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Repair or Replace Nail in Tire?

Andy Mohr Collision Center Blog

Posted: October 31, 2018

There’s a lot of ground to cover on the way from Bloomington up to Indianapolis, Fishers, and Plainfield. When you’re putting miles on your car or truck, there’s a chance your tires could wind up with something in them, like a nail.

If this gives you a flat tire, it’s obvious what you’ll need to do. However, when it’s just stuck in there, what should your next step be? Andy Mohr Collision Center looks to help you answer the big question when you’ve got a nail in your tire: repair or replace?

When to Repair

The first thing to check when you notice a nail in your tire is where it’s located. If the nail is in the center of the tread, there’s a chance it can be salvaged by repairing and patching it.

The second thing to look for is if the tire is leaking air. There’s a few ways you can check this. The easiest is to look and see if the tire seems flatter than the others. You can also listen to see if you hear air leaking out. If you’re able to hear the leak or see that you have a flat tire, its unlikely that it can be repaired.

However, if your tire looks alright and you can’t hear a leak, you may be in luck. Place your hand over the nail to see if you can feel air coming out. If you can’t, or if it’s a very slow leak, there’s a good chance it can be repaired.

It’s also a good idea to check your tire pressure. There’s always a chance that the nail may be smaller and only punctured the tread but didn’t go far enough to cause any air to leak out.

Location and size are the major determining factors in whether or not the tire can be repaired. If the puncture is ¼-inch in diameter or less, and on the tread, a service technician should be able to repair it. 

When to Replace

It’s always better when the nail is found in the tire tread. It’s thicker and has more layers to protect the tire. If you notice a nail in the side of your tire, that’s a different story.

Any puncture in the tire’s sidewall or shoulder means that it will have to be replaced. These areas can’t be repaired the same way the tread can.

If the nail is in the tread but the puncture is more than a ¼-inch in diameter, that will also require it to be replaced. At that size, it’s just too large to be repaired.

Even if the nail is in the tread and the puncture is small enough, you may end up having to replace the tire if it’s leaking air too quickly or is already flat.

Learn if you should replace your tires with winter or all-season tires!

Tire Service

At Andy Mohr Collision Center, we offer full tire repair and replacement services to drivers in Plainfield, Indianapolis, Fishers, and Bloomington. The next time you’ve got a nail in a tire and are debating between repairing or replacing it, schedule an appointment with us online.

Andy Mohr Collision Centers