Have you ever gotten a nail in your tire? You may be wondering how long can you drive with a nail in your tire. Depending on the nail and placement the time may vary. In addition, if the placement can also affect how long before your tire goes flat.
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How long can you drive with a nail in your tire depends on,
The nail type
If the nail in your tire is small it may not cause any issues at all. If this is the case you can drive your car until your tire tread is at a replacement height. Some nails don’t puncture the inner portion of the tire. As long as you aren’t losing air you should be able to drive quite a few miles. Just keep in mind that as you drive the nail might get closer to puncturing the inside of your tire.
If the nail is large then you may want to get it removed as quickly as possible. Larger nails puncture the interior of the tire better than small nails. That means you are more likely to have an air leak. If the air leak is bad enough you might have a completely flat tire. It’s best to get the tire repaired as soon as you can.
If you ran over a screw and it’s still in the tire you probably want to get it replaced soon. Screws can create an area for air to pass through which will probably make you have a flat tire.
If the nail is in the center of the tire and you aren’t losing any air you may be able to get away with driving for a while. Although if your air pressure is going down you probably want to get it replaced as soon as possible.
If the nail is in the sidewall then the tire is ruined. Your local tire shop will have to replace the tire. Because sidewall damage is different than tire tread damage a repair cannot be made.
If your tire is leaking air due to a nail or a screw then you will want to drive to a tire shop. As long as you have 27psi or more pressure in your tire you should be able to make it. Although the lower the pressure the more likely you are to have a blowout. To be safe if you have tire pressure much lower than what your owner’s manual says then you’ll probably want to call a tow truck.
What should you do if there is a nail in your tire
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.
Tire plug kit
If you are comfortable with plugging a tire you could try a tire plug kit. These kits come with a couple of drill tools, rubber cement, and rubber plugs. By removing the screw and filling the hole with a plug you might be able to get plenty of miles out of your tire.
Although you want to make sure that you follow the instructions and don’t try to repair anything near the sidewall.
How to prevent having to replace a tire in the future
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.