Is there anything more annoying than driving your vehicle and having it constantly pull to one side? Not only is it distracting, but also unsafe, as it’s harder to maintain control of your car. You end up being more focused on keeping the steering wheel straight than keeping your undivided attention on the road. It will also affect your tyres. When your vehicle is pulling to one side, there could be a range of problems that are causing it. We will explore the common causes of your car pulling to one side below:
Uneven Tyre Pressure
One of the most common reasons for your car pulling to one side is uneven tyre pressure. If there is low pressure on one side it will change the height of the tyre and can impact alignment. Similarly, if the tyre is underinflated, it will have increased rolling resistance and this can make the pull to one side more evident.
Overinflated tyres can also cause the alignment to change because the tyre will cause the vehicle to push away from that specific tyre, which then causes abnormal tyre wear. If you need to, take your vehicle to your local garage and inflate all your tyres to the recommended tyre pressure levels. You can sometimes find the specifications on the drivers control panel or side door. Once you’ve ensured that you have the correct tyre pressure, you should drive your vehicle to check whether the pull is still present. If your vehicle still veers to one side, then there may be another cause of this issue.
Another common cause may be that your wheel alignment is off. If this is the case, you may notice uneven tread wear on your tyres, as this can often occur when the wheels are not correctly aligned. Alongside your car pulling to one side, if you have noticed more wear on the tyre that is pulling, you should have your wheel alignment checked as soon as you can. Having your alignment corrected involves adjusting the suspension, rather than the wheels or tyres. Essentially, a professional will alter the angle of the wheels, in order to optimise the contact of the tyres with the road.
For more information on wheel alignment, check out our article – Do You Need Car Wheel Alignment?.
When you have issues with your braking system, it can cause your vehicle to pull to one side. The braking system is an essential safety component of your vehicle and any issues related to it need to be addressed as soon as possible. There are many parts to a braking system that could be faulty:
- Stuck Caliper – The hydraulic brake system powers the brake callipers and applies pressure the brake pads which brings the car to a stop. If one of the callipers are stuck, then it will cause a pull to that side of the vehicle.
- Collapsed Brake Hose – This can also cause your car to pull to one side, as it can result in your callipers moving unevenly.
- Slide Pins That Are Not Lubricated – It is important that slide pins should always be well lubricated, as pins that are not greased have more of a chance of getting stuck. In some extreme cases, it can cause a fire to break out due to a build-up of heat. Also, a seized pin can cause the vehicle to pull to one side.
Faulty Wheel Bearing
If you have bad wheel bearings, there will most likely be other, more identifiable symptoms present. However, your car pulling to one side is also a sign of this. Wheel bearings are what is responsible for the friction-free rotation of the wheel hub assembly so that the wheels rotate smoothly. On your vehicle, there are four wheel bearings, one located at each wheel.
When one or more of the wheel bearings wear out, you may notice a grinding noise coming from the tyre area and the vehicle may start to pull to one side. Often, the steering wheel will shake. The vehicle pulling to one side will happen long after you hear the grinding noise. It is important to state that you should not be driving your car if it is in this condition. Replacing wheel bearings are complicated and the service should be carried out by a professional.
Faulty Suspension Parts
Your suspension may be worn and need replacing – many of the parts will need replacing at some point in your vehicle’s lifetime. Components such as ball joints, shocks, struts, control arms or bushings may need to be replaced, due to wear and tear. When these components become worn, they can begin to shift or slant to one side, often when you apply the brakes. This will cause the vehicle to pull to the side.
For instance, a worn-out control arm bushing can end up shifting when you are braking, which can result in your car pulling to the left or right. The components tend to gradually wear out slowly, so you may not notice until they completely break. To avoid driving when your vehicle has worn out suspension parts, make sure that you regularly keep up to date with your vehicle’s servicing to prevent any dangerous surprises. If you would like to learn more about different issues that can occur with your suspension, check out our article – Common Suspension Problems & How To Spot Them!
Steering Linkage With A Lot Of Wear & Tear
When you have a weak tie rod end, it can cause the steering wheel to shift to either side while it is turning. If the condition of the tie rod end becomes really bad, the steering wheel can begin to shake from side to side. In new vehicles, there is a rack-and-pinion system that you can get serviced. Older vehicles tend to use a steering box and linkage system that is also serviceable. It is dangerous to have a damaged or broken steering linkage system because you could lose complete control of the steering wheel.
When the car accelerates and pulls to one side, this is called torque steer. There can be many causes of this, such as worn or loose steering components. Additionally, it could be caused by either a damaged motor mount, a loose tie rod, faulty lower control-arm bushing or ball joint that is loose. You could test for torque steer by putting your vehicle in neutral and coasting it down a quiet road. If the pull does not occur when coasting, the alignment is not the issue and it is probably torque steer.
Fix Your Car Pulling Issues At Power Steering Service
If you are experiencing this problem, whether it is that your car pulls to the right or to the left, you should avoid driving, as it isn’t safe. At Power Steering Services, we can diagnose the cause of this issue and advise you on the repairs or replacements that will be necessary. Book your vehicle in with us today for a thorough inspection, either by filling in our simple online form or calling us on 0208 853 3343.