What Should You Do If Your Car Pulls to the Side?

A stock photo of person aligning a car's wheels.

Why Does Your Car Pull to One Side While Driving?

It should go without saying that driving your car, truck or SUV need not be a physical struggle. If you need to keep constant pressure on the steering wheel to keep the vehicle travelling in a straight line, that’s a sign something is going wrong and you need to make an appointment with the Fifth Avenue Volkswagen Service Department as soon as possible. There are a few reasons your vehicle pulls to one side or another. Most of those reasons will require help from a qualified automotive service technician. Let’s take a closer look at some information you might need right now.

READ MORE: What Does a Check Engine Light Mean?

Does it Matter Which Direction My Car is Pulling?

When a Fifth Avenue VW service technician is diagnosing a problem, it’s very helpful if they have as much information about the issue as possible. If you can, take careful note of which way the vehicle is pulling and when it happens. All of this is crucial information that will help us figure out what is going on and fix it as quickly as possible. 

What Causes a Car to Accidentally Pull?

There are two reasons a vehicle pulls to one side of the road or the other: incorrect tire pressure or wheels that are out of alignment. Let’s take a closer look at both common issues so you have a basic idea of what to look for if they occur.

  • Over or Under-inflated Tires: Every tire is designed to work at a specific pressure. If the tires on one side of the vehicle are not properly inflated, it can feel like the car is being pulled to one side or another. This can be easily checked at home with an inexpensive tire pressure gauge. If the tires are underinflated, simply add more air to hit the target. If the tires are overinflated, simply release the excess air. 
  • Check Wheel Alignment: It surprises many people that their car’s wheels aren’t aligned to be perfectly straight. Each one needs to be properly aligned to allow drivers to control the entire vehicle. There are a lot of reasons why wheels become misaligned. However, it can be easy to identify by uneven tire wear, a crooked steering wheel, or tires that appear to be tilted inward.

Is There a Way to Prevent All of This?

If you drive an appreciable number of miles, your vehicle’s alignment will need attention and your tire’s air pressure will need to be checked occasionally. That’s just the price of doing business. However, you can stay ahead of major problems by following the preventative maintenance plan in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Having your car, truck, or SUV regularly examined by the experts at Fifth Avenue Volkswagen keeps small problems from becoming major (and expensive) problems.

Can you remember the last time you had an oil change or your tires rotated? If not, it might be time to schedule a service appointment at Fifth Avenue VW, today.