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What to do when you have a nail in your tire.

Danielle Williams November 30, 2016
Close up of nail in front of a car tire.
You’re leaving work, walking up to your car and you suddenly notice a nail head in your tire. Do you drive off and do nothing? Do you get it fixed immediately? Is the air in your tire leaking? There are so many questions about what to do next and we have the answers.

Having a nail in your tire, doesn’t mean you have a flat. But it does mean something is wrong and if you don’t get it repaired in time your tire could blow out or ruin completely. Don’t take a chance driving on the road with a nail in your tire. Instead follow these steps to get you back behind the wheel safe, sound and fast.

Step 1- Check the tire pressure ASAP.

It’s crucial to check the pressure in your tire when you have a nail or screw inside to ensure air isn’t leaving the tire rapidly. If the tire pressure is low, you should put on the spare right away until you can get it repaired or replaced by a professional. If you’re lucky and the tire pressure is only slightly low, fill the tire with air and head over to repair shop to get it fixed properly.

Step 2 – Fix the tire.

When you bring your tire into a repair shop it will be demounted and thoroughly inspected. If it’s a simple puncture to the center of the tread area, the nail will be removed and the hole repaired using a plug/patch combination. The repair shop will plug the hole from the outside and patch it from the inside of the tire. It doesn’t take much time and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Tip: It’s best to get this done by a professional. If not done correctly snow, water and other moisture can get in the tire and rust the steel belts.

Step 3- Replace the tire, if necessary.

In some cases, a plug/patch combination won’t work and the entire tire must be replaced. This happens if the size of the puncture is too large (¼ inch in diameter) or a certain area of the tire can’t be patched, like the sidewall or shoulder. It’s best to replace the tire instead of simply repairing it because you may ruin a part of the tire, blow it out and in the end it may cost you more if you get into an accident.

When it comes to your safety and other drivers on the road, if a tire is repaired incorrectly it can be deadly. Make sure to get your tire repaired properly by a professional if it gets damaged by a nail or screw so you can enjoy your drive.

If you do get a nail in your tire and need it repaired or replaced visit a CAA-Approved Auto Repair Service facility. CAA Certified dealers and facilities meet stringent requirements to deliver top-notch service for your vehicle for all your automotive needs. So get service you can trust today.