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Increase efficiency by disabling electric assist in steering

20519 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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Allnighte said:
would this have any other effect on the car? (codes? extra wear? etc)
I can't think of any reason why it would.

Hey, my first car was a '64 Fairlane 500. 3-speed manual, no power assist brakes, and NO power steering. It had a steering wheel that looked like it came from a bus, but I could turn it. It wasn't too much fun in parking lots, but gave a good workout.

I have also wondered the reasoning behind power assist steering in this little car. I guess the steering ratio might not be as quick, if it were to be easily usable for everyone.
Hmmmm, how about a "switch" that gives you the ability to turn the EPS off and on???? Like the regen switch.

On for low speed, off for high speed. Is this silly?
b1shmu63 said:
.... Remember you are now spinning a dead stick stepper motor as well as steering the car*. The car might actually track straighter without the electric steering because you now have a smooth relationship between the force on the wheel and the direction of the car. The electric steering turns in distinct steps. This requires constant small corective movements of the steering. I don't even notice it anymore but some may have incorrectly blamed it on the tires.....
Exactly. Funny, that I was just messing about in the driveway the other day before pulling in the garage, and was turning the wheel right and left and could feel distinct "cogwheel" ratcheting of the steering. I bet this does have a bit to do with the vagueness on the road.

Different subject: I think if the car had been designed with no power assist, it would have been fine. Designed is the critical concept here. As an example, I had a 1982 Mazda GLC which weighed, I think, 2300 lb and did not have power steering. It was not difficult to turn at all, and I don't think anyone would have had trouble. Great handling and quick steering, too.
Yeah, gotta be able to park that land yacht with one hand...

Power steering used to be an option. I wish it still were. I don't prefer the electric assist, since there is no "loading" as with other systems, those without assist, or without mechanical assist.
OK, I just tried it out.....on the trip to the gas station :oops: .

I must say I was surprised at the effort at low speed, mainly to initate a turn. Brings back not-too-fond memories. I will leave the fuse out on the drive to work tomorrow, which is 90% interstate to test out the high speed experience.
Ok, I drove to work and I must say it does great on the open road. Much less wandering. I don't even have that "disconnected" feel when in the wash from a passing truck. I like it much better this way.

As for a switch, maybe one on the wheel itself? Who has experience rigging these things? I am an electrical doofus...
Nah, I disagree. That would add about 1000% complexity, and I don't think it is unsafe at any speed, just a little uncomfortable at low speed.

A little rocker switch or push button on the wheel would be cool.
Well, I'm impressed.

Let's see the pics.
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