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Brakes pull right

My daughter’s SVT Contour (2000 Ford) pulls right when brakes are applied. Oddly, if the steering wheel is not held, the wheel turns slightly and it brakes perfectly straight.

Have checked: fluid, bled calipers, pads, rotors, rotated tires. Now I notice that the ABS occasionally engages at odd times when braking easier than one would normally expect ABS; sometimes when braking straight, more often when turning.

I have run out of ideas and suspect I am beyond my level of competence.

One thing to check are the tone rings for the wheeel speed sensors.

On each axle is a toothed ring section below the wheel speed sensors. These tone rings can accumulate metal dust from semi-metalic brake pads. This dust can confuse the wheel speed sensors and cause the ABS to act erratically.

Get some sensor safe brake cleaner and clean off the tone rings, and see if this solves the problem.


Check the power steering.

A worn ball joint can also cause a pull during braking.

Ball joints have been replaced. No noticeable change in the pulling problem.

“Oddly, if the steering wheel is not held, the wheel turns slightly and it brakes perfectly straight.”

This statement seems to indicate it’s not the brakes…Perhaps some weird PS problem…

I have a '99 SVT Contour with similar concern, though steering wheel will rotate very slightly left as car pulls right when brakes are applied if hands are off the wheel. RF dives ever so slightly more than left front front under braking. RF pads are wearing more quickly than LF and more heat is in the RF brake than the LF Brake. ABS seems to function normally.

Action taken 1/3/09: I replaced all 4 brake hoses and both front calipers. Flushed and bled system with new DOT 4 brake fluid.

Result: No change.

Action taken: Swapped front tires side to side.

Result: No change.

Action taken Checked wheel bearings, ball joints, bushings, tie rod ends for play/looseness. Performed 4 wheel alignment (was barely out of spec before alignment).

Result: No Change

I suspect something in master cylinder is causing a pressure imbalance (LF - RR circuit vs. RF-LR circuit). Any clues?