What Causes Torque Steer and How to Stop It

Most of you might have heard of torque steer but are not fully aware of the nature of this phenomenon. It could be dangerous if it becomes severe but modern car owners don’t need to worry about it overall.

If you think your car behaves oddly while driving, chances are that you are experiencing this issue. If it’s in a serious stage, it can lead to dangerous situations in traffic or even end up with the car spinning out of control. Learn what it is, why it happens, and how bad it is for your vehicle.

What Is a Torque Steer?

This is a term used to describe an abnormal steering behavior, whereby the front wheels begin to turn in response to torque applied to the rear wheels.

When this happens, the vehicle tries to pull to one side at the time of acceleration. It will become evident during throttle application. The steering wheel in your hands will move by pulling hard.

Mostly seen in front-drive vehicles, it occurs because of irregular tire wear and/or uneven load distribution between the front and rear axles.

torque steer
FWD cars are more prone to experience this problem. (Credit: Royal Broil / Flickr)

What Causes Torque Steer?

It can happen when there are problems with the tire/wheel alignment or an improper application of pressure on one or more wheels. All these things cause uneven loading, which can lead to excessive steering.

The following are the most common causes:

Improper tire pressure

Low air pressure in one or more tires can create this problem. Improperly inflated tires can cause uneven loading, which will result in excessive steering when you turn, which can cause your car to spin out of control.

Tire wear

When one tire is worn more than the other, it can cause the steering wheel to turn more than one tire. Also, tire tread wear reduces the contact area between tire and road surface, which may lead to uneven loading and excessive steering in some but not all vehicles.

Wrong or defective alignment

Incorrect toe-in can also lead to uneven loading and excessive steering on some vehicles.

Wheel misalignment

If the wheel is not straight, it will have an effect on your vehicle and produce uneven torque.


The weight of passengers or cargo

If there is a lot of weight on one side of your vehicle it can cause uneven loading. As a result, the car can be pulled to one side when you are speeding up.

To prevent this problem from occurring, you should check your tire pressure and make sure that it’s the same on all four tires. This will ensure that they’re spinning at the same speed, so there is no possibility of generating uneven torque. If you have uneven tire wear, you must fix this problem as soon as possible.


Modern cars have enough engineering and technologies to prevent excessive torque steer. Unless you are driving a highly powerful FWD car, there is little chance that you will even notice the tugging of the steering wheel under acceleration. Always try to avoid the causes that have been mentioned above, and you will be safe on the road.