What to Do if You Find a Nail in Your Tire

In life, it’s always nice to be prepared for anything. That’s why we keep a rainy day fund when things get tough. Or we keep a few canned goods in the pantry when you aren’t in the mood for cooking and you need food right away. But it’s hard to be prepared for everything. Especially when it’s terribly unexpected things like, let’s say, finding a nail in your tire. So, what to do if you find a nail in your tire? Let’s take a look.

Small but Terrible

How to protect your tires from nailsIt’s amazing how a little nail can instantly turn our day around. You might be going home after a long day at work or just about to start a day and the effect is the same.

And rightfully so! A nail, screw, or piece of sharp metal embedded in tires have left thousands of people stranded. Nobody really wants to be part of the statistics so let’s try to find out how we can prevent getting random nails in our tires.

First off, you need to stay away from areas where nails are being used on a normal basis. This may sound like an obvious suggestion, but it’s easy to forget on your daily commute. Areas with ongoing construction, road repair, or downed poles or trees are hotspots for random sharp metal objects. If you can’t help but go through such areas, take extra precaution and watch where you are going. Avoiding random blocks of wood or piles of trash helps as there might be nails embedded in the wood or among the trash.

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You can also make it a habit to check your tires every now and then for any embedded metal objects. It will take you 5-10 seconds per tire and it will save you a lot of trouble.

What to Do if You Find a Nail in Your Tire

How to protect your tires from nailsNow, if you already have a nail in your tire then you first have to relax and check the affected tire. It’s a possibility that your tire may not be flat after getting a hit. If it only lost some air pressure, it’s best to fill it up again and then rush directly to a repair shop. If the tire is already flat, better replace it with your spare then take the punctured wheel to the repair shop.

In the repair shop, the nail can easily be extracted and you might be given two choices in repairing the tire; a plug or a patch. Depending on the diameter of the hole left behind (from the inside and outside), the expert might suggest doing a combo solution of a plug then a patch. This will ensure that the tire will not lose any air while driving and will also protect the steel belt in your car tire from getting corroded.

However, not all punctured tires can be saved. Sometimes, the hole gets too big or the affected area is located in a sensitive area of the tire. The latter can result in weakening the overall integrity of the car. In cases like these, replacing the tire is necessary. This will save you a lot of money and trouble because a weakened tire can result in accidents.

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Precautions and Preventive Measures

How to protect your tires from nailsNo matter how careful we are with how we drive and where we drive to, at one point a nail will definitely puncture your tire. So aside from trying your best to avoid getting nails stuck in your tire, here are several other suggestions that can help.

  • Consider using a tire sealant. While there are still debates going on whether a tire sealant is worth the trouble or not, it can actually help you in a pinch. Basically, tire sealants plug any holes created by nails or other sharp objects so that you don’t lose air as you run with a punctured tire. However, it can be quite messy and repairing your tire might harder for the repair guys.
  • Look at puncture resistant strips if you have older tires. Most older tires (considering they are still road worthy) weren’t created to be puncture resistant. Adding puncture resistant strips on the inside tread of the tire increases its durability which means a nail might not penetrate the tire.
  • Invest in puncture resistant tires if you are in the market. They cost extra and might be harder to find but they will save you a lot of time and effort in going to the repair shop.

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About the Author: Tung Chi