How long can you drive with a nail in your tire?

What Do You Do if There is A Nail in Your Tire?

You’ll know if you have a nail in your tire if you can actually see it, hear the clicking sound while driving, or notice your tire is slowly losing air. If you notice any of these signs, the best plan of action is to change out your tire for the spare. If you experience atire blow outor your tire goes totally flat and you continue to drive, you could do some serious damage to your rims, not to mention that it is also very unsafe.   

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What to Do if There’s a Nail in Your Tire

If you have a tire losing pressure because it has been punctured, you will need to take quick action to remain safe. Turn on your hazard lights and pull over in a safe location. Do a visual inspection of the tire to determine if it is safe to drive on or not. 

If the tire is flat, it’s best to replace it with a spare and head to the nearest repair shop. If you don’t have a spare or never learned how to change a tire, you want to contact roadside assistance for a tow to your local facility.

If the tire isn’t losing air, it might be safe to drive yourself to the nearest tire shop. However, you will want to be careful and take your time. 

Some people swear by DIY tire sealants, plugs, patches, and inflators, but these aren’t meant to fix the problem permanently. If you choose to use one of the unreliable quick fixes, it should only be to get to the repair shop. However, these fixes might increase your bill at the tire shop because they can also cause more long-term damage. 

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How to prevent having to replace a tire in the future

Road Hazard

While purchasing tire insurance like road hazard won’t keep you from getting a nail in your tire it will save you from having to dish out tons of money for a new tire. Tirerack.com offers road hazard protection on their tires. This lets you have peace of mind that if your tire is damaged and repairable the road hazard insurance will usually cover the cost of the repair.

Change Your Tire

Whether it’s actively leaking air or not, you shouldn’t let the problem fester—change your tire! Even if the nail is plugging the hole tight (preventing air from leaking), driving around on it will only make matters worse. There is a possibility that the nail could shift or work its way free and that could cause a blowout, endangering you and other drivers on the road.  

What should you do if there is a nail in your tire

Go to a tire shop

Go to a tire shop

Depending on the severity and the placement of the nail your local tire repair shop should be able to repair the tire. If the nail is in or too close to the sidewall they may require you to replace the tire completely.

It isn’t safe to repair a tire that has a nail, bulge, or puncture in the sidewall. If you can safely make it to a tire shop they should be able to give you a quote on how much it costs to repair the tire.

Signs to know there is a nail in the tire

  • If there is a nail in the tire on either side, the vehicle will slide to that side. The driver will feel it clearly, if it is in the front wheel, the car will drift more clearly.
  • The car is more inert, the accelerator pedal is heavier because the tire is deflated, the rim and tire are in direct contact with the road surface, which will create great friction and make it difficult to move.

Can you drive a car with a nail in the tire?

Odds are, if there’s a nail in your car’s tire, you’re not going to find it while conveniently parked in front of your local mechanic. That means, should your tire fall victim to a wayward piece of metal, you’re going to have to get it to the shop before it causes even more damage. But can you drive your car with a nail in the tire? It does seem like a bad idea.

Really, it all comes down to distance. Autoblog reports that the longer you drive with a nail in your tire, the more damage it can do. “As soon as you notice a nail in your tire, contact a tire store to have your tire inspected. Driving with a hole in your tire is potentially dangerous and could cause a blowout. Furthermore, driving too long with the nail can ruin the tire, so you will have to replace the entire tire, instead of having a small piece plugged,” Autoblog explains.

A mechanic working on a car tire. | Emmanuele Cian
A mechanic working on a car tire. | Emmanuele Ciancaglini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

RELATED: Say No to the Donut, Demand A Full Spare Tire Instead

How much does it cost to repair a tire with a nail in it?

Fortunately, this kind of repair isn’t all that expensive. Unless you need to have your tire completely replaced, Cash Cars Buyer reports that chances are you’ll be spending less than $50 to repair a tire with a nail in it. Not bad, right? Though, it’d probably be better just to avoid getting a nail stuck in your tire altogether.

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