Oftentimes, the rubber material around your wheels gathers up pebbles and debris which is absolutely normal and not dangerous. But in some scenarios, it could pick up foreign objects such as nails, bolts, and screws.
This happens especially in cases like driving over bolts in puddles on the road, over planks with upright screws on them, or perhaps, in the case of plotted sabotage.
When it gets stuck in your tire, this can become worrying as it signals potential problems and holes. If you find yourself in this situation, you may have wondered whether or not you can drive with a bolt in the tire, whether it is safe to continue driving regardless of this, and what damage it could possibly result in.
Can You Drive With Bolt in Tire?
The short answer is Yes, it is absolutely possible for you to continue driving with a bolt stuck in your tire, so long as the tire is still holding air. However, it should be quick to note that this depends on the size of the bolt, and how fast the tire is losing air.
What is dangerous is when you attempt to drive a vehicle with a flat or blown-out tire as this can create extremely unsafe driving conditions.
Meanwhile, with a bolt (or any other foreign object) in your tire, the sooner you know that you are driving on borrowed time, the better.
Hence, In the rest of this post, we shall be looking at how long you can keep driving with a bolt in your tire, whether or not it is repairable, and what exactly you can do when you find a bolt in your tire in order to handle the situation like a professional.
How long can you drive with a bolt in the tire?
As mentioned earlier, how far you can go with a bolt in your tire actually depends on the size of the bolt, that is, how deep-set it is in the tire.
I have experienced having small screws on my tires but did not pose much risk, as they can easily fall off. In this case, it could go for days and even weeks without signaling any huge problem.
However, if it is a long bolt, it may take a 10-mile drive to observe the issue, and the best thing you can do at that point is to have a professional look at your vehicle and think of sorting it out immediately.
Generally speaking, driving with a bolt in the tire should be for a short distance, probably to the repair shop where you will have it fixed, and not ideal for daily commuting to work.
Can a Tire with a Bolt be Repaired?
Yes, a tire with a bolt in it can be repaired, especially when the area of damage is on the tread of the tire. But when you see that the bolt got in on the side of the tire, a true professional tire shop will inform you that you have to get a new tire because it is simply a BAD IDEA in the tire industry.
Importantly, an ideal repair shop should handle the situation professionally by not just plugging the hole from the outside but also patching the hole from the inside.
On how much it will cost you to fix a tire with a bolt in it, you can expect to pay anywhere between $10 and $20 on average. But, note that I’m speaking based on the average price drawn from the garage I have personally visited.
In some areas, the cost may be higher than this, especially when you ask for additional services such as wheel alignment, tire replacement, and so on.
How to get a bolt out of a tire yourself?
Yes, you can. Even as a noob, there are several videos online and guides that offer a breakdown process of removing a bolt, nail, or other objects in your tire step by step.
But the truth is that to professionally handle the situation, you will need the tire plug kit, and understand the right steps to take as a slight mistake could lead to ruining the tire eventually.
This is why it is best to just save yourself the hassle and take it to the closest tire repair shop around. Thankfully, you are still able to drive short distances even with the bolt in your tire.
Final Thoughts on Driving with Bolt in a Tire
Bottom line, it is safe to drive only for a short distance with a bolt or any other foreign object in your tire. But, immediately you notice this, the first thing to do is not touch it so that the air is kept from not leaking from the tire.
Following this, you should reach out to the tire store so you can get your tire repaired because the longer you drive with a bolt in your tire, the worse it can get.
Your tire can be repaired if the hole is small enough and it is within the area of the tire tread. You may have to replace the entire tire if the hole is large or the damage is located at the side.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.