Getting a nail lodged in one of your car tires is something that is likely to happen at some point in your life.
While it certainly isn’t a pleasant experience, it’s nothing you should panic over. There are, however, a few things that you should know before doing anything. The tire itself is basically just a rubber cover for each wheel. You run over all sorts of things every day without realizing it, but some of them can damage your tire.
Repair vs. Replacement
The part of your tire that the nail punctures is very important. Depending on which area it is in, you could be able to get it fixed quick and cheap. The problem comes when you have a nail in the outer region of the tire’s tread. It can also be an issue if it is stuck in the sidewall. In these situations, you will probably have to replace the tire altogether.
A lot of the time it is possible to patch or plug a tire with a hole made by a nail or some other sharp object. This is typically a very cheap but effective fix, and it is pretty much the best case scenario.
When the mechanic inspects your tire, they will consider both the size and location of the hole. They might recommend that you replace the tire even if it can be patched. While a replacement might not be absolutely necessary, it is something to consider. The last thing you want is for a patch or plug to fail while you are driving.
If you find that the tire with the nail in it is leaking air, it is not safe to drive. This is especially true if air is escaping from the tire very quickly. You can keep filling the tire with air, but it’s not going to do any good until you get it fixed or replaced.
You will want to confirm whether or not the tire is losing air by using a tire pressure gauge device. These devices are fairly cheap and very handy to have in your vehicle. Some auto repair places have air pumps that will tell you the pressure of each tire. Reference your vehicle’s official manual to see what the ideal tire pressure is.
It is never a good idea to drive on a flat tire, as you could end up damaging the wheel. This could turn a relatively inexpensive repair or replacement into something much worse. If you are ever stranded somewhere with a flat tire, you should call roadside assistance.
Make sure that you have a spare tire in your car for this precise situation. The roadside assistance technician will be able to change your tire for you. You won’t be able to go very far with the spare, but it should be enough to get you by until you can get a proper replacement. You shouldn’t try to drive a long distance with the spare on, as it could blow out and cause even more damage to your vehicle.
There are certain things that you can do to prepare for getting a nail stuck in your tire. This includes having a portable air compressor in your trunk at all times. It can help you to get to your destination so you aren’t stranded. It is also a good idea to learn how to change a tire. While you might be able to get help if you have a flat, you shouldn’t count on it.
You want to make a point of keeping your tires inflated to an ideal pressure at all times. Perform a visual inspection of all your tires once in a while to see if any of them look like they are losing air. You should also use your gauge device to check the air pressure just to make certain that none of them are low.
Reasons not to Drive with a Nail in Your Tire
There are multiple reasons why you probably shouldn’t drive around with a nail in one of your tires. The best reason is that it is potentially dangerous. If you experience a blowout while you are driving, your vehicle could spin out of control. This puts your well-being and that of other drivers at risk.
Another good reason not to do this is because you might end up doing even more damage to your vehicle. Driving with a nail in your tire can potentially cause problems with the wheel, which will be a lot more expensive to replace.
You will end up saving yourself a lot of money by simply getting the tired plugged or replaced as soon as possible. If the tire is losing a lot of air, you should have your vehicle towed to a mechanic that can work on it. There is simply no point in risking a serious accident with something like this.
Can I Fix it Myself?
If you want to save some money and attempt a repair on your own, there are tire patch kits you can buy. You will first need to confirm that the nail is not in a place that will require you to replace the tire. These kits include instructions that you can follow to get the job done. While this isn’t a particularly complicated job, you might want to leave it up to a professional. It is very important that you patch your tire correctly the first time around.
Consider Your Situation
Before you decide to keep driving despite having a nail in your tire, you need to consider a few things. If you are only 5 or 10 minutes from home, you can probably make it without any serious consequences. This is assuming that the tire is not flat.
If you are still quite a ways from home, it is best to just call roadside assistance, change the tire yourself, or have it towed to a nearby garage. Make sure that you check the tire pressure before making a decision if you have a device that will allow you to do so.