You may notice while you are driving that your car or truck is pulling to one side or the other. You may feel it when driving on a straightaway and you let go of the wheel briefly. It might pull gently or it could pull kind of violently to the left or right. Or, you may notice it more when you are making a tight turn or when braking/accelerating. If something is affecting the vehicle's handling, it is worth getting checked out by a professional mechanic. Not only is it a matter of your safety as a driver, but it's best to get the problem diagnosed before it develops into something much more significant.
According to the auto repair experts at Simard Automotive in Fairbanks, AK, here are some of the most common causes of a vehicle pulling to one side or the other:
1. Wheel Alignment
Over time, your wheels naturally shift out of alignment. Whether it's the camber, caster or toe that is off, it's a good idea to get your wheel alignment checked regularly and readjusted as needed. There are many benefits to proper wheel alignment.
2. Suspension System
Another culprit may be the suspension system. Perhaps you have a damaged or worn shock, strut or spring that is affecting the car's balance and performance.
3. Wheels and Tires
If the tires have uneven tread or there is damage in one of the wheels (such as a wheel hub bearing), that can lead to misalignment and poor handling.
Sometimes, a brake caliper is sticking or a brake pad/rotor is more worn out on one side of the vehicle than the other. Brake system issues can contribute to that feeling of the car being pulled left or right.
5. Power Steering
You may also have a problem within your power steering system that is causing the pull to happen. You may need to replace the power steering fluid. Or, there may be some recalibration needed when it comes to modern electric power steering systems.
A differential will transfer power from the engine and transmission to each wheel. If it is not performing correctly, then the wheels may not be working in synch and it will throw off the alignment.
Oftentimes, there are multiple issues in play or one of these problems leads to another. For instance, improper wheel alignment can lead to uneven tire tread wear, which leads to uneven brake wear or potential suspension damage—or vice versa. That's why it's so important to bring your car to an auto repair shop at the first sign of misalignment, so the problem can be fixed before it leads to something else. Otherwise, if you ignore it, the repairs can add up quickly as multiple auto components are affected.
For all your wheel alignment, suspension, brake, power steering, drivetrain and wheel maintenance and repair needs in Fairbanks, AK, turn to Simard Automotive. Call us today at (855) 690-0889 (Aeronca Ave.) or (855) 639-5001 (Gaffney Rd.), or schedule your next service appointment online.