My Tire Has a Nail in It. What Should I Do?

At some point in your driving career you may walk up to your vehicle and notice the ominous glint of a nail head in the tread of your tire. It’s an uneasy feeling when you have to drive with a nail in your tire. What do you do about it? Do you need to have it fixed right away? Is the tire even leaking?

Just because you have a nail in your tire doesn’t mean you'll have a flat tire. In some cases, the nail can be short enough that it doesn’t even penetrate through the tire’s airtight lining. In other cases, it’s trajectory may have missed the lining altogether. Or if the nail did puncture right through the liner, it may be sealed or nearly completely sealed around the offending nail. Here’s what you should do:

Check your tire pressure

Always keep a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle. You should check your tire pressure every other time you fill your fuel tank. If the tire is significantly lower on pressure than it should be, put your spare tire on, or have a mechanic do it for you, and have the tire with the nail in it professionally repaired or replaced as soon as possible. If the air pressure is only slightly low, top it up and bring your vehicle to a tire repair shop to have it fixed properly.

Have the nail removed and the tire fixed

An often overlooked aspect of tire repair has to do with the steel belts inside the tire’s layers. When the tire is punctured, water, snow, and moisture can eat away at the steel belts and cause corrosion. This can compromise your tire and the belt might end up letting go and cause the tire to shimmy. Have the puncture hole repaired using a combination plug and patch, which is the only approved method of tire repair.

Replace the tire if necessary

Unfortunately, there are areas of the tire that cannot be repaired, such as the shoulder and the sidewall. In both of these locations, there is too much flex and movement and a plug-patch will not hold. Also, if the puncture is in the tread but the hole is larger than a quarter inch, it cannot be repaired safely. Whether due to location or size, there are times that a tire repair is not possible and the tire must be replaced entirely.

Don’t take a chance driving with a nail in your tire. Have a professional inspect and repair your tire as soon as you can.


Next Step

Schedule Tire Patch

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Tire Patch. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Tire Patch reviews

Excellent Rating

(171,627)

Rating Summary
161,099
5,644
1,174
834
2,876
161,099
5,644
1,174
834
2,876

Richard

21 years of experience
237 reviews
Richard
21 years of experience
Acura RSX L4-2.0L - Window is not working - Bonita Springs, Florida
Great and fast service!
Honda Civic - Camshaft Position Sensor Replacement - Fort Myers, Florida
On time and very professional and helpful

Chris

22 years of experience
2223 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee V6-3.7L - Oil Change - Lake Elsinore, California
On time. Excellent service as usual.
Volvo V40 - Starter - Irvine, California
As always, Chris did an excellent job.

Pardeep

21 years of experience
1068 reviews
Pardeep
21 years of experience
Hyundai Santa Fe V6-2.7L - Tire Patch - San Jose, California
Very quick and efficiento

Nestor

8 years of experience
23 reviews
Nestor
8 years of experience
Hyundai Santa Fe V6-2.7L - Tire Patch (Driver Side Front) - Boise, Idaho
Right on time, very knowledgeable and helpful on what needs to be done next. Thanks!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Know What Tires to Buy
Your Your vehicle requires traction in order to accelerate, brake efficiently, and maintain control when you are steering. In order to do those things well, you need to own good tires on your vehicle. There are hundreds of different tire...
A Guide to Tire Safety
When When sitting behind the wheel of a car, there are two things that most drivers want: to reach their destination, and to do so as safely as possible. This means having a car that is in good condition, and...
How to Handle a Burst Tire
Tires burst when the tire pressure is too low or too high, there is a mechanical defect in the tire itself, or a foreign object damages the tire.

Related questions

What do the service codes displayed in the Maintenance Minder™ mean?
While your Maintenance Minder™ is primarily designed to let you know when it’s time for your next oil change, it also displays codes for other needed services based on vehicle mileage. There are several different codes that can be displayed,...
P0755 & P0700 error codes
The problem with buying used tires and not having them balanced is the potential problems they can cause. Most transmissions - or more specifically, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) which controls the transmission and drive line - contain incredibly tight...
Hi i have a 2009 dodge journey and it drives great but if you get over 70mph it starts pulsating. What could that be?
Hello, thank you for writing in. 85% of the time, when you have issues driving at high speeds, specially when you can feel them and hear them, you have an issue with your tires. The best place to start is...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com