Got a nail/screw stuck in the tire, leave it in?

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Jul 7, 2008
I've been hearing this sound coming from a tire for a week now--I just figured it was a rock stuck between the treads and would eventually be forced out: Well, turns out, I've got a screw (1/3" in diamter) punctured through the tire.

I tried to pry it out but heard the hiss of air coming out so I just left it in.

It seems to, amazingly, provide a very tight seal. There doesn't appear to be any tire pressure lost.

I've had it in for about a week now.

What do you think? Get it repaired now? Just leave it in?
Can it be repaired at all (it is a large puncture!)
of course the puncture is not at the sidewall but instead directly throw a tread.
If you are the original tire purchaser with road hazard warranty, I'd leave the screw in it until you could get to the tire retailer to fix or replace it. Most retailers will void the tire warranty if you mess with it.
If the nail is too close to the sidewall, it can't be patched. Then your choice is to plug it yourself, which I have done successfully several times, and gotten many extra miles. Or, you will need a new tire.

I wouldn't just leave the screw in it. Hopefully it's far enough from the sidewall that it can be patched, best choice.
Don't leave it in; chances are it'll come out all by itself several months from now, after you've forgotten it was there, on a dark and rainy night in the middle of nowhere.

I second the recommendation to plug it. I've never been disappointed by them and usually can plug them without removing the wheel or jacking up the car. just remember to check the pressure and add air if necessary since you'll lose a little in the process.
Plug and patch is the correct way to repair a tire.

Get it fixed. It isn't going to magically repair itself. I would be willing to bet it is slowly leaking but you just haven't noticed. Last time I picked up a nail, I noticed losing about 3-4 psi per week. After a little looking I found the nail.
Originally Posted By: rszappa1
Have it repaired right. The tire will have to come off the wheel and patch it from the inside....

In my big truck tires i just leave them in and they wear with the tire.

if you pulled on it and it let a hiss of air out then most definately change it. Its going to come out sooner or later and most likely at the worst possible time.

If it was in my pickup or passenger car i would take it to a tire shop and have them brake it down plug it from the outside and patch it from the inside.
Originally Posted By: css9450
Don't leave it in; chances are it'll come out all by itself several months from now, after you've forgotten it was there, on a dark and rainy night in the middle of nowhere.

I've had one come out halfway to the tire shop. Very lucky it didn't ruin the tire.
not to go against the grain here but i bought my wheels and tires used with 3/4 tires having a screw in them. Only reason I didn't complain is because I got nearly new oem miata wheels with 80% tread tires for $200 delivered. Ive been driving on them since February, about 5k miles, and they don't loose any air at all. I also have nitrogen in the tires. I got the nitrogen for free at school other wise I wouldn't have gotten it.

If you're driving that Miata the way you should be :), there's a good chance one or more of those screws will bite you hard.

That said, I hope they last for you!
i actually have them on my protege, and spirited is a little bit of an understatement to describe my driving. But I've got a whole spare set and some money for new tires when the time comes. the screws are nearly sideways so i really don't want to mess with them.
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