More and more automakers today are starting to make the switch from hydraulic power steering to its electric counterpart. However, what is really the difference between these two, and what caused the switch?

In the past, steering your vehicle required you to get a mini workout of your upper body. The good news is that today, you no longer need to muscle your car every time you need to make a turn. There are now numerous power steering systems that help ensure a painless ride. 

The only problem here is that it can be difficult to determine the best and right system for you. To help you get started, first, it is time to know the difference between hydraulic and electric power steering. 

Hydraulic vs. Electric Power Steering at a Glance 

With hydraulic power steering, the power used comes from the engine. On the other hand, electric steering uses up the power coming from the alternator-charged battery which is considered more fuel-efficient. Efficiency is the main advantage of electric power over its hydraulic power counterpart, which results in lower consumption of fuel. 

Difference Between Electric and Hydraulic Power Steering

But there is still more to it than this fast answer. Read on below to learn more. 

Hydraulic Power Steering Defined

Hydraulic power steering is among the first forms of steering that were introduced. This consists of a power steering pump, pulley, drive belt, several belts and hoses, and power steering fluid. The system operates with the help of pressure. 

The vehicle motor has a rotary pump responsible for controlling the hydraulic pressure. Every time the steering wheel is turned, the pump will push out more hydraulic pressure, thus increasing the force. 

The pressure increases because of the additional hydraulic fluid that enters the cylinder. When this happens, the steering gear will receive the pressure, forcing the wheels and the steering to move in harmony. 

Hydraulic power steering is among the first forms of steering
Hydraulic power steering is among the first forms of steering that were introduced.


Here are some of the notable benefits of hydraulic power steering:

  • More Authentic Feel 

There is a more authentic feel with hydraulic power steering systems. While it might not be an issue for SUV owners, it is for sportscar owners.

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