The tire of your car is more prone to damage as it is consistently connected to the road. The road is full of obstacles and dangers. Sometimes, the greatest of problems come in small sizes, and that’s what a nail in your tire will deliver. A nail in your tire can be very problematic. Any person who owns a vehicle has faced this problem. However, we are not always best prepared to face these adversities.
Imagine yourself stranded at midnight without any help. That’s scary, right? Any sort of help can take hours to reach you. It would be more sufficient for you to know how to rectify these situations. Therefore, in this guide, you will learn how to take care of the dire situation. You guessed it right; it is about that annoying nail in your tire that makes your life hard.
How to Spot The Nail in Your Vehicle’s Tire
If the nail is big enough, you will immediately notice it on your tire. Often, it is difficult to notice nails because of how quiet it is. You might have got it stuck for days before you finally realize something is wrong with your nail.
Usually, these are the signs that you have a nail or a puncture in your tire:
- Your tire is losing air faster than usual, or a flat tire in general.
- A big nail or puncture will make noise or lose air faster
- Recurring punctures on the same tire might mean that there is a nail consistently damaging it.
- In some cases, the tire will go flat immediately or a few moments after getting the nail
Methods to Track the Nail
Now there are some methods that you can use to track the nail in your tire:
- Use a soapy liquid to spray on the tire (If you have it). Wherever the bubbles are forming, that is your cue
- Carefully listen for the leaking air. You will have to shut your car down, turn the engine off, and such.
- Simply trust your eyes and look for the nail. Usually, they are silver in color, so it shouldn’t be hard to track anything giving off metallic luster on your tire. If its nighttime, use a torch.
The List Of Tools to Carry in Your Car
There are essential tools that you should always carry in your car. These distinguish you as a responsible person.
You should always carry the following tools:
- Standard car tools such as jack, pliers, wrenches that come with your car.
- Screwdriver or a toolset can come in handy in dire situations.
- A tire plug kit. This will save you not only from nails, but you can DIY (Do-It-Yourself) the punctures, too.
- A car manual. It is not a tool, but it will be your source of information in an emergency situation.
- An air pump or something similar could also be a great addition. To refill the lost air. It often comes with a meter to gauge the pressure of the tires.
None of these tools consume too much storage. All of this can fit in the backside storage of your car conveniently.
How to Replace Or Repair The Tire?
Even if you know how to fix the nail damage of your tire, it is not always an ideal choice. If the problem is too big, this might just be a temporary solution. Inevitably, you might require professional assistance.
It can be perplexing to decide if you should repair the tire or get it replaced. Most of the people stick to a tire that has undergone a fair share of damage. It might have worn out and way out of its performance period. However, it is primarily due to the cost of replacing a tire. It can take a big cut out of your pocket. What you need to understand is that it is not a very wise decision.
A patched-up tire beyond its limits can lead to consequences. It can blow up, bust, and cause fatal accidents. Correlatively, it will end up causing damage to your car that can cost way more than a simple tire replacement. You might even have to call the towing services, or highway picks up, among other problems.
Factors that Decide Whether to Get a Replacement or Not
There are certain factors that you can consider. These points will help you in determining whether you should get a replacement or not:
Get your tire analyzed. An expert will be able to examine the tire and see if it is in working condition or require a replacement. They often consider the amount of damage it has sustained and the fixes that can be used. Additionally, if the nail has hit a weak spot or an area more prone to damage, they will help you understand the need for replacement.
Despite fixing the tire, if it still faces leakages or new punctures, it is time to replace the tire. Truth be told, it has worn out, and you will need a new one to work optimally. Frequent leakage is never good news.
Your tire patch-up kit is not a complete solution. It won’t be able to fix bigger or wider holes. If you find yourself stuck with holes, a patch-up kit can not fix, it is certainly a time to get a replacement for your tire.
Now that we have established when would you require replacement, let’s talk about removing that nail.
Steps To Remove The Nail
You can follow these steps and improvise them to remove any other obstacle similar to a nail. However, make sure to understand that if the damage is bigger than a quarter of an inch, the patch-up kit won’t work.
With that in mind, follow these steps:
- Use the jack to lift the car and loosen the tension from the tire. It makes it easier to maneuver the tire.
- Use a plier to grab onto the nail of the tire and try to pull it. If pulling is not working, then twist it.
- A nail might be too deep in the tire that the plier can’t grasp it. Use a screwdriver on the edge of the nail to slowly loosen it up and pull it out. Then use the plier.
- If you can’t seem to find an angle or need more force, then perhaps use the wrench to unbolt the tire.
- After unbolting the tire, try to use the plier again. This should be more comfortable to pull the nail.
In most cases, the air will start to blow out. You can try to tape it, if you have tape around, for temporary upkeep as you prepare the patch-up kit. Alternatively, you can store an air pump in your car to use it after the patch-up process is done.
The Patch-Up Process
Once the nail is out, it is time to use your patch up kit for the car tire. Now, there is usually an instruction manual that you can read to understand how the kit works. Often, each kit differs in an application. Some companies have different tools.
However, these three are common in a patch-up kit:
- An insertion needle with a hole
- A tire plug
- A rasp tool
- A sealing agent
Now follow these step by step guidelines to patch your tire after pulling out the needle:
- You might have the tire plug, use it to dig a clearer hole for you to use the insertion needle.
- Use the sealing agent and pass it through the hole in the insertion needle. Make sure that it is distributed on either side in an equal amount.
- Use the rasp tool to make sure that the hole is clearer evenly smoothened by inserting it. A back and forth maneuver ought to do the trick.
- Use the insertion needle and stick it inside the puncture. Now, understand that you might have to use intensive force. Don’t hesitate to do so.
- Roll the insertion needle with the handle once the sealing agent is inside the puncture.
- Most of the insertion needles will release the sealing agent inside the tire as you pull it out. Alternatively, if it fails, simply re-insert the needle and repeat the process. Don’t dig the hole wider and don’t use the rasp tool or the plug.
- Once it works, the sealing agent will somewhat be moving out of the tire. Usually, people leave it like that because, over time, with the rolling of the tires, it will flatten out. That is not the best decision.
- Use a cutter, perhaps a pair of scissors to cut the part that is wisping out. You can also use the rasp tool that is serrated to rub and polish it and seal the tire better.
Visit The Shop
This is the only way to fix your tire. However, make sure to check for any other additional puncture or damage to the tire. If there isn’t any leakage, drive to the nearby gas station or refill the air by using an air pump.
Alternatively, you can go to the mechanic immediately for better inspection. While it is an easy process, it is always a better choice to allow a professional to examine the tire and finish the process.