Ghosts in the Machine

Ghosts in the Machine

Why is My Car Pulling to One Side or the Other?

Picture this: you’re driving to Halloween Hall at Exploration Place on N. McLean Blvd in Wichita to enjoy a spook-tacular mix of tech-tastic activities with your kids. Suddenly, the car pulls to the right! Ghosts in the machine? Maybe!

Or maybe it’s another problem. There are several reasons why your car might pull to the left or right. To put your mind at ease this Halloween season, the experts at Tracy’s Tire Pros and Automotive in Wichita explore some of the most common causes (other than possession) and what you can do to fix them.

  1. Tire Issues. One of the most common reasons for your car pulling to one side is tire-related problems. Consider these tire-related causes:
  • Uneven Tire Pressure: If the pressure in your tires is uneven, it can cause your car to pull in the direction of the lower-pressure tire. Regularly check and maintain the correct tire pressure to prevent this problem.
  • Uneven Tire Wear: Uneven tire wear can result from improper alignment, suspension issues, or unbalanced tires. This uneven wear can lead to a pulling sensation. Rotate and align your tires as a regular form of maintenance at Tracy’s Tire Pros to help prevent this.
  • Tire Damage: Punctures, bulges, or other forms of tire damage can also lead to a car pulling to one side. Inspect your tires for any visible signs of damage and replace them if necessary.
  1. Wheel Alignment Problems. A common cause of a car pulling to the left or right is improper wheel alignment. If your wheels are not correctly aligned, they can cause your vehicle to veer in one direction. You may need to visit the professionals at Tracy’s Tire Pros to have your wheel alignment checked and corrected if necessary.
  1. Suspension Issues. The suspension system of your car plays a vital role in maintaining stability while driving. If your suspension is damaged or worn, it can cause your car to pull to one side. If you suspect suspension issues, have your vehicle inspected by the qualified mechanics at Tracy’s Tire Pros to identify and address the problem.
  1. Brake Problems. Brake issues can also result in a car pulling to one side. Uneven brake pad wear, caliper problems, or brake fluid leaks can cause your car to pull when you apply the brakes. Regular brake maintenance is crucial for safe and even braking performance.
  1. Differential Tire Sizes. Using tires with different sizes or levels of wear on the same axle can cause your car to pull to one side. Always make sure that your tires are uniform in size, type, and wear pattern for balanced and consistent handling.
  1. Torque Steer. Front-wheel-drive vehicles can sometimes exhibit torque steer, which is when the engine’s power delivery causes the car to pull to one side under acceleration. This is a characteristic of some front-wheel-drive cars and not necessarily a problem. However, excessive torque steer could indicate issues with the drivetrain or alignment.

If your car is pulling to the left or right, it’s essential to identify and address the underlying issue promptly. Ignoring this problem can lead to uneven tire wear, reduced fuel efficiency, and potentially unsafe driving conditions. Regular maintenance, such as checking tire pressure, rotating tires, and keeping your vehicle’s alignment in check, can help prevent many of these issues. If the pulling persists, consult the  professionals at Tracy’s Tire Pros who can diagnose and repair the problem to ensure a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.

Tracy’s Tire Pros has three locations to make your car maintenance convenient: 525 E. 1st Street North, 3804 W. Maple St, or 11770 W. 21st Street N.

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