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View Full Version : Should I pull the nail out of my tire?


CrankyAsAnOldMan
04-18-2002, 10:51 AM
I've got a slow leak in my rear tire. I'll get it fixed eventually, but for now I just keep an eye on it and add air every week. I finally located the cause--a small nail embedded in the tire.

My question: if I pull this nail out, will the air leak out slower, or faster? Should I leave it in or not?

Telemark
04-18-2002, 11:00 AM
The air will leak faster if you remove the tire. If the nail is in the tread, bring it to a service station and they can patch it quickly and for just a few bucks.

Continuing to ride on the tire with the nail in it, IMO, is unsafe and asking for trouble. If the nail comes out and the tire loses more air, you are in danger of a catastrophic blowout, not a good thing. Under-inflated tires overheat, leading to blowouts. Don't delay, this is an unsafe situation.

lieu
04-18-2002, 11:03 AM
IAN the Michelin Man but you could get a can of Fix-A-Flat to accompany your carpentry work on the tire and you'd likely be okay. The limited experience I've had with this suggests that if the hole isn't too large, the sealant will do you right. My two flat fixes lasted for the remaining life of the tires... about 15 and 25K respectavely.

robcaro
04-18-2002, 12:09 PM
I believe that Fix-A-Flat is meant as a tool to get you safely to the next tire repair station. Not for a permanent fix. :)

Wikkit
04-18-2002, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Telemark
The air will leak faster if you remove the tire.Yeah, and driving without it is hell on the rims...


Sorry. I wish there was a sheepish grin smiley... and a spock-style one-eyebrow-higher smiley.

EVO95
04-18-2002, 12:21 PM
I've also heard (no cite, sorry) that Fix-a-flat can cause the tire to become unbalanced...really, if the nail is in the tread, it's a simple plug fix. You can actually do it yourself, they have tire repair kits at your local WAL*MART. I carry one with me wherever I go.

Cheesesteak
04-18-2002, 12:42 PM
I would only pull it when I was planning to fix the hole. You should fix the hole right away, though. You can't count on the leak staying slow, if if starts to leak faster one day, you could wind up driving on a very underinflated tire and have a disasterous blowout.

Try EVO95's suggestion or bring it to a tire place. A patch should be very cheap and fast.

lieu
04-18-2002, 01:37 PM
I looked on the Fix-A-Flag pages for some legal disclaimer or note of impermanence but could find none. However, if the word is that it's just a temporary fix then by all means Cranky get to a station for a proper fix.

racer72
04-18-2002, 02:14 PM
SLIME IT I used Slime tire sealant on a tire on my old Dodge truck about 5 years ago and have had no problems since. It is designed to be a permanant fix. And because "flats suck". Sorry for the shameless promo.

toadspittle
04-18-2002, 02:17 PM
In my experience, Fix-a-flat is a permanent, but unrepairable, fix. In other words, you can use it for a small puncture, but if it doesn't work, you're boned. The tire cannot be patched later.

The unbalancing problem is very real. I, too, had a nail stuck in my tire (through the thickest part of the tread!), giving it a slow leak.

I sprayed in fix-a-flat, but it didn't work (though it has worked OK on other tires). In fact, it never fully solidified, and the goo would randomly spin about the inside of the tire, making for a hell of a bumpy ride and a tire that was impossible to balance. I had to get the tire replaced.

My advice: drive the car, with nail still in the tread, to a trustworthy repair shop (Sears does a good patch, even) and have them remove it and patch your tire. I don't think I'd use fix-a-flat again, unless it was a serious emergency (i.e., truly life-threatening, and I couldn't spare the time to change the tire and then get the tire patched).

CrankyAsAnOldMan
04-18-2002, 02:38 PM
Okay. Gotcha.

For once it's not a matter of not knowing where to go or being strapped for cash--it's just sheer unadulterated laziness and not wanting to coordinate the drop-off given work, daycare, etc. Since they were still building around us for several years after we moved into our comdo, we are no strangers to tire repair thanks to nails. This is the first time the puncture has been slow instead of resulting in a flat. I will hie me to the tire place ASAP.

Gary T
04-18-2002, 03:05 PM
If you use Fix-A-Flat, let the tire service person know that before anything is done that involves letting the air out. The stuff is flammable and potentially dangerous when the tire is being worked on.

LolaBaby
04-18-2002, 03:37 PM
I think they have been making non-flammable types recently. Of course, that still isn't a reason not to tell the tire repair person.

I hated when people would put that crap in their tire though...if we were patching and not plugging the tire. It's a mess.

Lure
04-18-2002, 04:14 PM
Cranky-Make sure the tire-repair person knows how to properly inspect tires for damage.A similar situation I had resulted in the belts (one belt?) separating internally resulting in a new tire and a very rough ride the night before I noticed the severity of the out of round tire.

Not a good thing at freeway speeds.

Lure
04-18-2002, 04:14 PM
Cranky-Make sure the tire-repair person knows how to properly inspect tires for damage.A similar situation I had resulted in the belts (one belt?) separating internally resulting in a new tire and a very rough ride the night before I noticed the severity of the out of round tire.

Not a good thing at freeway speeds.

SCSimmons
04-18-2002, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by CrankyAsAnOldMan
Okay. Gotcha.

For once it's not a matter of not knowing where to go or being strapped for cash--it's just sheer unadulterated laziness and not wanting to coordinate the drop-off given work, daycare, etc. Since they were still building around us for several years after we moved into our comdo, we are no strangers to tire repair thanks to nails. This is the first time the puncture has been slow instead of resulting in a flat. I will hie me to the tire place ASAP.

About three blocks from where I live, there is what I think is the coolest business in the known universe. A 24-hour tire sales/repair/rotation/etc. while-you-wait business. Last time I picked up a nail (actually, it turned out to be a sliver from a razor blade or hunting arrow :eek: ), I stopped in, watched the guy pull the sharp & plug the hole, handed them ten bucks, and drove off. All in about five minutes.

All I could say was, and I quote, "Wow. Thanks."

DougC
04-18-2002, 05:15 PM
- - - If there's a nail in a tire, leave it in until you can patch the tire by some other means.
- On The Road: Fix-a-flat leaves a mess. Tire plug kits are better: you need some needle-nose pliers to pull nails out, you need a bike pump to re-inflate the tire afterwards, and you need to remember to trim the plug off flush with the tire or else the plug will work its way out again. - DougC

NadaHappyCamper
04-18-2002, 09:26 PM
If you pull the nail from the tire.........how will you find the hole it was in?

Wikkit
04-19-2002, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by Wikkit
Yeah, and driving without it is hell on the rims...The stupid joke police caught up with me. I blew a tire yesterday because an idiot couldn't maintain his driveway, and it's not repairable.

There goes sixty bucks I don't have... oddly enough, the 'spare' in the car was actually larger than the rest of the tires.

Ben

Cheesesteak
04-19-2002, 08:32 AM
How to find a hole/leak in a tire:

step 1 - take the tire off the car
step 2 - fill a bucket with soapy water
step 3 - get a big sponge
step 4 - soak sponge and wet down the tire, including the joint between tire and rim
step 5 - look for bubbles

Cartooniverse
04-19-2002, 08:51 AM
I cannot bring myself to see you as unadulterated, Cranky. :D :D :D

Now, someone did mention a plug. In the case of a nail, you have really lucked out. A plug is indeed the pluperfect fix. I've also been told by my tire guy to NEVER use Fix-A-Flat type of cans unless stuck on the side of the B.Q.E. or somesuch. They fill the inside surface of the tire unevenly, and make it almost impossible to spin balance, as said above.

OTOH, that plug thing will be cheap, fast and unquestionably effective, AND she/he ( your mechanic) will already KNOW where the hole is.

Now, can I carry your books home from school, since you're carless and walking? ;)

Cartooniverse

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