My car pulls to the left or right

26 January 2022, 15:08

Does your car pull the left or right? There can be many reasons for this. In this post, we review several causes as well as symptoms you may look for that indicate it is time to visit the garage.

You have the feeling that your car pulls to the side when you drive. You may experience it to a greater extent whilst acceleration and braking. This can be due to several reasons.

Reasons the car pulls to the left or right

• Incorrect tire pressure
• Uneven tire wear
• Faults or defects in the brake system
• Incorrect wheel alignment
• Defective parts in the car's suspension system
• Defective parts in the car's steering

Incorrect tire pressure can cause the car to pull to right or left

Many newer cars have a tire pressure monitoring system which will notify you if one or more of your tyres loses pressure. This will check the tire pressure regularly as tires lose pressure over time naturally.

If your vehicle does not have tire pressure monitoring or a tire pressure gauge, you can use the petrol station's tire pump to measure the tire pressure on all four of your tires. The correct tire pressure varies depending on the car. You can find the recommend tire pressure for your car either in the glove compartment, driver's door sill, inside of the fuel cap or in the car's manual.

Tire wear can cause the car to pull to the right or left

Uneven tire wear can occur for several reasons; however, it is usually due to incorrect tire pressure over a long period of time.

If your car still pulls to the left or right with the correct tire pressure, then you should check to see if it is due to the tires being worn unevenly.

It is beneficial to check for excessive tire wear regularly. The legal requirement for the tire tread is a minimum of 1.6mm. It is recommended to have a minimum of 3 mm on summer tires and 4 mm on winter tires. On all tires you will find a tread wear indicator or wear bars (A small nodule between the tire treads), If they are flush with the level of the tread, then the tire should be replaced.

tire wear

The car's brakes can cause the car to pull to the right or left when braking

If the tire pressure is correct and the tire tread is not worn unevenly, then it may be due to various problems in the braking system. The most common causes can be:

  1. Wear on brake discs, pads or brake callipers

  2. Because the brakes are seizing (When brake pads and the brake discs stays in contact, and it feels like the car is constantly braking)

  3. There may also be a fault in the ABS system, which results in the brake pressure being distributed incorrectly in the car's brake system.

The faults mentioned above result in the power of the brake piston being distributed unevenly or incorrectly and the car pulling in the direction where the force is greatest.

if you suspect the brakes are the cause of the car pulling to right or left, we recommend having a mechanic look at your brakes.

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Incorrect wheel alignment can cause the car to pull to the right or left

Having the wrong wheel alignment results in increased and uneven wear on the tires, higher fuel consumption and can cause the car to pull to the side. If the wheels are out of alignment, this means that the angles of the wheels do not match and deviate from the manufacturer's recommendations.

wheel alignment

Most often, the wheel alignment and steering get misaligned when you hit a deep hole in the road or the curb. It can also happen with prolonged driving, especially if you are driving on uneven roads which strains your cars tyres and steering system.

If the vehicle starts to pull once your hands are off the wheel, then the cause is likely the alignment.
Consider a wheel alignment if the above applies to you, as it may be the reason the car is pulling to the side, or when the steering wheel is not pulling back into place after a turn.

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Defective parts in the car's suspension system and steering can cause the car to pull to the right or left

The following parts may be to blame for the car pulling to the right or left

• Drive shaft
• Shock absorber
• Coil spring
• Control arms
• Sway Bar
• Steering Rack
• Inner tie rod

In most front-wheel drive cars, the length of the drive axles is different, the right axle is longer and therefore, when the gas is pressed sharply, the car will veer to the right.

If any of the previous reasons do not match your experience and you have the correct tire pressure and even tire tread, we recommend that you find a garage near you so that you can have a diagnostic carried out.
Here mechanics will assess what is causing the car to pull to the side. Furthermore, mechanics can assess the undercarriage and the car's suspension system.

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