A car that is pulling to the left can be dangerous to drive. In the US, left is the direction that oncoming traffic travels in. This makes pulling to the left even more dangerous than pulling to the right. Keeping straight when your vehicle wants to veer into traffic makes driving a chore. If your car pulls to the left, it should be considered a high priority repair.
Car Pulling Left Causes
While there are quite a few reasons that your automobile may be pulling left, here are the most common ones:
1. Uneven Tire Pressure
If one of your tires is under or over inflated, it can cause it to pull to the left. Do not trust the tire pressure light to verify that the tires are at the right inflation level. Use a tire pressure gauge to actually check and verify the tire pressure.
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.
2. Wheel Out of Alignment
Wheel alignment is the number one reason why your car would start to pull to the left. All it takes is the right pothole or unexpected bump to throw the alignment off, which causes your tires to no longer make the proper contact with the road, which in turn causes it to pull to the left.
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 vehicle pulling to the left will eventually cause your tires to start wearing unevenly. When this happens, you may need to replace the tires and get an alignment.
3. Brakes Issues
If the brake system has begun to stick, it can force your car to pull 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 vehicle to pull to the left.
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 vehicle will begin to pull to the left.
Suspension items that can cause a vehicle to pull to the left include:
- Ball Joints
- Rack and Pinion
- Tie Rods
- Steering Linkage
5. Wheel Bearings
If one of the wheel bearings on the left side of the vehicle 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 car’s speed increases.
Conclusion: Car Pulls Left
As you can see above, there are a lot of problems that can cause a vehicle to pull to the left. It is most often an alignment issue that causes this problem. You should check the tire pressure before doing anything else. Good luck!