The Problem With Electric Power Steering - Hydraulic vs Electric!
Hydraulic Power Steering Isn't Dead Yet - McLaren Explains The Advantages
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Hydraulic vs electric power steering! What's the difference, and why are automotive journalists always complaining about electronic steering? And is there actually anything to these complaints? I took some time to speak with the chief engineer of the McLaren 620R and learn all about McLaren's philosophy on steering. We'll talk about the history of power steering, what McLaren believes to be the best steering strategy (for sports cars), and the science of how hydraulic steering systems can genuinely offer better road feedback.

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  • Engineering Explained
    Engineering Explained

    Just hit 3,000,000 subscribers!! Big thank you to everyone who has subscribed, watched, and supported this channel over the years! You sure do know how to make a nerdy kid with a whiteboard feel special. Thanks for being curious, for learning about cars with me, and for joining in on the discussion in the comments in an overwhelmingly positive manner. I can't thank you all enough!! 🙏

    • RccDB Cars
      RccDB Cars

      You deserve so much more

    • lone wolf
      lone wolf

      @Michał Sobierajski u need to warm up the engine a bit more if it's hydraulic steering you have. It happens to me when the engine isn't at operating temperature, mind you i have a 89 toyota corolla,but the same applies here.

    • Keith Wittman
      Keith Wittman

      Again ,you do a great job on the videos! Thank you.

    • Keith Wittman
      Keith Wittman

      Yes! Congratulations!!!

    • Keith Wittman
      Keith Wittman

      Do a vid autobiography! What is your background? Hobbies? Income from FIbill videos? How FIbill pays you. Go from a young age, and tell what inspired you.

  • RccDB Cars
    RccDB Cars

    This guy while driving a 620R on a twisty road proceeds on a very detailed explanation about different kinds of steering systems. He deserves so much more views. Amazing.

  • Richard

    When you’re recording a video it’s better to park the car for a bit until you’re finished recording.

  • Fellippe Galletta
    Fellippe Galletta

    Great video, super informative!!! Was wondering, could you investigate whether hydraulic steering is more effective than electric steering for drifting? I heard that the hydraulic (and manual) racks self center faster/more willingly than electric racks. Can you confirm this, and if so, why? If there's anyone who could explain it, it would be you. Thanks!

  • FiggyG 69
    FiggyG 69

    Depressing to hear that the Nissan Z has electric power steering. Is the 370z the only analog sports car left?! 😣

  • jeffer168

    What about just decoupling the electric motor from the steering at higher speeds (when you don't really need assistance) in order to have unassisted steering and thereby increase steering wheel feedback? Even better, make it customizable so the driver could decide at which speed they wanted the electric motor decoupled.

  • gvelez389

    I feel like I just bought the better powersteering rack at AutoZone solely based on this video.

  • Frogganator

    The whole section about it not being a full blown race car needing tire warmers, etc. It's built to destroy everyone else on a run what you brung track day

  • xIZZOx

    That roof scoop noise 😩

  • Deepak Katwa
    Deepak Katwa

    The best car FIbillr by far... You actually know what's happening mechanically throughout the whole car...

  • knytrydr73

    I don't know if you covered this in the vid, but would there be more advantage using a completely electric power steering system in mid and rear engine cars?

  • MerryMeals Foods
    MerryMeals Foods

    Just wanted to know, in an 'electric only' steering system, how does the steering returnability work??

  • Y209 AEX
    Y209 AEX

    "Electric steering is good" - Tell that to Fiat Owners.!

  • NYC Lobby Banter
    NYC Lobby Banter

    5:14 "Overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer"

  • Jim Kennedy
    Jim Kennedy

    You want good vibrations.....

  • Captain Picard
    Captain Picard

    Car is so ugly.

  • griplimit

    I love my S14 with engine driven hydrologic power steering, it just has the right feel and response without fatigue. One thing to mention my car and I’m sure many others use a electric controlled valve in the system to lower high speed assistance.

  • brostelio

    There is no debate as far as I'm concerned: I certainly do not want all of those micro vibrations.

  • b reloader
    b reloader

    As a tech of 46 years and having seen many advances in technology, many of which I believe to be gratuitous, is the difference in cost between the two systems REALLY advantegous to the average car owner when there is a failure? Based on what I've seen so far, the answer is emphatically NO!

  • Osiris Abreu
    Osiris Abreu

    Fully electric power steering with haptic feedback 🤷🏽‍♂️

  • bill taylor
    bill taylor

    No discussion of the 'flexible element' of the steering column in both hydraulic power steering, and according to a few posts here, many electrical power steering? Necessary for the hydraulic valve to meter any power assist to the rack. In Miatas, the 'quill' has to be welded up if depowering a power steering system to gain all the benefits of manual rack feel. I can't see how it's different for others. Discussions of relative merits of each type of power assist in older cars is probably more informed by sloppy tie rod ends and steering knuckles. And aging out rubber rack mounts if so equipped.

  • HypnoticSuggestion

    I love the electric rack in my '19 SHO, but it's sort of a different enough car that it may not annoy in the same way as a lightweight coupe or something.

  • Kai Hyena
    Kai Hyena

    I believe audi does something similar with their servotronic steering. I have an 09 a4 with servotronic equiped and its great, at low speeds you can go lock to lock with your pinky finger and at highway speeds its very solid. The overall steering feel isnt amazing because luxury car etc.. but servotronic definately helps

  • Matt Mckee
    Matt Mckee

    Angeles Crest highway? It looks so familiar....🤔

  • Matīss Nazgra
    Matīss Nazgra

    i go with hydraulic.

  • Rob Smith
    Rob Smith

    FIbill is is virtually unwatchable with all these commercials

  • The B EXP
    The B EXP

    Opel Vectra C has the same electro-hydraulic pump from 2002

  • sfs2040

    This is all lost for me, I just want my wheels to turn when I turn the wheel and it to not take a ton of effort

    • reck0n3r

      That's fine, but many people care about the driving experience too, not just going from point A to point B. Eventually cars will be self driving and you won't need to drive at all! That'll be heaven for many people...and there'll be no control over the car whatsoever.

  • Aleksandr Medvedev
    Aleksandr Medvedev

    I think when you start using arguments like "you really feel connected to the road" and "it starts to click" it means there is no REAL reason ;-) Following that logic, you should remove suspension and tires (and seat cushions for a good measure). That's make your butt really connected to the road ;-)

  • VoxelFusion

    So what you're saying is that electric power steering is great for average people? That's pretty cool, I never knew steering was so advanced.

  • Usarkar Zts
    Usarkar Zts

    Steering is steering!

  • Dark Mugetsu
    Dark Mugetsu

    Jokes on you my Honda has NO power steering !!!! HA.... cause it doesn't need it when it weighs 1675 ibs /760 kg

  • Augustinas Aušra
    Augustinas Aušra

    For example in heavy duty trucks you would never choose electric over hydraulic... with hydraulic i can feel the camber of the road, side-wind resistence, every inperfection in the road, witch is extremely usefull driving at higher rates of speed. When driving a truck you are always compensating every bit of inperfection and resistance. With electric steering you can only guess what to do, by your possition in lane. You cannot compensate real-time only react to aftereffects 😰 So from a trukers perspective electric steering is the trully one of the worts things...

  • Lorenzo


  • Disc 86
    Disc 86

    Hey, is the 620 sim miler to the 570GT4?

  • hugeandy71

    wtf in going on with subtitles? :D

  • quixoticcassandra

    I converted both my Miatas to OEM manual racks, and I love them. Not great in parking lots, but even though I'm nearly 62 years old, 5'5" tall, and can barely do 10 push-ups, I'd never go back to hydraulic. I just love the feeling. (I'm pulling into and out of a parking spots maybe 1% of the time I'm in the cars?)

  • Jack Van Epps
    Jack Van Epps

    the gearbox going from 6th to 7th like: ⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇⬆⬇

  • Techno Mage
    Techno Mage

    Hopefully the amount of gas I save is greater than the value of the battery and alternator I'll have to replace that much sooner

  • Keithy Co
    Keithy Co

    My old car was hydraulically assisted, and the difference between it and my current car’s electrically assisted set up, is night and day in terms of feel.

    • Keithy Co
      Keithy Co

      My old car was fun at any speed, whereas the current one requires significant forces through its wheels to get an approximation of feel. Both are not sporty cars fyi.

  • SevenDeMagnus

    Interesting, which has less lag.

  • Dennis Nelson
    Dennis Nelson

    The people who actually own that car are peeing their pants watching him drive in the fog while talking.

  • Ion

    So you can’t have an electroc valve to bleed the hydraulic at tour whim!?

  • Teardown Dan
    Teardown Dan

    I don't like the idea of having a high-torque electric motor mechanically coupled to the steering rack since that introduces multiple critical failure points (bunch of extra sensors, wiring, software, hardware, etc., all critical to safe predictable operation) that simply don't exist with hydraulics where the only specific critical component is the hydraulic valve and its effect is limited by end-stops. Until autonomous self-driving becomes a thing and makes directly-coupled steering motors a necessity, electro-hydraulic is what I'd go with.

  • S A
    S A


  • Eric S
    Eric S

    Hold up, vibrations and noise are high end race car features? What about holes in the floor and mushy brakes?


    Nothing annoys me more than drivers who use hand gestures while driving.

  • nikoladd

    So in short McLaren engineers had the wrong electric motor and didn't find a proper one, but instead opted for a expensive solution, because it must look complicated to justify the high price. They could have looked into low KV outrunners on the RC hobby market.. as NASA does recently.

  • Dia1Up

    After driving an old Miata, yes, I can say full hydraulic feels AMAZING. However why do they feel different? This video explains why McLaren uses this electro-hydrolic, but NOT why hydraulic feels so different to electric. I mean yeah, "micro vibrations" and motor inertia that Jason mentioned, but there's so much more. In my old Miata, I could feel exactly how much weight was on the front axle, plus it would tighten up as you start to load up the steering rack in a corner. I've never felt that in any electric rack load up in a corner as much as that Miata (or my old Accord for that matter too)

  • Pranav Agarwal
    Pranav Agarwal

    Dude make these explaining videos in some place quite . Yeah the car is awesome but the noise is really making your voice fade!!

  • Antryg Revok
    Antryg Revok

    As excellent as your help is, you are pushing distracted-driving. Stats have shown that even hands-free discussions significantly increase killing on the roads... Your influence is your karma, not mine.

  • Jerry Hogan
    Jerry Hogan

    Thank you for this fun unscripted lecture delivered whilst driving a Maclaren through the mountains. Congrats on 3M!

  • snaplash

    Needs a linear motor built into the steering rack. Only extra moving mass would be the magnets.

  • Josh Rhodes
    Josh Rhodes

    This is how you know the man is an expert. Explaining deep engineering and physics concepts. While driving a supercar around in the mountains.

  • Gabriele .Colombo-Dj
    Gabriele .Colombo-Dj

    i own both hydraulic (constant flow) and an electronic assisted cars. i can assure you i can feel the differece even during normal driving, the electronic assisted car has a sportier set ( the wheel is harder to turn) but at the same time it isolates you a lot more from the road. in the hydraulic assisted car i can feel exactly when the tires are at their limit and the car begins to understeer and correcting before actually understeering, with the electronic assisted car is more challenging.

  • Amaroq Starwind
    Amaroq Starwind

    Just wait until we have cars with synthetic muscle fibers.

  • Amaroq Starwind
    Amaroq Starwind

    My power steering system is a low-profile wearable exoskeleton.

  • Panos Triantaphillou
    Panos Triantaphillou

    Unfortunately, too much noise.

  • G I W U Ebanreb
    G I W U Ebanreb

    You are not a car guy. Spend more track time so that you will learn the feeling of a racer where your brain is faster than any sensor in the car

  • Ready Teddy
    Ready Teddy

    I remember "variable power assist" being advertised in the 1980's.

  • Ol'Smokey

    I love my VW electric steering

  • Vincenzo di Grande
    Vincenzo di Grande

    My wife was actually the one that convinced us to keep our old Opel car as it has ZF hydrolic power steering. We have tried a number of more modern cars that our parents lent us when we went on holidays, but my wife kept getting these vision migraines. She said that the old car feedback of the road actually reduces the stress on her eyes, because with the electronic power steering there is no other tell of the road conditions or wheels pulled sideways, other than the visual feedback. I do not really have this problem myself, but I do feel like there is such a numbness to the steering when it is fully electrical, that it feels like making love with ten condoms on.

  • scott offord
    scott offord

    IMHO power steering in general has helped people wear out steering hard parts prematurely. When I learned to drive in a non power assisted auto in the 1960s I knew to “ get the wheels turning” before putting in steering inputs. Now I see most everyone cranking the wheels “dry”. It must put much extra stress on all components. That being said I really enjoy the electric steering in my 2015 Ram 1500. Less power loss for the 5.7 Hemi as well! Passing 100,000 trouble free miles in this vehicle.

  • Midi Man
    Midi Man

    MY old 90 Acura Legend I believe has hydraulic Variable assisted power steering how did that work. I know when I went fast the power to the steering was less for more feeling. I do know it was hydraulic,

  • Sunhawk

    Do you have a 4 wheel steering video?

  • BAU

    Terribly noisy video...

  • Sachi Deshmane
    Sachi Deshmane

    The Honda S2000 had very good electric power steering 22 years ago, so I don't entirely buy the "the technology isn't there yet" argument. Also worth noting is the Toyota MRS had an electrically driven hydraulic power steering pump.

  • Landon Bradshaw
    Landon Bradshaw

    The car I drive now has electric power steering (Kia)... I gotta say, the difference between electric and hydraulic is insane. Dont get me wrong, how light weight the wheel is is truly incredible, I can steer the car safely with just my pinky finger (I've done it before) feels like the steering wheel isn't connected to anything, like it's just freely spinning on a ball bearing...but there is absolutely no feedback whatsoever, its just dead, there's nothing...even on gravel roads and offroad trails like when I go to the mountains, not the single bit of vibration from the steering wheel nor does the terrain try to take the wheel from you, it will drive straight until I tell it not too.

  • Gary Morrison
    Gary Morrison

    Dang, the engine noise! In the mid-80s to early-90s, I drove a diesel Rabbit and then Diesel Jetta - not exactly hot hatches, but I really got into squeezing every milligram of power out of them, speed-shifting and such. (Yes, I know that power is not measured in milligrams!) I got surprisingly good performance from them just from skillful driving. Nowadays though, I guess I must be 60 years old or something! Now, they just can’t make car too quiet for me! I’ll take the whir of a Tesla motor, and a dramatic Dvorak Symphony on the stereo, any day!

  • Josip Matić
    Josip Matić

    Very loud car...

  • zenovich1

    13 + mins to describe elect steering.?? Pfffft. I can't concentrate for more phone batt level is low. Where's my charger.

  • pollisoong

    2007ford focus wagon i drive. has hydraulic electric :) if turn wheel less than quarter quickly it does same movement. and if turning wheel slower it does same amount :D

  • IntelliFly

    I can relate. I have a 2013 Porsche Cayman S with electronic steering. At speeds above 200kmh the feedback is not as good as is my VW Scirocco. It feels less safe

  • Aesma

    F1 has power steering, Indycar doesn't. Not sure why.

  • trm4life

    The only reason I prefer electric power steering, is because it's less mess when the system fails. Let's face it, replacing power steering lines is time consuming and potentially expensive. Electric is better but when it fails steering is harder. However I've "fixed" an electric power steering failure by replacing the fuse. I would assume long run, replacing an electric motor COULD be better than multiple lines over multiple years because of simplicity. My only beef with hydraulic is the mess when the lines fail and the pain to remove the old and re-run the new line.

  • Sam lau
    Sam lau

    Bruh you need to turn your render distance up

  • Soravia

    2000-2005 Toyota MR-S aka MR-2 Spyder had the electric pumped hydraulic steering.

  • Big Bird
    Big Bird

    I like your use of the turnout lane. It's a gentle demonstration. "This is how these work."

  • allen styer
    allen styer

    I can tell you Porsche's electric steering gives plenty of feedback and has been just as good feeling as any hydraulic steering they ever had. Especially a gt3. You can feel everything in the road

  • PB&J Racing • 14 years ago
    PB&J Racing • 14 years ago

    It's interesting how so much thought is put into the engineering aspect of these cars but ultimately, most people who buy it will never take it to the track or appreciate those little details. It's also the same with modern smartphones.

  • Ron Kotula
    Ron Kotula

    You know, a few less "you knows" would be nice, you know?

    • GH1618

      Everybody is saying that.

  • harsh2029

    Why can't EPS ECU have algorithm to operate EPS motor not as damper?

  • That guy
    That guy

    Jason driving towards Silent Hill it seems

  • J Long, Jr.
    J Long, Jr.

    Fiat Chrysler put electric/hydraulic steering some years ago in Dodge Challengers and Chargers. When I got my 13 Challenger, I looked for the steering reservoir to find out the car has a fully contained electric/hydraulic steering system. The system works very well. The power load on the engine got transferred to the alternator, since the pump is now gone. The electric/hydraulic steering put high cyclical loads on the alternator. The extra load caused some alternators to fail and led to the P60 alternator recall. Mine was replaced without any problems with the original alternator. The systems works very well and I have no complaints. Its interesting to discuss this on a McLaren, though many cars today have electric/hydraulic steering.

  • Donivan

    Gotta make sure you redline that fucker at every stoplight to save fuel

  • Dylan Lewis
    Dylan Lewis

    I am grateful for the mass-adoption of electric power steering. Seeing all the cars with hydraulic power steering leaks, noise and other weird behavior is a big reason why. Further, electric power steering frees up a lot of space in the engine bay and it's one less fluid that has to be checked and maintained. Sure, the feedback may not be as good, but after having driven the latest generation electric steering racks, they're not too far off.

  • RG

    On a foggy day, behind a school bus, in a McLaren.

  • superluig164

    Couldn't the electric power steering feel issue be solved by connecting the electric motor through a torque converter?

  • Robert Lawrence
    Robert Lawrence

    Electric steering that isn't good is Drive By Wire. "Steer" clear of that. 😄

  • Aditya Vipradas
    Aditya Vipradas

    Beautiful explanation.


    ee: talks in loud cabin autocaptions: viETnAmEsE

    • bcubed72

      "We got da chicken noodle!"

  • Gregory Parrott
    Gregory Parrott

    Regarding the inertial effects of an electric motor abruptly reversing directions, there may be an obvious solution that is somewhat analogous to the dual clutch transmissions. That is - use TWO motors, where each spins in a dedicated direction. On a separate note, this is a car reserved for the obscenely wealthy, with little else to show for it. I saw a group of 4 McLarens in a parking lot, and one had a carbon fiber body. When I asked the owner about it, he had just spent perhaps a couple hundred thousand dollars CONVERTING his non carbon fiber car into one with carbon fiber. The term 'money to burn' just took on added meaning.

  • Redmenace96

    Watching for the second time- because didn't understand on #1. Did he say, 'track car'? I see AC vents. Is that a track car, nowadays?

  • Ryan Carroll
    Ryan Carroll

    On steering column stiffness: electric systems introduce some slop on purpose so sensors can measure deflection of the column against the load of the rack and adjust motor current appropriately.

  • Harry Fyf
    Harry Fyf

    The electrically assisted steering on the Mazda CX 3 is very annoying. When you turn the steering wheel it gives a click click feel on the steering wheel.

  • xiongguoy

    My 92 Toyota has EHPS, replacing fluids is a pain because it is different from normal hydraulic power steering fluid and hard to find.

  • Norberto Nova
    Norberto Nova

    Amazing video, so well explain! Could you make a video about dry steering (turning the tyres while static)

  • Fermitu Poupon
    Fermitu Poupon

    I mean it's fascinating how McLaren puts in all this engineering and effort, and I'm sure some of that stuff will trickle down to an actual practical road car. But for me, personally. I prefer hydropneumatic suspension and a nice and comfortable electric power steering setup. In daily use, I don't care about setting lap records and getting all that feedback that will just make my arms tired. I just want to be comfortable, have the car do all the things that it can do for me, and my sole responsibility being driving safely through traffic.

  • Stuntzii1

    wait.. that Mclaren only has 225/35 tires?? front 1:35

  • Eric Martindale
    Eric Martindale

    I _think_ that'd be a nice road to drive..... if I were rated to fly in IMC.