Your car's tires are subjected to a massive amount of stress and wear even through normal driving conditions. This can lead to rapid degradation of their structural integrity, which can have a huge adverse impact on the performance and responsiveness of your vehicle while driving. In particular, constant wear on your tires can transfer into the suspension of your vehicle, causing your tires to come out of alignment and causing all sorts of other issues for your car. Understanding some of the signs associated with tires that have come out of alignment can help you identify the problem early so that you can head to a mechanic straight away.
Pulling to the Side
One of the clearest signs of tires that are not in proper alignment is if you notice that your vehicle will pull to one side of the road while you are driving. At first, this may be hard to notice, since the amount of pulling will be quite low, but it will gradually get worse as your tires and suspension continue to wear down. However, be sure to check to make sure that both of your tires are adequately filled with air: sometimes this issue can be attributed to uneven air pressure, which is an easier fix than aligning your tires.
Vibrating Steering Wheel
Another warning sign associated with misaligned tires is if you notice that your steering wheel is vibrating while you are driving, especially at higher speeds. This is because your tires are pulling apart in different directions, causing stress and vibrations to travel up the axles and into your steering wheel. This can reduce the amount of control that you have over your vehicle while driving, and also represents an increased amount of wear on various other mechanical parts within your vehicle, including the axles and steering column.
Crooked Steering Wheel
In a similar vein to the first point, misaligned tires can also cause your steering wheel to no longer sit properly when you are driving in a straight line. Because your vehicle is pulling to one side, you may have to compensate and hold the steering wheel crookedly in order to stay on the road. This usually manifests itself when your tire alignment has been allowed to deteriorate for an extended period of time, so you should notice the above two signs before you get to the point where your steering wheel no longer sits straight.
If you notice any of the above issues occurring, you may wish to visit an automotive shop for a wheel alignment or other necessary repair.