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Author Topic: How does Astra power steering work?  (Read 523 times)

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terry paget

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How does Astra power steering work?
« on: 22 November 2019, 17:48:27 »

Astra H 1.6 manual 2006
I know it's electrical; I thought an electric pump drives an hydraulic system similar to the Omega system, but is more efficient as it only operates when needed. Haynes infers it is all electric, if so I don't understand how it works. Please enlighten.
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #1 on: 22 November 2019, 17:50:01 »

Motor drives the steering column :y
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terry paget

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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #2 on: 22 November 2019, 19:59:13 »

Thanks Doc. Still not clear how it works. In Haynes 2004-2008 it says system is electro-hydraulic, ECU is advised by ABS (speed) and a steering angle sensor. Hydraulic pump, reservoir and motor are mounted above the rack and pinion steering.
Haynes 2009-2013, however, states that electric power assisted steering is fitted. It may be the same system, but the description is different, more vague, and does not use the word 'hydraulic'.
I only ask because today my son Ben, with his son Tom (5 last Friday), got into their Astra to leave my house, but came back complainng that his steering 'did not work'. I got in the car and tried it, suspected the power steering, and with engine running tried to turn the steering. Initially the steering was very heavy, but gradually it got lighter and retured to normal. I handed the car back to my son, who drove home in it.
I hope Tom was impressed.
Are the 2006 and 2009 systems identical?
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Andy B

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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #3 on: 22 November 2019, 20:00:55 »

Thanks Doc. Still not clear how it works. In Haynes 2004-2008 it says system is electro-hydraulic, ECU is advised by ABS (speed) and a steering angle sensor. Hydraulic pump, reservoir and motor are mounted above the rack and pinion steering.
Haynes 2009-2013, however, states that electric power assisted steering is fitted. It may be the same system, but the description is different, more vague, and does not use the word 'hydraulic'.
I only ask because today my son Ben, with his son Tom (5 last Friday), got into their Astra to leave my house, but came back complainng that his steering 'did not work'. I got in the car and tried it, suspected the power steering, and with engine running tried to turn the steering. Initially the steering was very heavy, but gradually it got lighter and retured to normal. I handed the car back to my son, who drove home in it.
I hope Tom was impressed.
Are the 2006 and 2009 systems identical?

Astra G was electro/hyraulic Astra H is electric only
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #4 on: 22 November 2019, 20:06:17 »

The electro hydraulic system is pretty much identical to the traditional one... Only difference is that the pump is electric rather than belt driven... Pump is moved to the rack for convenience/packaging purposes ;)
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #5 on: 22 November 2019, 20:10:16 »

The electro hydraulic system is pretty much identical to the traditional one... Only difference is that the pump is electric rather than belt driven... Pump is moved to the rack for convenience/packaging purposes ;)

Pump or motor?

The electric assisted steering on my Smarts don't have a pump (just been to look at my ML and that appears to be electric only too which is probably how it steers itself when self parking)
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STEMO

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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #6 on: 22 November 2019, 20:25:49 »

Motor on the rack

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STEMO

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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #7 on: 22 November 2019, 20:29:00 »

That's the J, by the way.
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dave the builder

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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #8 on: 22 November 2019, 20:29:48 »

astra H is electric pump to pump hydraulic oil on most models same as astra g
astra F had a belt driven pump like the omega

Astra H like this clicky



if the rack or pipes leaks ,the reservoir may need topping up short term

remember you have a spares car Terry
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #9 on: 22 November 2019, 20:31:58 »

I knew the astra expert would be along  :y
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #10 on: 22 November 2019, 20:32:47 »

The electro hydraulic system is pretty much identical to the traditional one... Only difference is that the pump is electric rather than belt driven... Pump is moved to the rack for convenience/packaging purposes ;)

Pump or motor?

The electric assisted steering on my Smarts don't have a pump (just been to look at my ML and that appears to be electric only too which is probably how it steers itself when self parking)
Motor driven pump assembly :P
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #11 on: 22 November 2019, 20:34:03 »

if no leaks, there is a relay somewhere and a sensor on the column  :y

I knew the RUSTY VAUXHALL  expert spanner monkey would be along  :y
FTFY  ;)

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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #12 on: 22 November 2019, 20:36:05 »

if no leaks, there is a relay somewhere and a sensor on the column  :y

I knew the RUSTY VAUXHALL  expert spanner monkey would be along  :y
FTFY  ;)
Aye, well, you'd be f****d with the wife's K, it's an electronic nightmare.  ;D
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #13 on: 22 November 2019, 20:36:29 »

And it's not rusty.....yet.
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dave the builder

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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #14 on: 22 November 2019, 20:43:04 »

And the screenwash is rusting the interior floor and electric gubbins  away nicely
FTFY  :y
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #15 on: 22 November 2019, 20:51:31 »

And the screenwash is rusting the interior floor and electric gubbins  away nicely
FTFY  :y
Touché, young builder  ;D
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #16 on: 22 November 2019, 21:17:14 »

The electro hydraulic system is pretty much identical to the traditional one... Only difference is that the pump is electric rather than belt driven... Pump is moved to the rack for convenience/packaging purposes ;)

Pump or motor?

The electric assisted steering on my Smarts don't have a pump (just been to look at my ML and that appears to be electric only too which is probably how it steers itself when self parking)
Motor driven pump assembly :P

It was  genuine question .....  :) As above, my Smarts are just electric ..... the motor is on the rack though, but as STEMO has posted, sometimes the motor is on the column itself like my Daughter's Fiat used to be
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #17 on: 22 November 2019, 21:19:06 »

I know that when the 'fan belt' went on my diseasal Astra G, the steering went really really heavy.
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terry paget

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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #18 on: 22 November 2019, 21:28:17 »

astra H is electric pump to pump hydraulic oil on most models same as astra g
astra F had a belt driven pump like the omega

Astra H like this clicky



if the rack or pipes leaks ,the reservoir may need topping up short term

remember you have a spares car Terry
Thanks Dave. I saw Ben try to start the car first, engine was in gear. He then put it in neutral, started the engine, twice tried to drive way, then stopped the engine, and fetched me. Suspecting power steering slow to operate, I started the engine, tried to turn the steering wheel, succeeded with effort, after 5 seconds power steering kicked in, then all was normal. I think I should check the fluid level and look for leaks. Is access from above or below? Is there a level line on the reservoir?
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #19 on: 22 November 2019, 23:52:14 »

Min and max bands clearly visible in that picture...
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #20 on: 23 November 2019, 09:51:57 »

Lots of cars prevent heavy electrical loads (eg the rear screen heater) from operating until the alternator gives an OK signal

Does the Astra H do this with the power steering? Was the difficulty starting caused by a tired battery ? and did the steering come to life once the alternator had put a bit of charge back into the battery?
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terry paget

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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #21 on: 23 November 2019, 10:47:08 »

My thanks to all for comprehensive advice. I read in Haynes that the Vectra may have either electro-hydraulic or electric power assistance, and the Rover Streetwise has traditional PA, hydraulic driven by belt from crankshaft pulley.

My Citroens had hydraulic PA and suspension, my Peugeot 504 and all my earlier cars lacked steering PA. Now even small cars have it.
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #22 on: 23 November 2019, 10:55:21 »

starting the car with it in gear does spank the battery a bit  ::)
so
Lots of cars prevent heavy electrical loads (eg the rear screen heater) from operating until the alternator gives an OK signal

Does the Astra H do this with the power steering? Was the difficulty starting caused by a tired battery ? and did the steering come to life once the alternator had put a bit of charge back into the battery?
is quite possible  :y

don't know for sure because I always have my foot on the clutch pedal and wiggle the gearstick through habit on a manual car ,and a car struggling to start with a duff battery I just swap the battery

with astras and other small 1.2 - 1.6 engines a little warm up and few revs (whilst adjusting mirrors seat)before you load the engine or try and drive off
then a creep forward and try the brakes ,
just a routine I got into
OCD  ;D
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #23 on: 23 November 2019, 11:09:58 »

and the Rover Streetwise has traditional PA, hydraulic driven by belt from crankshaft pulley.
All Rovers had the traditional belt driven hydraulic pump, as essentially all development stopped in the early/mid 90s when BMW took over ARG/Rover from British Aerospace.

So although the Streetwise was launched into the era of electro-hydraulic PAS, it retained the older system, exactly as it was on the first K series 1989 Rover 214.


The primary reasons for going to electro-hydraulic from belt driven pumps was efficiency and easier packaging.

The primary reason for going to electric motor PAS is for software controlled steering (self parking, lane deviation warnings, and full autonomous)…   ...although as it becomes more popular, this will likely also make it the cheapest ultimately.  The motor can be column mounted or rack mounted, depending on space available.
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terry paget

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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #24 on: 23 November 2019, 12:15:13 »

Lots of cars prevent heavy electrical loads (eg the rear screen heater) from operating until the alternator gives an OK signal

Does the Astra H do this with the power steering? Was the difficulty starting caused by a tired battery ? and did the steering come to life once the alternator had put a bit of charge back into the battery?
Thank you. I did not know that. It describes exactly the Astra's behaviour. Come to think of it, some while ago my sister called me to look at a similar problem on her Meriva, when I got there I could find nothing wrong with it.
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #25 on: 23 November 2019, 18:06:16 »

I know Nissan Micras had[still have?] electric power steering and it took a second or two after starting before you could hear an audible "click" from the steering column letting you know the system had become active.
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #26 on: 24 November 2019, 00:43:27 »

The electro hydraulic system is pretty much identical to the traditional one... Only difference is that the pump is electric rather than belt driven... Pump is moved to the rack for convenience/packaging purposes ;)

Pump or motor?

The electric assisted steering on my Smarts don't have a pump (just been to look at my ML and that appears to be electric only too which is probably how it steers itself when self parking)
Motor driven pump assembly :P

It was  genuine question .....  :) As above, my Smarts are just electric ..... the motor is on the rack though, but as STEMO has posted, sometimes the motor is on the column itself like my Daughter's Fiat used to be
Trolley has an electric pump mounted along with the hydraulic reservoir on the rack casing...
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #27 on: 24 November 2019, 10:10:17 »

In answer to my original question, I conclude the PAS may be by powerful electric motor, on rack or steering column, controlled by ECU using data from ABS and steering wheel position. I wonder how powerful - what size fuse and cables?
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #28 on: 24 November 2019, 12:56:41 »

Between the manual and removing the cowling, it should be obvious :y
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #29 on: 24 November 2019, 14:06:39 »

In answer to my original question, I conclude the PAS may be by powerful electric motor, on rack or steering column, controlled by ECU using data from ABS and steering wheel position. I wonder how powerful - what size fuse and cables?
The fuse is usually large - 40A or even 60A.  What it actually pulls (max) is probably nowhere near that, as we all know the fuse is there to protect the wiring only.


I looked at Astra-H PAS details.  2 types fitted, depending on engine. On lighter engines, its the same TRW electro-hydraulic fitted to some later Astra-G models.  No integration with other systems.  On heavier engines, its a ZF system, and sits on the HS CAN, and obviously chats away to all the other systems, enabling further enhancements and features.


Obviously, TRW is now part of the ZF Group, just to confuse everyone ;D


The docs I had to hand only didn't cover the refresh, or Astra-J/K, so didn't see any info on the pure electric stuff.
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #30 on: 25 November 2019, 08:30:25 »

In answer to my original question, I conclude the PAS may be by powerful electric motor, on rack or steering column, controlled by ECU using data from ABS and steering wheel position. I wonder how powerful - what size fuse and cables?
The fuse is usually large - 40A or even 60A.  What it actually pulls (max) is probably nowhere near that, as we all know the fuse is there to protect the wiring only.

Corsa B is 50A fused and the cables are 8.5mm2 (~63A rated)..
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Re: How does Astra power steering work?
« Reply #31 on: 25 November 2019, 10:23:43 »

In answer to my original question, I conclude the PAS may be by powerful electric motor, on rack or steering column, controlled by ECU using data from ABS and steering wheel position. I wonder how powerful - what size fuse and cables?
The fuse is usually large - 40A or even 60A.  What it actually pulls (max) is probably nowhere near that, as we all know the fuse is there to protect the wiring only.


I looked at Astra-H PAS details.  2 types fitted, depending on engine. On lighter engines, its the same TRW electro-hydraulic fitted to some later Astra-G models.  No integration with other systems.  On heavier engines, its a ZF system, and sits on the HS CAN, and obviously chats away to all the other systems, enabling further enhancements and features.


Obviously, TRW is now part of the ZF Group, just to confuse everyone ;D


The docs I had to hand only didn't cover the refresh, or Astra-J/K, so didn't see any info on the pure electric stuff.

Marginally more complex as the Astra G dumb passive system only hung around for a few years (in fact there were three evolutions fitted to the G!).

It then evolved such that it had diag capability and also took in speed info etc, its this type that was fitted to many H's.

All the systems will stop operation when Vbatt is below a certain value so if the alternator is goosed, battery very low etc  then you get no PAS.

Generally the column mounted setups are only on smaller lighter cars and the heavier ones have rack mounted
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