Astoria Mechanic | Collision Repair | Tolimas Auto Center

3 Reasons Your Car Pulls While Braking

There are 3 common reasons we see cars come into our shop with the complaint being that the car pulls while braking. You might notice that your car has developed a pull either to the left or right when you apply the brake.

Reason #1 Worn Control Arm Bushings

The Control Arms are the middle man that connect the body of your car to the wheels and tires. They are under constant stress from acceleration and stopping. For refinement and comfort the attachment points are made out of rubber and the rubber wears out and tears or brakes down. When the rubber bushings are worn or torn the control arms develop excessive play/movement when you accelerate or brake. This causes your car to pull when you apply the brake are the excessive movement from the control arms will keep one tire from tracking straight and this will cause a pull when driving your car.

To solve this you need to replace the control arms. Most non luxury cars have one or two simple control arms which makes control arm replacement more affordable. Luxury and sports cars have multiple control arms which makes their replacement much more costly as there are a lot more components and labor involved to replace everything.

Reason #2 Stuck Brake Calipers

When you hit the brake pedal hydraulic oil is pushed into each brake caliper pushing out the piston which in turn pushes out the brake pads against the rotors causing the friction necessary to slow your car down and come to a stop. As your car ages rust or worn brake fluid sometimes the brake piston to get stuck. A stuck piston will cause your car to pull when braking because your car will only be braking with 3 or 2 wheels depending on which brake calipers are stuck. Since not all 4 wheels are working to stop the car the car will want to pull to one side.

It is possible to remove the brake assembly and force the piston in and out with a tool to try to free it. This method can work sometimes, but due to the age of the caliper and piston it might get stuck again. That is why as a shop we recommend replacing the brake caliper assembly for a newly rebuilt unit depending on the age of the car and condition of the brake fluid.

Reason #3 Car Out of Alignment

When your car’s alignment is within spec your car should track straight when you apply the brake. A car that is out of spec will have a tendency to pull because the wheels will be slightly pulling in different directions. A bad alignment can be caused by worn, bent, or loose suspension components. If you live in an area with broken or poorly maintained roads then your car is likely to go get out of alignment if you hit a large enough pot hole.

A fresh alignment can sometimes compensate for slightly bent suspension components. But if the suspension is worn or broken then the affected components must be replaced as the car will not be able to stay within alignment spec. A car with a good suspension and alignment will have a tendency to always want to drive straight as an arrow on a well maintained road.

These are the most common causes for your car to pull to one side while braking. For the most part this problem can be resolved at reasonable cost, but a good diagnosis is necessary to solve with issue effectively and keep the cost down. If you have any questions always feel free to reach out and Contact Us @ Tolima’s Auto Center.

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