What to Do If Your Car Pulls to One Side While Braking

Posted on: 8 May 2018

Nothing can be more disconcerting than a car that does not seem to follow instructions whenever you're trying to bring it to a halt. As you may know, this type of system requires a number of different components to work in harmony, and you put a lot of emphasis on proper performance in order to keep you and your passengers safe. In particular, you may have noticed that the vehicle is pulling to one side sharply when you apply the foot brake and you need to make a big correction to the steering wheel in order to maintain control. What could be the issue, and what should you do?

Understanding How It Works

Most vehicles these days are fitted with disc brakes front and rear, as these are more efficient and can cope with the increased performance of the modern-day car. When you apply pressure to the foot pedal in the passenger compartment, a network of pipes and tubes connect the system to each one of the brakes and these conduits are filled with a special hydraulic fluid. Essentially, this fluid does not compress; therefore, when you apply pressure, it is applied without loss at the other end of the piping system. Special valves actually increase the amount of pressure so that the relatively simply action of pressing the pedal can stop a very heavy car.

Worn Pads

While the fluid itself is crucial, so are the components that actually do the dirty work – the brake pads. These are made from a friction material that, when activated, push against the disc and decelerate the attached wheels. If you find that the vehicle is pulling sharply to one side or the other, then it is likely that the brake pad on the opposite side has excessive wear and one particular pad is exercising more control over the other. In short, to be fully effective, both pads should have an equal amount of wear and tear if they are going to decelerate the vehicle safely and in a straight line.

You may wonder why one pad should wear more unevenly than the other and this can sometimes happen. It is more likely to occur when you're in need of a full brake service anyway, but you should never simply ignore the issue and should seek help to replace the pads as soon as possible.

Warped Discs

It is also possible that one of the discs has sustained some damage and has warped to a degree. This can happen if you drive through a large body of water unexpectedly and especially when the brake discs may be hot after a long and twisty drive. In this case, the brakes can overheat through a lot of use and when they encounter a cooling body of water suddenly can sometimes warp so that they are out of true.

For you to get full peace of mind and ensure that your car brakes are working effectively, call your local repair shop before you drive any further.