BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Mini, Rolls-Royce, Porsche, & VW 294 Reviews
8498 Miller Road, The Woodlands, TX 77354 Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Signs You May Need An Alignment

alignment in The Woodlands

A common complaint that we see is client telling us that the vehicle is pulling one way or another. This is generally thought to be an alignment issue, but we have to look at all the different aspects of what could cause it. Your vehicle pulling to one side can be annoying, and in some cases, it can even be dangerous. So here’s a few things that can cause a vehicle to pull one way or another.

Causes of Vehicle Pulling: 

1. Tire Pressure: Uneven tire pressure is one of the leading causes of vehicle pulling. When one of the tires has low pressure, it creates a difference in rolling resistance, causing the car to pull to one side. Low tire pressure is a common issue observed on many vehicles, often indicated by the tire pressure warning light. Don’t ignore this warning light! (remember, solid is a low tire, flashing is a system issue!)

2. Wheel Alignment: Incorrect wheel alignment can cause the car to pull to one side. This condition occurs when the wheels are not properly aligned with each other. Wheel alignments should be done once a year, or when new tires are installed.

3. Brake Caliper Issues: Worn brake calipers can cause the car to pull to one side. When the brake caliper is not working correctly, it can cause uneven pressure on the brake pads, leading to the vehicle pulling condition.

4. Suspension Problems: Faulty suspension parts such as ball joints, bushing or tie rods can cause the vehicle to pull to one side. We see this happen on European cars pretty often, where the fluid filled rubber bushings have cracked and failed, causing vibrations and pulls when braking.

5. Road Camber: The road’s slope “crown” or camber can also cause the car to pull to one side, especially on roads that have a significant slope. Road crown is a large issue with European cars because of their precise handling characteristics. They are more sensitive to road crown than other vehicle makes.

6. Radial pull: A tire can cause the car to pull, and it sometimes can be lessened by moving the tire around on the vehicle. If the alignment is perfect, the suspension in good shape, and the tire pressure is correct, radial pull may be the issue. How do we determine this? We have a Hunter Road Force tire machine. It loads the tire with a roller simulating like its on a vehicle, and measures the tires stiffness and concentricity. By measuring it in this manner, the balancer can tell us if the tire is within assembly limits, if it needs to be moved to a different location on the vehicle, or if the wheel and tire need to be matched better (force matching). Most shops do not have this type of technology, so ensure your independent shop can handle this request.

Solutions to Vehicle Pulling

1. Check Tire Pressure: If you suspect that tire pressure is causing the vehicle pulling condition, check the tire pressure and inflate them to the recommended level.

2. Get Wheel Alignment: If the car is pulling to one side, take it to a professional independent shop to have the wheels aligned properly. We have an inground Hunter Hawk Eye alignment machine that is top of the line for the best alignments.

3. Inspect Brake Calipers: Worn brake calipers need to be replaced to avoid uneven pressure on brake pads.

4. Fix Suspension Problems: Have a professional independent shop inspect the suspension system and replace faulty parts. We do this before an alignment is performed, to insure accuracy of the alignment and not waste the client’s money.

5. Avoid Sloped Roads: Try to avoid driving on roads that have a significant slope. However, if driving on such roads is inevitable, be cautious and maintain a safe speed.

By understanding the possible causes and solutions, you can avoid this problem or quickly get it fixed. It’s essential to have a professional independent shop inspect your car to identify the exact cause of the problem and fix it. Regular vehicle maintenance and inspections can help prevent issues like vehicle pulling, which can ultimately lead to a safer and more comfortable driving experience.

Alex Noll

CEO – ABR Houston

Your Local Experts in Audi, BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce & Volkswagen Service In The Woodlands.

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