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Old 11-18-2006, 01:34 PM   #1
Cassini
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Default Driving my LW-200 without power steering

Please keep your criticisms to a minimum, but is it dangerous to drive without power steering?

My LW-200 has 150K so I want to spend as little as possible to maintain it.
My mechanic tells me it needs a new power steering pump and a new rack.

While steering is a workout, is this a dangerous condition?
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Driving my LW-200 without power steering

For normal driving, no, driving without power steering is not dangerous. In an emergency situation where you have to avoid an accident, yes, driving without power assist is dangerous. If someone hit me and I later found out that they were driving a power steering equipped car with a failed power steering, I'd sue their butts off for endangering my life when with a little simple maintenance they could've avoided the accident.
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Driving my LW-200 without power steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassini
Please keep your criticisms to a minimum, but is it dangerous to drive without power steering?My LW-200 has 150K so I want to spend as little as possible to maintain it.My mechanic tells me it needs a new power steering pump and a new rack. While steering is a workout, is this a dangerous condition?
I would think that since the steering mechanicals are physically connected there is no danger except during emergency avoidance manouvers when more effort would be required to turn. As speed increases the steering effort would be reduced due to lowered rolling friction against the wheels. At a standstill and low speed is where power assisted steering comes in to aid the driver by reducing steering effort. Anyone familiar with non-powered assisted steering knows the high effort required to turn the wheel during low speed parking but a loosey-goosy feel at speed. This would be the steering ratios adjusted by design to allow a relatively heavy effort needed at low speed and little effort for high speed, a compromise at best, to accomodate most drivers. If anyone remembers, the ratios were around three to five turns lock to lock? Much less now with power steering.

The hydraulic pump would be a high wear item in the steering system so I tend to think that the pump would falter before the mechanical rack and pinion unit. Outside of damage to the car and specifically the steering system I would find out if a replacement pump can be taken from a used car, drained and refilled with new oil, and put into your car to restore power assist. Perhaps someone more experienced in steering systems will add his/her opinion to your situation as it can be considered hazardous to someone that doesn't know about the loss of power assist and immediately attempts to drive your car.
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