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Car Gearboxes

Power steering is the result of fluid assisted gears which make it easier to steer the vehicle. Before power steering it took both hands on the steering wheel to keep the vehicle safely on the roadway. By adding hydraulics to the steering box it not only improved safe operation, it provided greater ease and comfort of controlling a motorized vehicle.

Another type of steering mechanism is the rack and pinion steering. This involves a linear gear. Linear means it is not a toothed wheel. It is a long piece of metal with matching ‘teeth’ that the round ‘pinion’ gear controls. The pinion gear is at the end of the steering wheel column, and when you turn the ‘wheel’, the pinion rotates causing the linear ‘rack’ gear to push against the front wheel’s housing connection and the result is changing the direction of the vehicle.

Gears can be used to either speed up, or slow down, the result of applied torque. This is accomplished through gearing ratios which determine the final output. Gears can also be used to reverse the action of the motor, or engine, that is powering them. A series of gears can be used to produce even more of the desired result. In car gearboxes, the end result is achieved by a combination of direct and reversed gears being used to operate the vehicle.