How To Fix A Nail In Your Tire

Here is a scenario: you have had a long night, and you have work tomorrow. Your rush home and go to bed – only to hurry the next morning and find a flat tire.

Imagine not having a spare tire or tire shop nearby. That’s one way to ruin a morning. What do you do now?

You can’t drive to a tire shop- even if you can, driving on a flat tire is something you must avoid.

A nail is almost always the culprit when you feel your car wobbling to a halt. Be it a nail, or any other sharp object, the first thing to do is to remove it as soon as you can.

It would be best if you did not drive with a nail in your tire for more than a few feet; it damages the tire severely and is a serious safety threat.

We’re here today to enable you to deal with the situation yourself. Read on to learn how to fix a tire that has been punctured by a nail, and never be late for work again!

How To Plug A Flat Tire

First, you must pull the tire off the wheel: you will need a jack and a wrench. We assume you know how to take a tire off. If not, take a look at this.

Once you’ve got the tire off, the real task begins. However, here are some things you need to stand:

Supplies You Will Need

  • A tire plug kit that includes a set of tire plugs, a rasp tool, and an insertion needle. Available at auto shops and car maintenance stores
  • Rubber cement is usually not needed, but you may need to apply it to the tire plug
  • A pair of scissors or a knife to cut the excess tire plug out after plugging
  • A bottle of detergent and water solution

Identifying The Location Of The Nail

Most of the time,the nail will be easy to spot, as one end will be sticking out from the tire and breaking the surface of the rubber.

There are two equally easy and effective ways to locate the puncture:


  • Mix detergent or liquid soap with water, thoroughly.
  • Spray every inch of the surface of the tire with this solution.
  • Wherever you see bubbles start to form, that is where the leak is.

You may be able to execute this without removing the wheel, especially if it is one of the front wheels. We still recommend taking off the wheels, in any scenario.


  • Take a trough of water deep enough to house the length of the tire.
  • Submerge one end of the tire and wait for bubbles.
  • Do this with the entire surface of the tire until you find the originof the bubbles.

Dislodging The Nail

Once spotted, you can attempt to pull the nail out using a set of pliers,a claw hammer, or even a vice grip. The tool to use will depend on the size of the nail and how much is it protruding outwards.

If the lodged object is a screw, you can use a screwdriver.

Do not get alarmed by the hissing sound when you take out the nail; that’s just the air leaking away.

Remember, the nail may not come out easily. You may have to pull hard, and it may take several tries. Try loosening the nail around the edges with a screwdriver if you need to.

Arrange For A Tire Repair Kit

For the next step, you will need a kit that is designed for this purpose. The tire repair kit will include a rasp tool, a set of tire plugs, and a special needle to insert the plug.

This kit is easily available at auto shops; It’s always advised to keep this kit in your car, as you never know when you might need it.

Source: Amazon

Ream Out The Puncture

To begin this process, we must first prepare the tools we need and then get right into it.

  • Insert the tire plug into the insertion needle: The tire plug must be centered equally on both sides of the needle; this will go in the puncture and fill it up. The open slot in the needle end will allow it to be pulled back while leaving the tire plug inside.
  • Slide the rasp into the puncture: Thrust the rasp into the opening and wiggle it around in all directions. This makes the hole wider, ensuring an easy fit for the tire plug and insertion needle.
  • Ensure Angle: Ensure you insert the rasp tool in the angle the nail was lodged in. You will have to insert the tool gently at first so as not to damage the tire.

Plugging The Hole

Now it is time to insert the tire plug into the puncture. To do this:

  • Push the tire plug inside the puncture: This may require a lot of force, and you may need to do this with both hands. If you need to apply more force to push the plug in, that is a good sign because that will ensure the puncture is plugged up tightly.
  • Pull out insertion needle: Once you feel the tire plug is in, pull the insertion needle out. Do not wiggle the needle; pull it straight out with swift force so as not to dislodge the tire plug. Do not twist or pull at an angle.
  • Cut off excess plug: Make sure some part of the tire plug sticks out from the hole; you do not want the entire plug to be lost inside the puncture. Once that is done, cut off the remaining part of the tire plug sticking out with a knife or scissors.
  • Inflate the tire: Pump the tire with air and check if the puncture is sealed or not. Spray it with the liquid soap/detergent mixture to test for leaks.


Incase you’ve followed this process through and succeeded, let it be known: you should not attempt to perform this on the same tire again!

This is in no way a permanent fix but should last you long enough to buy a replacement or look for another permanent solution.

The next time this happens and you feel the need to patch up the same tire again; it’s time to buy yourself a new tire instead.

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