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Media post: You Should Avoid “Dry Steering”

Dry Steering refers to the action of turning your car’s steering wheel when the vehicle isn’t moving. While it takes little effort to do this, it is hard on your cars front end, the pavement you are driving on, and your tires. Here’s what you should know.

About dry steering

Turning the steering wheel when a car is standing still is easy. Thats because today’s power steering systems are powerful. The technology involved in the past used to be hydraulic (fluid-based) but our technical source at Ziegler Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram(Downers Grove, IL) told us that most of today’s manufacturers are using electric-powered steering systems.  Regardless of the technology involved, however, today’s power steering systems are effortless, and that’’s the problem. Powerful steering systems “grind” tires as they turn which can wear them, your front-end, and the pavement underneath. Here’s a demonstration: Stand on one foot and try to ‘turn that foot.’ Do you feel the torque and hear the grinding sound? Picture this with hundreds -perhaps thousands- of pounds of pressure pressing down instead of your body weight. Things will begin to wear.

Why is it hard on your tires?

The grinding action wears down your tires. This, of course, is a minor thing if it happens once in a while but if it happens many times a day, it can add up quickly. If you have to dry steer your way out of parking spots several times a day, this will likely wear your tires more than driving the vehicle.

And your front-end?

The ‘twist’ you felt on your own foot in the example above… multiply that by a few hundred times for the torque on your steering parts. Sometime when you have the chance, either watch underneath the front of someone’s vehicle while they steer it or have someone turn your steering wheel while you watch it. If this is done while the vehicle is moving – even ever-so-slowly – then it is a relatively non-stress action. But do that when the vehicle is not moving and it’s like trying to turn your foot – as you did in the first step above.

And pavement?

Look around in a parking lot where cars do a lot of turning and notice the black ‘skid marks’  and some of them that actually ‘tore up’ the asphalt. Now, this may be something that doesn’t concern you on the road, or at work, but it might be something that tears up your asphalt at home.

Don’t dry steer if you can avoid it. It wears out your tires faster, will wear out your vehicle front-end parts more quickly, and it can gouge up your asphault driveway.

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