Why Is My Car Drifting and Pulling?

Car Hydroplaning

When you’re driving around Waveland, Gulfport, and Pascagoula, you expect reliable performance from your car. But sometimes you notice that it’s beginning to stray from the path you set it on. You wonder: Why is my car drifting and pulling? Pat Peck Nissan looks at the most likely causes behind why your car can’t stay in line with where you’re steering it to go.

Low Tire Pressure

One of the most common causes of your car pulling you in one direction is low tire pressure. Check the air pressure on all your tires, then check for any leaks. Add air if necessary or get them replaced if you notice any of them are damaged and leaking air.

Mismatched Tires

Tire Pressure Warning Light

Another way your tires can impact the path you’re on is if they don’t match up with each other. Obviously, this is true for the air pressure, but it’s equally important to have a set of tires with matching tread. If you’ve ever driven on a spare tire, you know that having one tire that’s a different size, manufacturer, or tread can affect the way your car pulls.

Sometimes this happens when your tires are all the same, but they’re worn down differently. For example, if you have a flat tire and get only one tire replaced, you may experience some drifting since that replacement is brand new, while the other three are already broken in.

This is why it’s often recommended that when replacing tires, it’s best to get them in a set rather than just one individual tire.

Wheel Alignment

Similar to having mismatched tires, if your wheels aren’t aligned properly you’ll definitely experience some drifting and pulling during your drive. When you need to get your wheels realigned you’ll notice that the steering wheel is out of sync with the direction your wheels are pointed. This is obviously dangerous and should be dealt with immediately.

Memory Steer

One pulling problem that’s exclusive to turning is when you turn and your car either doesn’t return to center or drifts to the other side. This is known as memory steer and can be caused by a number of things, including uneven hydraulic pressure or damage to your strut bearings, ball joints, or tie rods.

Brake Problems

Road Runoff

Problems with your brakes are obviously concerning and unsafe, but they can also cause you to pull in one direction if one of your rotors is stuck or cracked. Low brake fluid can also play a role in getting one brake partially stuck.

Road Conditions

There’s a couple ways that the road your driving on can actually be behind why your car is drifting. One is if there are conditions that impact traction like hydroplaning. Another is that some roads are intentionally built on a slant to help with water runoff.

Service Center

At Pat Peck Nissan, our service center can take care of all these issues with maintenance like wheel realignment and tire rotation. The technicians on our team are highly trained to help drivers in Gulfport, Pascagoula, and Waveland get back on the road.

So, if you’re wondering: “Why is my car drifting and pulling?” Contact us or schedule service to get your vehicle heading in the right direction again.