Sat 14 Mar 2009
It’s a familiar problem for most Northern California Residents. You’re driving on 680 near Martinez, and that steady wind tries to push you off the highway, or maybe it’s I5 near Weed, or one of the many other sections of freeway blessed with a strong cross wind. Not a major problem at first, but after a while that constant pull on your car just adds to the fatigue of an already long drive.
Well, Ford has come up with an answer to the problem. Starting with the 2008 Ford Escape, Ford has started adding EPS or Electric Power Steering to some of its vehicles.
What is EPS?
Instead of the usual complicated mix of hydraulic pumps, hoses, power steering fluids and drive belts that can require regular service and repair. EPS uses an electronic motor to assist in steering. This allows Ford to integrate computer software and sensors to measure the wheel torque that needs to be applied to steer the vehicle. This Pull-drift software allows the EPS system to continually compensate for changes in road conditions like road crowning or steady winds.
Not having the constant drag on the engine provides another benefit. Ford says that this system represents up to a 5-percent gain in fuel economy and a CO2 emissions savings of about 3.5%. This also gives an additional cost savings to the car owner due to decreases in needed maintenance (no fluids, drive belts, pumps, and hoses to replace).
A couple other Ford vehicles where you might find the new system are the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner.
If you happen to be driving one of these vehicles equipped with EPS, tell us what you think about it in our comments. We’d love to hear about it!