Tires With Nail (Punctures, Long Nails, Time Before Replace)

If you use your motor vehicle often, you have most likely had your tires punctured by a nail. Nails usually pierce tires, resulting in punctures. The presence of nails in tires could slow down car operations due to low pressure.

So, how do nails get in tires? Nails get embedded into your tire when you ride against an uneven off-road surface or when you run over debris that contains nails. Also, driving on the curb and on accident scenes is likely to get nails in your tire. It is helpful to protect your tire against such cases because nails can result in significant tire damage.

Tire nails are a common thing that most drivers have experienced. Most tire punctures are caused by nails, which in turn affect air pressure stability. While it is hard to prevent nails from getting into your tire, there are measures you can put in place to reduce that possibility. Therefore, you first need to know how these nails get in tires.

Nails can get into tires when you run over debris that contains nails or when you drive on uneven off-road terrain. Remember that curbing the tire could also result in sidewall nails. For that reason, it is helpful to know how to handle such cases and what to do in case you run over a nail.

Nails can puncture the sidewall of your tire and cause significant damage. Most drivers don’t know that the sidewall is the weakest part of a tire and is likely to sustain punctures. Modern tires are known as radial tires, meaning they have a steel band that runs the length of the tread.

This design helps strengthen and stabilize the road contact surface and keeps the vehicle steady. Radial tires lack steel bands in their sidewall, meaning this area is susceptible to punctures. Instead of steel bands, they have nylon or ply reinforcing fibers that help strengthen the rubber. This also makes it flex-resistant and able to withstand different types of punctures.

Despite the design, the tread of a radial tire is very easy to puncture. Fortunately, most nails rarely make it all the way through. Instead, they are stopped by the steel band that makes them bend once they hit it.

Therefore, they remain lodged inside the rubber tread block and increase the chances of punctures. While there is a likelihood of punctures, shorter nails remain relatively harmless and could only cause slight to unbalance and noises.

Generally, sidewall punctures are not common but have the potential to cause significant damage to your tire. This is because sidewalls have nothing to stop the nail from going right through them. When this occurs, tires are likely to be deflated. This increases the chances of accidents, especially when driving at high speed.

Some drivers wonder if small sharp objects could penetrate the tire and cause damage. The answer is yes, and it is more common than most people think. Any nail that can puncture a tire could cause an explosion.

On the other hand, a rusty or jigged nail can only create a tear that widens suddenly under extreme circumstances. This is likely to happen in worn-out or old tire brands that don’t have the necessary sidewall protection.

Nails that tend to cause more damage are those from nail guns. They are bound together by a small piece of wire, which can easily break off and leave barb-like stubs on the nail shaft. This shape is not ideal because it creates irregular entry holes, which is likely to increase the risk of tearing.

Also, tires tend to explode on hot days and when you are driving at high speeds. The faster you go, the higher tire pressure gets. The same also happens when you switch altitudes. If you have a worn-out tire and a nail happens to penetrate its sidewall, a terrible highway blowout is likely to happen. Repairing punctures caused by nails in the sidewall is more complicated than tread nails. This is mostly the case when you are working with a tire patch kit.

Remember that you cannot use outside patch kits to repair holes on the sidewall. This is because the surrounding material is not strong enough to hold the plug-in position. Therefore, the best way you can repair a sidewall hole is from the inside of the tire. You can use a standard adhesive patch for this purpose, provided the surrounding rubber isn’t badly deformed or cracked.

Depending on the tire’s condition or the size of the hole, experts might recommend that you replace the tire instead of trying to fix it. This is the case because a hole in the sidewall is pretty serious, and patches are not as safe as a tire without holes.

You are warned against trying to pull the nail out of the tire unless you have deflated it and removed the wheel to repair. If the tire has a puncture, you will have to let out all the air once the nail is out. Avoid tearing the sidewall further because you will risk causing a blow-up in your face.

It is safe to remove the nail once the wheel and tire are removed. The tire should also be deflated. Even better, you can also choose to remove the tire from the wheel and work on it separately. This makes it easy to fix the tire without causing any damage to it. It would help if you were careful when handling the deflated tire because it is susceptible to more punctures in that state.

How Long Does a Nail Need To Be To Puncture a Tire?

Nails are some of the most common causes of punctures. However, running over a nail doesn’t necessarily mean it will result in a puncture. This is because nails need to be long enough to cause damage to your tire.

The average length of a nail that can cause tire punctures is half an inch. However, the length varies considerably depending on the design of your tire. It also depends on the tire tread depth and where the nail is trying to penetrate the tire.

When a nail penetrates your tire, you are warned against trying to pull it out. You can drive to the nearest tire shop with the nail still plugged in your tire, especially if it is still holding enough air.

The size of the nail, the strength of the tire, how sharp the nail is, and the position of the nail in your tire determine if the nail will get into your tire and the amount of damage it may cause. Worn-out and old tires can easily sustain punctures even when they run over blunt nails. They put up weaker resistance than steel-belted tires.

In some cases, a nail can penetrate the tire but won’t go deep enough to cause any air leakage. In such cases, you should conduct a thorough examination to ensure there is no air leakage after pulling out the nail. While the damage might not be significant, it is important to check the tire at a repair workshop just to be sure. This is because tires could gradually lose pressure and cause accidents.

Thankfully, there are several ways you can tell whether the tire has sustained damage after running over a nail. For instance, you can see the cap or stub of the nail showing clearly at the point of entry.

Besides, in case the nail is completely buried into the tire, you will only see it during the removal process at a repair workshop. Generally, tires that are punctured by nails are most likely going to start leaking air at a more steady rate. This makes it difficult to handle the process.

Therefore, when you notice gradual tire deflation, you have most likely run over a nail. In some cases, when there is a nail in your tire, you will notice some sounds from the tire as you drive.

The sound is caused by the nail making contact with either the hard road surface or other parts of the vehicle. It is crucial to know that the nail puncture may not be the only factor causing the air loss. Therefore, you are advised to get tire repair experts to examine and determine the real cause of air loss. This goes a long way in preventing further damage to your tire.

After a nail puncture, several factors determine whether you should get a new tire or not. These factors include the size of the puncture, the age of the tire, and possibly the location of the puncture.

Generally, puncture repairs are not ideal when they occur inside the sidewall of a tire. Therefore, any tire damage in the sidewall means that you have to get a new tire. This is because it is impossible to repair sidewall punctures. Besides, patches don’t stay in place when you repair sidewall punctures. This makes it challenging to keep the tire running.

In addition, the size of the puncture also plays a crucial role in determining whether you should get a new tire or not. Large tire holes have the tendency to open again even when high-quality patching has been performed on them. Therefore, you will have to get a new tire if the size of the air hole is big. The integrity of a tire is significantly breached if it has large-sized holes.

When dealing with worn-out tires, repairing them is almost impossible. Therefore, you should replace them because any costly repairs may not be worth the effort. While it is possible to repair tire punctures, you should know that the depth and size of holes could make the repairs useless. Determine the level of damage and make appropriate decisions. Always involve an expert because they have a better understanding.

How Long Does a Tire Last With a Nail in it?

As a frequent road user, you may be wondering how long you can drive with a nail plugged in your tire. Understanding the dynamics of a nail puncture and how long it takes to deflate your tire is essential for your operations.

You can drive for around 20 miles with a nail inside the tire before it deflates. However, this depends on a number of factors. As a driver, you need to get everything in order when handling a tire puncture. Remember that nails cause the most significant damage and could adversely affect the integrity of your tire if you don’t take good care of it.

One of the factors that affect how long a tire can last is the type of nail involved. If the nail is small, it might not cause any damage. In that case, you can drive for as long as you can without any tire problems.

Smaller nails don’t puncture the inner portion of the tire, meaning there won’t be any air loss. As long as the tire isn’t losing air, you can drive for several miles without any problems. However, you should know that the nail might get closer to puncturing the inside of your tire if you drive for long. If the nail is large, you might want to have it removed as quickly as possible.

Larger nails tend to puncture the interior of a tire better than smaller ones. This means that if you run over a larger nail, you are likely to have an air leak. If the leak is big enough, you might have a completely flat tire.

It is important to have the tire repaired as soon as possible to prevent further expansion of the hole. If the damage is significant, you might have to replace the tire. Trying to repair such holes is useless because they tend to open up after a short time. Such cases are risky because they cause blowouts when driving at high speed.


Nails are one of the most common causes of tire punctures. They can get into your tire if you run over them or ride against an uneven off-road. It is essential to know that not all nails cause punctures. Factors like the position of the nail in your tire, its size, and the age of a tire determine whether or not there will be a puncture.

Nails have to be half an inch long to cause a puncture. However, nails shorter than that can also cause punctures if they are sharp and your tire is worn out. Remember that it is almost impossible to repair sidewall punctures because tire patches won’t stick.

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