Have you noticed that your car pulls to one side when driving? It may seem harmless initially, but it could reveal more significant problems and dangers. We explain some common reasons why a car does this and what you can do to fix it.
One of the biggest fears for drivers is damage to their frame because it can lead to severe problems for the vehicle and costly repairs. A car pulled to one side is one of the most common signs your car’s frame is bent, and the wheels are misaligned.
Judging whether a car’s frame is bent is difficult for an amateur or casual driver, so the best way to be sure is to bring it into the shop or have it towed if you feel unsafe driving. A car’s frame and wheels can get misaligned in many ways, including:
- Hitting a significant pothole at high speeds
- Bumping into the curb
- Worn shocks and other suspension parts
- Minor accidents
Uneven Tire Pressure
Perhaps the best-case scenario for why your car pulls to one side when driving is that the tires have uneven pressure. It’s not uncommon for one wheel or side of a car to be overinflated or underinflated because that side is more worn or a tire punctures.
In this case, the solution is simple—check your owner’s manual for the proper tire psi and inflate or deflate them to that pressure! You should also check your tires for any punctures or reasons one tire deflated while the others didn’t.
Pro Tip: You should always keep a tire pressure gauge in your car to check your vehicle’s tires to ensure they’re properly inflated.
Is your vehicle pulling to one side when you apply the brakes? It’s possible that this could be due to issues with your suspension, like the shocks may be worn or broken.
A common culprit of a malfunctioning suspension system is that the control arm bushings are worn down and allow the arm to move while braking. Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution to this problem—you’ll either have to get them repaired by a mechanic or get them replaced.
Stuck Brake Caliper
Another culprit of a car veering in one direction while braking is a broken or stuck brake caliper. The brake calipers apply pressure to the brake pads so that your car comes to a safe and controlled stop.
Each wheel has its own caliper, so if one breaks or gets stuck, it will cause uneven pressure to be applied to the brake pads. Obviously, you shouldn’t drive on faulty brakes, so you should get the deficient calipers replaced immediately.