Car Pulls to the Left – Causes and Fixes

Vehicle components are susceptible to wear and tear over time; hence, the unexpected malfunction in some components at times.

However, if a car pulls to the left regularly, it is a sign that something is wrong with the wheel alignment or the components around the system.

So, if your car pulls to the left when accelerating, it is a symptom that you must follow up on to figure out the cause and how to fix it. This article spells out the primary causes of this problem and how to go about the issue when it occurs in a car.

What Causes Car Pulls to the Left?

A car will pull to the left once the wheel alignment is off its position. This can be due to a natural shift in position from constantly driving under bad road conditions. Conversely, it can also be traceable to a bad braking system, uneven tire air pressure, etc.

Therefore, identifying the specific cause of the problem will help to fast-track the repair process. So, let’s look at a few reasons why your car pulls to the left when on the highway.

Car Pulls to the Left

Wheels misalignment

New vehicles come with a proper wheel alignment. However, whenever you work on most suspension components and the steering, ensure to get an alignment to set the wheels right. Wheels misalignment is a common reason why your car pulls to the left unnecessarily.

Sometimes, this issue can be caused by a natural shift in the alignment due to driving under bad road conditions, especially potholes. However, in any case, this is an issue you must pay close attention to until you rectify the problem.

Faulty braking system

If your car pulls to the left when braking, you most likely have a defective brake component that’s impacting the car’s balance. Some common areas to inspect are the brake rotors, stuck calipers, brake hose, etc.

For instance, a warped rotor will eventually affect a car’s balance and cause it to pull to the left. This is because the rotors work in synergy with the brake pads to stop the car whenever you engage the brake pedal.

Inconsistent tire air pressure

Inconsistent tire air pressure level is another common reason why your car pulls to the left regularly. For instance, if your car pulls to the left at high speed, ensure to stop the car and check the tire air pressure levels. Sometimes, one of the front tires may have much lesser air pressure than the other.

A slightly deflated tire will be lower than the other well-gauged tire, and this can cause a car to pull towards the left when accelerating.

Defective wheel bearings

The wheel bearing is responsible for helping the tires rotate seamlessly without friction. The bearings are fitted tightly within a vehicle’s hub. It rides on the metal axle shafts and minimizes friction as the vehicle accelerates.

Any slight malfunction in the position or operation of the vehicle’s wheel bearings will result in a pull towards the left or right when accelerating. It is dangerous to drive with a defective wheel bearing on either side of your front tires.

Unequal tire tread wear

A vehicle’s tire tread helps to grip the road firmly and maintain traction. It also plays a vital role when braking. Unequal tire tread wear can alter the balance in this operation, making the car pull towards the left when you engage the brake.

Unequal tire tread wear can make your vehicle’s tire leak or burst unexpectedly, especially at high speed. This can be very risky; hence, the need to fix the problem ASAP.

Car Pulls to the Left

How Do You Fix a Car that Pulls to the Left?

If your car pulls to the left and the steering wheel shakes when accelerating, do not panic unnecessarily. The following recommendations will help you rectify the problem as soon as possible.

Realign the wheels

If your car pulls to the left after tire rotation, contact an expert auto mechanic to realign the wheels properly.

It doesn’t matter whether the wheel alignment went off due to bad road conditions or a camber angle defect resulting from overloading. Whatever be the case, ensure to realign the wheels immediately to avert unexpected accidents.

Replace faulty brake components

Once you discover that your car pulls to the left when braking hard, it would be best to contact a professional auto mechanic to figure out the problem. Immediately you identify the faulty brake components and replace them at once in order to avoid escalating the problem.

However, engaging in regular brake system maintenance will help you minimize the chances of experiencing this problem in the first place.

Inflate the tire with lesser air pressure

If a deflated tire is the reason why your car pulls to the left unnecessarily, pumping the deflated tire to the appropriate air pressure level to match the other tire will rectify the situation.

If you’re a DIYer and you have the necessary equipment it requires, kindly fix the problem immediately.

Replace bad wheel bearing

Since it is dangerous to drive with a bad wheel bearing on one side of your vehicle’s front tires, it is only right to replace the component now. Don’t risk managing the problem driving around; ensure to fix it as soon as possible.

Replace worn-out tires

Tires have their lifespan; therefore, it would be best to stick to your car’s manufacturer’s recommendation and replace worn-out tires when necessary. Also, ensure to buy the prescribed tires for your vehicle when getting a replacement.

Check this well-detailed article if your car pulls to the right.

car pulls to the left on highway

FAQs

Q: What to do when your car pulls to the left?

If your car suddenly starts pulling to the left, you most likely have a wheel misalignment. This could be due to a natural shift from driving on bad roads constantly. On the other hand, it could also be due to uneven tire air pressure, uneven wear tread, etc.

Therefore, if your car pulls to the left, ensure to contact a mechanic to help realign the wheels, especially if it naturally shifted over time. Alternatively, you may need to pump in more air to any of the deflated front tires.

One of the two options above should be able to fix the issue in your car if it suddenly starts pulling towards the left.

Q: Why does my car pull to the left after new tires?

Every car is expected to maintain a balanced position for proper alignment. However, if your car pulls to the left after installing new tires, you most likely have uneven tire air pressure. Checking for wear on the outer edge is a simple way to identify underinflated tires.

So, if this is the case with your car, inflate the tire with lesser air pressure in order to keep the two front tires at a balanced level. Once you do this, it will rectify the car’s wheel alignment and stop the car from pulling toward the left.

Q: Why does my car pull when I brake?

Your car pulls when you brake due to a bad caliper in the braking system. The stuck caliper is responsible for squeezing the brake pads tightly against the rotor in order to stop your car when you apply the brake.

Most vehicles have a dual brake caliper piston in the front wheels and single-piston calipers on the rear wheels due to less braking in this area. If your car pulls to the left each time you apply the brake, either of the two front calipers is bad.

So, you will need a new replacement for the bad calipers to fix the issue as soon as possible. Once you get a new replacement, you’re good to go.

Q: Why does my car pull to the left when I hit the brakes?

If your car pulls to the left when you hit the brakes, it is a sign that you have a warped or worn brake rotor. A warped rotor results from constant usage, especially under tough driving conditions like towing, driving uphill, etc.

The rotors are designed to rotate along with the vehicle’s wheels while driving. Then, anytime you engage the brake pedal, the brake pads will clamp down on the brake rotors to slow the car down until it halts.

So, your car’s brake rotors become overstressed when you constantly tow heavy loads or drive around hilly environments. Once the components are overstressed, you may start experiencing the car pulling/shaking each time you apply the brake. The simple remedy is to change the rotors.

Q: Is there any way to prevent brake pull from happening?

Of course, you can prevent a brake pull from occurring when you do the needful. So, in order to prevent this situation, ensure to clean and service your car’s braking system regularly. Also, ensure that you use the recommended brake system components.

It is not enough to fit in the suitable braking system components; you must ensure that they are properly adjusted to maintain an even position for optimum functioning. Once you achieve this outcome, you are good to go.

Final Words

This article has dealt with the issue of cars pulling towards the left when accelerating, braking, etc. So in case you know someone who constantly complains, “My car pulls to the left when I let go of the steering wheel,” kindly refer them to read this article.

Meanwhile, if your car pulls to the left due to any of the causes outlined above in this article, do the needful suggested here to fix the problem immediately.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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