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Increase efficiency by disabling electric assist in steering

20521 Views 82 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  IamIan
This is for the traditionalists and the hard-core milleage freaks.
By removing the fuse of the electric assist power steering you will conserve battery power that would otherwise be used every time you turn the wheel. It also gives you better feel of what is going on between the road and the tires at higher speeds.

This is a very simple, quick and easy mod you can do in 20 seconds just before you drive to work tomorrow to feel it for yourself.

Open the hood.
Look for 40A power steering fuse as shown on fuse box decal.
Remove the 40A power steering fuse and store in your cup holder.
Drive the car and feel the real effort it takes to drive without power steering. :shock:

It's not that bad really, it feels firm during normal driving.
I first tried it an auto-x and it felt like I was wrestling a bear when turning fast at low speeds. But at higher speeds I had a better feel what the tires where doing. On the highway I drove home and it feel firm but nice.
I'll try it on and off a few times and decide what I prefer after a few days.

Tell me what you think after you try it.
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Another thing I'm curious about: does the electric power steering add additional effort to the steering when it's not working, like hydraulic PS does?
I can't imagine that the Insight would be all that bad w/o the power steering - at least by comparison to the time I drove a '66 Pontiac most of the way down the Pacific Coast Highway in California with the power steering out :) There isn't, or at least wasn't then, any place to buy a belt between Monterey and San Luis Obispo...
"Did you have arms that look something akin to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s after that drive..."

Not after that one, but there was the summer I spent running a Cat on a logging crew. I thought the steering was a little stiff at first, but as the summer wore on I got used to it. Then in the fall we loaded the equipment up and hauled it back to the valley. The mechanic hopped on to unload my Cat, and the first words out of his mouth were "Jeezus H... What happened to the power steering?"
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