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As you know, when a car's steering wheel is turned, the wheels are turned accordingly, because they are mechanically coupled. I am trying to rewrite this into one sentence. My drafts are as follows:

  1. The wheels turn in linkage with the steering wheel.
  2. The wheels turn in synchronization with the steering wheel.

After googled, I found that "in linkage with" is used rarely. But, I prefer "in linkage with" to "in synchronization with" because the latter sounds like something electrical not mechanical.

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As an AmE speaker, I've never heard "in linkage with" in my entire life. So I would not use that one :)

You could, however, say the wheels and the steering wheel are linked.

I think your option #2, "in synchronization with," sounds just fine. Synchronization is a long word, but it's not one that sounds overly formal in casual speech. It does not suggest any kind of electrical functionality to me, but it does hint at a certain level of precision that's probably appropriate in the mechanical context.

If you don't like that, though, another option would be something like "in accordance with," which is maybe a little more generic.

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  • Synchronisation suggests something to do with "timing" rather than a mechanical connection. – James K Apr 12 '19 at 7:41
  • I don't think it necessarily suggests anything mechanical either, but timing is relevant to mechanics, is it not? – cjl750 Apr 12 '19 at 7:48
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If you want to explicitly describe the mechanical connection you need to use your full phrase "mechanically coupled"

The front wheels are mechanically coupled to the steering wheel.

If you just want to indicate that the same turning happens on both, then "as" is possible:

The front wheels turn as the steering wheel is turned.

In truth, the meaning is quite obvious. Who doesn't know, at least roughly, what the steering wheel does. So think about what you are actually trying to say. I could imagine trying to use a car as a metaphor:

Just as the steering wheel controls the car, so clocks direct our lives...

(weak metaphor but it's just for example)

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Technically, the wheels and the steering wheel are not linked (which may imply looseness) as much as they are connected to each other.

So it would be significantly better to say:

The wheels turn in connection to the steering wheel.

or:

The wheels turn according to the (turning of the) steering wheel.

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According to the graph this idiom is not obsolete.

Though according to this the alternative is preferable.

I would recommend to use both phrases in formal texts (contacts, reports, etc.). In informal speech I would not use them.

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  • Could you extend your answer to include some content beyond the link. What does that graph actually show? How is "in linkage with" used in connection to mechanical connections. Nearly all the examples in google books are referring to a technical detail in genetics "the allele is in linkage with a disease phenotype" – James K Apr 12 '19 at 7:53

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