HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
<<  <  Page 2/2
Sport
User Rank
Silver
Re: Weak Springs Cause Power Steering Problems
Sport   8/16/2011 10:45:31 AM
NO RATINGS
Inferior quality is one issue.  Even worse is Chevy's apparant willingness to deny the problem and take care of their customers.  This is one reason so many of their customers now buy Toyotas.  I'm sure it's expensive to correct this problem.  I'm inclined to think that they have gambled that it's cheaper to loose customers and or fight it in court when the time comes.

As it happens, I'm in the market for a new vehicle.  I was considering a new small Chevy as a town car.  This article has convinced me that this is a bad idea.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Weak Springs Cause Power Steering Problems, etal!
OLD_CURMUDGEON   8/16/2011 10:20:10 AM
NO RATINGS
While almost every article that appears in this column relates to poor "engineering", I would suggest that MORE people who experience these situations take the time to contact the various gov't oversite agencies to formally complain.  That is the ONLY way that manufacturers and/or distributors are going to get the message.  This is especially true for the automotive industry.  This article is a prime example for such an occurrence.  The family involved should have NOT wasted their efforts to contact CHEVROLET, instead they should have contacted the NHTSA, highlighted all the facts, and then waited for a response.  IF, in fact, an internet search showed several thousand entries from other owners experiencing the same malfunction, that would have been sufficient "ammunition" to generate interest at the agency.  Contacting Consumer Protection Agencies in local state gov'ts may also offer some relief, since the dealership which sold the vehicle may have to answer to a gov't agent, a burden they'd rather avoid!

 

DougM21
User Rank
Silver
Re: Weak Springs Cause Power Steering Problems
DougM21   8/16/2011 10:06:37 AM
NO RATINGS
There is another possible reason the original brush springs were low tension.  The following is speculation--I have no direct involvement with the electric power steering on this car.  Steering systems are very sensitive to friction, even small amounts of friction can make steering unpleasant--for example, not return promptly to center when released.  Adding a gear drive and motor to the steering column adds new sources of friction/stiction in the most sensitive place--close to the steering wheel.  I'll speculate that an attempt (perhaps misguided, in terms of the service history) was made to reduce the motor brush friction to the bare minimum in an effort to control the overall system friction. 

If friction was an original engineering concern, perhaps a brushless motor, and/or a direct drive motor (low RPM torque motor) would have been a better solution?

 

philipp10
User Rank
Gold
Electric power assist is scary
philipp10   8/16/2011 9:53:29 AM
NO RATINGS

The idea of electric assist power steering is scary to me.  Last week, the battery on my RAV4 lost one cell.  My wife called and I gave her a jump.  I then drove the car to work, planning on replacing the battery after work.  What I found was, as long as the revs on the engine were up, all was fine.  However, at one point, as I was exiting the freeway, the revs dropped and apparently the voltage to the power steering dropped. When the power steering kicked out, I almost ran off the exit ramp.  Very dangerous. This will at some point cause a serious accident.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Weak Springs Cause Power Steering Problems
Beth Stackpole   8/16/2011 7:49:50 AM
NO RATINGS
@Greg Stirling: Tempering the almighty drive to roll out low-cost products with CS engineering expertise is definitely becoming a difficult balancing act for many engineering organizations. Mr. Horton is lucky that his background and skill set let him attack the steering problems head-on--most average car buyers are not as fortunate. I say take to the Twittersphere and spread the tale of caution and the potential fix--I'd be hardpressed to think Chevy won't be listening!

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Weak Springs Cause Power Steering Problems
TJ McDermott   8/15/2011 10:08:08 PM
NO RATINGS
We have ourselves to blame for this race to the bottom.  The big-box business model is the lowest cost products, regardless of quality or service provided.  The big-box business model is SUCCESSFUL; how many independent, local, small-town hardware stores are still around?  The small town hardware stores arguably had better, personal service, might have had higher quality products, but the cost was higher as well.

Airlines have raced each other to the bottom as well.  There's not a single airline that offers a hot meal as part of the ticket anymore.  Most don't even offer hot meals!  Quality of service was sacrificed at the altar of low cost.

Many people will claim they will pay higher prices for better quality, but the market proves this is not the case.

Greg Stirling
User Rank
Platinum
Weak Springs Cause Power Steering Problems
Greg Stirling   8/15/2011 2:06:21 PM
NO RATINGS
Problems like this seem to permeate the manufacturing industry.  A company saving a few cents or dollars on a substandard cost reduced component which affects the function of the whole system - in this case a car.  I am sure whoever buys this car would be happy to spend another $2.00 to have one that is reliable.

There is a commodity in design engineering I call CS.  Collectivly, some companies have it and some don't.  Some engineers have it but management won't listen. Some companies have it, but have to hire outside contractors to provide CS.

By the way, CS = Common Sense

<<  <  Page 2/2


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
Fifteen European research centers have launched EuroCPS to help European companies develop innovative products for the Internet of Things.
Get your Allman Brothers albums ready. The iconic Volkswagen Microbus may be poised for a comeback, and this time it could be electric.
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 20 - 24, Taking the Internet of Things to the Cloud
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service