Nail in a brand new tire!

so . . about 500 miles on the new tire, a roofing nail with a flat head, can easily be removed. Tire patch? Plug? New tire? Rocketman

Have the tire patched on the inside. Plugs can do more damage than good.

The last time I had a nail/slow leak the tire dealership removed the tire and the nail, and put in a “required” inner patch system…asked why , said new rules for patching, no longer plugging.

Assuming it is through the tread and not the sidwall or the shoulder it can be successfully patched and re-balanced.  It should cost around $20 - $25.

Last year I bought one of those $7 DIY tire plugging kits from Wal-Mart. I used it only one time to plug a tire puncture, then took a 1400-mile round trip vacation. Somewhat to my surprise the repair held up, did an excellent job. Not even any slow leaks over the following six months. Try it yourself, you may be well pleased.

See if the tire dealer has a warranty. I know Canadian Tire has some sort of puncture warranty, where they will replace the tire for free up to a certain time, and then after that pro-rate the wear left into savings on a new tire.

Correctly done, plugs work fine for a simple nail puncture in the tread area. The trick is to plug the nail hole, not a second hole you just made with the probe/reamer…

The BEST repair is a combination patch/plug. This is an inside patch with a plug in the center of it. A probe with an eye-hole in it is inserted from the outside and the “plug” is inserted into the eye of the probe which is then withdrawn, pulling the patch down flat and drawing the plug through the hole.

The benefit of this repair is that both the air-liner inside the tire AND the hole are sealed. This prevents moisture and salt from penetrating the steel belts and corroding them to the point of failure… Other techniques that accomplish the same thing can be used.

If it’s not leaking, why not leave it alone? Yeah, I can hear the “Gasps!” If it is leaking, the best repair is to dismount the tire from the wheel, and patch it. Unfortunately, too many tire repair shops will use EVERY excuse to not do it this way. The brown is rising in their eyeballs.

Is this a new car? If no, and you got tire at tire store, etc, you may have road hazard insurance and don’t know you have it- repair will be free. Check reciepts or call tire store. If it was on car when car was new, call car dealer; never know, might be some kind of guar. Tire makers say nix to plugging tire. See, to patch on the inside surface of tire, mechanic has to remove tire from wheel, giving him a

chance to inspect inner surface of tire. Even if tire didn’t go completely flat, heat built up w/added rolling friction and tire could be starting to “unravel” inside esp. in Summer- unravel like seam in your blue jeans (what ABOUT Mister Green Jeans?!) Oops- yes, unravel but you can’t sew up a tire. Worst scenario- tire basically disintegrates on sweeping interstate curve @ >75: GOODBYE CHARLIE. All kidding

aside, tires are REALLY REALLY related to your safety so plan your course of action accordingly. By the way, Caddyman is right about the patch/plug combination (plug and patch are all 1 piece); it’s just that mechanic might have to make hole a lot bigger than it is, but; it will protect from outer surface of tread alla way to innerliner (inner surface of tire).

Caddyman, where do you buy those plug-patch units? I agree they are the best and I used a lot of them. They were made by Kex company but I cant find them anymore. Most parts house clerks look at you like you’re stupid if you ask. Thanks, LEE

If I’m on the road, a string plug will get us home and then some. At home we have a bead breaker and tire irons to install a mushroom plug. As per a previous question, one brand is Camel Plug N Patch, their part number 15-298 for a package of two for about 4 or 5 bucks; not cheap. I get them from a local farm supply store. They are supplied by Schrader-Bridgport Int’l Inc. from Dixon, IL 61021. You could call them to see who sells them in your area.

Actually, I don’t mind string plugs as they hold most of the time for me. If one leaks, I’ll remove what I can and install another one.

Doh! I hate it when that happens. I think I’ve had 4 nails in my cars over the past year. Too many trips to Home Depot and Lowes I think.

I had terrible luck with a plug. The tire blew out on the interstate a day after it was plugged and I lost a brand new tire. It could have been much worse. I now only go for the inside patch. There are some things you don’t pinch pennies on…

Now only if we could find the morons that drop those nails…


Can you say that the string plug caused a blowout? I have been using plugs, first soft rubber tapered plugs for bias ply tires and later on, string plugs for radial tires for more years than I care to say and never had a blowout attributable to a plug and have never before heard of a blowout blamed on a plug. Occasional leaky plug, yes, but blowout, no.

Call around to jobbers till you find one that carries “Tech” brand tire repair stuff. That’s what we use at the Volvo dealer I’m at.

Where’re the Bibles? THIS IS A TRUE STORY. One day a guy came into the tire store I worked in in a pickup w/4 flat tires on wheels in the bed. An hour or so earlier he’d driven past an 84 Lumber store and the next thing he knew, he had 4 flats. He begged us to try to fix them even w/the multiple punctures; instead of buying 4 tires. (Can you blame him?) When we got the tires off the rims it looked

like a porcupine inside. We ended up installing a total of 37 patches on those 4 tires. (I am not making this up.) The guy was actually pretty pleased- we charged him the normal price for the first patch on each tire; then a buck a patch for the rest. (Late 80’s) Then he went back to the lumber store but it wasn’t their fault. Some BORN YESTERDAY BLOCKHEAD must’ve put a box of nails on the side of his

panel truck, roared out of the yard, and the rest was History, or Ignorance is bliss- pick your Poison. By the way, this practice ISN’T RECCOMENDED. Max of 3 patches per tire. Also, plugs aren’t reccomended because since the tire flexes once every revolution; plug could work its way out and too, the broken, sharp, flexing steel cords can cut the best rope plug, which is really designed for slow moving vehicles like some farm implements, etc.


Yes. It might not have been the classic explosive blowout. However, at 75mph on the interstate, the first indication of a problem was a few seconds of a soft noise followed rapidly by the loud flapping/thumping of a completely flat tire. The plug failure resulted in a sudden rapid loss of air. Again, I’d spend the $25 dollars and take the time for a real inner patch (a tire shop will inspect the tire inside and out) rather than have some grease monkey do a half-_____ plug on the fly. It was a pretty scary thing on a winter road trip in the boonies. I’ll never do a plug again.

I can’t understand how nails end up on the road. What kind of _______ would drop nails on the street? The local Firestone/Goodyear dealers?

I’ve used those kits to repair many tires over the years and have never had a problem with any of them. The are available at AutoZone and other parts stores too besides Walmart. Just make sure to get a kit with T handles.