Getting your wheels aligned periodically is an easy way to improve your car's handling and improve the life of your tires. A wheel alignment consists of adjusting the camber, toe and turn-in to make sure that your wheels track in a straight line when you drive. Wheel alignments are needed if you corner aggressively, hit curbs, have an accident, drive with heavy loads or drive on roads with lots of potholes.
The procedure will often be referred to as a front end alignment which is a throwback to older car designs that often had rear wheel drive with a solid rear axle. Most cars today have independent rear suspensions and therefore most drivers need a four wheel alignment.
If your steering wheel vibrates when you drive or you notice that your car pulls to the left or the right when you're driving on a straight and flat road, you need to have your wheels aligned. Another big benefit of periodic wheel alignment is that it improves the life of your tires. If you buy new tires or have a suspension component serviced or replaced, you should get your wheels aligned. Wheel alignments are relatively inexpensive and require expensive machines to do, so it's a job best left to the professional.