The definition of dry steering in wikipedia

Dry steering is the act of turning the steering wheel of a vehicle while the vehicle is stationary.


Unfortunately the article has no citation to scientific article.

So I'm curious is the "negative effects" of dry steering a thing based on real facts?

Is it now only a myth, unrelevant, since the increase of strength in materials we use in cars?

  • $\begingroup$ How can it br a myth - people do it all the time when trying to park... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 2, 2017 at 5:37
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry I will edit the question $\endgroup$ Aug 2, 2017 at 5:51

1 Answer 1


The effects of dry steering are increased load and wear on components compared to steering with movement even slowly such as when parking.

The increase in strength and, of course quality has also been offset by the increase in the size of tyres.

The fitting of power steering (ps) has "hidden" the problem as older cars without ps were harder to steer especially at low speeds and people had to be sufficiently strong to be able to properly control a vehicle. Now....

  • $\begingroup$ Some modern cars (including mine) have a dashboard switch that increases the amount of power assistance to the steering (using an electric motor) specifically for this type of parking. I think it's reasonable to assume the rest of the steering system is designed to handle the extra loads. There is a warning in the handbook not to leave it switched on all the time because that may burn out the motor - but not because that may damage the steering gear. (But having learned to drive with non-power-assisted steering years ago, personally I've never needed to use it!) $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    Aug 2, 2017 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ Had that switch on a Fiat Panda 10 years ago and it was described in the manual as "assistance for town or lighter for cruise". Hmm I learnt at 12 years old by driving a long wheel base landrover - no power steering and I had an advantage 6 foot and played ruby.... I had to drive a friend's broken chevy blazer : no power steering and no power brakes was fine :) as my mate said we'll need a gorilla.... However, while that motor lessens the force involved at the user end - it does not change the loads on yhe suspension and steering linkages. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 2, 2017 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ Mine's a Fiat as well (but not a Panda.) Interestingly, slow speed steering with no power assistance (i.e. engine not running) is as heavy as lead compared with anything else I've ever driven, even though it's a small car! $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    Aug 3, 2017 at 2:17

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