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So, my son and I were out playing with cars today, and got to wondering: if there is a failure that took out the engine, and maybe electrics, what is the failure mode of the electric steering? This wouldn't be a big deal at street speeds, but what about highway speeds?
 

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If it is standard electrically assisted steering (rather than Infinity's steer by wire), a failure of electrics would just result in loss of power assistance.

The difference is only that the power steering pump is electrically assisted rather than belt driven off the engine, but system still has physical connection of the steering wheel to the wheels. I.e. In failure situation steering would become very heavy, but you still have a physical connection to the wheels. Would be same effect as engine cutting out at speed on a std belt driven power steering system - never pleasant but not a guaranteed accident.

I believe the Infinity "steer by wire" system (which doesn't need a physical connection) has a in built fail safe.
 

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It's one of those things that you hope never happens and thankfully given the number of cars with electrically assisted steering it very rarely does.


You may find it easier to steer at speed without assistance. It would be more difficult at lower speeds however. Parking would be very difficult if you're not used to older cars.


I think that the sudden surprise of having to power the steering mechanism yourself is what would be dangerous here rather than most people's ability to have enough strength.
 

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In the PDF owner's manual there is a note in the towing section that says

"When the engine is stopped, there is no power assist. Consequently, more force needs to be applied when braking and steering."

So that makes it sound like you can steer with no power.
 

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If you roll slowly down a hill in neutral when the stop/start has switched off the engine, there is no power assistance and you can feel how heavy the steering is without it. Once you reach about 4mph, the engine will restart even without you touching the clutch, bringing the power assistance back which is welcome!
 

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If you roll slowly down a hill in neutral when the stop/start has switched off the engine, there is no power assistance and you can feel how heavy the steering is without it. Once you reach about 4mph, the engine will restart even without you touching the clutch, bringing the power assistance back which is welcome!


With the F56 if you try and steer it restarts the engine anyway, it can be rather annoying if you accidentally touch the steering wheel in traffic.....
 

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Thanks for that - wondered why my engine sometimes sprung into life for no apparent reason !!
Make no mistake, F56s are alive. They'll start if they want to. You think you're in control and driving to the destination of your choice, but through gentle hypnotic suggestions, you're driving to where they want to. :)


Okay, maybe that's a little far fetched! :)
 

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On a related topic, can anyone describe the difference between the technologies for the steering between the R50/R53 (which I've seen described as being as good as it gets in terms of direct steering feel) and that used in the F56?

Oli
 

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Lets hope they sorted the steering problem they had in the old mini, that was on bbc watchdog. It only got attention because Richard e Grants daughter was involved and nearly had a bad accident and he went on twitter about it. Not sure if you can still watch it anywhere but make interesting watching and can be a bit frightening.
 

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You'll find issues with any mainstream car where hundreds of thousands of units are produced. I miss the sound of the power steering in my R50, it sounded like a trapped cat under the bonnet. :)
 

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LOL, maybe you should have added a bit of power steering oil? ;)

You'll find issues with any mainstream car where hundreds of thousands of units are produced. I miss the sound of the power steering in my R50, it sounded like a trapped cat under the bonnet. :)
 

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Patch, I take it you're joking. The issue was with a buildup of carbon dust which shorted the power steering pump's electrics.
 

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I wasn't joking. I didn't know the R50 had an electric motor to handle the power steering.

I got so many cat sounds from my previous Audi power steering pump that I assumed it was the same with the R50.
 

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the r50 steering pump was a classic sound... and in some ways i sort of miss that noise lol
it gave the car a distinctive character :)
 
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