Screw in Tire – What to Do & How to Fix It

Have you ever found a screw in your tire and wondered what to do next? If so, you’re not alone. While it may only be a nuisance at best, it can also be a safety hazard at worst. And anyone who finds themselves in this situation knows how frustrating it can be, especially if the tire is flat.

So without further ado, don’t let the screw screw your day. Read this article and learn everything you need to know to handle this situation!

What Happens if I Get a Screw in My Tire?

What happens if a screw accidentally gets into your tire is that it either punctures it or gets stuck in the rubber. Depending on the severity of the puncture, you may notice a hissing sound, slow loss of air pressure, or a sudden change in the stability of your car as you drive.

However, modern vehicles often have TPMS sensors monitoring tire pressure. This means you’ll likely see the tire pressure light popping up on the dashboard of your vehicle as the pressure deflates below a certain level.

What are the Potential Causes of a Screw In the Tire?

Why it happens to be a screw in your tire is impossible to answer without further information. A tire puncture that is caused by a screw often tends to happen more likely in parking lots, poorly maintained roadways, garage driveways, or due to sabotage. 

For example, you may have parked your vehicle near a construction site where someone accidentally spilled screws or other sharp objects that punctured the tire. Or a screw may have ended up on your driveway after your latest DIY project. But no matter how the screw got there, it is important to assess the damage it caused.

What to do If There Is a Screw In Your Tire

While it’s hard to say if the screw in the tire is just an inconvenience, or a danger at worst, it’s always recommended and a good idea to let a qualified tire repairman take a look no matter if the tire is punctured or not. 

Either way, you’ll want to have the screw removed, and if it punctured the tire, you’d want to get it patched, plugged, or replaced quickly to continue with your day. 

So the first step is you want to get home or to the tire repair shop. But if the tire is flat, you first want to get some air in it.

There are usually three options for situations like this. First, you can use a portable air pump to fill the tire with enough air to get home. Second, if your car has a spare tire, it’s a good idea to use that.

Finally, you could use a can of sealer that contains compressed air with a liquid that solidifies as it comes in contact with air and hopefully clogs the leak. But make sure only to use this in emergencies.

However, this assumes that you have all these things in your car and that your spare tire is in good condition.

Can I Drive on a Tire With a Screw in It?

In short, yes. As long as there is still air in the tire it’s possible to continue driving. However, it’s not something we advise you to do unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Instead, and as we already stated, we recommend that you drive to the nearest tire repair shop where a qualified person can assess the damage and how or if it should be repaired.

If you keep driving with a screw in the tire more than necessary, it increases the likelihood of a blowout, especially if the screw is in the sidewall or the shoulder of the tire.

But it can also slowly deflate your tire to the point where your rim starts to take damage. This will inevitably leave you with more costly and tedious expenses.

So, as tempting as it may be to keep driving, the cost of repairing or replacing a tire is small compared to the potential consequences of a tire failure while driving.

So do yourself a favor and don’t put yourself or others in danger. Take action and get the tire checked, fixed, or replaced as soon as possible.

Can You Repair a Tire With Screw in It?

When a screw punctures a tire, there are several factors to consider in deciding whether to repair or replace it. But most times, it comes down to the location and severity of the puncture.

The puncture’s location: As mentioned, this is what often determines if you even have a chance to repair the tire. If the puncture is in the tire’s tread, it may be repairable. However, if the puncture is in the sidewall or the shoulder of the tire, it has to be replaced. Those areas are a structural part of the tires.

The type of object: While you of course can repair a tire with a screw in it, a tire punctured by a nail is more likely repairable. That is because the nail leaves a small, smooth hole that is easier to patch.

The age of the tire: New tires are just as susceptible to blowouts from a screw as older tires. But if you just had a new tire installed, it may be something you consider when deciding whether to repair or replace it.

The level of risk: Nothing says a repaired tire can’t hold for ages. But if you want complete peace of mind, the best option is to replace the tire. However, if you are willing to take some risk, you can have the hole plugged or patched.

But choosing a reputable shop with experienced technicians and the right equipment is important. Also, if someone else will be driving the car, such as a family member, you may prefer to replace the tire to avoid putting them at risk.

This is is clearly up to you. However, by comparing the cost of repairing and replacing a tire, you’ll soon realize it’s probably worth a few extra dollars to replace it. So let’s take a look at the costs.

How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Screw in Tire?

As to all questions about repair costs, it’s hard to give an accurate estimate as it depends on many factors, including the type and size of the tire, the location of the screw and the severity of the damage.

Assuming you can repair the tire, the cost to either patch or plugg a tire with a screw in it will typically range from $10 to $50, mostly depending on if you DIY or take it to a professional. A patching or plugging kit usually cost around $10 to $20.

But as mentioned, if the screw is in the side of the tire, it’s best to replace it. Replacing a tire can range from $50 to several hundred dollars.

It’s important to note that these are rough estimates for standard cars and tires and that the actual cost to fix a screw in a tire will depend on the specific circumstances and the services required.

Getting a quote from a reputable tire repair shop or mechanic is always a good idea before having any work done on your vehicle.

Does Insurance Cover Screw in Tire?

Whether or not insurance covers a screw in a tire depends on the specific type of insurance you have and the circumstances under which the screw ended up in the tire.

If you have a standard auto insurance policy, it typically covers damages to your vehicle that are caused by events that are beyond your control, such as accidents, theft, and natural disasters. 

In most cases, a tire punctured by a screw will not be covered under a standard auto insurance policy unless it was caused by one of these types of events, which is unlikely.

However, depending on the tire brand and where you bought it, the deal may include insurance covering all types of damage to the wheel, including tire puncture for screws or nails.

This kind of tire insurance sometimes even covers road assistance and the labor cost of changing the tire. 

But note that it’s important to review YOUR insurance policy and understand what types of damages and events are covered. If you have any questions about what your policy covers, you should contact your insurance company for more information. 

How to Fix a Tire Puncture Caused by a Screw

Both patching and plugging a tire can be effective ways to repair a puncture or hole in a tire. However, there are some differences between the two methods that you should consider when deciding which option is best for you.

Patching a tire involves removing the tire from the rim and repairing the hole from the inside using a patch. This is a more permanent solution and can extend the life of the tire. However, it can be more time-consuming and may require special equipment.

Plugging a tire involves inserting a plug into the hole from the outside of the tire. This is a quicker and easier process that can be done without removing the tire from the rim. However, the repair is not as permanent as patching and the tire may need to be replaced sooner.

In general, patching is a better option if you want a more permanent repair and are willing to take the time to do it properly.

However, if you need a quick fix and don’t mind replacing the tire sooner, plugging may be a good option. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your specific needs and circumstances.

How to Patch a Tire

Here is a step-by-step guide for how to patch a tire:

  1. Lift the vehicle using a tire jack and loosen the lug nuts with a lug wrench.
  2. Remove the tire from the rim and set it aside.
  3. Use pliers to carefully remove the screw that caused the puncture.
  4. Clean the area around the puncture with a buffing solution and buff the tire with a machine or sandpaper, using circular motions.
  5. Use a solvent to clean the inside of the tire.
  6. Apply a layer of rubber cement to the area where the patch will be placed.
  7. Remove the backing from a radial tire patch and position it over the puncture, making sure it covers the entire hole.
  8. Use a rolling tool to press the patch onto the tire, rolling it in all directions to remove any air bubbles and ensure good adhesion.
  9. Mount the tire back on the rim and inflate it to the recommended pressure.
  10. Check for any air leaks and inspect the repair for any issues.
  11. Once the repair seems solid, you can reattach the tire to the vehicle and continue to use it as normal. It’s a good idea to check the repair regularly in the first few days to ensure it is holding.

How to Plugg a Tire

Here is a step-by-step guide for how to plug a tire without removing it from the rim:

  1. Locate the screw or puncture hole in the tire. If you can’t find the leak, you can spray down the wheel and look for any air bubbles.
  2. Read the instructions for your specific plugging kit.
  3. Use the T-handle reaming tool that comes with the plugging kit to round out and clean the hole. Work it up and down while rotating it.
  4. Follow the instructions to prepare the plug for insertion. This may involve applying a coating of rubber cement or activating a chemical agent.
  5. Use the insertion tool that comes with the kit to push the plug strip into the hole. It may require pushing with force. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper technique.
  6. Wait about 10 minutes or the amount of time recommended in the instructions and then inflate the tire to the recommended pressure.
  7. Use a pair of scissors or a similar tool to trim off any excess material from the plug that is sticking out of the tire.
  8. Test the repair by driving the vehicle and checking for any leaks or other issues. If the repair seems to be holding, you can continue to use the tire as normal.

The Conclusive Conclusion

Finding a screw in the tire can be a frustrating experience, especially if the tire is flat. Whether you can repair the tire will depend on a number of factors, including the location and severity of the puncture, the age of the tire, and the level of risk you are willing to take.

However, it’s important to take swift action as it, in the worst case, can be a safety hazard and even lead to accidents. 

Overall, it’s essential to stay safe and vigilant regarding tire maintenance to continue driving with confidence and peace of mind. If you’re unsure what to do, it’s always best to seek the advice of a qualified tire repairman or mechanic.

And to prevent screws from getting in your tires in the first place, be sure to avoid driving over sharp objects and keep an eye out for screws and other debris when you’re driving or parking.

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Rickard Cefalk

Rickard is the owner of and a dedicated and avid do-it-yourselfer who has always enjoyed working on his own vehicles since childhood. He now devotes his time to sharing his expert knowledge of car maintenance and other car-related information through his website.

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