Few things frustrate drivers more than a car that pulls left or right, since maintaining focus becomes increasingly difficult when you have to tug at the wheel simply to keep a straight line. Even worse is having no idea about the issue’s cause or solution.
Here are the most common causes of pulling and how to fix them.
The most common source of pulling is wheel misalignment. You see, a vehicle’s wheels and axels create a rectangle, at a right angle to the road and parallel to each other. If these distinct positions get skewed, the car pulls to one side.
Whether pulling begins gradually or starts after hitting an especially deep pothole, driving conditions can affect wheel alignment. For this reason, you should have it regularly checked by professionals. They will line up wheels and axels to correct this rectangle and adjust the suspension angles that affect wheel position.
*Tip – Most mechanics recommend having wheels aligned each time tires get switched out for the season.
Inconsistent Air Pressure Inside Tires
Tire pressure fluctuates while driving and can cause imbalance, with one tire having less pressure than the others. This issue can create pulling, so you should always check tire pressure (adding more, if needed) straight away if a car starts to pull. If pulling continues after this check, you might have a bigger problem and should call a professional.
Tire Conicity happens when a defective tire is made. For example, sometimes a mistake during manufacturing causes the rubber to harden into a cone shape instead of the usual cylinder. This mistake will make the car pull toward the faulty tire. Fortunately, this issue is easily discovered, as pulling occurs right away. As such, warranties will cover the cost of having the tire replaced.
Suspension or Steering Problem
Old or worn parts in steering or suspension can make the car pull to one side. A professional can diagnose this issue and replace the part.
Uneven Brake Wear
If the car pulls upon braking, uneven brake wear could be the problem. This usually happens if one of the calipers (the parts that apply pressure to brake pads) gets stuck too far back. Again, a mechanic should be able to see the uneven wear and repair the problem.
Having a fit, safe vehicle is always a good idea, but special care should be taken in winter months to ensure proper function in volatile weather conditions. If you feel your car pull, even slightly, don’t hesitate to call a professional.
For all your vehicle’s needs, remember to call Kirk’s Auto Care today!