Electric or Hydraulic Power Steering


Asked by Nov 03, 2015 at 12:19 AM about the 2016 Subaru Outback

Question type: General

What do you think about these two systems and which one do you prefer?

12 Answers


Hydraulic, why mess with something that works. Electrics still have this, "not of it will fail but when" stigma around them yet. In fact this whole "drive by wire" thing is just plain scary.


More reliable power steering with hydraulic.


Sure, but pumps and belts and fluid. I'm sick of it after 30+ years. I hear some of the newest electro systems have nearly identical feel to a good hydraulic rack, but in general excellent steering is more easily attainable with parasitic hydrraulics.


If the poster's question is specific to Subarus, it should be noted that outstandling handling inherent in Subies' excellent rack is dramatically compromised by poor body control and suspension compromises inherent in the taller iterations (Forester, latest OBs). With a lower CoG an Imp or Leg Sedans' steering rivals the best from BMW, Audi and Mazda...and far better than Honda, Toyota, Nissan, for example.


Trying to stop new technology is difficult, see this link http://www.autotrainingcentre.com/blog/comparing-hydraulic- electric-steering/


Both have a single point of failure, more actually with hydraulic since it can start leaking or snap a belt, but, the greatest disadvantage to hydraulic is the fuel-efficiency penalty. As this technology improves, I imagine so will the road feel.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If you want to stop new technology just stop buying it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

OK, that's an interesting perspective, but, you don't really mean that. After all, if you follow that logic, we would never have gone through the industrial and computer revolution and all the applications that have developed since. And, while you may not agree, all of this modern technology since the beginning of the automobile, cars have just gotten progressively safer and better with each passing year. I'm afraid that it is better than what some people might call the good old days... I think those days were not as good as you might remember it. Sorry.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I'll agree with the safer part but better isn't the word I would have used. All this technology just makes it harder and more expensive to fix. It's no longer a fun job being a mechanic, just look at the money you have to pay for test equipment now days not mention the special tools you need above your normal hand tools, and it keeps changing with every year make and model. Then there is the knowledge base, when I first started out all I needed were a few books, now you need to subscribe to a database just have access to the information you need and you need tech to even do that. I could go on for hours about this. So better? NO

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Better is a qualitative adjective and it means different things to people, but, I think SAFER is definitely better in this case. And, yes, cars today are rolling computers. The world has changed and it will change again with self driving cars. It's coming and it will be phase 2 of the automobile. A lot of people won't like it, but when you add up all the fatalities on the road, the numbers are staggering. And, traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas are turning into a parking lot. I'm sorry, the backyard mechanic you're referring to has been virtually dead for years and if you don't have or invest in the right tools and equipment, you're lost, I get that. The good news is that cars today are generally speaking better and have less problems in between service intervals. And, since cars are now made by robots, they're more exacting to precise specs. Finally, the advances in fuel-efficiency on non- hybrid cars has really come a long way. No matter what you spend on an old 60s muscle car, you're going to get 30-40 or better miles per gallon.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Correction, "you're NOT going to get 30-40 miles per gallon on that 60s muscle car.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If your phase 2 does happen I will not buy one, I buy a car to drive not for it too tell me how or where to drive, that tech is one that should die, it is too vulnerable too outside interference, maybe in 50 years it will be viable in the slow speed city's but not yet. As far as getting better mileage for muscle cars of the 60's and early 70's that will be fixed with the coming of hydrogen cell tech getting retroed into older cars, and that I am looking forward too.

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