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Old 14th April 2005, 20:15   #1
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Default How good is electronic power steering?

It happened twice recently.

Recently, my friend was driving his new Zen with electronic power steering on highway, cruising smoothly at 80+ kmph. He wanted to get in the food mall, so he reduced the speed to around 55. Took the left turn to get on the ramp towards mall and suddenly, car swerves hard to left. Reason? below 60, EPS got activated and steering became light/effortless, making it a sharp left turn. He said, EPS is activated below 60 kmph, while above 60, it is more like manual steering. Same thing happened with yet another friend.

Both were quite scared with this and were debating how safe it is. (EPS is supposed to be safer on high speeds, manoeverable at low speeds).

I have driven Alto with PS on highways, but didn't notice this problem (Don't know if EPS is installed only for new Altos). But, going by description of their experiences, it looked scary for me.
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Old 14th April 2005, 20:20   #2
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taking a turn on an unknown road at around 55. what were they thinking. i guess after the monotony of the highway they must not have been cautious enough.
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Old 14th April 2005, 20:26   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adilshah
taking a turn on an unknown road at around 55. what were they thinking. i guess after the monotony of the highway they must not have been cautious enough.
Adil, there are couple of food malls on Mumbai-Pune express highway. Ramps lead to these malls, which are not at all sharp turns. These guys drive on that road occasionaly, so not very unknown for them.

Those, who have driven there, will agree that 55 is perfectly acceptable (specifically, the one towards Mumbai from Pune.)

Last edited by RX135 : 14th April 2005 at 20:27.
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Old 14th April 2005, 20:30   #4
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dude i had a wagonR which had electronic power sterring and i thought it was just the best in its class . it was very stable at high speeds and very easy in the city
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Old 14th April 2005, 20:34   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RX135
Recently, my friend was driving his new Zen with electronic power steering on highway, cruising smoothly at 80+ kmph. He wanted to get in the food mall, so he reduced the speed to around 55.
you had mentioned highway and not expressway. they are 2 completely different entities.
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Old 14th April 2005, 21:06   #6
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hmm.. the EPS of my wagonR is supposed to be speed sensitive.. hard at higher speeds and light at lower speeds.. its so smooth, that its actually called by many as the BEST power steering in any Indian car. Hyraulic power steering i think has constant sensitivity.. so had you been taking that turn at 80 (just kidding..) imagine what would have happened with HPS...
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Old 14th April 2005, 21:32   #7
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@dcite, It is supposed to be better due to its inherent advantages over hydraulic steering. But, have you noticed sudden change in steering feel when EPS is activated (if there is anything like activation at 60)? As long as EPS gradually comes into picture, there should not be a problem. I did not notice it for Alto (haven't driven much though).

@adil, point taken. But, what I want to say is that it can not be drivers fault, nor was it sharp turn. They are driving cars for last 5-6 years.

They, somehow, felt suddent change in steering response.
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Old 14th April 2005, 21:38   #8
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no amount of experience is enough to make you the best. life is a constantly learning process. (Really sorry for the philosophy...please excuse)
all i am saying is probably after the monotony of the expressway going from a 3 lane to a single lane there could have been a little misjugdement on their part and they may have applied a little more steering than required without realising it.
i could be wrong though.
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Old 14th April 2005, 21:42   #9
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Topic moved to Technical Stuff.
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Old 14th April 2005, 23:16   #10
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Below 60 it is on but not completely.. As you go lower down the speed it becomes more and more loose. Same way when you are driving as the speed increases the motor becomes more and more manual so u go into manual in a progressive way.. Not suddenly.Your friend must have swirved really hard
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Old 14th April 2005, 23:37   #11
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May be something was wrong with the EPS system in their car. As far as i know, EPS does not suddenly get activated below a certain speed. It becomes lighter/heavier gradually as you lower/raise the speed of the car. Quite honestly, i find a regular hydraulic PS fine on highways. Buton small cars, i prefer not to have PS at all 'cos there is a lack of feel in the steering. I don't know if EPS has that problem too or not.
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Old 15th April 2005, 02:47   #12
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all that comes to my mind is that he might have swerved a little harder not realizing hes below 60 and thats what caused that because i havent experienced anything like that before.
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Old 15th April 2005, 15:24   #13
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I have.. Alto Vxi, WagonR Lxi.... and also driven Zen Lxi. But never felt anything like this.
I don't think the concept of EPS activation is true... its always active.

Rather to test it yourself you can take your car to 80+ km/h and then switch off the engine. Then you get the manual steering, you will know the difference.

WagonR's steering is too light if you are not used to it. Alto is a perfect balance - as stable as any big car. And zen is somewhere in between.

So IMO its nothing to do with the EPS its exactly what Adil says.
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Old 15th April 2005, 15:34   #14
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The EPS or any sophisicated power steering nowadays is supposed to be speed sensitive. the amount of effort multiplication the EPS gives decreases as the speed increases.

if you want to try out a PS which is not speed sensitive, try the TATA Estate!!! really scary. my first experience with PS was on a Tata Estate. was scared like hell the first time i tried changing lanes at 80kmph. but you get used to it sort of...
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Old 15th April 2005, 17:14   #15
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guys ,

ihave also driven the EPS Zen.and i feel its a bit over-sensitive.people who are used to the non-PS zens do have to adjust their driving for the new EPS ones.
firstly,a PS is not at all required in either the zen or the alto,with those skinny 145 tires.

instead if maruti gave a a tacho,wider tires ,then the EPS on the zens and altos would have been more helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://marutiudyog.com/bp/faq.asp?ch=2&ct=14&sc=1
Q. What are the advantages of an Electronic Power Steering?

A. The advantages of the Electronic Power Steering are based on a number of parameters like more power, more dependability, more safety and more intelligence. It also occupies less space and has low maintenance cost.


The EPS is controlled by electronic gadgets and incorporates a "Self Diagnosis" feature,in case of any problem.

More Power

EPS consumes less than 2% of an engine's power as compared to the 5% consumed by ordinary power steering. This enables the EPS fitted car to turn in an even more power-packed performance making the EPS extremely useful for small cars.

More Dependability

Ordinary Power Steering is based on a hydraulic system, which may at times result in loss of power assistance to the steering due to the wear and tear of the mechanical parts. The EPS with its electronic parts is a more dependable system as it totally eliminates the possibility of power loss due to the absence of these parts and results in virtually zero maintenance.

More Intelligence

EPS is also known as a Variable Power Steering, which essentially means that the system quickly adapts according to driving conditions and provides requisite power. For instance, more power is needed in operations such as parking and slow traffic conditions, while considerably less power is needed while steering at higher speeds.


The EPS is built to provide only as much power as needed for a particular operation, thus exerting less load on the engine while ordinary power assisted steering provide constant power assistance irrespective of the application, which results in greater demands on the car's engine.

More Safety

The EPS's ability to vary the power provision significantly enhances safety. Power delivery at higher speeds needs to be calibrated so as to provide dependability of movement at higher speeds also.
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