Regular readers will know that my dodgy air con clutch has broken its belt, which is a pity because the same belt assists the steering.

Today was Day 1 of doing without the PA part of PAS. I’ve been doing this experiment to save you the bother. So how did it go?

I’ve drawn two conclusions, one expected and one less so.

The expected consequence is that the steering is heavy at low speeds. Of course it is. Power steering is higher geared than the manual variety so without assistance it’s going to need more armwork.

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The less expected consequence is that the steering is slow, even at higher speeds. Thinking about it this is inevitable too. If you take away the steering pump you’re going to have, not hydraulic fluid pushing the rack, but rather the rack pushing hydraulic fluid. It’s like having a damper in the system. Driving at speed on a straight road is fine but if you need more than about an eighth of a turn of lock the effort needed increases dramatically and even more so if you need to steer quickly. This makes roundabouts an exercising exercise. You also get little in the way of self centring so you have to unwind lock by yourself.

So there we have it. Driving with DIY steering using a system not designed with this in mind is not at all a good idea and should not be taken up as a hobby.