Speed Sensing Steering: Functions, Working Principle and Malfunction Symptoms

Last Updated on January 16, 2019

Speed-sensing steering is like a hybrid of power steering and manual steering systems. Since most vehicles have power steering systems these days, a lot of drivers complain that they don’t feel like they’re in control of their vehicles when driving at high speeds. Basically, power steering gives them too much assistance with the steering and they don’t like it. However, manual steering has its drawbacks because it does not provide the driver with any assistance. This requires the driver to have to use more upper arm strength just to rotate the steering wheel, especially while driving at slower speeds.

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With speed sensing steering, it gives you the best of both worlds. It gives the driver more handling and control over their vehicle no matter what speed they are moving. And it won’t require them to have too much strength either. If they need to slow down to maneuver or park somewhere, the speed sensing steering system will provide them with power assistance just like a power steering system would. However, when they’re traveling at high speeds, the speed sensing system will reduce the power assistance so that drivers have more manual control of their steering. As a result, you can control your car more easily while driving at higher speeds. Meanwhile, you can still get the power assistance you need at lower speeds too.

How do these functions work?

A speed sensing steering system relies on a series of sensors and modules to provide it with information which will help it determine the amount of power assistance to give to the steering wheel. For instance, these sensors will detect whenever you step on the gas pedal and cause the acceleration of your vehicle to increase. As the speed goes up, the sensors will feed this information to the speed sensing steering system. The system will then reduce the power assistance to the steering wheel.

If you apply the brake and slow down the vehicle, the system will receive this information too. Then it will provide more power assistance to the steering wheel. Since driving tasks like parking and turning require the driver to maneuver properly, it is better they have more assistance with their steering.

What happens if there is a malfunction?

Speed-sensing steering systems are typically designed to revert back to full power steering mode if a problem is detected in the system. There could be a wiring issue or a complete failure of the computer module which regulates the system. Any kind of wiring problems, electrical problems or sensory problems will cause full power steering mode to turn on. This is not necessarily a bad thing because you will just have full power assistance no matter how fast you are driving. It is certainly better than having no power assistance at all and having to do everything manually. At least with full power assistance, you will have the ability to safely drive your vehicle to the nearest auto shop and have the steering system checked.

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How to Get Speed-Sensing Steering

Speed-sensing steering is not actually a separate system from a power steering system. You could have hydraulic power steering or electric power steering in your vehicle and still have the ability to utilize speed sensing steering technology. It is really just an added feature to enhance the basic power steering system technology. That is how it can revert back to full power steering whenever there is a problem with the speed sensors.

If you want a vehicle with speed sensing steering technology, you can check out the Ford Fusion models because they all have this technology in them. You may or may not be able to upgrade an existing power steering system to have speed sensing technology. You will have to check with the manufacturer of your vehicle and see if this type of upgrade is possible. The best thing to do is look for vehicles which already have it prebuilt into their steering system.


2 thoughts on “Speed Sensing Steering: Functions, Working Principle and Malfunction Symptoms”

    • It’s pretty commonplace in newer vehicles since there is no real negative to it (unless you want to make sharp steering inputs at high speeds). Basically, at higher speeds you get almost no power steering assistance for the most direct feel. At lower speeds, you don’t have to get an arm workout. It’s really the best of both worlds.

      But if you really don’t want the feature, you’ll have to do some research to see which vehicles don’t offer it. But like manual transmissions, they’re going to be harder and harder to find as time goes.


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