Is Your Car Pulling When Accelerating? Here’s What Could Be Causing It.

You love your car. It responds exactly how you want but one day it starts pulling to either the left or right side whenever you accelerate. 

Sounds frustrating, right?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone as this is a very common issue. A lot of drivers deal with this problem, and it can be easily rectified.

Why Does My Car Pull When I Accelerate or Decelerate It?

There are a lot of reasons why it happens and it’s important to deal with it right away. 

Ignoring the issue for the longest time can cause a lot of problems and may even cause you to hit other vehicles on the road.

Here are some of the main reasons why cars pull while accelerating and decelerating.

1. Uneven Tire Wear

Discrepancies in tire wear can create a combination of outward and inward forces that can steer your car on one side. 

In some cases, many manufacturing defects can also cause this misalignment and introduce instability in the operations.

The issue is called tire conicity, which sometimes improves the overall traction of the car but at the expense of stability and performance. 

To keep it a minimum, it’s recommended to ensure that no manufacturing defect exists and that the tires are properly inflated to prevent uneven wear.

2.  Misaligned Wheels

This is another common issue that can affect your driving experience negatively. 

It’s prevalent and can progressively cause the car to fail and go out of control. 

Generally, bad suspension, rough driving conditions, and different damaged components can cause the car to steer in one direction.

3. Complications with the Brakes

Uneven braking force on the wheels can cause them to slow down or stop faster than the other wheel on the opposite side, which can result in the car pulling to one side.

For instance, if the brake caliper on the left side of the car is sticking, it can cause the brake pad to apply more pressure to the left wheel than the right wheel. 

As a result, the left wheel will slow down faster than the right wheel, and the car will tend to steer to the right.

Furthermore, uneven brake pad wear can also cause the car to pull to one side. 

If one side’s brake pads are more worn than the other side, they will apply less pressure to the rotor and cause the car to pull in the direction of the more heavily worn brake pads.

4. High Torque

In many cases, too much torque, especially for front-wheel drive vehicles, can pull the car in one direction during acceleration. 

The main reasons behind it are worn-out or deteriorated drive shafts, ball joints, and other integral components.

5. Suspension Issues

Suspension is responsible for more than keeping you comfortable and absorbing all the vibrations from the ground. 

It determines how the tire will interact with the road. 

A worn-out suspension system can cause the car to steer on one side and your only choice, in that case, would be a replacement.

The suspension system is integral for any car and its components should be replaced as soon as any issue arises. 

Otherwise, your car pulling to one side would be the least of your car problems.

6. Improper Tire Pressure

This may sound simple, but tire pressure has a tremendous effect on the overall performance of your car. 

The right inflation ensures that all the forces are properly distributed and collectively work towards steering the car in the right direction.

Not filling the tires properly is bound to have a huge impact on how your car steers and may even permanently damage your tires.

7. Bad Transmission

This is one of the rarest causes, so you should ensure that everything else is 100% before checking out the transmission.

For cars pulling to one side, the issue will either be in the torque converter (for automatic transmissions) or the differential itself. 

A damaged torque converter doesn’t transmit evenly on both sides and that difference can cause the car to pull towards the side getting more power.

The differential is also an integral component in any transmission as it smoothly transfers power to the wheels. 

If the torque converter is operating perfectly, but there is still a difference in power, there is a high chance that the issue is in your differential.

Memory Steer

If you notice your car steering in a different direction every time, then it’s possible that there is nothing wrong with any components in your car. 

Memory Steer is a phenomenon where the car pulls in the direction of the last hard turn.

The main reason behind it is too much friction in the ball joints, tire rods, and other small components that make up your suspension.

Generally, memory steer won’t cause too many problems for you, but it’s an indicator of an underlying suspension issue and should be checked on a priority basis.

Important Reminder

There are chances that you’ll notice your car drifting on one side even when you have checked all the components. 

Chances are that it’s misalignment and that is quite simple to rectify.

However, you should know that slight drift is common on windy or uneven roads. 

A significant pull that makes it harder to control the vehicle is concerning and should be checked but you can safely ignore one-off instances or issues that repeat only on a certain part of your regular commute.

Another important thing to remember is that many roads are engineered with a slight slant to facilitate drainage. 

However, that slant is quite negligible and shouldn’t affect your driving experience.

Final Thoughts

A car pulling to one side is annoying and dangerous, especially if you are a new driver. It’s also an indicator of an underlying problem in your car and should be taken seriously.

Generally, your car will steer in one direction because of uneven tire wear or a suspension issue. 

However, they are not the only reasons as a lot of other factors can affect the way your car behaves. 

That’s precisely why it’s so important to get your car checked as soon as the issue starts to ensure the longevity and performance of your vehicle.


Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

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