A car that pulls hard to the right or left when driving or braking needs repair. Even if you can handle the pulling now, letting the problem go can lead to some unintended consequences such as other parts of your car wearing down, the cost of repair going up, and some very tricky driving on wet roads. While we can’t tell you what’s causing your car to pull to the right or left until you make an appointment, we can list some of the most common causes of a car that pulls to the right or left:
It’s not that surprising, is it? Our Wisconsin winters wreak havoc on our roads, which in turn beats up on cars—from shifting pavement, potholes and ice that causes our car to slide and bump. The result: your tires and suspension are out of alignment (just like your body), which can cause other problems, including a car that pulls to the right or left.
While you can drive with these issues (not always safely!), a car with alignment issues costs more in the long run. A car without regular alignments needs tires more often (because tires wear faster) and needs more suspension part repair and replacement. More importantly, driving in a misaligned car can cause accidents especially during our icy, treacherous winter roads in Wisconsin. The fix for this problem? Schedule an appointment for a complete car alignment.
The same parts of your car that make your car stop can also be the culprit when your car is pulling to the left or right. If a brake caliper is stuck, your car is going to pull to the side (right or left) with the caliper that is stuck. A cracked or broken brake hose can also cause your car to pull to the left or right, as well as a host of other brake issues.
Often, you can tell if your brakes are the issue if your car pulls to the left or right while braking. To find out, schedule an appointment with your mechanic. A mechanic can pull off your tires and inspect your brakes.
There are a million different reasons why your tires could be to blame for your car pulling to the left or right. Tires with different air pressures on each side can cause a car to pull. If you think your tire pressure may differ from side to side, use our step-by-step instructions to check the air pressure of each of your tires.
Uneven tire wear can also make your car favor one side of the road. To correct this issue, have your mechanic rotate your tires, and keep them on a regular tire rotation schedule (usually at the same time as your regular oil change). If your tires are wearing incredibly unevenly, ask your mechanic to check to see if they need to be replaced and if your car is properly aligned. There are other tire issues that can cause your car to pull to the right, so make sure you make an appointment to get your issues diagnosed and repaired.
Tire rods, wheel bearings, bushings, struts…the list of suspension parts that could be causing your car to pull can go on and on. There are few ways for the layperson to diagnose a worn suspension part, so make sure to schedule an appointment with your mechanic.
When taking your car in for an appointment, make sure you can describe when your car is pulling to the right or left. Does your car pull to the side when braking? Or does the issue happen when accelerating? A mechanic can do a full inspection of your car, diagnose your problem, and give you a quote to get your car going straight—and you on the road safely.