11 Reasons Why Your Car Veers To The Right When Driving
Proper alignment of your vehicle means that when you let go of the wheel as you drive down a completely flat road, the car should continue in a forward direction straight toward your destination.
If the vehicle doesn’t do that, it means your alignment is off or there’s something else that’s causing your vehicle to pull in that direction.
Finding the cause of this pull can often take some time, especially if you’re not sure where to start.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 11 reasons why your car veers to the right when driving. If you work through this list and can’t find the answer, your local mechanic might be able to help.
Here are 11 reasons why your car veers to the right when driving. They may not all apply to your vehicle but they can be a great start if you’re trying to figure out why your vehicle is pulling to the right without any obvious answer.
Tire conicity and separation
Tires are manufactured to contact the pavement with an even tread. That means when you look at the vehicle from behind and view the wheel, the tire should be even from left to right.
Should the tread not contact the pavement equally along that plane, then you’ll have what’s known as tire conicity.
Tire manufacturers do their best to avoid tire conicity, but it does happen once in a while. Should you experience conicity, you’ll find that the tire pulls without any other explanation.
Typically, the pull goes in the direction opposite the highest peak of the tire, as there’s not an equal amount of material there to support the vehicle.
If you suspect your tire is experiencing conicity, you might take it to a local tire shop to fix it. Visit the shop you purchased the tires from to see what you can get as far as a free replacement if tire conicity exists.
Misaligned front wheels
If your vehicle’s alignment is off, specifically with the front wheels, you’ll feel the car steering either right or left.
Most often, the alignment will favor a certain direction based on camber, caster, and toe. Each of these three features must play together to align the wheel properly.
The best way to check to see if your front wheels are misaligned is to visit an alignment shop. They can help you by measuring what your alignment is and correcting it if necessary.
If you find that the alignment continues to go out of whack, there might be something else going on to cause the vehicle to steer to the right.
Uneven tire wear
One of those reasons could be uneven tire wear. Brand-new tires will contact the road along the tread, but if there’s something wrong with the suspension or you don’t rotate your tires frequently, they can wear unevenly. This will put more stress on part of the tire, causing it to drift to one side over the other.
You can visually inspect your tires to determine if there’s uneven tire wear. However, you may also want to take your vehicle to a tire shop to see what their professional opinion is. Sometimes wear is due to a lack of maintenance but other times it could stem from a much larger problem that requires attention first.
Deflated tire on the right side
Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMSs) can be a pain in the butt, but they’re great for knowing if your tires are deflated below what they should be.
You can also use these sensors to determine if a tire on the right side of your vehicle is low to the point of turning the wheel in that direction.
Most of the time, you’ll be able to visually see the deflated tire on the right side that’s causing your problem. The tire may look slumped or you may notice that the patch where it contacts the pavement is bubbled up more than the other tires.
Again, if you have problems with your tires or aren’t sure what’s causing the problem, it’s a good idea to seek out a tire shop for an expert opinion.
Loose or damaged suspension components
If your car veers to the right when driving, you may also have an issue with suspension components. There are many components that help suspend your vehicle above the road, and most of them are housed beneath your vehicle.
This can make it more difficult to determine why your car veers to the right when driving unless there’s an obvious issue. For example, if you see a suspension component dangling from the car or one that’s obviously broken, that could be the cause of your vehicle steering right.
Suspension components see a lot of wear over time, so they can degrade quickly if you use your vehicle a lot. However, you’ll probably hear or feel a difference in the way your car drives if you have a suspension problem. You’ll feel bumps more as you go over them or you won’t be able to corner the same way you did previously.
Worn-out ball joints
Ball joints are a specific suspension component that help your vehicle soak up the uneven road and keep you moving down the path in a straight line. If those ball joints aren’t working as they should, you’ll notice a difference in how your vehicle drives.
For example, you might find that your car veers to the right when driving, but only in certain circumstances. This could be the ball joints failing in one area but not others. Ball joints are an expensive fix if you don’t know how to do them yourself, especially since most large pickups use ball joints to keep them above the ground.
Worn brake parts
Believe it or not, it could be that your car veers to the right when driving because of your brake pads and rotors. Yes, the very components you use to stop could steer your car off the road. It all depends on how you drive and how much panic braking you do.
Most worn brake parts that cause a car to veer to the right are the rotors and pads that have seen excessive heat. This could be from going down a mountain pass or simply panicking as someone slammed on their brakes in front of you. Before you go spending money on suspension parts or new tires, check out your brakes to see if they’re the culprit instead.
Malfunctioning power steering system
We’re used to getting behind the wheel and turning it like it weighs about as much as a bag of flour. At the same time, the power steering system does most of the work in translating movements from the steering wheel to the front wheels.
If your power steering system isn’t working properly, it can be difficult to maneuver your vehicle without some elbow grease. This lack of precision in keeping your vehicle straight can cause it to veer either left or right depending on the circumstances.
Loose or damaged steering linkage
In addition to the steering system, steering linkage can play a large part in how straight your vehicle drives down the road. If one or more of the steering linkage components is loose or damaged, you can get negative feedback in the wheel that explains why your car veers to the right when driving.
A visual inspection of your steering linkage should clear up the issue or at least identify the source of the issue. While you can inspect the linkage yourself in some places, it’s often best to get a second opinion before you start replacing components.
Damaged or bent rim on the right side
As much as the tire has a lot of input as to why your car veers to the right when driving, your wheel can make a difference as well.
A bent or damaged rim can throw the balance off for that particular axle, no matter if it’s the left or the right.
Catching the curb with your rim too many times can definitely cause your car to veer to the right.
If you think your rims might be the issue, have them inspected at your local tire shop. They can offer you advice on what to do next based on what, if anything, is wrong with your rim.
Unequal weight distribution in the vehicle
Uneven weight distribution itself will not likely cause your car to veer off to the right when you’re driving. However, it can cause premature and uneven wear on your tires and put excessive stress on the right-side suspension components.
If you are hauling a payload or just have a lot of passengers in the car, you’ll want to try and distribute the weight evenly for a better ride. If you overload anywhere, it’s best to keep it to the center of the vehicle where both sides have an equal load.
While unequal weight distribution won’t typically harm your vehicle if you do it once or twice, additional or frequent unequal weight distribution can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s steering.
On this page
- Tire conicity and separation
- Misaligned front wheels
- Uneven tire wear
- Deflated tire on the right side
- Loose or damaged suspension components
- Worn-out ball joints
- Worn brake parts
- Malfunctioning power steering system
- Loose or damaged steering linkage
- Damaged or bent rim on the right side
- Unequal weight distribution in the vehicle