While getting nails in your tires isn’t too unusual, you might find this a little odd if it keeps happening very frequently. Nails lay on the road more often than you might realize, and getting one stuck in your tire is easy.
In case you notice a sudden increase in the frequency of nails getting stuck in your tires, it’s a good idea to find out the reason. Once you figure out why your tire is getting more nails than usual, you may be able to prevent it.
Why do I keep getting nails in my tires?
You could be getting nails in your tires too often either because you keep driving over them, or because someone intentionally puts nails in your tires.
The condition of your tires is relevant too, as a worn-out tire is more susceptible to damage. The most probable reasons behind the nails in your tire are so often are:
1. Driving near a construction site
Construction sites happen to be one of the most common reasons behind loose nails lying on the road. It’s easy for nails from the work site to make their way into the road, where they might impale tires running over them.
In case you keep getting nails in your tire regularly, check if you are passing by any construction site on your route. The same goes for other similar work sites too, such as road repairs.
2. Heavy rainfall and natural disasters
After heavy rainfall or a natural disaster, you’ll likely notice a lot of debris on the road from damaged structures. Often, the debris may include nails that you might run over.
Floods and heavy rains can also wash up nails from work sites and carry them onto the road even if the site isn’t directly adjacent. In case the area you drive through has suffered such disasters or heavy rains recently, that might be the reason behind the nails in your tires.
3. Worn out tires
Your tires may also get more nails than usual just because they are more susceptible to punctures – not because more nails are lying around. Assuming that you buy quality tires from reputed brands, they’ll originally be quite tough and damage-resistant.
However, as they grow old, the rubber degrades and wears out. Nails lying on the road can easily puncture such weakened tires. This is why you may notice an increase in the occurrences of nail punctures as your tires grow older.
This is one of the first things that might come to your mind when you start regularly getting nails in your tires. Well, while there are other possible explanations behind the nails too, you can’t rule out the chances of someone sabotaging your tires intentionally.
In case a person holds a grudge against you, they might be driving the nails into your tires or simply laying them in areas you’ll be driving over.
5. Driving over wood planks
In case your route includes driving over wooden planks, there’s a chance that that’s where the nails are coming from. Nails holding together the hardwood planks may poke into your tires as you drive over them.
Especially when the hardwood wears out under the weight of the cars, the areas around the nails may start crumbling. This would expose the nails to tires driving over them, and increase the possibility of punctures.
What to do when you Find a Nail in Your Tire?
Getting the nail removed and the tire fixed should be your priority in this scenario. A nail in your tire can put you in a tough spot, for it is extremely unsafe to drive with it. Assuming that the nail hasn’t already deflated your tire, here are a few things you can/should do:
- Removing the nail: It’s possible to remove small nails yourself if you have pliers or other suitable tools. However, keep in mind that this is a gamble if you do not know the length of the nail. Often, nails pierce tires deep enough to make them deflate, but act as a plug blocking the puncture hole. This keeps the tire from deflating or blowing out. Pulling out such a nail can leave you stranded on the road.
- Sealing the hole: Keeping some tire sealant in your car is always a good idea, as they are an excellent temporary solution in the event of a puncture. You may plug the hole using the tire sealant to prevent the tire from deflating until you can take it to a repair shop.
- Driving to a repair shop: Regardless of whether you removed the nail or applied a sealant over it, you need to take your car to a tire repair shop immediately. Even if you seal the hole, the tire will still be at the risk of blowing out if you keep driving for too long. Locate the nearest tire repair shop and drive to it.
- Calling a tow truck: While this will cost you additional expenses, it’s the safest thing to do. If you don’t want to risk driving with a nail in your tire, you can get your vehicle towed to a repair shop instead. This is particularly applicable in case the nail has caused severe damage to your tire. Driving with a nail is particularly dangerous if the hole lies on your tire’s sidewall or is larger than a quarter of an inch.
- Putting on a spare tire: To save yourself the cost of having your car towed, you may instead replace the punctured tire with a spare. You can then safely drive to the repair shop to get the tire patched up.
- Keep an eye on the TPMS: When a nail punctures your tire, you should monitor the tire pressure to make sure it doesn’t lose too much air. The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) will trigger a warning light if the pressure drops too low.
Depending on the damage caused by the nail, it may or may not be possible to repair the tire. In case the puncture hole is near the middle of the tire, you can get it patched up. Usually, it costs only around 10 to 20 dollars to get the nail removed and the tire patched up. However, if you keep driving around with the nail, it might go deeper and even damage your tire beyond repair.
How do you stop nails from getting in Tyres?
There are a few ways to prevent nails from getting into your tires:
1. Avoid driving near worksites
As worksites are a very common source of nails on the road, it’s only sensible to avoid driving near them. In case your tires have begun to get nails in them often, change your route a little so you don’t have to drive near the construction site, and see if it fixes the issue. Similarly, avoid roads that are in poor conditions too.
2. Check before you start driving
If you suspect that someone might be deliberately putting nails in your tire, it is a good idea to check the tires and the path in front of your vehicle before you start driving. This way, you can find the nails early on, before they cause much damage.
3. Puncture-resistant tires
In case you regularly have to drive over roads full of debris or through areas with multiple construction sites, you might want to invest in puncture-resistant tires. Although pricier than regular tires, these heavy-duty tires are much more resistant to puncture damage.
4. Puncture-resistant strips
If you don’t want to purchase new heavy-duty tires, you can instead buy puncture-resistant tire strips and place them on the inner treads of your tires. They will significantly reduce the chances of nails impaling the tires.
How do you know if someone has put a nail in your tire?
Unfortunately, it’s easy to put a nail in a tire without raising any suspicion that someone has done it deliberately. You may not even suspect anything unless you know that someone specifically holds a major grudge against you.
However, in case you find the nail poking into the tire’s sidewall, it’s likely the result of deliberate action. When driving a nail into a tire, individuals often do it on the sidewall as it’s the softest and the thinnest part of the tire. On the other hand, driving over a nail will cause it to pierce through the tread.
If you suspect that someone is deliberately putting nails in your tires, you may install a dashcam or a similar alternative to catch the culprit.
Getting nails in your tires is not only an inconvenience but also poses the hazard of a tire blowout. In case you notice an increase in how frequently your tires get nails in them, you definitely shouldn’t ignore it.
If the problem is persistent, investing in puncture-resistant tires can be worth your money. Regardless, when you get a nail in your tire, you should have it fixed without delay.