Screw In Tire (How To Find Out And Fix The Damage)? [Explained]

Last Updated on September 10, 2022 by John K. Clifford

Sorry about the screw in your tire. But don’t worry; it’s nothing out of the ordinary. While driving, we’re likely to run over many items, and that includes screws. 

And before we go into the topic, let me take you back to a past headline:

In 2018, the Plainville police found around 200 screws scattered along Stillwell Drive.  Over 200 people reported having flat tires from those screws. And for local tire companies, that time was hectic.

While that story ended, screws continue to wreak havoc among car owners. To know if you have a screw-in your tire, park the car and check the tire. Then, check the screw’s head. If the screw is in the tire, you’ll only see a part of its head. And the best way to fix the damage of a screw in the tire is by pulling it out and patching up the hole.

Top Five Causes of Flat Tires

From, screws in tires are the number one cause of flat tires. Check the following table out:

No.Cause of Flat TireSolution
1Screw, Puncture Wounds, NailPatch Repair
2Low Tire PressureRegular Tire Refills
3OverinflatingHealthy Inflation Levels
4PotholesCautious Driving, Repairs, and Tire Rotations
5Worn TiresNew Tires

Now, you see why you should take care of the issue asap. Stick around till the end, and this article will help you discover:

1. If you can repair a tire with a screw in it

2. If it’s safe to drive with a screw in the tire

3. If it’s better to leave the screw in the tire

4. What you should do if you have a screw-in your tire

Stick around until the end to know how to fix the damage a screw in tire causes.

Can I Repair A Tire With A Screw In It?

Yes, you can. But, it will depend on where the screw damage the tire. If the screw is in the treads, you can pull it out and patch the hole up. But, if the screw is in the sidewall, you’ll need to buy a new tire.

Even if you remove the sidewall screw, the problems will be dangerous. And that’s what your preferred tire shop will tell you, right after they refuse your repair request.

Is It Safe To Drive With A Screw In The Tire?

No, it is not. When a screw is inside the tire, it won’t be long before a blowout happens. That is true, especially if the screw is on the sidewall.

Also, you risk ruining the tire because the screw will drill deeper into the tire. And the more you drive your ‘screwed’ tire, the more you damage it.

So, once you notice your tire has a screw, park, and call for help. If you have an active roadside assistance program, help will come soon. 

Is It Better To Leave Screw In Tire?

Yes, it is better to leave the screw in the tire. If you pull it out, it may deflate the tire, and you don’t want that happening.

Instead of driving, you should park and call for help. But if there’s an auto shop a few yards away, you can drive there.

Ensure that you move at slow speeds and keep your ears open. That way, you’ll hear if the tire starts hissing.

What Do I Do If I Have A Screw in Your Tire?

Well, the best thing to do when you have a screw-in your tire is to do some minor repair. And you should do that by plugging the hole in the tire. That way, you won’t have to pay for a tow truck to get you to a mechanic.

Once you plug in the hole, you can drive to your preferred auto shop. There, a professional will repair your tire for $10 to 20 dollars.

CarsAmazing 101:

Do not drive your tire if a pro hasn’t fixed it. In doing so, you will endanger your life.

Now, let’s go through the steps for repairing the ‘screwed’ tire:

1. Get Your Tire Plug Kit

As a driver, a tire plug kit is one of the things you should have. Together with hazards, wrenches, and jacks, tire plug kits provide tire repair tools.

My best guess is that you own one already.

If you don’t, you can get one from Amazon. Here are some options you can consider:

1. Boulder Tools Heavy Duty Tire Repair Kit

2. TECCPO Tire Repair Kit to Fix Punctures and Plug Flats - THTC04H

3. TOOLUXE 50002L - Universal Heavy Duty Tire Repair Kit

You’ll need a rasp tool, tire plugs, and an insertion needle for this mini repair. Also, you may need a tire gauge and a portable tire inflator.

Again, we’re only providing a temporary solution. So, in the end, ensure the tire gets to a pro.

2. Jack Your Vehicle

Once you’ve parked the car, jack it. The repair is like that of changing tires, so jacking is essential.

Don’t forget to place wood blocks behind the tires. That way, your car won’t move during the fixing.

3. Remove The Tire And Locate The Screw

You want to do the repair job away from the wheel. So, get your wrench and undo the lug nut. When you finish, locate the screw.

4. Try Pulling Out The Screw

Once you’ve seen the screw, use the needle-nose pliers to pull it out. When you grip the screw’s head, twist it swiftly until it comes out.

Using your hand may work, but you could end up with blisters. And I’m sure you don’t want that.

5. Insert The Plug Inside Through The Eye Of The Insertion Needle

If you’ve identified the hole as pluggable, you should get the insertion needle. If you don’t know it, look for the tool, which has a T-shaped handle and a metal needle holed at the end.

Then, get the plug and put it through. As you do that, ensure both sides of the needle have an equal amount of the plug. That way, when you squeeze, the plug will fill the hole evenly.

Now, put the ‘plugged’ needle aside for step 7.

6. Get The Rasp Tool And Push It Back And Forth

The rasp tool has a serrated ending, so it should be easy to spot. Take it by the handle and scratch up the tire’s hole. That way, the rubber plug will have something to grip on.

7. Push The Plug Through The Hole

Take the insertion needle and the plug from step 5. Then, place the needle over the hole and push it down. As you push, the rubber will fold up, and the ends will press against each other.

Only stop pushing when the rubber ends almost 0.5 inches away from going into your tire’s holes.

8. Pull Out The Insertion Needle

When you make this move, the tire plug should stay in the hole.

If it doesn’t, repeat step 5 well.

9. Do Away With The Excess Rubber

For this step, get a razor or a knife. Then, cut the excess tire plug. That way, you won’t have the rubber hanging outside the hole.

10. Fill Your Tire Up With Air

With your tire gauge and portable tire inflator, fill up your tire. Ensure that the pressure you fill does not go beyond the recommended PSI. And if you’re not sure about that, check your vehicle’s manual.

11. Take Your Car To A Mechanic

Since you’ve done the mini repair, drive to an auto shop. There, explain your situation to the professionals, and they will guide you.

Remember that you shouldn’t drive for too long. If you do, your ‘screwed’ tire may damage your vehicle. And if the tire blows out, you could lose your car’s handling.

And the worst, I tell you, could happen.


And that was it. To discover a screw in a tire, check the tire. And to fix it, use a tire plug to close up the hole. When you finish, let an expert do the rest of the repair.

You might not have a screw in your tire now. But when you do, I’m sure the info in this article will help you handle the situation.

Good luck driving, and don’t forget to share the article.


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