Front End Pulls After Tire Rotation

radial tire pullBefore I had my tires rotated, my car did not pull to one side or the other. But right after my last tire rotation it began to pull to the right? Is this coincidental? Do I have a bad tire, or an alignment problem that I need to have repaired?


Hello there Andrea

Radial tires can cause a “Radial pull” which is what you have now, that can cause a front end of the vehicle to pull to one side. This is because of a defect in the tire (although not a safety defect) or because the tires have not been rotated often enough and the belts inside the tire are worn more on one side than the other….causing the pull.

The radial pull can be caused from an internal defect inside the tire, or can be caused by driver damage, like from hitting a curb or large pot hole that caused internal radiator tread damage.

Usually, you can just move the “trouble” tire to the rear or switch it to the other side of the vehicle where the pull is not as obvious.

I have seen MANY brand new tires cause a tire pull. The solution: usually switching the two front tires, left to right will cure the problem. I would not be concerned as long as the tire tread is in good shape. Might also want to check the tire pressures as well….under inflation can cause a pull as well as uneven tire wear.

Have you watched my tire wear video? You might not need this information today, but you will one day.

Please share this with your friends,
Austin C. Davis

Posted in: Front End Problems

5 Comments on "Front End Pulls After Tire Rotation"

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  1. Duncan says:

    Just switched out a rear passenger tire on my Mazda MX5 with 9K miles for a new one tire (same size / diff brand) this past weekend ; with the new tire in place it caused the car to pull badly to the left when under power, giving the car a feel like I was driving in strong cross winds.

    Here’s the skinny on the cause and fix ; When I took it in, the mechanic measured my older left rear tire circumference @ 196CM and my new right side rear tire @197CM.

    While the tires were the same size etc – the wear after only 9K miles compared to a new tire with a slightly deeper tread pattern was enough to make this all add up.

    Maybe this is not a problem on bigger wheel rims – but by adding in 1CM to the circumference on a small 17″ wheel represented an enough of a % increase to cause this effect. Like others have also said – it also flags up the need to consistently keep on top of tire pressures on smaller wheel sizes too.

    As this is a rear wheel drive car, the fix was to rotate the front right with the newer rear right tire so that now both rear tires (which push the car along in my case) were the same age and brand etc ; the car is back to its arrow like handling!!

    • Austin Davis says:

      Duncan, thanks so much for your comment. Glad you found the problem and sharing great information with everyone. Have a wonderful week.

  2. james says:

    I am a Tire sales man and Radial pull is not a safety issue and no tire company or tire sales will exchange the tire with you good luck we see it all the time brand new tires it happens from lack or rotation,crown in road,wear on tire and yes manufacturing defect when the chords are cut at the ends a small seem is made not visible and not a safety hazzard no danger so no warranty that is why the mech align it half a degree to compensate for road crown all tires have it just like tire indentation is not the same as impact break

  3. damone says:

    How can you say they shouldn’t worry about. Cars should not pull to one or the other. I have been having trouble with a so called radial pull also on brand new good year tires since the day they were put on the car pulled to the left. if i swap the 2 front tires it will slighty pull to the right. It is s defect in the tire no matter what anyone tells you your car should not pull after getting an algnment with new tires. Moving the bad tire to the back is not a fix. Eventually you will rotate your tires and that tire will be on the front again and you will have the pull problem again.

    • Austin says:

      I AGREE with you BUT try to get your tire dealer to give you a new tire because of a radial pull…..I seriously doubt they will. So the best you can do is learn to live with it and make sure you know which tire has the pull.

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