1997 Ford Thunderbird, pulls right while driving intermittenly, always pulls left while braking. It makes a loud noise while driving, but when the front end is on jackstands, and no weight on the wheels, it stops making the sound. it is not the power steering pump making the sound, the brake pads on both sides are in tact, and less than a month old, the tires are new, alignment was done, no parts on the suspension are loose enough to make them budge /at all/ by hand. Any ideas would be helpful.

2 Answers 2


Check the condition of the brake flexi hoses. These perish over time, and can often clug inside, effectively either locking the relevant brake on or preventing it from applying fully, thus casuing the car to pull to the side.

Suspension bushes can be worn enough to cause issues without being bad enough to move by hand - try using a small lever to move them and see if anything there looks suspect.

Thunderbirds are rear wheel drive aren't they? Have you checked the rear suspension as well? The symptom of a car pulling one way when driving and the other when braking is typical of worn suspension bushes on one or more driven wheels, allowing the wheel in question to pull forward under power and drag backward under braking.

  • It is definitley, without a doubt, coming from the front. while having an assitant turning the wheels, I could feel the vibrations and hear the sound coming from the front driver side wheel well with my hand on the hub (I am the original poster, just not logged into the stackexchage account)
    – Mike Cap
    Sep 8, 2011 at 21:14
  • Update: the rotors are not warped, and to clarify, the sound it is making is like a groaning, creeking type sound, only while turning.
    – Mike Cap
    Sep 8, 2011 at 21:54
  • Still sounds like a suspension problem to me. Have you checked that there is nothing bent or misaligned in the suspension on that side?
    – Nick C
    Sep 9, 2011 at 12:35
  • My bet is on the right hose being a bit clogged, especially since the car pulls the opposite direction when not braking, which is likely because the brake doesn't fully disengage on the right side.
    – vlsd
    Jun 11, 2012 at 19:33

Check the donut shaped strut rod bushings that go into the control arm. They look like rubber donuts. Have someone sit in the car and drive it back back and forth when they hit the brake. If the bushings are bad you will see the wheel actually move when you hit the brake.

Secondly check the ball joints. jack up the control arm so the weight of car rests on it and check for any play. They are known to fail on these cars. You should replace the entire arm if that is the case.

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