems? Yes. Is EPAS the future and the most likely outcome? Yes, it is. Accept it.