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How long can you drive with nail in tire?

How Long Can You Drive On A Spare Tire?

Only drive as far as you must until it’s safe to pull off the road. You don’t want to drive on a flat too long or you could damage the tire and even the rim, leading to even more costly repairs. So, the answer to, “can I drive on a flat tire” is mostly no.

An exception to this is if the damaged tire is a “run flat tire”, which are tires that are built to drive on zero tire pressure for a short distance in the event of a flat. So, once you’re able to get the spare on, you’ve bought yourself a bit more time, but how much?

Spare (Or Donut) Tire Is On, Now What?

After you’ve replaced your flat tire with the spare, it’s easy to wonder: how long can you drive on a spare tire? Remember the rule of 50. You shouldn’t drive more than 50 miles on a temporary tire, if possible, and you shouldn’t drive more than 50 mph either. Spares are not meant to replace a tire and are exactly as they sound – temporary.

Here’s the scoop on why: Their design has far less traction and durability than a standard tire, so keep those mph low or you’ll have a very harsh ride.

Let’s Talk About Different Spares For Different Needs.

Compact and mid-size cars:

  • These spares are often compact donut tires.
  • Usually fit inside your car, beneath the floor of the trunk.
  • They not only differ from regular tires in shape and size, but also in required tire pressure (for a smaller vehicle it’s usually 35 PSI, but donuts are around 60 PSI).

SUVs, crossovers, and trucks:

  • Larger vehicles often come equipped with a full-sized spare, which are larger to support the full load and any additional cargo or items being towed.
  • These tires are much better quality than a donut, but they should still be replaced ASAP since they aren’t as durable, are narrower, and may not be produced by the same manufacturer as your other tires.
  • One last thing, full-sized spares should be regularly inspected, especially if they are secured under your vehicle where they are exposed to harsher elements.

Driving Safely On A Spare

Now that we know “how long can you drive on a spare tire?”, let’s go over how to make those miles last. Driving safely is extremely important for both donuts and full-sized spares.

Here are three best practices:

1. Check the tire pressure regularly when it isn’t in use.

2. Give yourself extra space and time to brake.

  • Using a spare can cause your vehicle’s Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) light to illuminate or your ABS to malfunction. Plus, a donut spare can lead to inaccuracies in some vehicles’ speedometers.
  • Braking early and with extra distance between you and other vehicles can ensure you’re not in for surprises, especially during inclement weather since spares are more susceptible to slipping or hydroplaning. They also don’t have advanced treads so they can’t provide the proper traction that regular tires would.

3. Replace your spare when necessary.

  • Replacement will depend on the type of spare you have. Check your owner’s manual or inspect the spare for more information on how frequently you should replace it. (If you can’t find the manual, or you still have questions, feel free to ask a trained Jiffy Lube ® technician).
  • Many temporary tires have a tire life of about eight years.

Always follow the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) spare tire usage and pressure recommendations.

Here’s What To Expect When You Bring Your Car To Jiffy Lube ® To Have Your Tires Inspected Professionally

Visit any of the 2,000+ locations nationwide and a trained technician will inspect your tire tread (depth and condition), sidewalls (both inner and outer), and pressure. You can count on Jiffy Lube to help keep you safely on the road.

Jiffy Lube technician using a machine to balance a vehicle's tire during a tire inspection and/or replacement service

Read more about it.

Now that you’ve answered “how long can you drive on a spare tire?”, you can become better acquainted with tire pressure here.

Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube ® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube ® service center or visit for specific services offered.

Tire Help: What To Do When There is a Nail in Your Tire

We have all been there—you notice a tire looking flat when you find a small nail or screw embedded in the rubber. So why do nails consistently puncture tires? How can you tell when your tire has a leak, and what should you do about it? The automotive mechanics at Chapel Hill Tire are here to answer all of your questions about tire patching and flat repairs.

How Do Nails and Screws End Up In Tires?

One common question we get from customers is, “How do screws puncture tires?” Whether from roadside construction or tool-filled trucks, nails and screws end up on the road far too often. What confuses drivers most is how they end up in tires. You might think your tire would roll over nails and screws on the road—so why is this such a common problem? There are a few reasons why tires and nails so often clash on the road:

  • Road shoulders: Nails and other hazards often live on the shoulders of the roads. If you pull over or veer off course for even a moment, your tire is likely to find a hazard waiting. Additionally, nails on the bumpy shoulder of a road do not lay very flat, making it easier to penetrate your tire.
  • Tires kicking up nails: Nails can find your front tires after being kicked up by a vehicle in front of you. Driving with a little extra distance between cars can help keep your vehicle protected from these kinds of hazards. Meanwhile, nails can easily find your back tires after being kicked up by your front tires.
  • Driveways and side streets: Nails can be surprisingly common in driveways—especially when visiting a home that was recently renovated. Your tires might also be more prone to obstructions if you live in an area with lots of construction.

How Can You Tell If Your Tire Has a Screw or Nail Puncture?

When you begin experiencing tire issues, it can be hard to pinpoint the source of the problem—especially if you are not a professional mechanic. You might find yourself wondering, “Does my tire have a nail in it, or is it something worse?” Here are some clear indicators that you have a nail or screw in your tire:

  • Persistent low tire pressure: The most obvious indication of a punctured tire is persistent low tire pressure. Low tire pressure is common as your tires naturally lose air over time. This is especially true in the winter months when the air inside your tires compresses. However, if you fill your tire with air and find that the low tire pressure light quickly returns—you likely have a puncture in your tire.
  • Visual inspection: It is a good idea to give your tires a quick look over every once in a while. Regular visual checks can help you spot uneven tire wear, low tire tread depth, low tire pressure, and tire obstructions. Finding these issues early can help you avoid safety hazards on the road and larger vehicle repairs. Keep an eye out for low tire pressure and tire punctures when giving your tires a routine visual inspection.
  • Professional insight: Your mechanics often pay careful attention to your vehicle when completing routine maintenance. Experience combined with attention to detail makes it easy for them to spot issues right away—such as tire punctures.
  • The soap test: So you think you have a nail in your tire—how can you confirm your suspicions? Spray the tire in question with a healthy amount of soapy water. As the nail lets air out of your tire, it will begin creating bubbles in the mixture.

What Should You Do When You Have a Nail In Your Tire?

The low tire pressure created by tire punctures can lead to tire damage, low gas mileage, bent rims, and dangerous vehicle handling troubles. Additionally, you may fail your car inspection if your tires are not in tip-top shape. So what can you do when you have a nail in your tire? There are a few possible solutions you can turn to:

Professional Tire Patching Service

The best possible solution is to bring your vehicle to an expert for patching service. A professional can quickly find the puncture, remove the nail/screw, patch your tire, and refill your tire with air. This service provides a reliable repair without any of the hassles or risks associated with the alternative solutions. How much does professional tire patching cost? At Chapel Hill Tire, our local tire patching flat repair services are just $25.

DIY Tire Patching

Some drivers attempt DIY patching, but this is not the best solution for most drivers. Many of these patch kits can cost as much as professional service, and it can be easy to damage the tire while attempting a patch. Not to mention, the patching process can be physically challenging and it often completely empties the air out of your tire—leaving drivers with a tire too flat to bring in for a refill. If you end up having to tow your vehicle, you will find yourself facing a much larger bottom line than the money you saved on a tire patch kit.


Pressurized tire patches like Fix-a-Flat and other synthetic solutions can fix tire punctures from nails, but they come with their own set of risks and considerations. Most severely, they have been linked to risks of tire pressure monitoring sensor damage. Additionally, the sealant can create trouble when you need future tire services, which could result in premature tire replacement and extra labor costs. Much like tire patches, these solutions often cost just as much as professional tire patching, so you can save some trouble and money by turning to the experts.

Chapel Hill Tire Local Patching and Flat Repair Services

When you find a nail in your tire, the experts at Chapel Hill Tire are here to help! Our local mechanics have the tools and experience needed to get your tire fixed in no time. Best of all, we offer coupons, deals, and special discounts for our customers. With our everyday low and transparent prices, you can get affordable, high-quality tire flat repairs without any surprises. Chapel Hill Tire proudly serves the greater Triangle area with our 9 locations across Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill. You can make your appointment here online or give us a call to get started today!

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Driving With Screw In Tire: All You Need To Know (Explained)

Tires are essential in every vehicle. Of course, vehicles will not run without your tires. The tires also carry the weight of your vehicle. With that, tires are included in what you should take care of and ensure good.

Tires must be maintained in good condition, and they should always be checked. However, no matter how you check your tires, there are still times where there will be a screw in your tire.

With that, many car drivers have been asking so much about driving with a screw in their tire. So in this article, we’ll be talking all about driving with a screw in your tire. So let us get started.

Table of Contents

Driving With Screw In Tire

Can You Drive With A Screw In A Tire?

If you see a screw in your tire and you have a tubeless tire, then whether or not you can still drive your car will depend on your tire’s condition. The first task is to check your tire to see if it still has air. If your tire still has air, then the best thing you can do is leave the screw in the tire and drive to the nearest auto shop or repair shop.

Have them take the screw off and then have them fix the puncture. The screw will act as a plug for the puncture, and this will help you reach the repair shop with whatever air you have in your tire. If you take the screw off, the tire will deflate immediately if it is punctured in the tire, and with that, you will not be able to drive your vehicle anymore.

If you have tubed tires and the screw has already punctured the tube, you can lose all the air in your tire. In that case, you must not attempt to drive your vehicle. Instead, you can use the spare wheel and go to the nearest repair shop, and they can take off the tube and then repair the puncture.

Driving your car with a flat tire can ruin your tie. You can remove the screw, and if nothing happens, the screw does not make it all the way. But if the screw is removed and the air is hissing out, the tire must be repaired.

If you see a screw in your tire, you can consult a professional to have it removed. You can go to the nearest garage and have your tire for inspection and have them check the extent of the damage and have the necessary repairs.

Do not pull the screw from the tire if you are unsure because you can put it off in the wrong way. It can deliver more damage to your vehicle.

How Long Can You Drive Around With A Screw In Your Tire?

The distance you can move and drive around with a screw in your tire will depend on how deep-set your tire is. If it is a long nail, you can drive around for about ten miles before you notice that you have an issue.

If you discover the problem, you have to sort it out as soon as possible. A tiny screw might not cause you some risk.

Is It Safe To Drive On A Highway With A Screw In A Tire?

The answer is that it will depend on how big the nail or the screw is. It’ll also depend on how fast the tire is losing air.

But yes, you may drive with a nail in your tire if your tire is still holding air, but you should not drive your vehicle if it has a nail and it is flat, or it has a blown-out tire because it is not safe for driving. Everyone knows that you cannot drive with a flat tire, and you should not try it.

What Happens If You Leave A Screw In Your Tire?

A screw-in tire can be dangerous because it can cause secondary issues like rough driving, deflated tires, or an imbalance in your tire. If your screw is on the tire shoulder, then this means that the tire is no longer worth the road.

This means that you need a replacement. If you see a screw in your tire, you should not pull it out. Instead, you must go to a mechanic and repair and deal with the situation.

Is It Better To Leave Screw In Tire?

If you have a low-pressure warning in your dashboard, and you will find a tire with a nail on it, leave it there unless you are equipped to change your tire or have the tools and skills to plug the tire by yourself. If your tire is slowly losing air, leave the nail or screw where it is and go to the nearest auto shop.

Even if you can see the nail’s head or the screw and notice that your tire is not getting flat, you cannot keep driving your vehicle. The screw must get out, though, because it can cause a big hole if you keep driving it.

Is A Screw In A Tire Dangerous?

You have to consider where the tire was punctured. If your tire is punctured anywhere on the side of the vehicle, a repair is impossible, and it will need to be replaced. However, if the puncture is on top of the tire, the surface in contact with the road, you can repair it.

You also need to know what punctured your tire. A nail will do very little damage. This is because a nail is smooth and straight. A screw can be more dangerous because of the threads.

Screw-In Tire Between Tread: What To Do?

You have to leave it there until you have it repaired. If you take it out, you might lose where the area needs to be repaired, and the tire can immediately go flat. So you need to call a professional.


In summary, tires are a vital part of all vehicles. They are why vehicles run and carry the weight of the vehicle.

With that, tires contact the road and can be punctured with many things. If you have a screw-in your tire, do not remove it. Consult a professional right away.

Also Read:

  • Tire Popped Off Rim
  • Michelin Tire Dry Rot
  • What Is The Lowest Tire Pressure You Can Drive On?
  • Why Aren’t Tires Solid?
  • Can You Fill A Car Tire With A Bike Pump?
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