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Car Pulling to the Left or Right Slightly While Driving

Car pulling to the left is a result of a mismatch tire air pressure on the front tire, dragging brakes or, the wheel is out of alignment.

Every driver has encountered it at some point – that frustrating feeling when your vehicle seems to have a mind of its own, veering either left or right when you're trying to drive straight. This phenomenon, known as vehicle pulling, can be not only annoying but also potentially dangerous if left unaddressed. In this article, we will explore the three most common causes of this issue and provide practical solutions to help you get back on the road with confidence.

1. Front Tire Pressure Mismatch

The first and perhaps the simplest issue to check when your vehicle pulls to one side is the tire pressure. Uneven tire pressure can lead to an imbalance in your vehicle, causing it to drift to the side with lower pressure. Here's how to diagnose and remedy this problem:

Start by using a tire pressure gauge to measure the air pressure of each front tire. Refer to your vehicle's owner's manual to ensure you are using the correct pressure specifications. If there is a significant difference in pressure, typically around 4 pounds or more, between the two front tires, you likely have a tire pressure mismatch. When the front tires have uneven pressure, it creates an imbalance in the vehicle's front end, causing it to pull to the side with lower pressure.

Remedy. Correct the issue by adjusting the tire pressures to match the recommended values outlined in your owner's manual. This simple fix should eliminate the pulling effect.

2. Dragging Front Brake

A dragging front brake is another common cause of vehicle pulling. This issue can arise when one of your front brakes doesn't fully release, leading to uneven braking and steering difficulties. Here's how to identify and address this problem:

Drive your vehicle for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and then quickly touch the rim or hubcap of each front wheel. Check for any noticeable temperature differences between the left and right sides. If one side is noticeably hotter, it indicates that the wheel with the hotter rim or hubcap has a dragging brake. A dragging brake generates intense heat due to constant friction, causing the vehicle to pull to one side and creating an imbalance in the front end.

Remedy. Take your vehicle to a reputable repair shop, preferably one approved by AAA, and have a mechanic inspect the front brake unit that seems to be dragging. If a corroded support bracket is the issue, it can often be resolved by cleaning and lubricating it. However, if the support bracket appears to be in good condition, a seized piston inside the brake caliper may be the culprit, necessitating the replacement of both front brake calipers for balance.

3. Wheels Slightly Out of Alignment

When your vehicle's wheels are even slightly out of alignment, it can cause it to pull in one direction. While this issue is a bit more technical, it is a common cause of vehicle pulling. Here's what you need to know:

Wheel alignment pertains to how straight the wheels are relative to the vehicle's frame. When the wheels are slightly out of alignment, the vehicle may tend to pull to one side.

Remedy. To address this issue, you will need a professional wheel alignment service. This will realign your wheels properly, ensuring that they are straight and parallel. It's essential to fix alignment issues promptly to prevent abnormal tire wear and maintain vehicle stability.

Vehicle pulling can be a frustrating experience, but it's essential to address it promptly to ensure your safety on the road and prevent further damage to your tires and brakes. Always refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for recommended tire pressures, and consider seeking assistance from AAA-approved repair shops, which are known for their reliability and dispute resolution services. By diagnosing and addressing the underlying causes of vehicle pulling, you can enjoy a smoother and safer driving experience.

Outside of Tire Wear
Tire wearing on the outside is a result of the alignment problem, specifically positive camber, the wheel is too tilted away from the vehicle. Read more » Outside of Tire Wear

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