Is Your Truck Pulling To The Side? What Does That Mean?

Written By Dieselmatic on Jun 03, 2022

Truck receiving alignment services

Do you have to battle your pickup truck to stay inside the lines? Is it possible that the vehicle is pulling to one side? If that's the case, you'd be right to suspect something's wrong. Pickup truck pull is annoying, but it may also be hazardous. Uneven tire air pressure, incorrect wheel alignment, or a damaged suspension, to mention a few, might all be to blame. This tutorial will discuss what causes a pickup truck to pull to one side and provide some fast troubleshooting methods!

Understanding the problem

If you feel your pickup truck tugging to one side, you should first figure out what's causing it. Is your pickup truck always pulling to the right? Or does your pickup truck always veer to the  left? When you speed, does it pull, or just when you hit the brakes? Identifying the specifics and conveying them to your mechanic might assist them in narrowing down the likely causes and diagnosing the problem more quickly.

Inspect tire pressure 

One of the most common causes of a vehicle pulling to one side is incorrect tire pressure. Your pickup truck may feel tilting if the tires are over or under-inflated. This tug may be felt from right to left, almost as if it were a heaving action.

Tires over or under-inflated might lead to tire wear difficulties down the line, so don't ignore this one. Check and refill your tires, find your appropriate tire pressure, and go to the local air fill station. Are you short on time? A complimentary tire pressure check is available at your local truck repair specialist.

Sometimes, it takes a breath of fresh air to solve a problem. Tire pressure varies while you drive, and one tire may have less pressure than the others at times. If your pickup truck is dragging to one side, the first thing you should do is check your tire pressure and add extra if required. If this solves your issue, that's excellent! If your pickup truck continues to swerve to the left or right, the issue may be more serious.

Check if alignment is correct 

If you're confident your tires are correctly inflated, ask yourself, "When was the last time I got my wheels aligned?" If the response is "I have no idea," wheel misalignment might cause your pickup truck to pull.

You may also notice uneven tread wear, a misaligned steering wheel, or tires that seem to be leaning inward if this is the case. Our professionals will adjust steering and suspension components during a wheel alignment to ensure that all adjustable angles are optimum according to the manufacturer's standards. What's the result? A smooth, steady ride that keeps you on the right track!

Be mindful of conicity

Tire conicity is an issue that occurs during the manufacturing process of a tire. One of the components might get misaligned during manufacture, causing the tire tread rubber to solidify in a small cone rather than the standard cylinder shape. As a result, your pickup truck will pull to the side of the damaged tire. This conicity is immediately noticeable in new tires and is covered by warranties.

If you detect a pull after putting thousands of kilometers on your tires, it's most likely due to uneven wear induced by driving circumstances (such as hard winter roads) or a suspension problem. Bring your vehicle in, and we'll be able to identify the issue more precisely. 

If your vehicle pulls when you brake, it may be an indicator that your brakes are unevenly worn. Stuck calipers, which commonly make grinding sounds, are examples of a brake-caused pulling issue. Calipers deliver pressure to your brake pads, and if one gets caught in the middle, your brakes will wear unevenly. Brakes are incredibly critical in slick winter and spring weather, so call us if you detect anything unusual with your brakes.

Get a complete inspection done 

You may have a stuck brake caliper or a limited brake line if your vehicle pulls to one side when braking, and you know your tires are at their acceptable pressure levels following an alignment. Your brake pads are pushed against the rotor by the pressure applied by your calipers. If one of your calipers becomes stuck and does not exert the necessary pressure, your pickup truck may begin to pull in the other direction.

Steering torque 

It sounds like something you'd find on a racing vehicle, and you'd be right. Torque steer refers to your pickup truck pulling to one side during acceleration and is especially common in front-wheel-drive (high-performance) pickup trucks.

The transversely positioned engine is usually to blame. Front-wheel-drive pickup trucks have a system that sends more engine power to one tire than the other, causing the pull. Unless you possess a high-powered front-wheel-drive pickup truck and drive professionally or are a die-hard pickup truck fanatic, you won't have to worry about this with your pickup truck. A faulty wheel bearing, worn steering linkage, an uncalibrated steering angle sensor, or a worn tie rod are all potential reasons for a pickup truck pulling to the side, all of which are difficult to identify on your own and might be deadly if left ignored.

Final words 

Put your safety first and get things checked out by an expert if you're experiencing vehicle pull. Take note of the circumstances under which the pickup truck begins to pull and whether or not the pull is consistent. Then take your pickup truck to your local diesel repair shop  for an inspection, and we'll make sure you're on the right track!

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