How Do Nails Get In Tires? (Is Someone Doing It?)

You pull your car out of your driveway and hear a strange click-clicky sound. In all likelihood, it’s a nail – and now you need to visit a repair shop.

Nails in tires can be incredibly frustrating. While they aren’t expensive to fix, they can take a lot of time out of your day. No one plans to get a nail in their tire, after all.

Keep reading to learn about how the nail got in your tire anyway, as well as how you can prevent it.  

How Do Nails Get In Tires?

Nails typically end up in your wheel after they are thrown up by another tire. This other tire can belong to a different car altogether, or your front wheels can kick a nail into your back wheels. Additionally, vertical nails can also end up in your wheels simply by running over them. 

Certain situations can lead to an increased chance that you’ll get a nail in your tire as well. Plus, there are some ways to prevent picking up nails. Keep reading below to learn more. 

Why Do I Keep Getting Nails in My Tires?

In many cases, getting nails in your tire is simply a matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

As you might imagine, nails are more likely to occur in certain areas. In places with heavy construction, nails and screws are much more likely to end up on the road. 

Similarly, places that have recently had natural disasters or even more rain usually have more debris on their roads.

Additionally, if there are construction sites or contractors working nearby, loose nails can make their way from trucks or work sites onto the road.

Therefore, it is likely that the areas you’re driving are simply more prone to loose nails for one reason or another.

For this reason, you should pay attention to where you often get nails in your tires. If it is after driving in a specific area, you may want to avoid driving in that area. 

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Is Someone Putting Nails in My Tires?

Is Someone Putting Nails in My Tires?

If you’ve suddenly noticed an increase of nails in your tires, it is only natural to consider if someone else is putting them there. 

However, there are other explanations for a sudden increase of nails in your tires.

For instance, a part of your usual commute may now be in a construction zone, or your area might have recently received heavy rainfall. 

Usually, nails you run over end up somewhere in the tread. On the other hand, nails in the sidewall are more likely to be stuck there through some other means – though it isn’t impossible for them to end up there while driving. 

You can also check to see if the nail is newer or older. Older nails are more likely to be washed in from construction sites and accidentally end up in your tire. 

Of course, new nails are also at construction sites and can easily end up in your tire if you drive over one. 

In reality, there are many things in the road that are always waiting for you to run over them. In most cases, nails end up in tires completely by accident, and most likely not be someone else.

How Do You Stop Nails From Getting in Tires?

How Do You Stop Nails From Getting in Tires?

Firstly, you should be aware of where you are driving. Certain areas are more likely to have nails on their road, leading to more punctures in your tire. 

Specifically, you should avoid construction sites and road repairs. 

After heavy storms, you should also avoid areas that are prone to water overflow over the road. After all, this water can easily wash nails from faraway places and leave them on the road!

Secondly, inspect your tires regularly. Weak tires are more vulnerable to punctures. If your tires are older, it could be that they’re simply more prone to punctures – not that there are more nails than usual on the road. 

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Thirdly, you can also get your tires protected with tire sealant. Typically, this can be applied at an extra charge at the time of installation. To apply, it needs to be sprayed through the valve and then distributed throughout the tire by rotating it. 

If you have a knack for DIY, you may be able to apply the sealant yourself. However, it usually doesn’t cost too much extra to have it down whenever your tires are installed. 

Finally, you can also attach puncture-resistant stripes. However, you’ll need to remove your tire from the rim altogether and then apply these stripes to the tread belt of the tire.

It isn’t necessarily an easy job, though it is often designed for owners to perform. 

Despite this, the stripes can improve the longevity of the tires since they can’t be struck by nails and other materials quite as easily. 

Furthermore, you can also purchase puncture-proof tires themselves. These are often quite expensive and not always a practical option for your vehicle. 

Plus, they’re also a newer invention, so they can be challenging to find. 

Can Nails Cause Tires to Go Flat?

Can Nails Cause Tires to Go Flat?

Nails can absolutely cause a tire to go flat. In fact, one of the most common causes of flat tires is something sharp puncturing the tire, such as a nail. 

Sometimes, the nail goes cleanly into the tire and can hang out there for a bit. Other times, the nail may go in and then immediately come back out, causing an instant flat tire. 

If you do end up with a nail in your tire, you shouldn’t drive around with it in there. At speed, the nail can come flying out and cause a flat in a matter of seconds. Nails aren’t made to stay in tires, and they often don’t. 

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In most cases, you’ll be able to get away with a nail in your tire for a little bit, but you never know when the nail will suddenly decide not to be in your tire. 

Luckily, you can easily fix most holes caused by nails in tires. In fact, many tire service technicians spend much of their time doing just that. 

However, there are dangers to driving with a plugged tire, so be sure that you’re well-aware of the risk before deciding to go that route. 

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Nail Out of A Tire?

Typically, the average tire puncture repair is exceedingly cheap. On average, they tend to cost around $10 to $20. Usually, this repair involves getting a tire patch. 

In some cases, some car dealers may patch the tire for free if you purchased it from them. Before driving to a different repair shop, we highly recommend calling and asking. 

Of course, you may decide to replace your car’s tire instead. In these cases, you can expect to pay quite a bit more. Generally, it is always safer to replace the tire, as patches can be hit-or-miss. 

But when this costs nearly 100% more expensive than a patch, we can easily see why many car owners decide to patch their tires instead. 

To find out more, you can also read our posts if plugging a tire is safe, how do nails get in tires, and if you can drive with glass in your tires.


In most cases, the nails are flicked up by a different tire and thrown into the damaged one. Sometimes, the car in front of you can throw a nail into your wheel. 

Other times, your front tires can throw a nail into your back tires. 

Nails that just so happen to land vertically on the road can also end up in your tire. However, this is much rarer. 

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