The Back End Of The Car Feels Like It’s Sliding: What To Do?

One of our readers wanted to check with us this unusual query: “the back end of the car feels like it’s sliding; what should I do?” We looked into it, and here is what we found.

You might sometimes feel the rear tires of your car sliding when driving at highway speed or even at a normal speed while in the city. The problem could be for various reasons or due to underlying issues such as lousy rear shocks, loose control arms, loose rear wheels, or steering wheels. Experts advise getting your car checked thoroughly to know the problem.


Back End Of The Car Feels Like It's Sliding


Poor Wheel Alignment

You should first check your car’s wheel alignment if you constantly feel that the back end of your vehicle is sliding. You can adjust the wheels’ alignment by adjusting your car’s suspension system.

Tire manufacturers can predict the level of adjustments required for optimal alignment. Experts advise checking the wheel alignment after traveling every 6,000 miles and when you feel your wheels sliding.

Bad alignment can lead to worn-out tread wear and pulling of your vehicle left and right while driving. An off-center steering wheel can result in poor wheel alignment as well. A good wheel alignment reduces wear and tear on brakes, tires, rear suspension, and steering.

Bad Shock Absorbers

The foremost reason for wheel slippage could be lousy shock absorbers. Your car might have a dismantled trackbar, or somehow it might have gotten disconnected.

Inspect your car thoroughly and check if the spring assemblies are in the correct place and if no wires are separate or loose. Inspect the condition of the control arms and check if you can spot any damage in arms, bushings, or bolts.

If you hear a whoo-whoo while driving, the culprit might be your air-compressed shock system. There must be a leak or damage in the air pressure regulating components of the system.

Faulty or leaky shock absorbers can lead the car’s sides to move; thus, the wheels lose grip. Experts advise you to check your brakes and the suspension system as well.

Excessive Treadwear

Treadwear is directly related to the slipping of the wheels. The tread’s low value decreases the tire’s overall traction, causing your wheels to slip. Wheel slippage due to soft tread usually occurs on wet roads or while accelerating your car from rest. Worn-out tires have poor tread value and can cause wheel slippage even in dry conditions.

How to know that your tire has a low tread? You can easily find low tread levels by inspecting the tires quickly. If you feel that the tread has reduced but cannot find it by just looking at it, you need to use the penny method.

In the penny method, you should put the head of the penny on the first tread. If you could spot Abe’s head, the tread would be severely reduced. In such conditions, it’s best to replace the tire.


Back End Of The Car Feels Like It's Sliding


Your Wheel Is Slipping

Have you ever noticed numbers or letters inscribed on your tire? Usually, you will see traction ratings on the tire AA, A, B, or C on the tire. AA is the highest traction, while C is the lowest. Wheel slippage mainly occurs in an accelerated vehicle. The force due to the forward acceleration becomes more than the traction of your tires. So, the more traction, the fewer the chances of wheel slippage.

If you put too much power on a low traction wheel, slippage will result. Experts recommend using tires with traction for wet conditions.

Overinflated Tires

Inflating a tire is a tricky thing! If you inflate less than required, the contact surface between the tire and the road increases. Thus increasing the resistance force on the car. But overflowing is not a good thing either.

The contact patch is the area where the rubber tire meets the floor. On overinflating, the contact patch decreases, thus lessening the traction. The less traction, the more the chances of slippage. So, if you overinflate your tire, you will end up with a stiffer tire, making it challenging to handle.

Additionally, you need to check the max PSI l of your car before inflating its tires. It is a measure of your tire pressure. But you should never inflate your tires to the max PSI if you want to avoid over-inflation. Instead, you should follow the recommended PSI mentioned in your car’s manual.

Wrong Tires

One of the primary reasons for the alignment issues of the wheel is the wrong tires. You often end up buying a tire that is not suitable for your car. It lacks the tread depth and pressure required for your car’s optimal performance.

Studying your vehicle’s requirements before purchasing any tire that the seller feels is suitable for your car and his pocket is crucial. You can buy a larger or smaller tire for your vehicle.


Back End Of The Car Feels Like It's Sliding


Tires For Larger Vehicles

There is a wide range of tires available for hundreds of kinds of vehicles in the market. High-weight cars such as SUVs, trailers, and trucks need larger tires to withstand the vehicle’s weight.

The weight helps increase the surface of contact between the tire and the road, thus improving traction. But larger tires often lead to slipping if the tread needs to be better to tolerate the car’s weight. If you own a lightweight vehicle or SUV, go for tires specially made for them.

Tires For Smaller Vehicles

Small, lightweight vehicles such as sedans do not put much weight on the tires. In the case of small tires, the contact patch or surface of contact between the road and the tires is less. Thus there is little traction to rely on.

So, small tires are more prone to slippage, especially when there is less weight putting pressure on the tires. Manufacturers made special tires for lightweight vehicles with better tread designs to improve traction. Some manufacturers even use different compositions of materials for making these tires.

You can feel your tire slipping suddenly without any relation to the weather, or it starts falling when it snow or rains in your area. To cease the problem, get new tires suited for your vehicle. Before purchasing the tires, ensure their composition, tread depth, size, and traction are appropriate for your car.


Back End Of The Car Feels Like It's Sliding


Frequently Asked Questions

Why does it feel like the back of my car is sliding?

The back of your car might feel like sliding if you have the wrong alignment. Alignment might occur due to a faulty suspension system, off-center steering wheel, or different sizes of tires. Moreover, if your tires have a bad treadwear rating, such as C, then your tires will lose grip and slip.

Why does my rear end feel loose?

Poor or worn-out components of the suspension system are the main culprit if your car’s rear end loosens. Worn-out rear shocks and suspension system lead to damaged tires, and loose rear ends.

Why is the back of my car swerving?

That is undoubtedly not a desirable situation. Your car might be swerving because of poor wheel alignment. Alignment issues disrupt the stability of your vehicle. Swerving can be due to loose sway bar links or wheel bearings.

Why does my car feel like it slides when I hit a bump?

Your car slides when you hit a bump mainly because it is bent to an extent where it cannot drive straight. This can happen due to low tire pressure or overinflated tires. Experts advise that before inflating your tires, check the recommended PSI.


Back End Of The Car Feels Like It's Sliding


Wrap Up

The main reason behind sliding wheels tires. You could have lousy treadwear or the wrong side of the tires. Or you might have poor alignment issues. Get your car checked adequately to find the culprit.

This will help resolve the tire slippage problem. Thank you for reading.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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