Car Repair and Maintenance

Can I Drive with a Nail in My Tire?

Can I drive with a nail in my tire? You can drive with a nail in your tire if the tire isn’t flat. Just don’t continue for too long with the nail stuck in it. The tires will even often pick up other stuff such as debris, pebbles, or gravel, but foreign stuff such as nails can be more worrisome.

Can I drive with a nail in my tire?

Can I drive with a nail in my tire

NO, and YES, you can drive with a nail in your car tire. However, nail size, driving speed, and vehicle weight factor into it, and you must not drive for too long.

Meanwhile, if the low-pressure warning light is active on your dashboard and you have a nail in your tire, do not attempt to remove it. Allow the nail to remain in the tire; it serves as a plugging alternative, except you have the skill and tools to plug or repair the tire immediately.

You may drive to a tire shop if your tire is losing air and buzzing/hissing without removing the nail. Your tire will not run flat instantly with the nail in it, but you must not cover a too long distance. Otherwise, the nail will escape the tire after wearing the hole.

As a mechanic, I can tell that most tire repair professionals dislike Fix-a-Flat. Meanwhile, how long can you drive with a flat car tire? If your car is sitting on the road, find a professional to plug your tire or fix the bust

If your tire is so flat that you can pull the nail in it, you can pump Fix-a-Flat. Inform the tire repair professional about the Fix-a-Flat before the work on the tire. Unfortunately, Fix-a-Flat messes with the tire and may explode or inflame until it is cleaned.

Note that a plugged or Fix-a-Flat tire is not a fixed tire; the repair is temporary. With a TPS (Tire Pressure Sensor) system on your newer vehicle, Fix-a-Flat must be removed ASAP. Fix-a-Flat does not ruin the tire sensor, but you can visit the nearest tire store as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, even a short distance of driving with a nail in your tire might result in more severe damage.

What happens if you drive with a nail in your tire?

What happens when you drive with a nail in your tire would depend on the size of the nail, vehicle weight, and driving speed. While the nail might be plugging your tire, it could shift or escape the tire, causing a blowout, which endangers you and other road users.

If the tire is not leaking or hardly buzzes, you may drive to the closest tire repair shop for plugging. At the repair, it is OK to remove the nail since the professional can fix it. If the distance to the nearest tire shop is far, replace the tire with the spare to keep it from damaging after a long drive.

What if your spare tire is bad? If your spare tire is bad, you may drive the car with a nail, but do not exceed 45 mph. Enable your hazard light and avoid potholes too.

You can always patch the tire using your patch kit. However, it requires strength but will get you to a tire shop safely.

Should I drive with a nail in my tire?

You can still repair a punctured tire, however, there are situations in which repair is impossible and replacement is the only safe option. With the nail remaining on the tire, it will aid in air retention, but the tire’s air pressure will progressively fall. The following characteristics will be considered by your mechanic to determine if a tire requires repair or replacement:

  • Location of the puncture
  • The size of the puncture
  • The degree of damage

A tire rolling over a nail is a typical occurrence for many drivers. If you encounter this unpleasant circumstance and wish to continue your journey, you can simply refer to the following three helpful suggestions immediately.

When you discover a nail in a tire, you must first examine the tire’s condition to determine if the nail-caused puncture has deflated the tire. If at the point where the nail is inserted into the tire, it does not deflate or only deflates a very tiny amount, and the car can still reach the nearest repair shop, the nail should not be removed. If the tire deflates significantly and rapidly, you must address the situation immediately using the following three tips.

1. Change the spare tire

If you have a spare tire and a complete set of tools to replace it, it is the best way to fix the problem. When replacing a spare tire, you must take the following precautions to ensure your safety:

  • First, locate and position the jack. Put it under the vehicle near the tire you wish to replace, paying close attention to the metal frame. Then, position the jack parallel to the ground.
  • Symmetrically loosen the screws, but do not remove them entirely.
  • Turning clockwise with a tire wrench set, raise the wheel approximately 2 centimeters off the ground. In this instance, the jack serves as a column.
  • Remove the wheel. Remove all of the screws and remove the wheel from the vehicle.
  • Replace the wheel. Install the spare tire. Note that the screws must be installed in a symmetrical location. In this stage, you do not need to overtighten the screws.
  • Step six is to lower the wheel. The wheel is lowered to the ground before the screws are tightened.
  • Afterward, tighten the screws. Retighten every screw with a wrench. At this point, the screws are also secured in symmetrical positions.
  • Remove the jack and complete the spare tire installation.

2. Use self-healing adhesive/glue

The self-healing adhesive is an excellent and speedy method for removing nails from car tires. This repair is convenient because the self-healing adhesive is required. Inject adhesive into the punctured area of the tire without removing it. If the tire has lost too much pressure, an automated air pump must be used to inflate it.

This approach is convenient and quick, but it has the primary disadvantage of shortening the tire’s lifespan. The chemicals in the self-healing adhesive will eventually degrade the tires and wheels due to long-term storage. Particularly when in motion, the tire’s heat will cause the adhesive to transform into water. The ingredient in the glue will reduce the tire’s traction, which could be hazardous.

Hence, employing self-healing glue is a temporary solution. To ensure safe driving, you must still bring your car to the local mechanic for timely inspection and maintenance.

3. Use a patch to plug the leak

Patching tires is another excellent approach for repairing flat tires. The tire does not need to be removed to be patched. Just remove the nail from the tire. Then, use the plug kit to repair the puncture. Put the young thread made of rubber into the screw. Then, use scissors to trim the excess rubber and seal the hole.

This solution is expedient but only temporary. The tire can rapidly lose air pressure. Hence, after applying the patch, the driver must take the car to the nearest repair facility or garage for technical personnel to inspect it.

Meanwhile, apart from nails, low pressure in a tire can cayse the tire fo flex beyond its limits, overheat, and explode—Allstate.

What to do when you find a nail in your tire

If your tire pressure indicator activates and you can tell by the sound or feel of your car that one of your tires is losing pressure or has flattened, turn on your hazard lights and pull over at the earliest safe location. Ensure that your car is sufficiently enough from the road to avoid being struck by approaching vehicles! Finally, inspect your tires for damage and air loss. After discovering that you have a punctured or flat tire, you must decide whether to continue driving or contact a towing agency.

Replace a flat tire with a spare if you have one if you have a flat tire. If you do not have a spare tire or are unable to change a tire, have your car towed to the nearest repair shop.

Admittedly, some modern cars do not include spare tires, and others have the spare tire fixed in such a stupid location that it is extremely difficult to remove it.

If you discover a foreign object, such as a nail, embedded in the tire, you may be able to avoid the towing service and drive to the nearest tire repair shop. Again, check if the tire is losing air; in most circumstances, a trapped nail will not cause immediate air loss, but rather a slow decrease in air pressure.

If so, you should be able to safely drive your car to a tire expert to have the tire patched or fixed. Professionals in the tire industry are prepared with the necessary skills, tools, and knowledge to repair a tire with a lodged nail. They are the most qualified individuals to perform tire repair as a permanent solution for your car.

How long can you drive with a nail in tire?

You can drive with a nail in the tire for weeks or thousands of miles, but only if you intend to get rid of the tire. Driving on a nail in a tire for an extended period damages the tire, though. So, as long as the tire does not run flat or the nail size is small, you can keep driving at your peril. Note that a nail in a tire threatens public safety.

If you drive on a regular tire, you can’t go too long with a nail in it. However, you can drive for a long time on a run flat because it features a rigid interior for tire support.

Despite running on a run-flat tire, it is not advisable to drive for an extended distance because it overheats the tire from the flexing. The tire may also become irreparable.

A run-flat tire mitigates accidents and the tire from running flat instantly. It allows you to drive with a nail in your tire some reasonable distance, if necessary, to get a fix.


Is it OK to leave a nail in a tire?

If you find a nail in your tire, you should immediately remove it. You can drive short distances with a nail in your tire, but you should not continue driving for an extended period. That is extremely dangerous for both you and the other drivers you share the road with.

What should I do if I find a nail in my tire?

The optimal solution is to take your vehicle to a professional for patching work. An expert can swiftly locate the puncture, remove the nail or screw, and repair and inflate your tire.

Can a nail in tire cause a blowout?

There is a possibility that the nail caused the tire to leak, enabling air to escape. When traveling at high speed on a tire with low air pressure, the tire could suffer a blowout and cause you to lose control of the car. On the highway, this might cause a serious collision.

Should I replace my tire if it has a nail in it?

Punctured tires will probably need to be replaced if: The diameter of the puncture is greater than 14 inches. There is a puncture in the tire’s sidewall or shoulder. There are numerous punctures less than 16 inches apart.


A nail in a tire may fly out when you hit a bump, or pothole, or go at high speed. Though the chance is slim, it may drop in the roadway; thus, another motor vehicle picks it up.

And although you can drive with a nail in your tire as long as you want, it may dislodge, causing a rapid air leak.

A nail can destroy your tire; make sure not to ignore it. Ultimately, you may plug the nail to keep it from critical damage when driving.

Latest posts by Bernard Juchli (see all)

Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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