Mechanics

Brake Pull

Easy step by step repair guide on how to repair an automotive brake pull right or left, steps are presented in order of popularity and pertain to most vehicles.

Difficulty Scale: 4 of 10

Begin with the vehicle on level ground, in park with the emergency brake set, using everyday tools while wearing protective gloves and eyewear.

Step 1 - Many vehicles are equipped with floating brake calipers which move on slides, when these sides become stuck (seized) the caliper will either not fully engage or release creating a brake pull. Visit - Brake Slide Service


Service Brake Caliper Slides

Step 2 -  If a tie rod end fails it allows the tire to wonder which is amplified when the brakes are applied creating a pull. Visit - Replace Tie Rod End


Install New Tie Rod End

Step 3 - If the ball joints become worn they will allow suspension components to move out of line causing the car the wonder from one side to the other when the brakes are applied. When checking the suspension components lift the car slightly but leave the wheels on the ground, this will take pressure off and allow proper inspection, (Note: Heavy pressure will make it difficult to test for play in the ball joint). Use a large pry bar and insert between the ball joint and spindle, rock back and forth while checking for excessive movement in the ball joint, no play should be observed.


Suspension Ball Joint

Step 4 - An inner tie rod does much of the same job as the outer and when worn can allow the tires to pull to one side.


Inner Tie Rod End

Step 5 - When a control arm or strut rod bushing fails it will allow the wheel to pull to one side when braking. When inspecting suspension bushings look for cracking, dilapidation or shiny surfaces showing suspension components that have moved.


Control Arm Bushing

Step 6 - Tires are designed with many separate layers that can become dislodged internally. A tire can act one way when the car is driven normally, and shift within the tire when braking causing a pull. Tires can also cause a pull that will change if tires are swapped from side to side changing tire direction and rotation, rotating the tires front to back and check help check this problem. Visit - How a Tire Works


Car Tire

Step 7 - Because a brake hose is constructed of rubber they can fail internally allowing a small part of the inner hose liner to become lodged, thus acting like a one way check valve that will either withhold brake pressure to the caliper or not allow hydraulic pressure to bleed off. Also if a brake job was recently performed check the hose to make sure it is not kinked or bent, (Note: Sometimes the hose can get twisted when reinstalling the brake caliper).


Brake Flex Hose

Helpful Information

Brake components should be close to the same temperature when used, an infrared laser temperature reader can help with detecting problems by testing rotor and drum temperature differences from side to side, example: Both front rotors are tested, the right side reads 190° and the left 80°, there is a problem.

A slight right hand drift was designed into US and other left hand drive vehicles to avoid head on collisions when a driver falls asleep or is rendered unconscious.

AUTHOR


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of 2CarPros.com
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


COMMENTS TO THIS ARTICLE


Please use our question form if you have a specific question about your car as we are not able to give you a full answer on this page.



Article first published (Updated 2015-05-12)