A sound car should move straightforward when you point the wheels forward and step on the gas. A steering pull, however, causes the car to veer to one side even when you attempt to steer it straight on. A steering pull signifies that something is wrong with the car, increases the rate of wear and tear of the car, and also makes long-distance driving tiresome. Below are some of the typical causes of a steering pull.
The camber is the angle that the vertical axis of a car's wheel makes with the vertical axis of the car. Too much camber interferes with the steering of the car. Both negative and positive cambers can affect the steering of the car, but a positive camber is more disadvantageous than a negative camber. A positive camber occurs if the wheels are leaning in towards the car; this will cause the car to pull towards the side with the most camber (greater angle).
Brake Drag or Unequal Braking
A brake drag occurs if a malfunction of the brake system is preventing the wheels from spinning freely. For example, a stuck brake caliper will increase brake friction and prevent the affected wheel from spinning freely. With a brake drag, the pull will be present whenever the car is running. In some cases, the pull may only occur when you apply the car's brake, pointing to the possibility of unequal braking.
Tires also contribute to a car's steering, which means tire defects can also lead to a steering pull. For example, uneven inflation of tires will cause the car to pull towards the side with the underinflated tires. Uneven tire wear is also a problem because the car will pull towards the side with the damaged tires. Even the use of unmatched tires can lead to a steering pull.
Unbalanced Power Steering
If your car uses power steering, which many modern cars do, then a problem with the power steering system can also lead to steering pull. This happens if some of the steering components are worn or damaged or if the system is not properly assembled. A problem with the power steering fluid (such as low-volume caused by internal leakage) can also cause a similar problem.
Hopefully, you won't be dealing with steering pull any time soon. If you are already dealing with the problem, however, consult an auto mechanic at an auto repair shop for a diagnosis and solution.