Is Your Car Pulling to the Right? Why and How to Fix It?

If you regularly drive multiple cars, you’d know that their steering wheel cylinder and wheels require getting some used to. 

However, all cars do one thing that you’d always expect. They’d remain in a straight line even if you leave the steering wheel.  

For cars that don’t exhibit this behavior, the main culprit is an issue with wheel bearings or improper wheel alignment

However, sometimes the suspension or the condition of your tires can also cause your car to pull to the right, pull to the right or steer towards one side.

The following text will take a look at some reasons why it happens and discusses what you can do to correct that.

Common Reasons Why Cars Pull Towards One Side

As stated in the beginning, alignment issues are often the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind while talking about the issue of cars consistently pulling over toward one side. 

It’s true in the majority of cases but there are several other reasons why this might happen. For any car owner, knowing all of them is important as it gives them an idea of what to look for. 

Here are the 5 most common reasons why a bad tire on your car might pull to one side.

1. Alignment Issues

First and foremost, the most common reason behind a car pulling to one side is the misalignment in the rear wheel. 

The right wheel alignment ensures that wheels’ rear tires are pointing in the same direction. 

Which properly directs the forces from the engine and the road to one tire to ensure a smoother ride.

Losing this wheel alignment with the tire rotation naturally results in an unbalance of forces that can veer the vehicle toward one side.

Generally, it’s recommended to get your wheel alignment checked every 2 years, but you should do it more frequently if you often drive on uneven roads and rough terrain.

In most cases, getting the alignment checked with every oil change will ensure excellent performance at all times. 

2. Uneven Tire Pressure

Differences in tire pressures can also cause the car to torque steer towards one side, generally pulling to the right and making it harder to control whether you’re holding the steering wheel or not.

The main reason behind this uneven tread wear and air pressure is the rolling resistance of tires. 

Tires use rolling resistance to make the drag forces work in it their favor and increase the vehicle’s efficiency. 

Uneven tire wear or uneven air pressure affects the direction of that rolling resistance and creates an unbalance in the forces acting on the tire.

3. Faulty Brakes

Car pulling on one side while you let go of the steering wheel is one of the most common issues. 

However, it’s not the only time a car pulls to the right when you let go of the steering wheel.

Sometimes, you can experience your vehicle pulling to one side at the same while accelerating the car and pulling begins or braking the car.

The wrong or faulty or worn brake pads and calipers can cause brakes on the wheel bearing on one side to work harder than stuck brake caliper pads on the other. 

This again creates an imbalance of forces in the braking system that can cause the car to veer towards one side and create and make it harder to control the car pull back.

4. Broken Suspension

If the suspension on one side of the car is damaged or worn out, it can cause the car to pull toward that side. 

This is because the suspension is responsible for keeping the front-wheel drive vehicles stable. 

If it is not working properly, it can create an imbalance that can propagate with time and even damage critical components like your axle and bearings.

5. Wrong Weight Distribution

This problem doesn’t exist in passenger vehicles, but the weight distribution can also affect the overall alignment of the vehicle. 

Too much of a difference in weight on both sides of your vehicle can cause it to steer in one direction and affect your ability to maintain control on the road.

Car Pulling to One Side, How Can I Fix It?

Now that you know why an issue happens, the question is how to fix it.

First thing first, you can’t rectify most of the causes behind your car pulling towards a vehicle pulling towards one side.

Apart from checking and correcting your low tire pressure yourself, most of the things that you’ll need to do will require special tools, equipment, and knowledge that mechanics have. 

So, it’s best to let them take care of the issue and ensure that it doesn’t cause future problems.

Here are some steps you can take to know the underlying cause behind your car either pulling to the right on one side or pulling to the right in the opposite direction of your vehicle pulling to the right.

1. Check the Wheel Alignment

The first thing you need to do is to check your vehicle’s wheel alignment. In a majority of cases, that would be the issue and you’d have to get it corrected. 

While you can generally know about your wheels being properly aligned or not based on your driving experience, it’s best to get it checked at a workshop where a mechanic can tell you for sure.

Getting the front wheels aligned or re-aligned is a very simple process and hardly takes up to 30 minutes. 

So, it’s always recommended to get it done as soon as possible. 

Generally, we recommend checking your wheel alignment with every oil change as most of us regularly get new tires and go through rough/uneven patches on the road which can significantly affect the already improper or poor wheel alignment with new tires.

2. Ensure Correct Tire Pressure

As stated before, tire pressure is quite important for maintaining effective control on the road. 

You can easily check the tire/air pressure, and inflate/deflate your tires as necessary. 

The process is extremely simple and there are high chances that you already know how to do it.

Simply check the tire pressure by pressing the gauge on the tire valve. Check the air gauge and compare it with the recommended pressure. 

Finally, inflate or deflate the tire as required to even tire or uneven tread wear and tire wear, and ensure equal pressure in all tires.

3. Check All Brakes

Brakes are integral not only for the alignment but for the overall performance of your car. 

You can know something is wrong if your brakes are taking a long time to engage or you feel some kind of vibration as soon as you apply them

Sometimes those vibrations can steer the car away on a pull to one side that tells you which side is working harder than the other.

Rectifying the issue is something your mechanic will do after carefully analyzing the brake. 

It might need the shoe to be replaced or may need correction in some other component. 

Your mechanic will work on it and ensure that your car is ready for the road.  

4. Ensure that the Suspension in Working

Just like all the other problems, the car pulling to some other side is not the only problem that damaged or worn suspension parts cause. 

The issue can quickly grow into something serious and cause significant damage to worn suspension parts, components, and parts of your car.

A damaged or worn suspension part will present itself in your car pulls many formats. 

You’ll notice alignment issues, strange noise from the car, and a cluttering sound whenever you make a right or left turn. 

Quickly visit your mechanic for a detailed checkup of your front suspension components if you notice any issues.

Doing so would ensure that you don’t get a more significant problem with brake pads down the line because this issue quickly can propagate from the brake system to other components in the suspension parts of your car and cause a significant dent in your wallet.

Final Thoughts

Cars pulling to one side while you let go of the steering is a very common issue, but it can be an indicator of a serious issue in your car. 

The best course of action is to visit your mechanic as quickly as possible and ensure that your car remains in the proper condition and safe for the road.


Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

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