Tire rotation is vital to achieving even tread wear and long tread life. Rotation is necessary because of the uneven wear characteristics of each wheel position on the vehicle. Rotate tires at the vehicle manufacturers's recommended intervals or at 5,000 - 7,000 miles if not specified.
A good example is Front Wheel Drive vehicles which places braking, steering and driving forces on the front axle tires. Rear axle tires only receive braking forces resulting in a much faster wear rate for the front axle tires. Tire rotation for these vehicles therefore becomes very important for optimum tire life.
Wheel alignment and balancing are important for safety and maximum tread wear from your tires. Inspect your tires at least once a month for signs of uneven wear or damage (ie. cuts, cracks, splits, penetrations, bulges, and impacts.) Uneven wear patterns may be caused by improper inflation pressure, misalignment, improper balance or suspension neglect. If not corrected, further tire damage will occur. These conditions shorten the life of your tires and may result in loss of vehicle control and serious personal injury.
You should have your alignment checked periodically as specified by the vehicle owner's manual or whenever you have an indication of trouble such as pulling or vibration.