Steering wheel (steering wheel, steering wheel) - a device for controlling the movement of a car, a vessel in a given direction.
The steering wheel is used in most modern land vehicles, including all mass-produced cars, light and heavy trucks. The steering wheel is the part of the control system that the driver directly acts on, the rest of the system responds to input influences similar to the driver. This can be direct mechanical contact as in a ball nut mechanism or with rack and pinion gears, without or using a power steering, or as in modern cars using computer drives known as electric power steering. With the introduction of federal transport regulation in the United States in 1968, pursuant to paragraph 114 of the Federal Automobile Safety Standards, a steering lock is required to make it difficult to steal a car; in most cars, it locks after removing the key from the ignition.
On new cars, remote audio controllers are often built into the steering wheel.
The first cars were driven using the handle, but in 1894 Alfred Wacheron took part in the Paris-Rouen race with the Panhard model with a capacity of 4 liters. with., which was equipped with a steering wheel. This is believed to be one of the earliest uses of such a control principle.
Since 1898, Panhard et Levassor cars have been equipped with a steering wheel as standard. Charles Stuart Rolls introduced the first steering wheel-mounted car in Britain when in 1898 he imported a 6-liter Panhard from France. s .. Arthur Konstantin Krebs replaced the handle with a tilted steering wheel for the Panhard machine, which he designed for the Paris-Amsterdam race, which took place from July 7 to 13, 1898. In 1899, Packard used the steering wheel in a second car she built. For a decade, the steering wheel has completely replaced the handle.
The steering wheel for cars is usually round and mounted on the steering column in a hub attached to the outer ring of the steering wheel with one or more spokes (with one spoke - a rather rare exception). Other car classes may use a butterfly shape or some other form. In countries with left-hand traffic, the steering wheel is usually located on the right side of the car (right-hand drive), in countries with right-hand traffic, vice versa (left-hand drive).
In addition to the control function, the steering wheel usually has a button for giving an audio signal. In addition to this, many modern cars may have other manipulators built into the steering wheel, such as cruise control and audio system buttons. This is to minimize the distance the driver should reach.
In 1968, the United States (Federal Automotive Safety Standards, Standard No. 204) was amended to allow for an acceptable shift of the steering wheel to the rear of the vehicle in the event of an accident. To implement this standard, folding (energy-absorbing) steering columns were required.
Power steering makes it easier for drivers to drive. The modern amplifier is almost always based on a hydraulic system, although electrical systems are steadily replacing this technology. Mechanical reinforcement systems were also invented (for example, Studebaker, 1952), but their great complexity and weight overlap all the advantages.
None of the methods of driving a car obtained in the course of various tests was not so successfully put into operation as the steering wheel.
In some sports cars, for example, in the McLaren F1, and in most one landing racing cars, the steering wheel is located in the center of the cabin.
Since the driver can be driving for many hours, the steering wheel is designed with ergonomics in mind. However, more important is the task of effectively transmitting torque to the steering wheel by the driver, this is especially important where there is no power steering or in those rare cases when control is lost over it. Typically, the steering wheel is made of steel or aluminum with plastic or rubberized grip points pressed over or around them. Some drivers order vinyl or fabric steering wheel coverings to increase grip or comfort, or simply to improve appearance. Another device used to facilitate taxiing is an additional handle.
A similar device in aircraft is called the control stick. Steering wheel-driven watercraft probably inspired the steering wheel concept.
Steering Techniques Edit
Intercept. It consists in the fact that when cornering, the driver intercepts the steering wheel at certain points. As a rule, hands are located at ten and two hours. An effective technique for maneuvering in tight spaces.
Push push. A simplified version of the previous version. When entering the left turn, the left hand grabs the steering wheel from above and pulls it down, while the right hand slides down from the opposite side, until it is flush with the left. If further rotation is necessary, the right hand pushes the steering wheel up, and the left hand slides in the same direction, to a position in which you can again start to pull the steering wheel down.
Rotational Technology (Hand Crossing). The driver does not rearrange his hands, but simply rotates the steering wheel, crossing his arms. This technique will allow you to constantly securely lock the steering wheel and control the car.
Turning the steering wheel in a stationary car is called dry steering. It is strongly recommended that dry steering be avoided, as it puts a strain on the steering gear and causes severe tire wear.
The first button added to the steering wheel was the horn switch. Traditionally located on the hub of the steering wheel or on the central plate, the switch was sometimes located on the handle or activated through a decorative ring, eliminating the need to reach with the hand far from the steering wheel rim. Further development is the Rim Blow steering wheel, which had a beep switch inside its rim.
When speed control systems were introduced in the 1960s, some car manufacturers placed the steering gear control lever on the steering wheel. In the 1990s, the proliferation of new buttons began to appear on automobile steering wheels. Remote or alternative adjustment for the audio system, telephone and sound control, acoustic repetition of the last instruction of the navigation system, infotainment system and on-board computer can be comfortably and safely controlled using the buttons on the steering wheel. This guarantees a high standard of additional safety, since the driver can thus control many systems without even taking his hands off the steering wheel and without taking his eyes off the road.
Scroll wheels can be used to change the sound volume or select a menu item.
Audio steering can use universal interfaces and adapters.
The buttons can be manually adjusted for the length and height.
Game controllers available for gaming machines, personal computers and game consoles are developed as copies of real wheels and are used to play racing simulators. The cheapest of them just look like a big steering wheel, but most of those presented today have feedback to simulate the tactile feel of the steering wheel of a real car. This feature allows you to get the feeling of driving a real car.
The steering wheel cover has both an aesthetic and a functional purpose.
The cover covers the steering wheel very tightly and therefore does not slip. To fasten it does not require latches, clips, Velcro, etc.
It is made of artificial leather or synthetic fabrics with a thin rubberized corrugated layer glued around the entire inner circumference. There is a fur cover on the steering wheel. Basically, such a cover is made of sheepskin wool.
This fact is interesting. In Russia, according to GOST, the thickness of the steering wheel with a put on cover or braid should not exceed 40 mm.
In new comfortable cars on the steering wheel there is heating so that the driver’s hands do not freeze during the winter season.
The main tasks achieved when tuning the steering wheel are to improve comfort and appearance by connecting a heated steering wheel, changing the anatomy of the steering wheel and hauling the steering wheel with natural or artificial leather, as well as Alcantara. All modern executive cars are equipped with a leather steering wheel, usually in dark colors. Therefore, when hauling the steering wheel, colored leather inserts are in demand.
How to hold the steering wheel?
How to keep the steering wheel while driving? If you are driving in a straight line, keep your hands on the steering wheel in the 9:15 position.
To do this, imagine that the steering wheel is a watch. Based on this, put your left hand on the number 9, and your right hand on the number 3 (or 15). You must hold the steering wheel with both hands.
Thanks to this, you will be able to control the car, ensure easy handling of the car and traffic safety. It will also be more convenient for you to use the shift buttons on the steering rim and the turn-on levers.
If your car is driving on asphalt, then your thumbs should be above the partitions; if it is driving along a dirt road, then your fingers should be placed on the partition.
Remember that the steering wheel should be held tight enough to properly control the machine. However, sticking to the steering wheel is strongly discouraged, even during sharp turns.
Hold it confidently enough, but do not pinch it, as otherwise your hands will get tired very quickly.
With a large steering angle (from 90º and more), you should use the method of intercepting the steering wheel. How to intercept the steering wheel:
- Take the initial position of the hands on the steering wheel.
- With both hands, gently twist the steering rim to the left side until the left hand rests against the left side.
- At the moment, remove the left hand from the steering wheel, and let the right continue to turn it.
- Next, quickly move your left hand on top of your right and grab the wheel.
- Then, when it is no longer convenient to turn the steering wheel with your right hand, it must be shifted to the upper zone of the steering wheel.
- Then you should act according to the following scheme: continue to turn the steering rim, intercepting it.
- When the car returns to the correct path, immediately align it. Now you need to turn the steering wheel to the right side according to the same principle.
In order to turn right, it is not necessary to turn the steering wheel with both hands. To do this, you can use only one left brush:
- Do not touch the steering wheel with your right hand.
- Place your left hand slightly above the middle of the steering circle, not squeezing it very much, and start slowly turning to the right.
- Then, when the hand can no longer turn, you need to squeeze the steering wheel with a brush.
- Then you need to straighten your fingers and rotate them 180º. During this, rest your palm on the steering wheel and continue to turn it. Your task is to return the hand to its original position.
- If necessary, you can repeat the maneuver.
With a small angle of rotation (up to 45º) you do not even have to change the position of your hands on the steering wheel. The simplest steering technique involves the following algorithm of actions:
- On the steering wheel, take the starting position of the hands.
- When overtaking or changing lanes, turn the steering rim in the right direction, without taking your hands off it.
- Upon completion of the maneuver, you should return to the starting position, release the steering wheel.
The advantages of this method are that you do not have to worry that the wheels will stand crooked, and then you will have to level the car.
However, this method should not be used in cases where a large radius radius requires a turn or a turn.
During movement, there are often cases when one hand has to be distracted from driving to solve a problem. For example, you need to turn on or off the radio, stove, air conditioning, etc.
Of course, such actions must be minimized, and the search for the necessary gizmo in the glove compartment or an important conversation on a mobile phone is best done after the traffic stops.
However, unfortunately, such manipulations cannot be completely abandoned, so it is important to learn how to control the steering wheel with one hand.
To do this, master the following technique:
- Squeeze the upper part of the steering wheel with your left hand and control the movement with it.
- At the same time, engage your right hand in resolving the issue. After that, return both hands to their original position.
You can reverse the vehicle in two ways: either by turning your head back for a good view, or by watching carefully using the rear-view mirrors.
The first option is the most common and convenient, as it makes it possible to notice the pedestrian who has suddenly appeared or other possible obstacles in time.
Where to turn the steering wheel when reversing? If you adhere to the following basic rules, you can quickly master this important skill:
- In cars with left-hand drive, it is necessary to turn half-sided to the right and look in the direction of movement.
- If the car should move straight or turn right, then it is better to hold the back of the front passenger seat with your right hand and hold the steering wheel with your left hand for control.
- If, moving the car backwards, it is necessary to make a left turn, then you need to turn around on the seat with a half-side. In this case, the elbow of the left hand should be put on the back of the driver's seat, and the car should be controlled with the right hand.
What to do if a car is driving?
In addition to all the shortcomings of our roads, in the winter, driving along them will become even more complicated due to snow, ice, which can often lead to a skid of the car. A car can be brought in due to any inept or careless action on an icy road.
In such cases, cars with rear-wheel drive are more dangerous, however, such an unpleasant incident can occur with the currently popular front-wheel drive car.
If this happened, then the first and most important thing that not everyone succeeds in is to remain calm and not give in to panic. And then, in order to get the car out of skidding, it is necessary to carry out the following actions. It is good if they are worked out in memory before automatism.
So, where to turn the steering wheel when skidding on front-wheel drive? For cars with front-wheel drive, you need to turn the steering wheel in the direction of skidding and add a little gas. It is important that the driver feel a skid.
The most important thing is to operate the wheel, in no case to change gears, and also not to put pressure on the brake. It is also forbidden to pull the handbrake, as this will only increase the drift, so the car will simply turn around and you will hook other participants in the movement.
Which way to turn the steering wheel when skidding on the rear wheel drive? In this case, you should also turn the steering wheel in the direction of skidding, release the gas, depending on the speed. It is also forbidden to change gear, do not touch the clutch, handbrake and brake.
For all-wheel drive, the hardest thing to get out of skiddingTherefore, in most cases, it remains only to wait until the car stops itself. The only thing that can be done is to slightly turn the steering rim in the direction of skidding and in no case add gas.
The issue of proper parking in the city deserves special attention, since it is simply impossible to simulate all situations that arise in real conditions at the training site.
In order not to get into stressful situations while driving, always try to find a parking place in front.
It is also very important that each driver is informed about how to turn the steering wheel in parallel parking:
- To get started, catch up with the car, which is located in front of the place where you are going to park. Park the vehicle in a parallel position. At the same time, try to maintain a distance of about 0.5 - 1 meter with this machine.
- Mark the safe turning zone. To do this, mentally draw a line from the right rear wheel of the car up. Having reached this mark, feel free to start the turn.
- Drive backwards until the mental mark reaches the end of the car parked on the right.
- Twist the steering wheel to the right until it stops. Drive in reverse gear until you see the front right edge of the car that is parked behind. Stop the car.
- Unscrew the steering wheel in its original position and continue to feed back until you see the back of the car, which is parked in front.
- Выкручивайте руль до упора влево. Продолжайте подавать назад, пока автомобиль не расположится параллельно бордюру.
- Выровняйте автомобиль. Поставьте его таким образом, чтобы он расположился на одинаковом расстоянии от машин, которые припаркованы и спереди, и сзади.
Помните: при движении задним ходом крайне важна видимость. That is why do not arrange a pile of things near the rear window, as this can become an obstacle when driving backward.
- When driving at high speeds Do not hold your thumbs near the steering wheel spokes. The fact is that if the wheels get into small holes, the steering wheel twitches sharply, and the spokes can knock out the joints of the fingers.
- Never let go of the steering wheel.since it can spontaneously return to the place, constantly hold it.
- You can train using special steering wheel accessories. Make a simulator yourself or buy it in a car shop.
- Driving a car try not to be distracted by external stimuli.
- Learn taxiing and driving in a spacious area without any obstacles, as well as at minimum speeds.
- When cornering Do not change the position of the hands on the steering rim. Thanks to this, you can quickly return the steering wheel to its original position.
- If necessary, turn the steering wheel a few turns, carry out captures of a wheel in identical places. As a result of this, you will rotate the steering wheel as easily as possible, and it will also be easier for you to return it to its original position.
- Do not combine the steering process with extraneous matters.
- Do not hold the steering wheel with one hand.while holding the other gear lever. A similar situation can often be observed among drivers with extensive driving experience. The habit of holding the steering wheel with this method is acquired over time. It is worth recognizing that experienced drivers can afford this manner of driving, since they are taught by life to correctly assess the situation on the road, so they can anticipate the appearance of many dangerous situations. However, a beginner who holds the steering wheel with one hand may well not have time to react to the danger, and therefore he must grab the steering wheel with both hands.
So, you should steer the steering wheel as correctly as possible, since it is precisely on this that life can depend - both yours and other road users.