You would be surprised how much debris is out on the road waiting for your tires. And you don’t even have to drive by a construction site to find it. It is very common for nails and screws to end up on the normal roads and neighborhood streets your car drives.
Since it is pretty easy to be the unlucky driver with a nail in their tire, what should you do if this happens to you? Is it safe to keep driving along or do you need a repair and new tires ASAP? We’ll walk you through what you can do if you find a nail stuck in your tire and when to get help from auto experts who can help you repair or replace your tires.
CAN I DRIVE WITH A NAIL IN MY TIRE?
Driving with a nail in your tire is never something you should ignore. In a best-case scenario, you can drive with a nail in your car’s tire for the short term.
WHEN YOU CAN DRIVE:
Keep a close eye on your Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warning light. If a nail is embedded in your tire and you aren’t losing tire pressure, you should be okay to make the brief trip home or to the repair shop to assess damage. Short journeys under 20 miles are doable, but if you don’t want to take the risk, replace the wheel with your spare tire or call a tow truck for help transporting your vehicle.
WHEN YOU SHOULDN’T DRIVE:
If you have a flat, or your car is steadily losing tire pressure, your vehicle is not fit to drive. Driving on dangerously low tire pressure can cause your tire to overheat and result in a blowout. At this point your best options are either to swap out the damaged tire with a spare or call for roadside assistance.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR TIRE FOR DAMAGE
What do you do next when you spot a nail in your tire or see punctures in your wheel? Is it possible for your tire to be repaired or will the whole thing need to be replaced? This all depends on the level of damage to your tire. When your tire is damaged by sharp objects you should look for:
- Size of punctures: It is possible to repair a hole in your tire that is under ¼ inch in diameter. If punctures are larger than this the tire will need to be replaced.
- How many holes: The more damage there is, the more likely your tire will need to be replaced. If the space between punctures is at least 16 inches apart, you may be able to repair your tire. If you see clusters of holes that are close together, you are better off replacing with a new tire.
- Where your tire is punctured: Depending on where the puncture is, a nail in a tire can permanently ruin the tire. If a nail makes a hole in the sidewall or shoulder of a tire, it is permanently damaged and will need to be replaced.
HOW TO FIX A TIRE WITH A NAIL PUNCTURE
A nail in your tire is not something to overlook. It can be hard to tell the damage and continuing to drive on one can ruin your tires and cause more harm to your vehicle. Luckily, if you stop by Tires Plus our expert technicians can get your vehicle back in road-ready condition. Plus, if you have our Road Hazard Protection Warranty, your tire replacement could even be covered. Whether you need tire repair services or new tires, visit your nearest Tires Plus for all your tires needs.