Eventually, it happens to everyone – you get out of your car after a long day at work and discover a shard of glass sticking out. Sometimes, you know exactly where the glass came from. Other times? Not so much!
You can’t always replace your tire or get the glass out right away. But is it safe to drive around with glass in your tire? Keep reading to discover what I found out.
Can You Drive With Glass In Your Tire?
In most situations, you can drive with small amounts of glass in your tire as it does not always puncture through the rubber and create a slow leak. However, some types of glass can cause slow leaks, such as bottle glass, which can lead to blowouts and flat tires if not repaired or replaced.
Keep reading to learn more about how different types of glass affect tires, how to detect a slow leak, and how to remove the glass from your tire.
Can Tires Drive Over Glass?
Because you typically won’t know what kind of glass something is, you should generally avoid glass you see randomly on the road.
Even if the glass doesn’t puncture the tire completely, it can scratch it – providing a place for moisture and debris to accumulate.
Over time, this can reduce the life of your tire and it will take a very long time for this debris to accumulate, though.
Usually, these sorts of cuts won’t cause substantial damage to the tire until you’re 10,000 miles down the road.
Most of the glass found on roadways comes from headlights to windshields. Luckily, these glass fragments have few sharp edges, as they tend to break into tiny squares.
For this reason, this debris doesn’t pose much of a risk to tires.
However, glass from bottles can pose a risk. These often have long, sharp spikes, which can penetrate rubber and cause more damage. If you don’t know the type of glass on the road, your best bet is to avoid it.
How Do You Get Glass Out of a Tire?
Before attempting to get glass out of your tire, you should ensure that your tire is not leaking.
To do this, you can spray soapy water on your tire around the glass. If it bubbles, your tire is leaking, and you should likely not attempt to remove it.
Additionally, you can also check the tire pressure. If the pressure is low, it could be a sign that the tire is leaking.
However, this isn’t necessarily the case, as there are plenty of other reasons that your tire may be leaking as well!
If there is not a pressure gauge nearby, be sure to keep an eye on your dashboard. In most cases, your car will have a sensor that will turn on if your tire pressure becomes too low.
If your tire is not leaking, you can likely work the glass out with a pair of pliers. Be sure to wear gloves. You don’t want the glass leaving your tire and ending up in your hand!
Alternatively, you can take it to a tire shop. Find one that can repair tires and doesn’t just replace them. Often, they can get the glass out of your tire much faster than you can.
Can Glass Puncture Tires?
Yes, but only certain kinds of glass. To avoid tire damage, windshields and mirrors on cars are made with a special kind of glass that shatters into something resembling pebbles – not shards of glass.
Therefore, windshields and mirror glass is very unlikely to cause damage to your car. After all, they were specifically designed not to.
However, other types of glass can puncture tires. Broken bottles in parking lots are the most likely culprit. These sorts of glass aren’t made to be tire-safe.
Furthermore, glass is most likely to puncture tires in the summer. In the hotter weather, the rubber of your tire is softer and more susceptible to damage.
If it is in the summer, you should likely be more careful about driving over glass.
Will I Get a Flat Tire If I Run Over Glass?
Not necessarily. There are many cases where running over glass doesn’t necessarily warrant a flat tire.
For instance, most of the glass on cars is designed to be tire-safe.
Usually, this is the sort of glass your car will come into contact with. If there is windshield glass all over the freeway, you probably don’t have much to worry about.
With that said, there are absolutely some types of glass that can give you a flat tire. For instance, broken bottles are not “tire safe,” as we’ve previously explained.
For the most part, glass found in parking lots is more dangerous than the glass you find on the road.
Of course, glass that falls from vehicles onto the road (like bottles) can damage your tires. Therefore, if you see glass in the road, it is best to avoid it unless you know what it is.
If you are looking to learn more about tires, you can also see our related posts on the sidewall tire damage, do tires float in water, if you can drive with metal showing on tires, bent tire rod symptoms, and how long run-flat tires last.
Not all glass is a threat to tires. For instance, some glasses are tire-safe, such as those used in windshields.
On the other hand, unsafe types of glasses can sometimes cause holes in tires, which can lead to slow leaks or blowouts. However, this doesn’t always occur.
It is equally as possible for glass to get stuck in your tire and not cause a leak. In these cases, you can pull the glass out of your tire without much of an issue – or hire someone to do it.