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Nail In Tire Repair Tips: How To Spot The Nail + 3 Fixes

July 31, 2022

Although many things can cause a tire puncture, an annoying nail in your tire may top the list. 

But what do you do next? 
Do you drive away or get it fixed?
What is the appropriate nail in the tire repair? 

Don’t worry! We’ll help clear all your doubts.

In this article, we’ll look at four ways to spot the nail in your tire, and also find out if you can drive with this type of tire puncture. We’ll then cover three possible “nail in the tire repairs.” 

This Article Contains: 

Let’s dive in.

How To Know If There’s A Nail In My Tire?

A nail in your car tire doesn’t imply that it’s flat. But if you don’t spot it quickly and get it fixed by an auto repair professional, it could result in a damaged tire. 

Here are a few ways to spot a punctured tire:

1. Low Tire Pressure

The most common sign of a punctured tire is persistent low tire pressure. This indicates that your tire is continuously losing air. 

One way to spot a nail in the tread is to fill your tire with air and monitor tire pressure via a tire pressure monitoring system. If low tire pressure returns quickly, you may have a punctured tire.

2. Visual Inspection

You can try to visually inspect your tires to spot the nail. Regular checks and tire service can help you ensure tire safety and spot an unnoticed, slow tread puncture. If ignored, it may slowly lead to air loss and ultimately result in a flat or damaged tire.

A visual inspection will also help you find issues like uneven tire wear, low tire tread depth, low tire pressure, etc. 

3. The Soap Test

A soap test is an efficient way to determine a nail puncture’s location, especially if it’s small and doesn’t cause major pressure loss.

You can start by spraying soap water on your tire tread. If there’s a tire puncture, the spot will let out air — creating air bubbles. This will help you figure out the nail position and get a tire repair done before it’s too late.

4. Professional Insight

If you have trouble spotting a tire puncture or a nail in your tire tread, contact your mechanic for routine tire service or maintenance at a certified tire repair shop. With expert knowledge and experience, a tire technician can easily spot and fix such issues.

Now you may be wondering…

Can I Drive With A Nail Puncture In My Tire?

If you have a punctured tire due to a nail, have your car tire repaired or replaced immediately.

You may be able to drive short distances. But it’s not safe to drive with a nail in your tire tread as it can quickly turn into a flat tire — making you susceptible to blowouts and severe accidents. 

This is why you should always carry a spare tire. 

It’s also essential to shop tires with a good tire warranty for longevity. To do so, choose a good tire manufacturer like BFGoodrich Tires or Bridgestone. 

Finally, routine services like tire rotation and following good driving tips like gentle braking will help your tires last longer too. So if you suspect a nail in your tire tread, contact a tire shop or mechanic ASAP. They’ll help you repair or procure new tires with a good tire warranty.

So how do you fix a nail in your tire?
Let’s find out!

Nail In Tire Repair Tips: 3 Ways To Fix It

There are multiple ways to fix a tire. Here are three ways to do a nail in tire repair:

1. Tire Plug Kit

In an emergency, buy a tire patch or tire plug kit to fix your tire in case you can’t contact a tire mechanic. A tire plug kit contains all the necessary tools like tire plugs, pliers, a rasp tool, etc.

Warning: DIY kits like a tire patch or a tire plug kit aren’t foolproof. Sometimes using a plug or tire sealant might cause tire damage beyond repair. 

If you opt to repair the tire this way, ensure to call a certified auto service professional or a tire repair service afterward to fix your tire for good. 

Now, here’s how you can use a car tire plug kit:

  1. Remove the tire if you can’t access the nail. To do so, lift your car with a car jack and unbolt the lug nuts to take your car tire off.
  1. Once you locate the nail, determine if you can repair the tire puncture with a temporary tire plug. You can only use a temporary tire plug for a small tread puncture. 
  1. Then remove the nail with the help of needle nose pliers. 
  1. Insert and turn the rasp tool in the hole to create rough edges for the rubber plug to hold on to.
  1. After you pull out the rasp tool, push the tire plug into the hole with the help of the insertion needle and pull the needle out.
  1. Once done, cut the plug’s excess rubber ends so it stays snug in the tire.
  1. If you have a flat tire, end the process by inflating the plugged tire with an inflator and a gauge.

You can drive your plugged tire safely for about 8 miles. This will give you enough time to find a safe place to change into a spare tire or drop by an auto service or tire mechanic to fix the issue permanently.

2. Professional Help

The best way to fix your tire is to contact a certified tire technician or a tire repair shop to take a look at your tire. 

Here’s how they may repair your tire: 

  1. Your mechanic may take the car tire out of the rim for easy access.
  1. The tire mechanic will pull out the nails using pliers and mark the hole with chalk.
  1. They’ll then apply a buffering solution and polish the puncture with sanding paper to smooth the surface.
  1. Then they’ll fix the hole by inserting a radial patch through the hole from the inside of the tire.
  1. Once done, your tire mechanic will spread tire chemical care around the rough patch string and pull it out.  
  1. Finally, they’ll cut the leftover string and reinstall the tire.

3. Replacing the Tire

If the nail puncture is more than 1⁄4 inch (0.64 cm) across, you’ll have no choice but to buy a new tire. 

Here are more reasons why you may have to shop for new tires:

A routine tire service like tire rotation will help you prevent tread thinning and wear. You can also carry spare tires to avoid getting stranded. 

Closing Thoughts

A nail in tire repair can be a challenging task to DIY. If not done right, you could end up with a flat tire, get stranded, or even blow up your tires. 

That’s why you have RepairSmith.

We’re a mobile auto repair and maintenance solution, available 24/7. You can also avail of upfront pricing, convenient online booking, and a 12-Month, 12,000-Mile warranty on all our repairs.

So the next time you have a punctured tire, contact RepairSmith, and our ASE-certified mechanics will drop by to deliver a top tire repair service!