Can you Drive with a Nail in Your Tire?

Your car is more likely to hit a nail than you think. Not only that, the rubber tires surrounding the wheels will often get stuck with gravel, stones or small debris, and this is completely normal and it will not cause any damage. However, what happens when a nail gets stuck in a tire?

Can you drive with a nail in your tire?

A nail that falls on the road can hit the tire. So, should you continue driving with a nail in the tire? The answer is possible, you can still drive with a nail in the tire - but only if the tire is still holding air. Exploding or deflated tires will make driving your vehicle unsafe, in which case you should not drive anymore. Even if the tire is not deflated, we still recommend that you go to a repair center immediately.

Be aware that driving with a nail in your tire can result in more serious damage even if you only drive a short distance.

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.

A punctured tire: should it be repaired or replaced?

A punctured tire can still be repaired, but there are still cases where the tire fails to be repaired and tire replacement is the only safe option. With the nail still on the tire, it will help hold air, only the air pressure in the wheel will gradually decrease. Your mechanic will consider the following factors to determine if a tire is in need of repair or replacement:

  • Location of the puncture:

Tire repair: Puncture on tire tread.

Replace the tire: A puncture in the tire sidewall.

  • The size of the puncture:

Tire repair: The puncture is less than 0.24 inches.

Replace the tire: The puncture is larger than 0.24 inches.

  • The extent of damage:

Tire repair: Tire has only one puncture or punctures spaced at least 16 inches apart.

Replace the tire: Tire with multiple punctures located adjacent.

Tire rolling into the nail is a common situation encountered by many drivers. When unfortunately encountering this situation, if you want to continue your journey, immediately refer to the three great tips below.

First, when you find a nail in the tire, you need to check the condition of the tire to see if the puncture caused by the nail is deflated. If at the position where the nail is inserted into the tire, it does not deflate or deflate with a very small amount and still ensures the car reaches the nearest repair center, you should not remove the nail from the tire. In case it deflates the tire a lot and quickly deflates, you need to handle it on the spot with the following three excellent tips.


1. Change the spare tire

If you have a spare car tire and a full range of tools to change the tire, it is the best way to fix it. When changing a spare car tire, you need to follow the steps below to ensure the safest:

  • Step 1: Locate and place the jack. Place it under the car near the tire you want to change and pay attention to the metal part of the frame. Then, place the jack perpendicular to the ground.
  • Step 2: Loosen screws. Loosen the screws in a symmetrical position, but do not completely remove the screws.
  • Step 3: Lifting jack. Use a tire wrench set and turn clockwise to lift the wheel about 2 centimeters above the ground. This time, the jack acts as a pillar.
  • Step 4: Remove the wheel. Remove all the screws and lift the wheel out of the car.
  • Step 5: Replace the wheel. Insert the spare wheel. Pay attention that you need to install the screws in a symmetrical position. Do not need to over-tighten the screws in this step.
  • Step 6: Lower the wheel. You lower the wheel to the ground before tightening the screws
  • Step 7: Tighten the screws. Re-tighten all the screws with a wrench. By this time, you also fasten the screws in symmetrical positions.
  • Step 8: Remove the jack and complete the installation of the spare tire

2. Use self-healing glue

When car tires are stuck with nail, self-healing glue is also an effective and quick measure. This fix is convenient because you need to bring self-healing glue. Inject glue into the punctured tire position without removing the tire. If the tire has lost too much air, then you need to use an automatic air pump to inflate the tire.

Although being convenient and fast, this method has the major disadvantage of reducing the life of the tire. Due to long-term storage, the chemicals in the self-healing glue will gradually corrode the tires and wheels. Especially when moving, the tire heats and will cause the adhesive of the glue to melt into water. The additive in the glue will cause the tire's grip to decrease, potentially dangerous.

Therefore, using self-healing glue is only a temporary measure. It is vital that you still bring your car to the nearest garage for timely inspection and handling, ensuring safe driving.

3. Plug the leak with a patch


Patching tire is also an effective method for drivers to fix nailed car tires. To patch the tire, you do not need to remove the tire. Just pull the nail out of the tire. Then, use the plug kit in the punctured place. Insert the young rubber thread into the screw. Finally, seal the hole and cut off the excess rubber with scissors.

This measure is quick but only temporary. The tire can reduce air quickly. Therefore, after patching, the driver also needs to go to the nearest repair center or garage for technical staff to scrutinize it.

Notes on handling car tires with nail

The three tips for quick handling when the car tires are stuck with nail above are all simple. But when you do, do not forget the following notes:

  • Need to park neatly on the right side of the road or the safest place. Pay attention to turn on emergency warning lights or other necessary warning devices to warn vehicles in traffic.
  • It is always necessary to equip the tools on the car to overcome similar problems such as spare car tires, car tire inflators, and disassembly kits.
  • Before fixing, pay attention to check the condition of the air in the tire to conclude whether to remove the nail.

Quick fixes such as patching using glue are only temporary. Drivers still need to go to the nearest car garage to be checked and fixed.


Above are 3 handling methods you can use when there are nails in the tire. Note that these are only temporary remedies. The best and most thorough way to handle this in this case is always to bring the car to a reputable repair facility for a team of skilled technicians to patch or replace a new tire.

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