Car pulls left and wobbles noticably

Hi all,

All of a sudden, just a couple of days ago, my car started pulling left, pretty hard, and I feel a wobbling sensation in the left tire as well as the steering wheel. From everything I’ve read, I thought it was either alignment problem or balance problem, but my tire shop is telling me that my tread is separating. Is it possible for the tread to separate overnight and be so noticeable all of a sudden? I mean I can understand if the car started pulling left gradually, but this literally feels like it happened in 1 day, as if I hit a pothole somewhere and knocked the alignment out of place.

The tire shop also tells me that since the tread is separating, if they take the tire off, they will not be able to put it back on. Does that sound right? I said, can you first run some checks to make sure that nothing else could be the problem, and they said well if we take it off to run the tests, we won’t be able to put them back on. Sounds like something they would do to sell me a set of new tires. I mean I’m fine with doing that if that really needs to be done, but just want to be sure.

Thanks for any input, thoughts, ideas!

First, Stop Driving! Next, How Thoroughly Was The Front-End And Tires Checked By Your shop?

What they are telling you can certainly be true. Did they check to be sure the problem is limited to tires?

This car is dangerous to drive.

Have them lift the car, spin the tires and show you the tire(s) that are bad. Or have them take the wheel/tire off and turn it slowly on a wheel balancer. They should be able to show you the problem so that you’ll understand.

Oh, one more thing. Did I mention to “STOP DRIVING THIS CAR” ?


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The tread can separate and cause problems in one day. I’d get the tire(s) replaced asap. Besides, if it doesn’t fix the problem the tire place will have egg on their face and you will be able to get some form of compensation out of them. It isn’t in their interest to promise a fix they honestly don’t believe in because they know you’ll come back at them screaming.

Alright, thanks guys, I will go ahead and replace those tires. Do you know if they do (should do) the balance and alignment when they put new tires on? Or is that a separate service?

Balancing Is Necessary With New Tires, Either As A Small Additional Charge Or Rolled Into The Mounting Price.

Alignments are optional (recommended if it’s been a while) and have a substantial cost, probably $40 - $100, depending on whether it’s 2 wheels or 4 wheels being aligned.


So they just plop the tire on without aligning it or making sure that’s on there straight? I guess I’ll find out in couple of hours… Thanks CSA

An alignment is totally different than a tire balance.
An alignment has to do with the front end (suspension, tie-rods, steering, and so on…) A wheel balance is just balancing the tire on the wheel. When they put tires on they should balance the tire. An alignment in this case is optional. I would get an alignment only if getting the new tires didn’t fix your problem.

They Are Not Going To Change Your Car’s Alignment By Replacing A Tire Or Putting The Wheel Back On There.

The alignment has to do with with the car’s wheels/tires tracking straight down the road with everything set to the proper angles that the car manufacturer designed into the car. If it was in alignment before, then it will be after the tire(s) replacement. If it was out of alignment before, then it will still be out.

You could have them “safety check” the front-end (suspension and steering) while it’s in the shop and/or you could get an alignment. The safety check will identify any worn out and/or dangerous parts that can cause the alignment to be “out”. Bad parts need to be replaced prior to doing a proper alignment. Ask what they charge for a safety check.

You should do this periodically in order to keep the car safe to drive and to get more miles of use out of the tires.

They will balance new tires as a matter of course when installing them. That keeps the tires from shaking or jiggling or hopping and wearing unevely.

Please tell what make, model and year of your car. How many miles on it?

Thanks all for your replies. I took the car to another independent shop, they took it for a test drive, tested both sides on the front and said that it’s the left tire, tread is separating. I took it to my tire shop, had them replace both tires and now it drives smoother than ever.

Appreciate everyone’s input!

You’re Welcome! Thank You For Letting Us Know. We Need Feed-Back So That We Can “Fine Tune” Our Free Advice.


I have a 2000 grand prix gtp. It pulls really hard to the left and has a bad hop. I was wondering if it is a tire or axle?

You just responded to a 8 year old tread . My best advice is to start a new tread about your wheel problem.

Because this issue might not relate to a problem with the tire’s tread, it would probably be better to start a new thread in regard to this problem.

First priority, make sure the lug nuts are all present and none of them are loose.

They are all there and tight.

Swap the tires left/right as an experiment. If the pull follows the swap, you know its a tire.