Why My Car Pulls To One Side

Have you noticed that your car pulls to one side when you drive? Are you wondering what could be the problem? Well, there are couple of test that you can perform.

”The car usually pulls to one side when there is an issue with the tire, whether it is a loose bolts on the tire, incorrect tire pressure, blocked tire or bad ball joint. This is something that you can diagnose by yourself and find out what is the issue and how to fix it.”

Suspension problems can be simple or complex, but it’s best to try the simple fixes first.  Whenever my vehicle pulls to one side, here are the tests that I usually perform:

1. Check The Tire Pressure

The simple fix is often air pressure. If you find one air tire pressure is lower than the other pressures, that’s going to cause the car to pull. So, in that case, fill both tires so the pressure will be the same, and the one that’s low check it for leaks and fix it. I have another article on why is it important to monitor your tire pressure. You can check it out here. It might seem as something that it’s not important, but trust me, it can lead to major issues and unnecessary expenses. Moving on, what if the tire pressure is fine? Here comes the other step.

2. Check If The Tires Spin Freely

Get your jack and jack the front end of the car up in the air. See if the tires spin freely, because if either of the front brake is sticking, that’ll make the wheels drag and it’ll pull though that side. If your wheels are spinning freely, next thing to do is to grab the wheel and see if the wheel is loose. If the wheels are not loose, the problem could be a bad ball joint or a tie rod. You can take your tire off and inspect the joint and rod.

3. Inspect The Tires

The next thing to check for is a tire that’s out around. So, spin the tire and see if there’s any high or low points. Now, you often might see bumps, high points and low points, which would mean the tire is bad. If your tires are due for a change, you can order a new pair on amazon.com. If you don’t find any issues, that still doesn’t mean the tires aren’t the problem now.

4. Switch The Tires

Let’s say your car is pulling to the right. So, here’s a trick that you can do. Put the right tire on the left and the left tire on the right. Just change sides and when you’re done, take it for a drive. If you find that it now pulls to the left instead of the right, one of the two front tires has gone bad. But, then you still have to figure out which of the two front of tires is bad. So, here’s another trick. Take the left front tire off because it’s pulling to the left now, and move the tire to the left rear, and put the left rear tire on the left front. If you take it for a ride and the pull then goes away, that means that the tire that’s in the left rear is the bad tire and you need to replace it. But, if it still pulls that means that the right front tire is bad and that’s the tire that needs to be replaced.

How To Know If Your Car Needs Alignment

Today I can help you answer the question: does my car need an front-end alignment. To understand front-end alignments, I’ll give you a little history lesson. Long before cars, people run around in wagons and horses pulled them. They just had a hub axle, a wooden wheel would fit over it. Sometimes they had metal inner with bearings. It would just spin and be pulled down the road. They had rudimentary braking systems and suspension systems, but they didn’t have any  adjustments to a line of wheels. They were just on an axle and they spun straight. But, cars of course are different. They go relatively fast. 60 – 70 miles an hour can be a cruising speed, and the front wheels have to be aligned so the vehicle goes straight and doesn’t waver to one side or the other. But as nutty as it sounds, that doesn’t mean the wheels are turned perfectly straight. If both wheels were going perfectly straight, the car would squeal when you cornered and a front-wheel drive car would pull one way or another. Here are some pointers that will show you if you need an alignment:
  • Roads have a huge impact. If you had a pothole or something, and major damage is done that bends the strut or the a-frame, you need to replace parts. It needs a lot more than just the simple alignment. So, if you’re driving in a place that has pretty good roads, your not always smack into the giant holes, the only thing they can adjust is the in and the out of the tire. It really doesn’t need to be done all that often.
  • If your car doesn’t pull to one side or the other.
  • If your car doesn’t shake at high speeds.
  • The tires aren’t wearing unevenly you don’t need a front end alignment. A tire that needed alignment you’d have either scalloped wear on the inside or the outside.
With many modern cars, mechanics will just try to always sell you an alignment, oh you need tires and an alignment. Well let’s face it, if your old tires didn’t wear really unevenly, it doesn’t shake on a highway or pull one side to the other you don’t really need a front end alignment.

So, the next time your car starts pulling to one side you know what to do. Don’t take your car to the mechanic. First, do some research online so the mechanic won’t rip you off and try to change parts that doesn’t really need changing.

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Car Care Hacks

Hi there. I am a certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanic since 2018 and a car detailer for 10 years.

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