If your car is pulling to one side whilst driving or when you brake, you’ll most likely need replacement brake discs or pads or your car’s wheels may need realigning.
Diagnose the issue here or if you’re still unsure, book a vehicle diagnostic check with our highly-experienced mechanics to get to the root of the problem.
Why does my car pull to one side when driving?
The most likely reason your car pulls to one side is due to the wheel alignment being off. Wheel alignment is altered by driving conditions – it can become skewed over time, if you hit a particularly vicious pothole or mount a curb awkwardly. Your wheel alignment should be checked regularly, as it can prolong the life of your tyres by up to 12,000 miles, increase fuel efficiency and fix steering and suspension issues.
Your car’s wheels and axles should form a rectangle, parallel to each other and at a right angle to the road. If the alignment is off you will notice that your car may drift in one direction when driving. This can make it hard to focus on safe driving if you’re constantly tugging your wheel left or right just so you can drive in a straight line.
However, the reason your car is pulling to one side could be more simple; uneven tyre pressure. It’s important to check the pressure of all your tyres is the same before jumping to conclusions.
Why does my car pull to one side when braking?
If you’ve noticed that your car pulls to one side when braking, this is probably due to unevenly worn brake pads or a stuck brake caliper. Calipers are powered by the hydraulic brake system and apply pressure to the brake pads to bring the car to a stop. Each wheel has its own caliper and if one of them is sticking, the vehicle will pull to that side.
Brake pads wear down over time and as they do, they will exhibit a number of symptoms, one of which may be your car pulling to the side when braking.
If your brake pads are worn you may also hear a squeaking or squealing noise when applying the brakes. If you hear a grinding sound, it typically means that your brake pads are completely worn down, and the metal backing plate of the pads is now grinding on the rotors. It is dangerous to drive your car with the brakes in this condition. We recommend booking your car in for a brake pad replacement as soon as possible.
What are the common reasons a car pulls to one side?
Wheel alignment issues
Risk level – Medium
What to do – To test whether your car is dragging to one side when driving, take your car out when there are no other vehicles around. Remove your hands from the steering wheel for a couple of seconds (keeping them close by for safety) and check if the car drags towards the left or right. If there aren’t any alignment issues, you’ll continue traveling straight. But if your car pulls to one side this could indicate that your vehicle needs to be realigned. In addition, if you inspect your tyres, you’ll likely notice uneven tread wear. This is another indication of wheel alignment issues.
To fix the issue, your car will require a full inspection as to whether it needs a two-wheel or four-wheel alignment. If your car’s wheels do need to be realigned, one of our highly-trained mechanics will use a series of advanced, high-definition imaging sensors to measure the angles on your vehicle. They will then compare the positioning and angles of your car’s wheels to the manufacturer data for your vehicle, to ensure the vehicle is set up perfectly for you to drive.
Unevenly worn brake pads
Risk level – High
What to do – Visually check the thickness of your brake pads or book your car in for a vehicle diagnostic check.
If your car is pulling to one side when you brake, the most likely cause is that the lining on one (or both) of your brakes has become worn. As the lining wears off, a common symptom is that the vehicle will begin to pull to one side when braking. The braking system is a critical safety component of your car and it can be dangerous to drive with very worn brakes. Therefore, we recommend that you book your car in for a