It happens to the best of us, and it will most likely happen to all of us sometime in our driving lifetime. You run over a nail, it punctures your tire and you get a flat. While certainly this falls into the realm of “slightly annoying” to “moderately frustrating” depending on the circumstances, there is a quick solution. You may even be able to take care of it yourself!
Gather all the right tools or simply buy a commercially packaged tire plug kit. Find a selection of kits at a store .
Locate the nail by inspecting the tread of the tire. If you cannot find the nail, you may need to remove the tire and submerge it in water. The water will push air bubbles out of the puncture and you will then be able to patch it.
Place a piece of tape right below the nail.Draw a dot or arrow on the tape indicating where the nail is. This will help you find and fix the puncture after you pull out the offending nail.
Pull out the nail using your fingers, pliers or a vise-grip, depending on how firmly it is stuck in the tire.
Clean the punctured area by pushing the rasp tool through the hole. A rasp tool is a metal file and it not only cleans out the hole but also creates rougher edges to help the hole seal better to the plug.
Thread the plug (also called a worm) through the insertion tool (it looks like a needle).
Push the insertion tool and plug into the nail puncture site. Let it sink in until only about a half-inch of plug is left outside the tire.
Pull the insertion tool straight out of the tire. This should leave the plug firmly in the tire as intended.
Cut off the ends of the plug with scissors, wire cutters or anything that will cut through it. Try to cut the ends as close to the tire surface as possible.
Fill the tire with the right amount of air pressure immediately if possible.