Vehicle misalignment can be tricky to diagnose since it’s not quite as obvious as something like a cut or a flat tire. Nonetheless, it’s important to check because wheel alignment ensures optimal drivability. This just means it helps your tires last longer, your vehicle driving smoother, and your wheels pointed in the right direction. To make it an even sweeter deal, this also means it uses less energy to do all of these things and therefore saves you gas as well.
On the flip side, misalignment can have a drastically negative effect on the steering and stability of your car. Plus, it can also cause rapid and uneven tire wear. The best way to avoid all of this is by checking your vehicle’s alignment about every 6000 miles or so. You should also be sure to check it after a collision, if it is used continuously on rough roads (particularly those with large potholes), and/or if you notice uneven tread wear. Squealing tires may also be a sign of misalignment. Finally, if you feel the steering “pulling” in one direction when driving straight on a flat road with no crosswind, you should have the alignment checked and adjusted at your local auto shop.