Can You Fix A Tire With A Nail In It? [And How To]

So to top your day off you just found a nail in your tire! Though it may seem like a daunting or expensive task, this article will take all the guesswork out of how to easily fix a nail in your tire. We have already done the research and are ready to help.

To fix a nail in your tire, you'll need a tire plug kit. When repairing your tire, it is first important to locate the nail and then remove the nail using vice grips or pliers. After removing the nail, quickly use the tool provided in the kit to ream out the hole the nail was in. Then plug it, threading the plug tool while physically inserting the tire plug, pushing it in until the plug is fully inside the tire! Finally, refill your tire to the prescribed pressure (usually found labeled on the driver's door).

It will be in your best interest to quickly fix your tire if it got a nail in it. In this post, we'll go into more detail on how to remedy this issue. We'll also cover other common questions when it comes to nail-related tire issues, so be sure to keep reading.

A huge nail lodge into the car tire, Can You Fix A Tire With A Nail In It? [And How To]

How To Fix A Tire With A Nail In It

It is very important to limit your driving on your affected tire. Nails in tires pose both a risk to you as well as a risk to other drivers on the road. Punctured tires can lead to loss of vehicle control, create debris, and possibly cause a full rupture of your tire.

You should drive the absolute minimum amount on your turn before you fix the hole. Additionally, monitor your air pressure as you drive using your car's built-in sensors or by using a pressure gauge.  

Check out this tire pressure gauge on Amazon.

Once you finish plugging your tire, it, unfortunately, will be your only chance to plug that tire. It is recommended by mechanics that you limit plugging your tire only once for your safety to prevent any unexpected rupturing of your tire. Plugging your tire should hold for the duration of the tire's life; however, occasional inspections of plug and air pressure are recommended. 

Plugging your tire is an easy and inexpensive fix for a nail in your tire, but should not be prioritized as the method of choice if there is substantial damage to your tire. In this case, have your car towed to a certified mechanic to ensure your safety.

If the damage to your tire is minimal and won't pose an immediate threat to you or drivers around you, use your tire plugging kit. Tire repair kits include everything you need in them, and there are plenty of options available. 

See this tire repair kit on Amazon.

Tire Fixing Steps

Once you have your kit out and ready to use, follow these steps:

  1. After you have pinpointed the tire puncture area with the nail, remove it with a pair of pliers.
  2. Once you've removed the nail, use the reamer (or other tool included) to enlarge the punctured area. This might sound crazy to make the hole larger, but we promise it's necessary.
  3.  Use the installer and plug to thread the plug into the hole. 
  4. Your tire is now plugged! Air up the tire to the recommended PSI and then you'll be good to drive off. 

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Tire With A Nail In It?

As mentioned earlier, the usual cost of fixing a tire with a nail in it will run you about 10 to 20 dollars, if using a tire repair kit. How large the puncture area is will make a difference in how much these costs end up being.

Additionally, if fixing your tire on your own is not something you have time to do or feel capable of doing, you will end up paying more for these services to be done for you. Repairing your tire at a shop, on average, will cost around $20 or so - it all depends on the rates that the shop charges. 

How Long Can A Tire Last With A Nail In It? 

With safety in mind, the best answer to this question is that a tire will last as long as the proper air tire pressure is maintained. This can easily become a nuisance since larger puncture areas cause quicker air leaks in your tire. However, there are some dangers in leaving a nail in your tire so it is recommended that if you know it's there, take care of it. In some cases, the nail can lodge itself so tight in the tire that air leaking out is unlikely to happen. 

How Do You Prevent Nails From Getting Stuck In Tires? 

Nails and screws are not often found in your course of driving, whether it's on a road or a highway. You are more likely to come across a nail, or screw, or something small that poses a threat to your tire, in parking lots, construction zones, the shoulder of a road, and dirt roads.

The shoulder of the road, even on the highway, can easily become a trap for these piercing items since this is where debris and sharp rocks collect. With all this said, practice being aware and paying attention to where and through what you are taking your car. 

What Should You Do If Your Tire Has A Slow Leak? 

The primary, yet temporary, solution to a slow leak in a tire is to fill your tire up with air; driving on a flat, or partially flat tire, is dangerous and can cause damage to your wheel or other parts of your car. Finding where the slow leak is in your tire is the first step to what you should do. The best hack to finding this leak is as follows: 

  1. Mix liquid soap with water and transfer this mixture into a spray bottle. 
  2. Spray all parts of the tire with this soapy water until you find a spot where bubbles start to form. The air leaking will cause the bubbles!

Once you have located the spot of the slow leak, it is best to seek a solution. Many newer model cars are already equipped with an aerosol sealant, which provides a quick fix and temporary solution. 

For a permanent solution to a slow tire leak, you will need a plug and patch. Unless you are familiar with removing your tire and reinstalling it, it is advised that you bring your car to the shop for this one. This method requires that the tire is removed from the wheel - from here, the hole is “plugged and patched.” 

Can A Nail Cause A Tire Blowout? 

If a nail pokes into the tire too close to the side wall, you are at risk of blowing out your tire if it hits a curb just right. Tires blowing out are one of the leading causes of automobile accidents. If you have noticed that a significant amount of air has leaked from the tire, do not attempt to drive. A major leak is at greater risk of a full tire blowout.  


Fixing a tire with a nail in it is not a difficult process, and is one that can be done by utilizing a self-repair tire plug kit. These plug kits are easy to use and once you find the nail, can be installed within 15 minutes and for minimal costs. Before you go, be sure to check out some other posts that may be of interest to you:

Driving with Low Tire Pressure (How to Do So Safely)

Can You Drive on a Flat Tire?

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *