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Does Your Car Pull to One Side? Watch for These Tire Alignment Issues

When your car pulls to one side, it's important to promptly determine whether the tires, tire alignment, wheels, brakes or suspension parts are to blame.

When a car starts to pull to one side, wheel alignment is not always the issue. Sudden changes may also be caused by tire issues, brake problems, failing suspension parts or other problems. Gradual changes are often caused by uneven tire wear, aging suspension parts or other reasons, so it's important to recognize the following factors to identify alignment issues.

Tires

If you notice that your vehicle pulls to one side, check the tire pressure. Use a quality tire gauge to compare the recommended tire pressure to the actual readings from all four tires. Inflate your tires to the correct pressure, and see if that takes care of the problem. If the problem persists, check the condition of the tires. Damage requires prompt repair or tire replacement. Whether it’s for tires or some other major repair, Synchrony Car CareTM can assist with financing options.

Always heed the information provided by your vehicle's tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). If the yellow tire pressure warning light illuminates on your dashboard, one or more tires may require immediate attention.

Brakes

A sudden tendency for a vehicle to pull to the left or the right is often the result of a brake caliper that hangs up on a wheel. This is relatively easy to diagnose, but a trained technician should establish if there is an underlying cause of the problem. Other brake problems can also cause a vehicle to pull one way or the other. All potential brake issues should be addressed immediately.

Suspension Parts

Worn wheel bearings, tie rod ends, ball joints, torsion bars and springs are just some of the parts that can cause a vehicle to pull left or right. Higher mileage vehicles will often require the replacement of various key parts at some point.

Wheel Alignment

It is indeed possible that your vehicle is not tracking properly due to improper wheel alignment. A qualified technician with the proper equipment can reset the toe and camber to manufacturer recommendations.

Once your car is no longer pulling to the left or the right, continue to check tire pressure at regular intervals. Keep your eyes on the road ahead to avoid hazards, and perform all scheduled maintenance.

Synchrony Car CareTM offers special financing* on new tires and major repairs, like those related to your car pulling to one side, and also help pay for your next car repair or tire purchase.

*Subject to credit approval.

Additional reading:

Popular Mechanics: Cure Steering Wander

eHow: Why Does My Car Pull to the Right When Driving?

WikiHow: How to Diagnose an Alignment Problem

Sources:

www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=12

www.yourmechanic.com/services/car-pulls-in-one-direction-inspection

www.wikihow.com/Diagnose-an-Alignment-Problem

www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a111/1272576/

www.ehow.com/about_6113567_car-pull-right-driving_.html