How to tell if someone put a nail in your tire can be tricky, especially if the threads are deep. It is crucial to be prepared to avoid instances when you must stop on the roadside because of a deflated wheel.
Rubber, wire, and fabric are the most common tire materials. They are vital safety components but vulnerable to natural punctures and sabotage acts.
The good news is that you can spot the problem if you are suspicious. Next is how you can tell if someone put a nail in your tire.
How to Tell if Someone Put a Nail in your Tire
1. Subsiding tire pressure
The low temperature in the winter can cause tire pressure to decrease due to the compression of cold air.
But again, if you leave your car overnight and see a flat tire in the morning, chances are that it has a nail puncture.
Sometimes the wheel won’t be completely deflated, and the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) may fail to detect the pressure change.
Yet, you may notice the car pull to one side or wallow when passing over a bump.
Therefore, it is advisable to measure the amount of air in the tires weekly and refill them, if necessary, before leaving your home.
You can also do the same after parking it somewhere for a long time. Investing in an electric pressure pump with a gauge will be handy to add the pressure.
2. Inspect the tire thoroughly
A quick tire inspection or adding pressure often won’t reveal if someone put a nail in your tire. The nail may be small, hiding on the inner side or within the threads.
A wise approach to inspect and note the pesky little nail is first to lift the car with a jack. Next, check the surface of the tire from different angles. Feel its inner sides as you rotate with your hand.
If you are unsuccessful, consider removing the entire wheel for inspection. It will be easier to get a clear view of the surface and the hiding nail.
3. Check for slow air loss
When a wheel has a tiny nail, it will often lose air slowly, which can be hard to tell in one day. Ignoring to fix small tire leaks can lead to expensive repairs.
So, if you are suspicious, you can spray the tire with soapy water to check whether you will see bubbles form.
You can also remove the tire and dip it in a jar with clean water. Doing this will enable you to note the imperfect seal on the wheel rim if you have been driving with the air coming out for a long time.
Don’t use tire sealant to repair a large leak unless you have an emergency. It will only offer a temporary solution, which can make the tire irreparable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to repair a tire puncture?
Depending on the garage you visit, you can spend anything between $25 and $40.
Can I drive with a nail in my tire?
It is possible but dangerous and can lead to expensive costs since the tire’s sidewall may weaken.
Can I repair a puncture on my own?
Whether you can repair a puncture depends on its cause and if you have the tools. A rule of thumb is taking the car to a specialist to fix it.
Be sure to ask your mechanic to check the tires during your car’s routine maintenance. Achieving this will save you the hassle of removing the nails and patching the puncture.