I drove over a large screw which punched a clean hole in between the tread near the middle of the tire. I had a full size spare so I just removed the tire instead of trying to patch it.

Now, what's the best permanent fix for a simple puncture? I understand that fix-a-flat is a last resort. Is some other DIY kit adequate, or do I need to take it to a shop and if so are there multiple repair options to choose from?

It is an original stock tire from a 4WD Nissan XTerra with moderate tread. It should otherwise last at least a few more years.

2 Answers 2


I'd look at it in this lineup in order of precedence:

  1. Take it to a shop and have them put a patch on the hole from the inside of the tire.
    • Pro: Best permanent fix
    • Con: More expensive (sans replacement)
  2. Use a rubber rope patch fix.
    • Pro: Easy to do at home; cheap
    • Con: Could possibly pull out over time (though I've never personally experienced it)
  3. Fix-a-flat
    • Pro: Easy to use; can be done pretty much anywhere (take the can with you)
    • Con: Messes up the inside of the tire pretty badly; can ruin tire pressure sensors (TPMS) if installed
  4. Replace the tire
    • Pro: Absolutely fixes the issue
    • Con: Expensive; have to go to the shop to get it done

This is what I'm thinking, but there may be other things I haven't thought of ... haha.

  • This is an excellent reply; I use #2 for small punctures, and #1 for larger ones - I have "patches" that combine #1 and #2 - they consist of a nib that is pulled from the inside of the tire, with a large surface area patch behind it. Best of both worlds - but it requires removal of the tire from the rim - and probably will not be free.
    – SteveRacer
    Sep 14, 2017 at 7:22
  • Good answer, I'd just add: #2 legality, not legal to use on road in UK, check local laws before using. #3 may also mess up the "balance" of the tyre and introduced wheel wobble at speed. Jan 10, 2018 at 13:24
  • 1
    @SteveMatthews - Thanks for the context. Always good to know when something is illegal in other countries. I really don't know why it would be illegal, but hey, the States have a lot of stupid laws in my view as well. I guess the UK should not be immune to them either. :o) Jan 10, 2018 at 14:41

Call a shop - costs about $15, but some (eg in Utah, Les Schwabb) will fix it for free, even if they didn't sell it to you; they hope that by showing you their service, you'll buy from them in future.

Don't get the tire replaced unless it's destroyed (doesn't sound like it is) - because your vehicle is 4WD, you'd have to replace all four tires, or get the new tire shaved down to match the circumference of the other three.

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