enter image description here

Should I have the tire plugged, patched, or replaced?

  • 6
    You may not need to make a decision ; shops will refuse to put in a plug if they think it is a problem. Oct 6, 2019 at 21:01
  • 50
    That's not a nail.
    – shoover
    Oct 7, 2019 at 0:24
  • 2
    I've had a superscrew looking exactly like that. Took the tyre for a puncture repair, and screw was barely stuck in rubber at all. Tyre guy pulled it out with his fingers and no air lost. So if you have a window of time and a safe spot, try pulling it. If the tyre deflates then it was a puncture,, if its just a stub you might have been lucky.
    – Criggie
    Oct 7, 2019 at 10:14
  • 2
    Yeah, I’m going to take it to a repair shop when I have the time just in case. Oct 7, 2019 at 11:18
  • 4
    @shoover If all you have is a hammer...
    – flawr
    Oct 7, 2019 at 14:05

8 Answers 8


That one looks too close to the sidewall. Bring $$ and replace. Reference Here

Tire repair zone

Apparently that tire repair guidance originates from the guidelines set by the USTMA (U.S. Tire Manufacturer Assoc.) Now obviously that reference is designed to help sell tires, but its pretty safe, sound guidance.

  • 4
    And good source, clear diagram. Some professional tire people I know actually reduce the repairable area as being on the edge of the steel is not good either...
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 6, 2019 at 16:35
  • 15
    1) Its possible that if the screw is really short, it hasn't yet pierced to the inside. Pull it out, check pressure and move on. 2) Its possible that the screw is long, and its plugging its own hole. Remove it and pssssst, air bleeds down to zero. 3) Worst case is you have to change a flat tire at the worst possible time, while wearing your best clothes. 4) driving on flat tire is really a bad idea. It ruins the rim and that is big $$. Best is to get this fixed.. do what the rest of us do. Change to the spare now, wait for payday, buy a new tire. :^)
    – zipzit
    Oct 6, 2019 at 20:15
  • 8
    Why can't the shoulder or sidewall be repaired?
    – Vikki
    Oct 7, 2019 at 4:14
  • 10
    @Sean you should post a separate question.
    – Nelson
    Oct 7, 2019 at 6:33
  • 3
    @Nelson Its possible is my get out of jail free card. so yeah, how do we know that the screw in the top photo wasn't screwed it by an unhappy ex? I've definitely seen round nails that, when removed, allowed the tire to leak air. Its all about the caltrop design.
    – zipzit
    Oct 7, 2019 at 6:57

As the 'guy' who fixes it, the long and short of it is that I would NOT repair that. It's not a financially-driven decision, it's safety. The steel chords are the strongest part. You would be drilling them and in turn opening up to sidewall failure.

I would be prepared to replace it, but it might be repaired as a personal favour (still NOT recommended). But understanding tyres is complicated. The simple answer: if you have it repaired I would say theres 30% chance of absolute catastrophic failure, 30% chance of continual structural issues, 30% chance nothing will happen.

But as previously mentioned, it's a REALLY BAD IDEA TO LET THE TYRE FAIL KNOWING IT'S NOT SOUND, and very expensive. Plus your wheel may not be balancable to perfect balance if it flatter or blew out, and that can cause undue stress on other components (I've seen it cause a driveshaft fail under unusual conditions - it was wobbling enough to cause problems).

My answer: Replace, if you can't afford them spare, but if it's a space saver, repair is safer than using the spare. The above diagram is what we consider safe. And this means that you would be SERIOUSLY weakening the tyre to repair that. It's unlikely to last long due to other problems.

  • 3
    Wow! This kind of tyre failure possibilities mean it's time we seriously considered re-thinking tyres from the basics and designed them with different materials and mechanics so that we wouldn't face these problems (mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/41250/…). Then again...perhaps we'd just be more comfortable using flying cars :-)
    – Nav
    Oct 8, 2019 at 7:11
  • @Matthew this answer is difficult to read. Please edit it to write in proper English. This is not a chat.
    – FarO
    Oct 8, 2019 at 8:59
  • what is meant by "above diagram"? There is no diagram in your answer. If you are referring to a different answer, what if it doesn't stay "above" yours?
    – Michael
    Oct 8, 2019 at 21:46
  • 1
    @Nav those tyres already exist, but they're much less comfortable. Tyres always have some type of trade-off. Tires are actually a huge business and tons of research are already done and are being done right now. They're all done under guise of many types of races, and we have successfully turned a sport into R&D division for everyday cars.
    – Nelson
    Oct 9, 2019 at 2:08
  • What about the remaining 10% chance? :-)
    – TylerH
    Oct 9, 2019 at 18:16

This is a supplement to Zipzit's answer.
Added as an answer due to the image.

As Zipzit said - the photo is deceptive.
That appears to be a NEXEN NPRIZ AH8 tyre. If so, the object appears to be at about the location shown, so well off the tread proper, as zipzit says.

enter image description here

Larger version of image here

Image from here and many other locations.


Zipzit said in a useful comment:

Photo angle is a bit odd. Look at that photo again closely. See those tiny nubs? There are like two rows of the nubs running in EXACTLY the same area as the screw. Those nubs are actually drilled gas escape zones in the rubber mold for the tire. They allow gas trapped in the closing tire mold to escape and not get trapped as a bubble in the tire. And here’s the thing. If those nubs were on the tread area they’d be worn right off in 25 miles of travel or so. The fact that they are still visible is verification that the screw is at the very edge of the steel belt (or a bit beyond).

  • Better reference image that matches the kind of tire this is (your photo doesn't,looks like a different model) d2gvvn2873sxv5.cloudfront.net/MWkq_JOLp_Dbj3DNGT0lB_SD1kk=/500x/…
    – TylerH
    Oct 9, 2019 at 18:18
  • @TylerH My photo and your photo and the original photo are of a NEXEN NPRIZ AH8 tyre. They all look the same to me (as I'd expect). Can you explain (serious question) how your image is substantively different than mine. Oct 9, 2019 at 20:00
  • The area where the screw is embedded on OP's image doesn't have the same design on those shoulder "bars". As you can see in OP's image, there are little raised dots on each one to make it look almost like bars on a glockenspiel. Your reference image doesn't have those, thus it's a different model/iteration of the AH8 tire. The one I found does have those same dots.
    – TylerH
    Oct 9, 2019 at 20:09

As a tech i would replace that and knowing that brand of tire would advise you they provide warranties for exactly this situation the brand of tire offers a 1 year or 2/32 tread warranty chexk with your local retailer

  • 1
    wait, what brand offers a warranty against nails and screws ruining your tires?
    – Michael
    Oct 8, 2019 at 21:47
  • 1
    @Michael Based on the info that is available on Russell McMahon's answer, the tyre is this one: nexentireusa.com/tires/n_priz_ah8 and you can see the warranty section which has "ROAD HAZARD WARRANTY". Checking the warranty page (nexentireusa.com/warranty) you can see that this means "Covers your tires for the stated warranty period for the replacement cost of a new tire in case of non-repairable damage caused by road hazards such as nails, glass, potholes or other debris.". So, yeah, this seems to be solid advice. All this info should be added to the answer, in my opinion. Oct 9, 2019 at 17:58

That's pretty close to the sidewall..it only about 1-1.5 cm in..no where near enough to clear the chord band really ..yes you could repair it but ..its not the holding air that's the problem it's the structural nature of the sidewall that makes repair difficult..


that might be too near the side wall but i have used kits like this before with good results



I am a tire technition and honestly in most cases if it's in the belts and it's a small hole from like a nail or screw like in that picture it can be repaired with just a patch, however most places have the plug and patch all in one and those require drilling the hole bigger to make it fit, in that case it damages more belts and can cause the tire to blow out during operation which can cause you to lose control of your car and crash, it has nothing to do with getting you to buy a new tire it's only for the safety of the customer and surrounding people.


Thanks for your suggestions, I had the tire replaced a few days ago, it wasn’t fun, but I did what I had to do.

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