Why Is My Car Drifting and Pulling?

Driving in a car that drifts and pulls to the side is dangerous and a cause for concern. It’s a fairly common problem drivers face, but few actually know why it’s happening.

Drifting and pulling occurs for a variety of reasons, from poor road conditions to automotive damage. Regardless, drifting and pulling makes you and your vehicle highly susceptible to accidents and collisions.

To guarantee your safety and the well-being of your car, we’ve provided some of the reasons why your car is drifting and pulling.

Wheel Alignment

When your wheels are misaligned, your vehicle will start to pull to one side. The telltale sign of this problem is when your steering wheel points away from the road but you’re driving straight. Because your wheel isn’t synced with your wheels, you may think that you’re going straight, but you’re actually drifting to the side. Vibrations when braking and high-pitched noises are also common indicators of misalignment.

Tire Pressure

Low tire pressure is dangerous in general, but it’s even more dangerous when it contributes to drifting and pulling. If one tire has a lower pressure than the others, your car will still start to pull to that side. In addition, the longer you drive on improperly inflated tires, the more your vehicle’s weight will shift, resulting in drifting and pulling. Properly inflating your tires is the easiest fix for drifting and pulling, so always make sure they’re filled properly by checking them frequently.

Brake System

If your brakes are damaged, you’ll be able to tell especially when your car starts to drift and pull. With time and wear and tear, your brakes will start to stick, causing them to release improperly. This will start to develop a steady pull. Other brake problems that contribute to drifting and pulling include hydraulic glitches and a sticking caliper and cylinder.

Road Conditions

Roads are engineered at an angle for water runoff. So it’s common to have a perfect car drift to the side. However, when you drive on rough roads and your vehicle starts to pull, then the road isn’t the one to blame. Traveling over bumps and rough terrain causes structural damage such as a twisted frame, a bent steering arm, and an unleveled steering rack that steering out of line.

Power Assist

When you turn and your car doesn’t return to the center and instead pulls to another side, you’re experiencing memory steer. It’s a widespread problem, and there’s a plethora of reasons as to why this is happening. One is a faulty power assist system. If this is the cause of the pull, chances are the hydraulic pressure isn’t being distributed evenly. Other causes of memory steer include damaged brake strut bearings, problematic tie rods, and binding ball joints.

Drifting and pulling may be common, but that doesn’t mean it makes it any less dangerous. If your vehicle is steering toward one side, call Norm Reeves Honda Superstore Irvine at (888) 727-7957 or stop by our service department at 16 Auto Center in Irvine. Don’t wait until it’s too late – talk to our service experts about scheduling your service appointment today!

Schedule Service