Ram shudders and pulls right

Hello all,

First post here and I made an account because I have a problem and I’m really at a loss. I’ve got a problem with my vehicle that no one can seem to figure out. It has been to 4 shops two of which were the dealership service station.

So this is a 2018 Ram 2500 power wagon demo which I bought with 5k miles. It did not have this issue when I purchased it. The vehicle currently has 54,865 miles on it.

About two weeks after purchasing the vehicle I struck a deer at highway speed on the right side. The vehicle cosmetically had very minor bumper damage, but of more concern was mechanical. The vehicle developed a shudder at low speed around 50mph especially when turning and only in a certain spot. If the top of the wheel is turned to either the 1:30 or the 11:30 position, there was/is a noticeable shudder. Also it drifted to the right when letting go of the wheel. I filed an insurance claim and took the vehicle to a local ram dealer and service center who replaced the bumper, aligned it and gave it back to me.

Upon receiving the vehicle the mechanical problem was still present in the exact same symptoms which I was told by the shop that there were no other issues seen and basically I was ignored after that.

About 10-20k miles later I noticed my tires were wearing unevenly in the front, diffuse feathering more so on the right but still present significantly in both tires.

I took the vehicle to a local alignment and tire shop and told them of the issue. They insisted the alignment was way off which was the reason. They aligned it, mounted 4 new tires and I drove away with the vehicle producing the exact same symptoms. I immediately turned around and told them that the vehicle was not fixed. They took it back and told me the alignment was in spec and they had no idea what was wrong. Basically, take it somewhere else is what they told me.

So I left and made an appointment at a different ram dealer who had the vehicle for about 3 days. They told me that they too had no idea what was wrong with it and no matter how many times they aligned it the problem did not go away. I squeezed the bridge of my nose beside my eyes and replied “I’m no expert but it seems to me that maybe possibly, the problem isn’t the alignment…”

The mechanic insisted I bring it back on a different day so he could “futz” with the alignment and get it driving straight. Needless to say I did not go back there.

A few months later, the new tires are eaten up and need replaced again and I fall asleep at the wheel after a multi day call stretch and hit a mailbox on the Back right bed by the wheel well. Could have been much worse. I take it to another shop which was an independent garage who did the body work. I told them of the issue I had been having and they told me they would try to find the problem while they were working on the body work. After a few weeks of body repair and the mechanics trying to find the problem, they reported that while they recognized there was an issue they simply did not know what it was and could not help me.


So here I am nearly 55k miles on it, needing my third set of tires, dealing with some strange shuddering and fighting with the wheel on my commute to keep it off the right shoulder of the road the entire time. I have no where else nearby to take the vehicle that already hasn’t looked at it so I’m down to trying to fix the problem myself with the help of the smart people here.

If anyone has any ideas I’m all ears.

Thank you for listening.

Are the front tires only affected?

Thank you for your reply.

Yes it appears as though only the tires are affected when placed in front. The rear tires do not feather.

My thought you need an alignment specialist, something is out of whack. It might be a bent this or even the frame. I got the best alignment specialist from a recommendation by my brake guys. Call up a brakes only place and tell them your troubles and see who they might recommend. Brake guys told me there is only one shop in town that aligns to center of specs instead of within specs,

I will second @Barkydog’s bent frame diagnosis. If the alignment was way off, that drives me straight to a bent frame. You will want to have a body shop take a look at is and bring your insurance agent into the discussion.


Hit a mailbox by rear wheel? Is axle aligned/straight with vehicle centerline?

No, I don’t think so. The problem existed before the mailbox incident. I think it’s more related to striking the deer.

I also agree that something is bent, however I wish it was a simple as “take it somewhere”, because there’s nowhere left for me to take it to that hasn’t already looked at it. The next closest ram dealer is about 2.5 hours away and getting into those is a pain. The last time I called that dealer they told me it would be 3 months before they could work me in, which doesn’t give me the warm and fuzzies about that place.

Take it to a body shop. Any body shop with a frame jig. It is accident damage, not warranty work.

Without truck in hand it’s impossible to say but I’m having a difficult time seeing how a deer strike could cause severe frame damage to the point it would chew up new tires so quickly.

You bought it with 5k miles on it and 2 weeks after that purchase the deer incident. The fact it was a demo means nothing. It could well have been whacked very hard for another reason before you bought it and the deer is the default reason.

Get a tape measure and someone to help you. Measure from the back of the wheel rim on the passenger side to the front of the wheel rim on the same side. Measure the driver’s side the same way and compare the 2 measurements. They should be very close to each other. If they vary (say by half and inch) then something is seriously bent no matter what they say and I doubt the deer is the cause of it.

For what it’s worth anyway, I’ve worked for dealers and seen some new cars get hit hard while being used as demos or a loaner car. They were repaired and the buyer was none the wiser. One of those demo cars hit a deer at 75 MPH on the Interstate and took out fenders, hood, grill, condenser, radiator, front valance, and everything else up front. The sneaky part was that car had already been sold to a local doctor who had not even picked it up yet and never knew about the repairs.

Just curious and I’m by no means a fan of Carfax, AutoCheck, etc but have you considered checking to see if something might be on the records in the database of those sites?