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Nail in Tire

Hello All…

I took my M35 to the local Infiniti dealer this morning. My right front tire was losing about 2 lbs per week. They located a very small hole and patched it internally. However, they also found a very small nail in the other front tire. They brought me out to see it on the lift. Both the mechanic and Service Manager said it couldn’t be repaired as it was too close to the sidewall. Actually, it’s in the outermost groove, not really in the sidewall. The diameter of the nail is pretty small, with no head on it. The tire had not been losing air. So, they both recommend leaving it alone, and advised it is OK to drive on it, but I should just monitor it.

Thoughts? I am taking a 3 hour road trip this weekend. On the same note, I drive 60 miles per day on the highway, and who knows how long this nail has been there…and not proven to be problematic. (Tires are still in good shape with 7/32 left.)

Do not take a 3 hour trip on this tire. If it can’t be fixed then replace it.

Do you really want to risk a blow out at highway speed and risk the lives of you, any passengers, and anyone else on the road?

I am really, really surprised they took such a carefree position given the propensity for litigation in today’s society. Most places would have wanted you to sign a waiver/disclaimer in blood before they let you out of the shop.

I’m not given to superstition but now that you know it is there, it will start leaking for sure!

If it were mine, I’d do just exactly what they advised. Keep an eye on it and get as much life out of it as possible. Keeping an eye on it is a figure of speech. It can be low enough to cause problems but not visible to the eye so use a gauge to check it periodically.

I would have them remove the tire, see if it made it through to the inside. If not, pull it and forget it. If it did, then you’ve got some thinking to do. How many miles are on the tires?

I would replace it. (The tire, not the nail.)

Thanks for your quick replies.

They’re the original tires with 22,800 miles.

It’s a mixed bag, really. On one hand, I’m inclined to to keep an eye on the pressure (I have a TPMS system with visual readout, standard on the car). It’s very accurate. On the other hand, I’m inclined to give my service advisor a call, bring the car back in and have them break that tire down to see if it did in fact puncture. If it didn’t, I’m good to go. Otherwise, I need to consider two new front tires.

Takin’ it back this afternoon to break it down and verify puncture/no puncture.

That’s what I’d do…good luck!

I would rather error on the side of caution and would purchase 2 new tires. I’ve had two blowouts on our 2003 Toyota 4Runner and it isn’t fun sitting in the breakdown lane with cars zipping by at over 70 mph.

I also had a screw in the outer groove on my 2006 Chevrolet Uplander. I replaced the entire tire since I was going out on the road.

Chances are excellent that you will be OK and I would not expect a blowout. I have driven enough miles after discovering a puncturing object in a tire and waitimg until a convenient time to tend to it. If small puncturing objects in tires caused blowouts, you would hear of frequent blowouts as punctures are a frequent event if what has happened to our cars over the years is typical.

We have a TPMS on our car; very useful for situations such as this. Keep a small 12 volt inflator handy.

Almost every time for me, the tire will leak faster when the puncturing object is removed but with your small nail that is not causing a loss in pressure, it may not have completely punctured through. Wait until after your trip, remove the tire from the vehicle and put it in a dunk tank with a good light and then carefully look for an air bubble to slowly form. If no bubble, so far so good. Then remove the small nail and check again. If no bubble, you might be OK but it still could leak when flexed while turning or leak when parked with that part of the tire at the bottom.

PS, If there is a small leak, some Slime might keep this tire going but keep in mind, some places might refuse to repair it if the tire has another puncture that the Slime won’t fix.

Your driving a M35 Infiniti ! what the heck do you care about cost of a new tire ? Sounds like your credit card has room for 4 new tire’s ! !

Aside from that check your spare, make sure it is in good shape and hold’s air. If it is a full size spare and can be mounted during tire rotation, take the old tire off and put this one on. Ask your mechanic if he would mind patching the side wall of a spare tire ? Still risky but I would do it.

I would have removed the nail and checked for a leak. No leak, drive on. If it was leaking, I would have plugged it and drove on. Properly done, a plug makes a permanent, satisfactory repair. As long as there is steel belt in the area of the puncture, and you plug the original hole, not make a new hole with the probe and then plug THAT hole, plugs work fine, you can do it yourself, and save a half day and $20. The rubber impregnated cord plugs work best.

I drove the car back to the dealer. They broke down the tire and confirmed that the small nail didn’t puncture through. (It was smooth, not the slightest bump or bulge.) They inflated, balanced and remounted the tire. The service manager left the nail in, claiming that the punctured area is stronger with the nail present.

Tires are made of rubber. Rubber will mold around a little object …like a screw or nail. I have run tires for years with a screw, or nail, left in it. It is not a danger. What is a danger are those plugs that are put into a tire after the little puncture is gouged much larger with the reamer and the insertion tool. Remember, tires are rubber casings, not balloons.

Good. I would remove it, though. I’d think the metal would wear more slowly than the rubber, slowly pushing the nail into the tire. Anyone disagree?

If it’s not through the liner yet, pull it out.

The nail will eventually get pushed into the tire and cause a leak. you’re lucky . . . pull it out and drive on. Rocketman

I’ve had many tires plugged. I work around construction jobs and get nails frequently. Never had a problem with a plug even some right in the edge of the sidewall.