How does steering work for cars?



I know that it’s something that involves the differential, though as a car guy I feel a bit ashamed that I don’t know how it works

In: Engineering

It doesn’t have anything to do with the differential.

A car either has a steering rack & pinion or a steering box.

When the wheel is turned, either one in essence pushes the tie rods, which in turn pivot the wheels left or right.

The differential allows the outer wheel to spin faster than the inner wheel while turning or going around a curve.

Your car uses a [rack and pinion system](

Your steering wheel is on a long shaft that runs down into the front of the car and has a small “pinion gear” on the end of it. This gear is mated with a toothed bar so when you turn the steering wheel it pushes the bar left or right. This bar is connected to your wheels so that turning the steering wheel pushes your front wheels left/right causing the car to turn as expected.

Modern cars will have a power assist with either hydraulics or an electric motor that help you turn the shaft to push the bar, but all productions cars have a physical connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels (unless someone finally got electronic steering through and I missed it)

There wheels are on a pivot and there are levers parallel to the wheel attached to the pivot point. Move the lever with wheel moves, keep it still and the wheel stays still.