There comes a time in every car owner’s life when tire replacement can no longer be put off. A trip to the tire shop is imminent, either because a tire has blown, or there’s a sneaking suspicion that the current tires are not far from catastrophic failure. Whether you have premium tires on your vehicle or not, it’s important to recognize the signs that it’s time to replace your tires. Here are the three big signs that you should be aware of. Old You can tell how old your tires are by looking at the Tire Identification Numbers printed or embossed in your tire. For all tires, you want to look at the last two digits of the number. If your tire was made after 2000, the last two digits indicate the year. If your tire was made before 2000, then only the last digit identifies the year, since manufacturers didn’t believe their tires would still be on the road after ten years from the date of manufacture. Tire replacement is highly recommended at least every six years, and at the maximum, every 10 years, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration(NHTSA). Worn If your tires are worn down, you will be able to tell by inserting a penny, with Lincoln’s head pointing towards the center of the tire, into the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, then you’re in trouble. If you can’t see all of his head, then you may have a little time left. Bald patches are also a sign of uneven tire wear, and a signal that it’s time for replacement. If you’re not sure, bring your tires into an auto shop and have them give you an expert opinion. Pressure Are your tires constantly losing pressure? If you have had to keep filling the same tire up, more than once over a period of time, then it’s definitely time for tire replacement. If you’re thinking about just trying to cope with low tire pressure, then drop the idea right now. Low tire pressure can contribute to a blowout, as well as uneven tire wear, and make your wheel rims more prone to damage and cracks when you hit a pothole. Did you know that about 400 fatalities each year, according to the NHTSA, are due to tire failures? Whatever you do, you probably shouldn’t try to replace your tires yourself. Take your car to an auto repair services shop, so that you can be sure that the tires are properly balanced when they are put on. Tires that are out of balance can not only be a detriment to the lifespan of the tires, but they can cause unnecessary wear on your shocks, suspension, and bearings. Now that you know how to tell whether it’s time for your tries to go, all that remains is finding the right tires, but that’s another article altogether.