CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Screw in new tire - edge

,

3 days after getting new tires at Firestone I noticed a screw at the edge of front right.
See picture.
I opted out of the $89 sidewall coverage.
I’ve been driving as is for 3 weeks now. No air loss.
If- when I go back will this location be repairable?
Should I unscrew it?
Or, should I leave it and go about my business.


Thanks

No, it is not in the area that any reputable tire shop will consider to the repairable.
I would bite the bullet and get a new tire, but you will have to make that decision for yourself.

1 Like

Perhaps you have road hazard. Worth a check. Is the tire still holding air?

1 Like

There is a good chance the screw didn’t go through because you’re losing no air.
Try unscrewing it and putting some soapy water over the hole to see if it’s leaking.

If you leave the screw in there, it will only get beaten around causing it to drive in deeper and increase any damage.

Fixing it in that location definitely adds risk, due to how the sidewall flexes. I have fixed a few in my younger days. Not worth the risk.

2 Likes

Don’t keep driving on it. That is a foolish thing to do as it will come back to bite you. Take it back to the tire shop, have them remove the screw. If Murphy’s law applies, you will have a leak and need a new tire.

It is not in a spot that a tire shop would repair. The outer tread rib is a no-no for plugs and patches. I’ll do my own tires but a shop won’t. If you are lucky, it is just the head, it won’t leak, and you can drive on. But at least you can buy a new tire.

Good luck.

I would remove the screw and see if it leaks. If it does leak, the only proper way to patch a tire requires removing it from the rim and applying the patch inside. A professional shop will refuse to patch the tire in this area, however there are YouTube videos which show how to remove the tire from the rim and reinstall it, so a DIY repair might be worth attempting.

Time for a new tire. Now.

2 Likes

Tester

The tire needs to be replaced as financially painful as it may be. The screw is in a dangerous area and I would suspect if you put a drop of dish washing detergent on it now you will probably see bubbles start to form.

Congratulations to you for paying attention to things like this. Most people do not.

We cannot see what what the damage really is, get a professional opinion.

I am as cheap as the day is long, and if this was my car, I’d remove the screw carefully, and see how much air loss, if any, occurs. It it loses less than 10 psi in a month, I’d be tempted to top it off each week and just keep using the tire. If more than that, I’d decide between attempting a DIY fix (dismounting and patching the tire) or just buying a new tire.

I’ll match my frugality against anyone.
I’m going to take it out tomorrow when shop is open.
Years ago I might have done your top off suggestion but I guess I’m a little beyond that now.
I’ll report back.
Thanks to everyone for the information.

When tubeless tires first came out (yes I am old) we used to fix flats by drilling holes around the bead to avoid trapping air, removing the valve and putting a tube in them.

Why don’t they do that anymore?

Is it because the right size tubes are not available?

I would be surprised if it didn’t go all the way through, and even if it didn’t it’ll be a weak spot for the next 50,000 miles. Just replace it while it matches all the others. Just because it’s punctured doesn’t mean it will leak right away. I came out at noon one day and had a ten penny nail stuck to the side of my VW tire in 1967. It had not lost air and have no idea how it got there, but I drove it home for lunch and put the spare on, and bought a new tire.

I have old car that uses VW Beetle size tires but still requires inner tubes and I’m guessing the reason they don’t use them anymore is because they’re not worth the trouble:

  1. Decent quality car inner tubes (not farm & tractor) are tough to find.
  2. They’re not cheap, actually close to the cost of a new cheap tire.
  3. Installation of a tire tube combo is harder and becoming a lost art. Buy the correct tube size for the tire and wheel valve stem location, carefully locate the inner tube and dust it and mount the tire/tube combo being careful not to shift or pinch the tube.
  4. I’m not sure that inner tubes “play well” with more flexible Radial tires, especially at high temps and extended high speeds.
1 Like

Partially, but patches are soooo much less expensive.

This is why I always buy road hazard protection with new tires; it always pays for itself.

I’ve had the opposite experience. I never buy it, and have had one tire damaged in 45 years where it would have mattered.

1 Like

I’m with Texases. Been buying tires for 50 years and this is a first.
I miss going to Pat’s Tire where my future cousin-in-law would put brand new re-treads on my bug for $5.00 each. Everything so much simpler.
Anyway, I unscrewed the 1.25 inch screw and it leaked. Not horrible - blow out a candle at 3 inches - leaked. I put it back in and drove 1/2 mile to Firestone. Not leaking now. They have to order a tire so I’m still driving on a little extra steel - although I screwed it in a little deeper so it is slightly countersunk instead of slightly sticking out like before.
Fun and informative forum.
Thanks all!

1.25” long screw? I was expecting a 3/8” long screw. I was wrong
I had a screw thru sidewall at 7k miles. Leased car too. I bought a new tire