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Toyota Electric Power Steering (EPS)

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Electric Power Steering (EPS) is replacing hydraulic power steering in many new vehicles today. epss

One of the advantages of electric power steering is that it eliminates the power steering pump, which can use as much as 8 to 10 horsepower under load. This improves fuel economy while also eliminating the weight and bulk of the power steering pump and hoses. Getting rid of the hydraulics also does away with fluid leaks and the need to check the power steering fluid. Electric power steering is also quieter than hydraulic systems because there is no pump noise and no fluid flowing through hoses and valves. But the most noticeable difference is in handling and steering refinement.

Electric power steering can be fine tuned with a precision that is hard to match with hydraulic controls. By monitoring the driver’s steering inputs, vehicle speed, and other suspension dynamics, the system can provide just the right amount of steering feel and effort to match rapidly changing driving conditions. EPS can deliver extra effort when you need it, and reduce steering effort when you do not need it. It can even provide steering assist when the engine is off.

Electric Power Steering can be found on the  new Avalon, Venza, Camry, Corolla,  Prius, RAV4, New Sienna, and Scions in the Toyota product line.
Though some of the older electric power steering systems were actually “electro-hydraulic,” and used an electric motor to drive a conventional hydraulic pump, the latest generation of EPS is all electric/electronic. The steering gear itself is a manual rack with an electric motor mounted on the steering column or the rack.

When the driver turns the wheel, a steering sensor detects the position and rate of rotation of the steering wheel. This information along with input from a steering torque sensor mounted in the steering shaft is fed to the power steering control module. Other inputs such as vehicle speed and inputs from the traction control or stability control systems are factored in to determine how much steering assist is required. The control module then commands the motor to rotate a certain amount, and a sensor on the motor provides feedback to the control module so it can monitor the motor’s position.

Better yet, because an EPS system is software driven, it is possible to tap into the steering module and modify steering effort and feel. This can be done with a factory scan tool on some applications, and with aftermarket “tuner” scan tools and software.



Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

***UPDATE***    “Thanks to a more powerful four-cylinder engine and other upgrades for 2009, the RAV4 narrowly outscored the Subaru Forester to remain Consumer Reports’ Top Pick for another straight year. It provides agile handling, a roomy and quiet interior, a comfortable ride, and an optional third-row seat. The four-cylinder version gets the best fuel economy of any automatic, nonhybrid SUV we’ve tested. And the spirited V6 version accelerates as quickly as a Mazda Miata, while getting only 1 mpg less than the four-cylinder. ESC and curtain air bags are standard…”

The Economy is in a precarious situation and the Markets are shall we say “Gone with The Wind” !

Yet there are still buyers who want to sit up higher than they do in a car, enjoy the flexibility of an SUV, but need to be prudent with fuel economy and their personal budget.

All of this along with the fact that larger Toyota SUV’s will be in very limited production for 2009  makes the 2009 Toyota Rav4 “The SUV For The Times” !         

And Why Not!…The Rav4 has always been a Consumers Report Best Buy / Top Pick, is extremely reliable, it gets  30  Plus MPG, and once sold new, rarely is traded in…Folks tend to hang on to a Rav4 Forrr Everrr!…

Lets take a closer look at the 2009  Rav4. There are 3 models, Base, Sport, and Limited available in both 2WD and 4WD versions.

All three models have the same standard features including 2.5- liter 180 hp. 4 cyl. engine and 4-spd automatic transmission with an optional 3.5-liter 269 hp. engine and 5-spd automatic available. Electric power steering, power assist brakes, windows, locks, cruise control, CD-radio, and Toyota Star Safety System. are also standard on all three. The Base and Limited are available with 5 or 7 passenger seating.

The differences between the three models are with the Additional Option Accessories.

  • The Sport includes 18″ alloy wheels, full size alloy spare tire, sport-tuned suspension, fog lamps, color-keyed fender flares, door handles, and foldable heated power side mirrors. Rear-side and cargo door privacy glass is also standard as well as the “Sport” emblem. The Sport features a dark fabric interior and 6-disc CD radio.
  • The Limited includes 17″ alloy wheels with P225/65R17 Radial Tires, fog lamps, color-keyed fender flares, door handles, and foldable heated power side mirrors. Rear-side and cargo door privacy glass is also standard and the “Limited” emblem. Stand-out Limited features are the Smart Key System, Automatic Climate Control/Pollen Filtration, 6 disc CD/Satellite Capable Audio with leather-wrapped steering wheel audio controls, and an Optional 8-way Driver Power Seat. 

Regardless of which model appeals to you, the Rav4 is a versatile, useful SUV that you can look forward to keeping around 15+ Years and it still have value in the market place. Also there is an Exclusive Lifetime Warranty available on new 2009 Rav4 models, Unlimited Miles, Unlimited Time!!

Request information below about the Exclusive Lifetime Warranty.