Last night I ran over a bolt and it went straight into my front passenger tire. The shop that I usually take my car to for repairs is about 8 miles away (if I take no freeway), 7.5 miles away by freeway. The tire has sat for about 15 hours so far and does not seem to have lost any air and I can't hear any air escaping from it.

Here is a picture of it: enter image description here

So, is this safe to drive on to get it to the shop? Thanks!

  • 2
    If you do, then drive slooowly, in the slow lane, carefully, and expecting to lose control at every moment. Also, realize that if you have a blow-out which leads to an accident, then you are gong to have a lot of explaining to do to the police
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 11:42
  • 2
    I'm surprised nobody suggested to plug it? With a plug from a local auto store. I try to keep some in the glove box Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 17:02
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    The people who made that tire should be very proud of their work. Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 18:15
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    What I can't tell from the picture is whether there's a puncture, or the bolt is just stuck between the treads. I've had the latter just recently, and it looked a lot like this. If there's no actual puncture, you can just pull it out. Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 20:19
  • 1
    @DonBranson This one was definitely in the tire. I know the picture doesn't show it but once I took the tire off it was clear that it was punctured.
    – Dev 404
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 22:43

4 Answers 4


Honestly, it would be best to put on a spare. Chances are you could make it to the shop with no problem, but there's an increased risk. The tire could rip and rapidly deflate, or it could leak fast at an moment and leave you with less control than normal. Usually you would just pull over with no danger, but now what? Change your tire in the middle of the road?

If you have no spare, drive on the least busy streets as possible, and go a reasonable speed and be ready to pull over any second. Keep your distance and plenty of braking room, etc.

If you have a spare, another bonus is that you don't have to wait at the shop to get your tire fixed. You can drop off the wheel and have them fix it while you shop nearby or something. I normally take a tire off to have it fixed even if its just a nuisance pinhole because it's easier for me to drop it off and pick it up hours later or even the next day.

  • 3
    Good advice all round...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 22:23
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    I went ahead and just took the tire off and took it in, just to play it safe. Thanks for all of the advice!
    – Dev 404
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 4:22
  • 3
    Another benefit of getting the spare fixed is that you can sometimes jump the queue. A little place I used to use preferred to put the car on a lift, but would use trolley jacks too in good weather for single tyres. Sorting out a dismounted wheel was easier and my cars at the time had full spares
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 15:04
  • I stayed in the lane when my (rear) tire shredded itself.
    – Joshua
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 21:17

Yes, it is safe to drive the tire like this to the shop. You made it home after getting the bolt in there, the tire sat and held it's air, it will be fine for days, weeks even.

Just check your pressures before leaving, tires can still look like they're holding their air even when they're half empty. Low air pressure is what will cause a tire to rip itself apart, not the piece of metal itself.

But do get that tire repaired. Very soon.

  • 15
    Sorry, don’t agree - the bolt is proud of the surface and will be moved in it’s hole every revolution causing more damage in that area - can’t tell if the bolt is a set screw or has a very coarse thread, but it should be dealt with sooner not later...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 8:49
  • 2
    The bolt may not have punctured all way through the tier. Would removing the bolt before driving (and waiting some time for deflation signs) be a good idea?
    – Pere
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 10:38
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    Most likely it will immediately begin leaking if you pull it out.
    – agentp
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 12:36

You have another option in many places: mobile tyre fitting. They can be competitive on price with driving somewhere and you don't need to move the car except to somewhere safe and accessible.


Your safest option is to use your spare tyre. If you don't have one, get the wheel to the puncture-repairer by another means.

8 miles might be a bit far to walk, but you could use a more local puncture repairer, or ask if they do pickups, or get it there via another vehicle.

enter image description here

  • 2
    The downside behind this is that if you don't have a spare wheel, your car will sit on a jack (or preferably a jackstand) while the puncture is being fixed. This is not ideal, and poses a danger depending on where it is.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 22:45
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    if you don't have a spare wheel then it's time to get one, I'd say. ;)
    – AnoE
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 23:19
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    @AnoE depends where in the world you are. Some regions mandate that cars have a fullsized spare, or a minimum of a spacesaver. Other locations don't care, and you can go without a spare saving yourself litres of boot space and 5-20 kilos of extra mass. Some smaller cars don't even have a wheel well, and rely on a can of compressed tyre inflater/snot to reinflate a flat.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 4:28
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    @AnoE and in reality, many western roads have improved to the point flat tyres are quite rare. My car has had one in 10 years, and for that we could have called the AA for assistance. Not hauling a tyre for 10x 10,000km would have saved the AA members fees in fuel alone.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 4:29
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    @ChrisH Those emergency cans may make the tyre unrepairable and need to replace them for what would have been a simple puncture. Good call on the mobile van service - you should make that a separate answer.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 10:00

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