Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. My Tire Has a Nail in It. What Should I Do?

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

Nail in Tire

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

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

More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...

Related questions

Q: What precautions should I follow with the spare tire?

Your compact spare tire is essential – all it takes is one nail on the road to puncture a tire, and you’ll need a way to get going once more. The spare tire does just that. However, you’ll need to...

Q: Check Tire Pressure warning light coming on

Hi there. The tire pressure monitoring system uses a pressure sensor in each tire that sends a signal to the computer about the tire pressure. If the air pressure in the tires are at manufacturer specifications and the light is...

Q: Front Tires Wear on Inside Walls

If you are getting excessive inside wall tire wear you should have a mechanic like one from YourMechanic come to you and inspect the lower control arms for worn out lower ball joints or lower control arm inside bushings. Depending...