Shop Parts keyboard_double_arrow_right
Need car parts? Select your vehicle
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Summary
  • If your car is leaning to one side, your vehicle might have tire issues, a twisted chassis, or a bent suspension.
  • If your car leans to one side, that means there’s an underlying issue that you need to address immediately. You risk getting involved in an accident or damaging other components if you continue driving.
  • Many automotive repair shops offer high-quality repair services, but if you want a comprehensive checkup, look for shops with an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.

Cars shouldn’t lean to one side—but it does happen. If you notice this symptom in your daily driver, don’t ignore it because it can make driving risky. Take a trip to an auto repair shop to have your vehicle checked and repaired.

Why Is Your Car Leaning to One Side?

If your car leans to one side, it could be due to tire, chassis, and suspension issues. Let’s take a closer look at each problem. 

Tire Issues 

Tire issues can be the reason your car leans to one side even when parked. For example, an underinflated tire is smaller than a fully inflated one, and their size difference can make your vehicle slightly tilted to one side.

To prevent this issue, check your tire pressure regularly. Here’s a comprehensive article about tire pressure if you want to know more about it.

Twisted Chassis

The chassis serves as the frame or foundation structure of your ride, so its parts must always remain complete and intact.

However, situations like a crash or collision can damage the chassis. If a component in your chassis is twisted or bent, the frame might no longer be straight and balanced, affecting your ride’s weight distribution and causing it to lean in one direction.

See also  Shocks vs. Struts: The Basics

Bent Suspension

The suspension supports the weight of your car. It also keeps your tires in contact with the road. If your suspension bends or takes significant impact damage, your vehicle might feel tilted.

Worn Springs

Corrosion and stress can wear out your suspension springs. Uneven spring wear can cause your car to dip to one side. Broken springs can also cause a similar problem.  If you notice this symptom, have a mechanic assess the issue, as the springs are vital to the operation of your suspension system.

Stuck Struts, Springs, and Shock Absorbers

These three components are crucial parts of your suspension system. If they fail, wear out, or get damaged, you won’t be able to enjoy a smooth and hassle-free ride.

If one of these components gets stuck, your suspension won’t work as it’s supposed to. One of the possible effects is one side of your vehicle becoming higher than the other.

If your vehicle is equipped with an air suspension, there’s also a chance that your airbag or air shock failed. Once this happens, all the air would be leaked out, causing an issue with your air suspension system.

If your vehicle is equipped with an air suspension, there’s also a chance that your airbag or air shock failed.

Anthony Harlin, ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician

Incompatible Suspension Parts

It’s unavoidable for some parts of your suspension to get faulty. If you’re ever faced with this dilemma, make sure to get parts that are compatible with your suspension.

Parts that don’t fit right can ruin your car’s alignment. For example, an incompatible shock absorber replacement can make your ride will feel misaligned. It can’t support the weight of your vehicle efficiently, making your ride lean to one side.

Aside from that, incompatible parts can lead to major suspension issues

Is It Safe to Drive a Car That’s Leaning to One Side?

No, it’s not. If your car leans to one side, that means there’s an underlying issue that you need to address immediately. You’d only risk getting involved in an accident or damaging other components if you continue driving.

See also  Best Suspension Struts for Your Money: Start Here

Most of the time, a car that’s leaning to one side has uneven weight distribution, resulting in stability issues that can make it risky to drive. Also, depending on the severity of the problem, the tilt can hinder your concentration and your view of the road.

Have a mechanic inspect your ride right away as soon as you notice that your vehicle is tilting to one side.

Where to Take Your Vehicle for Inspection

Many automotive repair shops offer high-quality repair services. However, if you’d like to make sure that your car gets a comprehensive checkup, look for ASE-certified shops.

Mechanics certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence passed strict evaluations. Rest assured that they’ll neither cut corners on your repairs nor scam you with unreasonable rates.

What to Prepare Before Inspection

To help a mechanic diagnose the issue faster, take note when your vehicle starts to lean to one side.

For example, if you notice that it started to tilt after driving over a pothole, make sure to let the mechanic know. You can also check your tire pressure and assess how badly your vehicle is leaning to one side.

Spotting Frame Damage

Spotting frame damage is difficult. You have to know what type of damage to look for and where to look for it. It’s highly recommended to have a mechanic investigate the issue. But for your reference, here are some tasks you can do to diagnose frame damage.

Inspect the Undercarriage

Walk around your vehicle and keep an eye out for any signs of damage. If you have the tools for it, you can slide underneath your vehicle to inspect its undercarriage. Look for cracks, dents, scratches, and holes in the frame.

Look for Poorly Fitting Panels and Exterior Parts

The frame may be damaged if the seams around the doors, trunk, hood, and other areas are no longer uniform or consistent. Doors that abruptly stick or don’t close smoothly fall under this category.

Watch for Abnormal Noises

If you notice any unusual sounds like rattles or squeaks while you’re driving, it can be a sign that your ride’s frame is damaged. The sound might be coming from misaligned panels or from bent frame components.

See also  Top 10 Best Gift Ideas for Your Dad’s Pickup Truck this Father’s Day

What Will a Mechanic Do During the Inspection?

Mechanics will inspect various parts of your vehicle to identify what’s causing it to tilt and the severity of the problem. Determining how much the car is leaning to one side will give them a clue about what’s really causing the issue.

They’ll also inspect critical components like your chassis, suspension, and tires for issues.

Don’t think twice about replacing your faulty car components. These components all contribute to your safety while on the road, so they must remain in good condition at all times. Follow your regular maintenance checks to enjoy a smooth and hassle-free drive.

Where to Get Suspension Components for Your Vehicle

Leaning issues often stem from faulty suspension parts, so it’s only natural to replace them as soon as your mechanic recommends it. When it’s time to shop for new suspension components, CarParts.com has you covered!

Our website is easy to navigate thanks to its user-friendly interface. You can even use your mobile devices to browse and sort through our catalog of high-quality auto parts. Use our built-in vehicle selector to check for fitment, and toggle our search filters to shop according to your preferred brand or price range.

We make sure that the order and delivery process is as smooth as possible with the help of our strategically located distribution centers. These warehouses are equipped with the latest technology to ensure orders are packed and out the door in as little time as possible. Place your order before noon ET and expect your delivery in as fast as two business days.

Get your vehicle back in tip-top shape in no time. Shop at CarParts.com to get the best deals on suspension components today!

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at CarParts.com

Tony Harlin is a Master Gas and Diesel Diagnostic Technician with over 18 years of experience. He works full-time at a large independent automotive shop as a driveability and repair technician working on all types of vehicles with a focus on diesels. ASE certifications include A1-A9, L1 and L2, as well as X1.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

bumpers and components
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Asad D.Dalia

Great and excellent explanation. Thank you

View all Questions & Answers

expand_more
CarParts.com Answers BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY: Share your knowledge & help fellow drivers Join Now