Power Steering on UTVs: Is it Worth the Extra Cost?



About half of all UTVs come from a factory with power steering, or power steering, already factory-installed. UTVs are meant for exploring, and sometimes that means rough terrain. Therefore, power steering sounds like an asset for your UTV, but is it worth it?

Is power steering worth it for your UTV? Power Steering helps make steering easier. Without power steering, your arms will become fatigued quickly while you are driving on rough terrain, so having it is a huge benefit. It costs around $500 to $1000 to get power steering, and you can actually install it yourself.

Interested to learn more? If you’re looking at power steering and you’re also considering installing it yourself, feel free to read on for answers.

Is Power Steering Worth it?

In essence, yes, power steering is very much worth it. A UTV comes with non-EPS (electronic power steering) from the factory. A non-EPS equipped model works fine for the most part on normal terrain.

Honestly though, you want it. Once you have it, you will never go back. Anybody who says it is not useful most likely has never driven a UTV with power steering.

If your plan is to just ride around on dirt and nothing difficult then you do not absolutely need power steering. Any treacherous earth will arguably require power steering.

Power steering takes up most of the effort that you would have to put into driving your UTV. If you have ever driven any vehicle without power steering you will understand how hard you have to crank a wheel to turn.

Let me tell you, I would rather have that added essential to help me steer through holes, ruts, rocks, roots, etc. than face that challenge and risk dampening enjoyment on a trip. Getting tired out on a trail while everybody else is still energized is not a fun experience.

Everything I have said up to this point is about pleasure rides, which are my main reason for having a UTV. But what about those who use UTVs for work and spend many hours behind the wheel?

These vehicles are used a great deal on farms. After hours of fencing, throwing hay, or just a long day, you are going to be turning that wheel and wishing you had power steering as your arms are burning and screaming at you.

Big game hunting while having power steering is a life changer when you have to haul around a deer you have caught. Power steering is a must. It is the only way to go if you do anything physically stressing or long rides in your UTV.

Electronic VS. Hydraulic: Which Power Steering is Better?

Most people will tell you that electronic is better and it is for your modern life. Everybody has their own opinions on the matter. What you need to do is get behind the wheel and try them both out for yourself to see what works for you.

Electronic

Pros:

  • Better fuel economy
  • Less Maintenance
  • Simple

In our modern day and age, electronic power steering is the way to go! The better fuel economy is a huge grab. You have no need for fluid which makes your life a little easier. Having one less fluid to think about is great. Calibrating an electric power steering system is much easier as well.

Cons:

  • Car manufacturers have not gotten a complete hold on electric power steering, yet.
  • Expensive to repair
  • Failures happen more often.

Although electric power steering is expensive to fix or replace. That is a downside to the electrical system. Failures in the system happen more often than its counterpart. I have not heard of this happening often and I have never heard of it happening in a hydraulic system.

I feel like it handles well but some people think it does not handle as well as hydraulic. The only to figure out what works for you is to get behind the wheel of a car with an electric power steering system and see how it feels to you.

Hydraulic

Pros:

  • Cheaper
  • Manufacturers understand hydraulic better
  • Generally a better steering feel (objective)

Hydraulic power steering was first commercially available in the early 1950s but was not common practice until later in the 1960s. Hydraulic power steering is more fully understood by car makers and so it is a little more refined. Many people trust hydraulic systems and they are cheaper but people are changing over to the newer electric systems.

Cons:

  • A need for fluid to keep it working
  • The pump is always running
  • Reduced assist when the engine is running slower.

One of the things that seem like a nuisance now that we have electronic systems is the need for fluid to keep the hydraulics working correctly. This fluid has to be replaced every so often as well. How nice would it be to not have to worry about another fluid among all the other ones you have?

These babies suck a lot of power because the pump is always running. It takes its power from the engine which takes out of your fuel economy.

The system does not work as well when the engine is not spinning as fast because the power is taken from the engine as I said.

Can I Install it on My Own?

You can install a power steering system on your own! There are plenty of tutorials out there to show you how to do it. You will need plenty of tools and possibly a buddy’s help. Catch with an old friend. Get some food afterward to celebrate because it is not easy. Then enjoy the spoils of your work when the summer rolls around.

A power steering system will cost you anywhere from $500 to $1000. You will need some general tools to use like pry bars, power screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.

There are different brands and you can go with either electric or hydraulic systems. I thought I would provide a video showcasing how to install a power steering kit.

Related Questions:

Can you add power steering to a UTV? You can add power steering to a UTV. It costs anywhere between $500 and $1000. It is really useful for more difficult terrain and takes a huge load off of your hands.

What does EPS mean? EPS stands for “electronic power steering.” It is relatively new on the UTV/ATV scene so it is not installed in a lot of off-road vehicles as of right now. It is incredibly useful to have and it is worth the extra money.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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