If your car is pulling or leaning to one side, it's not only frustrating - it can also be a possible safety hazard while driving on the road. You should keep your eye on the way your vehicle sits and rides and if you ever see or feel anything unusual don't ignore it because it can potentially cause issues in the long run.
Part 1 of 2: Diagnosing why the car is leaning
Step 1: Checking the tire sizes. Whenever a vehicle is leaning to one side, start with the easiest thing to check in order to ensure that there wasn't a mistake made by a tire shop.
Check and see what size tire your vehicle recommends and then go around to all four tires and check the sizes to be sure that all four of your tires are the exact same size. For example, if you have 205/40/R17 tires you want them all of them to be this size.
Having a different size tire in height can cause the vehicle to have an uneven ride height that will cause all kinds of problems with the way the vehicle performs and feels when you drive it.
Step 2: Check suspension parts. Now you can jack the vehicle up and set it on jack stands so you can inspect the suspension parts on your vehicle.
All you are really doing is comparing the good side to the bad side - visually - to see if anything is different. This is more than likely going to be the reason the vehicle is leaning to one side.
Check the shocks and the struts - also check the springs as these parts can become bent or stuck, causing the vehicle to not sit at its normal level.
You can also look at the body and chassis to visually compare one side to the other for anything noticeable.
Part 2 of 2: Fixing the problem causing the lean
Step 1: Replace the bad part. If a bad part is the reason that the vehicle is leaning to one side you can buy the new part and install it yourself or have a certified mobile mechanic come out and help you with installing of the new part.
Step 2: Get a bent chassis fixed. Now in the case where your chassis is bent you will need to have a frame shop bend it back into true form before you can do anything else.
After you get the chassis taken care of you can now take the vehicle to have an alignment done to ensure the vehicle drives straight and you won't have any tire wear issues.
Troubleshooting your car leaning to one side is very important as listed above it could be many different reasons as to why your vehicle is leaning to one side so it is key to inspect it yourself right away or have a certified mobile mechanic do it for you. Not knowing and just leaving it alone can cause further damage to the rest of the vehicle and even worse it could potentially cause a accident and hurt you or others on the road.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Troubleshoot a Car Pulling to One Side and was authored by Chris Young.