Can You Drive With A Nail In Your Tire?

Driving with a nail in your tire is generally safe, although addressing the issue immediately is important. So, Can You Drive With A Nail In Your Tire? Nails and other small debris commonly get lodged in tires without causing immediate damage. However, it isn’t easy to detect a nail while driving, and it may only be noticed once a routine inspection or other tire-related services are needed.

Although a nail can be tightly lodged, preventing air from escaping, it’s only a matter of time before the tire eventually goes flat due to shifts in position or increased wear. It’s recommended to have the nail removed by a professional, as sometimes the tire can remain inflated after removal. If not, it’s advisable to replace the tire and, if applicable, consider replacing the other tire on the same axle to maintain even wear.

Signs to Know The Nail In The Tire

  •  A nail in the tire can cause the vehicle to slide toward the affected side, resulting in a noticeable deviation while driving.
  •  The driver will experience a clear sensation of the nail’s impact, particularly if it is located in the front wheel, causing more pronounced drifting.
  •  Due to tire deflation, the vehicle’s performance becomes sluggish with a heavier accelerator pedal.
  • Direct contact between the rim, tire, and road surface creates      `significant friction, making it difficult for the vehicle to move.
  • Detecting a nail in the tire can occur when one tire appears low on air or goes completely flat while driving.
  • Regular tire inspections, such as during car washes or as part of a road-trip checklist, can help identify nails or other issues early on.

Can you drive with a nail in your tire?

Driving with a nail lodged in your tire can cause concern. When a nail strikes your tire while on the road, you might wonder if it is safe to continue driving. The answer is yes, you can drive with a nail in your tire, but only if the tire maintains air pressure. However, driving with a nail in your tire, even for short distances, can lead to more severe damage.

Can-You-Drive-With-A Nail-In-Your-Tire

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If your tire remains inflated despite the nail, you can drive a short distance to reach a nearby repair or tire centre. Although the nail likely caused a puncture, it might also be a temporary plug for the hole it created.

It means that while the tire is leaking air due to the nail, the rate of air loss is slower than if the nail had fallen out. As a result, you can typically drive to the nearest service centre without encountering significant issues.

Nevertheless, it is unsafe to continue driving with a nail in your tire for an extended period. The tire will gradually lose air over time without prompt repair or replacement. It can lead to two potential problems.

Firstly, your tire will eventually become completely flat, making driving unsafe on three properly inflated tires and one underinflated tire. Additionally, driving on a flat tire can cause damage to your wheel rims. Secondly, driving with a punctured tire increases the risk of a blowout, which can pose a serious hazard.

To avoid further damage and ensure your safety, it is strongly recommended that you visit a repair centre as soon as possible, even if the tire has not deflated completely. Driving with a nail in your tire, even for a short distance, should be followed by immediate professional attention to address the issue and avoid potential complications.

How To Get A Nail Out Of Your Tire Easily

  • When encountering a nail in your tire, it is advisable to avoid removing it yourself, as a deeply embedded nail can act as a temporary plug, preventing air leakage.
  • Seeking professional assistance is recommended when dealing with a nail in your tire.
  • Upon taking your vehicle to a repair shop, fixing a tire with a nail typically involves removing the tire from the wheel and implementing a plug and a patch. The plug fills the hole caused by the nail, while the patch ensures the tire retains the air.
  • However, not all tires can be salvaged after sustaining a nail puncture. If the nail has penetrated the tire’s shoulder or sidewall, a replacement tire will likely be necessary. For punctures in the tread, if the hole exceeds a quarter-inch, repair may not be a safe option.
  • Tire repair shops can assess the damage caused by the nail and determine the appropriate course of action, ranging from simple repairs to tire replacement.
  • In cases where tire replacement is required, replace the tire on the opposite end of the axle to ensure even tire wear. Manufacturers generally approve replacing a single tire if the others still have sufficient tread depth, typically over 4/32 of their original depth.
  •  It is essential to consult with professionals to determine the best course of action based on the extent of the nail’s damage and the condition of the affected tire.

Can a punctured tire be repaired, or should it be replaced?

Repairing a punctured tire is possible in certain cases, but there are instances where tire replacement becomes the only safe solution. When evaluating whether a tire can be repaired or needs to be replaced, your mechanic will consider several factors:

1. Damage Extent:

   – Tire repair: Tire has a single puncture or punctures spaced at least 16 inches apart.

   – Replace the tire: Tire has multiple adjacent punctures.

2. Puncture Size:

   – Tire repair: Puncture is smaller than 0.24 inches.

   – Replace the tire: Puncture is larger than 0.24 inches.

3. Puncture Location:

   – Tire repair: Puncture on the tire tread.

   – Replace the tire: Puncture in the tire sidewall.

Encountering a nail in the tire while driving is a common situation. If you wish to continue your journey, consider the following three essential tips:

1. Check the tire’s condition:


 Assess if the nail puncture has caused significant deflation. If the tire remains inflated or has minimal deflation, allowing you to reach the nearest repair centre safely, avoid removing the nail from the tire.

2. Address immediate deflation:

If the tire experiences substantial and rapid deflation due to the nail puncture, handle the situation on the spot with the following three effective tips.

3. Seek professional assistance:

Consult a tire repair professional to assess the damage and determine the best course of action based on the deflation’s severity and the tire’s condition.

Cost To Repair A Tire With A Nail In It?

The cost of repairing a tire with a nail is generally quite affordable. Unless the tire requires full replacement, the expense involved is typically under $50, as Cash Cars Buyer reports. Considering the potential savings, repairing a tire with a nail is a relatively reasonable amount.

However, it is always advisable to take preventive measures and avoid encountering a nail lodged in your tire. Practising caution and maintaining awareness can reduce the chances of dealing with such issues and the associated costs.


Tires can lose air quickly. Consequently, the driver must also go to the nearest repair centre or garage to have it inspected by technicians after patching.

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