Electric power steering is a power steering system that uses computers, electronic sensors and a small electric engine to replace traditional, hydraulic power steering. While there are numerous advantages to this system, including increased gas mileage and a less labour intensive fix, there are also certain disadvantages to electric power steering.
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Electric power steering systems improve auto efficiency and safety. However, electric power steering is still relatively new and costly compared with traditional hydraulic steering.
A disadvantage common to electronic car parts is they can't be repaired without specialised diagnostic equipment and advanced tools. Electric power steering is a great boon to a car, but when it fails due to computer failure, sensor damage or just parts wearing out, the owner will be stuck with a significant bill. More traditional systems are friendlier to the DIY owner.
Upgrading a traditional vehicle's hydraulic power steering system to an electric power steering system is a big project with a hefty cost. Newer cars are built with electric power steering systems in mind, whereas hydraulic systems are larger, clunkier and arranged differently.
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