(Student pilot, ~ 22hrs training)
On a box-standard AI in a C172 there is a knob that allows you to move the symbolic airplane up and down. I've never managed to ask what it is for, but have now been intrigued enough to google it. An RC Allen instrument manual points out that it "adjusts the Symbolic Airplane to compensate for viewing parallax. Adjust Symbolic Airplane so that it is visually aligned with the horizon from pilot’s normal sitting position."
My best guess is that I could/should adjust it during the run-up along with the "instruments check" item on the checklist. However, is the Cessna always sitting correctly for that to be exact (or exact enough)? If there is a slightly different pressure in the nose wheel oleo the nose wouldn't necessarily point to the horizon, or when there is a slight slope of the taxiway/run-up area. Would it be better to (re-)adjust it in level flight?
Why do more modern AIs no longer appear to need that? The viewing parallax is still there, why isn't the button?