Steering Problems
Home Repair Tips
Home Repair Tips
Under normal circumstances, you should be able to let go of your steering wheel while moving forward without your vehicle drifting to one side. In reality, millions of drivers own cars that have a steady pull. They're not built that way. If your vehicle is pulling to one side, there's a problem somewhere. You can compensate for the drift by applying constant pressure to the steering wheel, but that can become tiring. Ideally, you should identify the issue and have it resolved.

Below, we'll take a look at a few factors that may be causing your car to drift. Most of these problems are relatively easy for any mechanic to fix.

Camber Misalignment

This is a measurement of how far your tires slant vertically when you're looking at them from the front or back. A negative camber means the top is tilting inward (or toward the engine). A positive camber means the top is slanting outward. If any of your tires have a positive camber (even by a half-degree), it can cause a pulling problem toward that side.

There are a lot of things that might contribute to a positive camber, including bent struts and spindles, damaged springs, and a misaligned engine cradle.

Caster Misalignment

Caster measures how far the steering axis tilts forward or backward. If it tilts forward, the caster is said to be negative. If backward, positive. Your car will pull toward the side that has a negative caster. If both sides do, it will pull toward the side that has the lowest - or, most negative - caster.

Caster misalignment can be caused by the same factors that can lead to a positive camber (bad struts, bad spindles, etc.).

Problems With The Rear Axle

If the tires in the front are aligned properly, it is still possible that the tires in the rear are misaligned. This is often due to excessive toe in the rear axle. Toe measures the amount that the wheels are turned inward or outward. When they point inward, they are said to have a positive toe (or, toe-in). If they point outward, the toe is negative (or, there is toe-out). Other problems might include a bent or curved axle, or an issue with the chassis.

Dragging In The Brakes

Occasionally, the pulling may be caused by a drag in the brake system. This can include the parking brake, a sticky caliper, or even too much fluid in the master cylinder. You can usually tell whether the brakes are causing the issue by propping your vehicle up and spinning the tires with your hands.

Each of the problems described above is simple to fix once it has been diagnosed. If you're noticing a pull to one side while driving, take your car into a repair shop. The mechanic can easily check the camber, caster, rear axle alignment, and the brakes to find and fix the problem.

Need Car Repair? Think Parts from
Correcting Your Car's Steady Pull
Author: Everette Jamison
Free Online Auto Repair
Custom Search
Custom Search
Free Online Auto Repair
Free Online Auto Repair Guide