ATV Tips: How to Install an Aftermarket Electric Power Steering Unit

In today's market, side by side manufacturers offer three options when it comes to power steering: standard, optional, or none at all. For owners with vehicles in the last category, there are a few solutions available from aftermarket companies.

Adding power steering to a machine that is not initially designed for it can be a little tricky. There are some small yet important things you need to consider before dropping big dollars on these products. Some involve the machine and the rest involve the type of steering assist you will actually get once the product is installed.

The first thing to consider before installing an aftermarket electric power steering unit is whether the machine's electrical system will carry it without failures. The electric system draws off of the same system that provides power to any extra lights or add-ons you may already have. Taxing this system can create hazards and possibly ruin any other sensitive electronics by running them low on voltage during operation. Do research on your particular machine to be sure that there is extra wattage left over when the machine is being run with these additional electrical devices installed. Chances are you may need an additional or back-up battery to handle the load.

Secondly, you want to know exactly what type of assist you will be getting from the aftermarket EPS unit. Most should provide steering that feels light and moves smoothly while at lower speeds, under 10mph, but reduces as the speed picks up. You do not want a steering wheel that is too free moving at speeds because this could cause the machine to feel out of control.

Finally, I would suggest finding mechanic who understands how important it is to get this installed correctly. Something as small as a loose bolt could spell disaster.