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Hey, I'm deciding wether or not to get a smart car and I had a question about it for anyone to answer if they own one. I was wondering if you had power steering on it and if it was really needed on a smart. I have always had power steering on my cars, I've had a Plymouth Voyager van, a Chevy Malibu, and an Oldsmobile Cutlass and they all had it. I don't really know of any cars in the US that don't have power steering but does it really make that big of a difference? Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Hey, I'm deciding wether or not to get a smart car and I had a question about it for anyone to answer if they own one. I was wondering if you had power steering on it and if it was really needed on a smart. I have always had power steering on my cars, I've had a Plymouth Voyager van, a Chevy Malibu, and an Oldsmobile Cutlass and they all had it. I don't really know of any cars in the US that don't have power steering but does it really make that big of a difference? Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
Don't think it is needed but it come with one of the accessory packages
 

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That seems to be the general feeling. I drove one as well and didin't even realize it had no power steering. :)
That's exactly what happened to me as well. I was told afterward when the conversation turned to ordering, and found that my test car didn't have it. We drove at relatively low speeds and the steering effort was minimal.
 

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I wonder about the power steering design. Is it such that it can easily be removed later or is it integral to the car if you order it that way?
 

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The manual rack is 22:1 and the power is 21:1 gear ratio.

In Miata's, a lot of the track cars have Depowered the racks in their cars. I am sure it wouldn't be too hard to do the same here.
 

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The difference in steering ratios (21:1 vs 22:1) isn’t that much. If the ratios were determined by the number of steering wheel rotations lock-to-lock (vice rack length : pinion diameter), it may argue that they use the same basic rack and pinion and that the P/S installation slightly shortens the useable length of the rack, perhaps more robust rack end-stops. If so, that may translate to a 5% greater turning circle for the P/S car.
 

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The reason I ask may have been obvious. It is a fairly cheap option, but if it adds uneeded complexity and possible future repair costs, then it may not be worth doing.

My thinking it is cheap enough to justify, in case you want it, but if it becomes a problem, then you may not have to fix it?

I'm not sure...I'm not getting it, because of the unknown potential costs down the road versus the fact that I know it isn't really needed.
 

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Other cars, Such as the Honda Civic Hybrid, have used electric power steering with no problems. I would think that the 8 previous years would have been enough time to work out any kinks.

I really hope they bring the Brabus model over. I would take it in Black or Silver.
 

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I have 2 cars with electric power steering and have had no repair problems but most car magazines criticize electric power assisted steering for having less "road feel" than hydraulic set ups. It came in as a gas saver since there is no pully drag on the motor with an electrical system as opposed to the hydraulic pump. Since in my mind the Smart is far from being a performance car I doubt that's an issue.
 

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Hydraulic vs Electric

The reality is that electrically assisted steering also drags on the engine. Instead of a hydraulic pump dragging the engine, the loaded alternator drags the engine (and they both use belts and pulleys). The more load on an alternator, the harder it is to turn over
 

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Well fish conceptually I have to agree (no such thing as free energy unless you believe in UFO's) but all the car mags i've read indicate the electrical assist is done to save energy (and packaging efficiency- it's smaller) so you must be on to something- the relative efficiency.
 

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The ground truth is that the auto engineers are well educated in what they do, and design the best product they can within cost constraints. There has to be a valid reason for choosing electric, so I trust them on it. In any case, I would choose not to go P/S, especially if it increases the turning circle.
 
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