Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Steering lugs are elements of a vehicle's control system designed to transfer traction from the steering wheel (steering rack) to the wheels. Since the tractive effort changes progressively, and the angles of the mating parts can vary within strictly defined limits, the steering tips are made in the form of articulated joints.
In modern industrial conditions, more than 100 different companies are engaged in the development and production of steering tips for auto control systems. The consumer segment has long had a list of those who are subject to the rank of reliable, and those whose products are not worth the money spent. After conducting another research of the auto parts market, the magazine has selected for you 10 of the best manufacturers of steering tips for cars, which were awarded high ratings from users and in-house experts.
Rating of the best firms of steering tips
|Rating of the best firms of steering tips||1||Lemforder||5.0|
|10||HANS PRIES (TOPRAN)||4.1|
Brand packer that produces steering tips and rods for conveyors of the most famous German car manufacturers: BMW, Mercedes – Benz and Volkswagen. The main competitive advantage of the brand over others lies in the low price factor, since the refusal to self-release made the manufacturing company a qualified and eminent intermediary.
Over the past 4-5 years, original Lemforder packages contain spare parts from South Korea from CTR, as well as German ones, but from Sachs, which manages to work for itself and supply another partner in the corporation with parts – Knecht. And if many loyal fans of Lemforder still cannot accept the status of a 'packer', they have already found a compromise with the quality of new parts in the old box. This is because they have not lost at all in quality relative to the former original: the average mileage of the steering tip before the appearance of critical backlashes even on budget cars can reach 100-150 thousand kilometers, not to mention premium options. As the saying goes, the brand 'lost its face', but still managed to maintain the brand.
The second place in the rating of manufacturers is taken by TRW, known in Russia under the Lucas brand. The production facilities of this giant from Germany (at least for the European segment) are partially located at home and in Spain, which allows us to rely on good technical conditions of the finished product with a minimum percentage of rejects when leaving the assembly line.
As consumers note, the quality of finished steering tips (and steering rods of the control system) from TRW is often inferior to the quality of the original parts that are on the car from the assembly line. This applies not only to European cars: even on Japanese and Korean flagships, the 'native' tips, at times, look much more impressive and go from 100 thousand kilometers. But the products of the German corporation have one indisputable advantage over the originals: as a rule, they cost the buyer several times cheaper. Taking into account the fact that the average mileage on a replaced part before the first signs of a malfunction appear may be 70-80 thousand kilometers, the benefit is more than obvious.
The third line of the rating goes to MOOG – the most famous American concern, which produces spare parts for control systems and chassis of cars. Until the early 2000s, this manufacturer existed detached from the markets of Europe and Asia – its priority was to support the domestic American auto industry. A little later, the situation began to take on a different form: there was a need for fame, as competitors began to fill the domestic market, including those from other continents.
Partly due to its late entry into the world, partly due to the location of manufacturing facilities in the United States, MOOG continues to be positioned as a rather expensive company. As a result, standard head end prices remain well above the market average. However, the pluses are in compliance with strict quality standards and a low level of rejects (fakes do not count). According to hundreds of consumers, the technical conditions of factory consumables allow them to travel up to 150 thousand kilometers without obvious signs of imminent breakdown, which, even with the high price, often justifies the investment. And, oddly enough, MOOG can be called the manufacturer of the highest quality steering tips from the top three ratings, even if the overall popularity is not high enough, coupled with a large price tag, does not allow it to take first place.
The fourth line is occupied by another representative from the USA – a large corporation DELPHI with many subsidiaries and divisions in all parts of the world. According to the reports of most experts (as well as according to professional users), this manufacturer belongs to the category of preferred ones, the products of which are sold, including along the conveyor lines of many auto concerns.
The main problem with DELPHI steering tips is that their price often exceeds the price tags of original spare parts for certain types of cars. At the same time, there are no complaints about the quality: anthers and cuffs are always installed conscientiously, they honestly work out the declared working kilometers and are subject to change from available components. Laboratory tests have shown that the average mileage (under normal operating conditions) can reach 150 thousand kilometers, which is an excellent result. But in the realities of Russian roads, this indicator should be divided in half, as well as the reporting indicators of all other competitors.
Fifth place ZF PARTS is due to several aspects at once. First, the brand is owned by the same corporation that includes Lemforder, BOGE and Sachs. Secondly, the entire range of its steering tips is the result of the work of the above cooperating manufacturers (and packers).
For the above reasons, parts from ZF Parts are 'uneven' in quality, resulting in mixed user reviews and controversial expert opinions. In particular, many confirm the fact that on mixed routes the resource of the tips can be enough for only 20-25 thousand kilometers, while the actually declared 50-70. However, individual samples do show basic results. But their percentage in the market is about 70:30, not in favor of the latter. The factor of low price saves the situation: by analogy with Lemforder ZF PARTS keeps prices below the TRW level and (even more so) MOOG, so that the product is stably snapped up in retail.
A premium analogue of spare parts from 555, which has earned the popularity of domestic users for its performance in poor urban roads and on rough terrain. The average mileage in the 'city – off-road' mode is 47-52 thousand kilometers, and all malfunctions are associated exclusively with the appearance of backlash in the hinge (no break occurs along the cross-section of the rod, since all the tips are of a massive structure).
The level of prices for the goods can be considered a neutral indicator in relation to QSTEN: something is sold cheaper, and something is more expensive than the market. But the main drawback lies in the shortage of tips even in online stores. It is not uncommon for users to purchase a part for installation only on the left or right side of the car – the second one either has to wait a long time, or search in city warehouses. Moreover, the situation does not change at all over time. Due to such search difficulties, we will award QSTEN the sixth place in the rating, even though the product is nominally good quality.
The seventh line of the rating and the Belgian quality, complemented by a correspondingly high price and good performance. WEEN is a premium and unpopular brand in Russia that produces steering tips for the European and Japanese segment of car manufacturers. Average mileage, according to laboratory tests, can vary from 80 to 120 thousand kilometers, with a great deal of dependence on operating conditions. Naturally, it will be much easier to show the maximum on European autobahns than on domestic roads, so do not be surprised if the purchased part passes no more than 60 thousand kilometers on your car.
The main aspect that does not allow WEEN to break out on the leading lines of the TOP of the best is the impossibility of direct competition with the more popular brands Lemforder, TRW or MOOG. Perhaps, in the foreseeable future, the company will revise its pricing policy, which will increase the popularity of the product in Russia. In the meantime, we have very good workmanship with a price tag well above the market average … and as a result, the low popularity of the brand among consumers.
A Japanese manufacturer of the middle price segment, which is gaining popularity and has become an alternative to the South Korean company CTR for domestic users. The main enterprise of Masuma is located in China, from where spare parts (including steering tips) are supplied to the Russian market as well.
In general, it is impossible to say something negative about these details – cast metal, of course, is rude, but this has little effect on quality. An exception can be any air pore that has crept into the casting, which will provoke the destruction of the rod in the cross section. From the reviews, only one such case was identified, and all the rest related to the breakthrough of the anther or backlashes. It is noteworthy that to increase reliability, the Chinese used a very effective method with the setting of 2 O-rings in the hinge. This constructive nuance has become the hallmark of the series of handpieces from Masuma, and made it possible to extend their service life to an average of 50-60 thousand kilometers.
Contradictory, but very cheap and geographically close to Russia manufacturer Fenox breaks into the top ten of our rating. According to preliminary estimates, based on user reviews, the brand performed significantly better than the 'losing' CTR and unpopular Sidem. What can I say: Belarusians understand a lot about fine-tuning the design of a part in order to increase reliability and working life. At the place of attachment of the boot, together with an interference fit, an annular groove was provided, which excludes the breakdown of this very boot during operation. Typically, this element is present on almost all Fenox tips.
A small nuance of buying spare parts from this manufacturer is the need for preliminary maintenance before installation. So, every second user recommends replacing the factory grease, which tends to take a gel-like form at temperatures below +5 degrees Celsius. Together with it, the average run of the tip is 30 thousand kilometers, while the resource of the serviced units tends to 50 thousand.
HANS PRIES (TOPRAN)
Hans Pires (formerly the Topran brand) is a typical packer with a warehouse in Germany. It stands out against the background of competitors in two things:
- it is relatively easy to get components under this trademark even in Russia (another thing is that it is not very popular – this is not Lemforder);
- spare parts prices are often below market prices.
Intermediary work to promote your brand is, of course, a very profitable move. But at the same time, Hans Pires is often associated with great risks, which depend on the different quality (in this case) of the steering tips in the package. Brand owners take advantage of the opportunity to buy spare parts from little-known Japanese, Korean, European and even Chinese companies. Naturally, against this background, there are incidents like 4-5 thousand kilometers before the tip fails. There are few such cases, but they are still there. But the price is affordable.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.