Dodge Caliber: Pulls to the Right → Diagnosis

When your Dodge Caliber pulls to the right, it makes driving difficult.  Keeping straight when your Caliber wants to veer off the road is dangerous, and takes all of the joy out of driving.  Fixing a vehicle pulling to the right should be considered a high priority repair. 


Dodge Caliber Pulls to the Right Causes

Dodge Caliber Pulls to the Right Diagnosis

1. Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment is the number one reason why your Caliber would start to pull to the right.  All it takes is the right pothole or unexpected bump to throw the alignment off, which causes your tires to no longer make consistent contact with the road, which in turn causes it to pull to the right.

There’s a lot of geometry involved in adjusting the suspension back into place.  An alignment shop is going to be your best bet.  An alignment is very affordable compared to the cost of a new set of tires.

Putting off an alignment after you start to notice your Caliber pulling to the right will eventually cause your tires to start wearing unevenly.  When this happens, you may need to replace the tires and get an alignment.


2.  Uneven Tire Pressure

If one of the tires in your Caliber is under or overfilled, it can cause it to pull to the right.  Just because the tire pressure warning light is not on, does not mean that it isn’t a tire pressure related problem.

Use a good tire gauge to actually check the tire pressure level.  Each tire needs to have the same amount of pressure, and it needs to be the factory recommended pressure for each wheel.  This information can usually be found on the inside of the driver’s side door.


Pulling Right Dodge Caliber


3.  Brakes

If the brake system has begun to stick, it can force your Caliber to pull to the left even when you aren’t braking.  The number one reason that brakes stick is going to be a stuck caliper.

When your brakes are sticking, they will often give off a smell.  Stuck brakes don’t fully stop making contact with the rotors.  This causes a lot of heat, which in turn causes them to “cook” for lack of a better term.  This smell is often the same as the rotten egg smell of a clutch that is burning up. 

Investigate each wheel after driving and see if one of the brakes are stuck and causing the Caliber to pull to the right.  Remember, the nose knows.

Here’s a whole writeup on Caliber Brakes Sticking.


4.  Suspension Issues

The suspension components that connect your steering wheel to your tires will go bad over time.  All it takes is one of them going bad and your Dodge Caliber will begin to pull to the right.

Suspension items that can cause a vehicle to pull to the right include:

  • Ball Joints
  • Rack and Pinion
  • Tie Rods
  • Steering Linkage

If your steering wheel is shaking real bad, this could be a clue you are barking up the right tree.


5.  Wheel Bearing

If one of the wheel bearings on the right side of the Caliber has gone bad, it will begin to act as a brake that pulls the vehicle in one direction.  When this happens, you need to have the wheel bearing replaced immediately. 

It should be accompanied by a grating hum sound that gets louder as the Caliber’s speed increases.

Here’s more on diagnosing a bad wheel bearing.


Conclusion:  Dodge Caliber Pulling to the Right

As you can see above, there are a lot of problems that can cause a Dodge Caliber to pull to the right.  It is most often an alignment issue that causes this problem.  You should check the tire pressure before doing anything else.  Good luck!