Your first thought could be, would someone put a nail in my tire? Why would anyone want to do that to me?
But the truth is bad things happen to good people too. And your wish isn’t anyone’s command, folks can do weird things just because they can.
Tires are cute black things that may attract attention, especially if you have really great ones sitting under your car or truck. Curious kids can be culprits too.
They stick pins in balloons for fun, who says they can’t try it with tires just to see how loud the bang will be? Or a maniac could be on the loose in the area.
Who knows? What if someone around your neighborhood has a fetish for seeing tires blow out? Or, worst case, they love to hear about accidents. So, at the risk of sounding morbid, let’s delve, shall we?
6 signs someone has put a nail in your tire
The following are telltale signs someone has put a nail in your tire:
- When they stick it in the middle of the tire
- They left forgot a tool behind after inserting the nails
- It has happened continuously
- You have video footage showing suspicious presence around your car
- When neighbors have the same complaint
- If the nail is in the sidewalls
They stick it in the middle of the tire
Tires are made of rubber, and not just the regular rubber you have in materials like your rubber band, elastic band that runs through your boxer shorts, or other clothing.
We are talking about really hard rubber. You can imagine how hard the material has to be for it to be able to withstand the weight of your vehicle. Yes, that’s how hard.
Now imagine that someone for (malicious) reasons unknown forced a nail into your tire. They have to really mean to want the air out of your tire badly.
And that’s what follows. One of the signs you’ll see if a nail has been deliberately put in your tire is that you will find it deep in the crevice between the threads.
The weight of your car sitting on it is sure to force the nail in when the car moves.
They left a tool behind, and there’s also a nail in your tire
This is perhaps the most obvious sign that someone has knowingly put a nail in your tire.
This is why we recommend that you check around the garage or the surrounding of your car before getting in your car.
If you find a hammer or any tool that someone might use to pound in a nail around the vicinity of the car, then it may be a sign that your tire is a target for vandals.
It has happened continuously
Once is probably a coincidence. And you could even think your tire picked the nail up as you drove around which is something that usually happens (more on this as we go).
However, you should become suspicious if there is an irregularity with the occurrence.
If it happens once, you changed the tire, and it happens again and right in the same tire, say one of the tires on the right side, then it is a sign that someone is putting a nail in your tire.
You have video footage showing suspicious presence around your car
No car owner would usually envisage a maniac who’s after their tire. It is a plus for you if there’s footage showing a suspicious person prowling your property while you are not home.
It may be a security camera around your home or neighbors. But you’d have combined this reason with a host of other reasons, this means: you have perhaps found a tool left behind.
For all, you know the intruder may be around your property for a different reason than putting a nail in your tire.
When neighbors have the same complaint
If your neighbors have nails in their tires too, then it is likely that the same person has put nails in your tire too.
Homeowners in Vernon township, Ohio, faced an almost similar predicament when a man would drop nails in the road.
As a result, some townspeople changed their tires more than ten times when the nails would puncture their tires repeatedly.
There was an outcry that involved the police over the incident. So if you are wondering why you are repeatedly finding nails in your tire, and your neighbors are experiencing it too, then someone is probably doing it deliberately.
If the nail is in the sidewalls
Now, it is impossible for your tire to step on a nail with the sidewalls. The only way for a nail to be stuck through the sidewall of the tire is if someone put it there.
And about sidewalls: it is difficult to put a nail through. And herein lies a further sign that the nail has been deliberately put in it.
The criminal would need something to pound it in with. Such dedication to getting the job done is all the proof you need.
How to protect your tires from nails
Tires are costly. Good tires are expensive. You can’t be negligent about the safety of your tires because bad or defective tires do not only cost money to repair or replace, they can cost lives as well.
It is important to take care of and protect them from nails. The following are ways to do so:
- Periodic inspections
- What do you check for?
- Keep your garage doors locked
- Keep kids away or watch them around the car
- Puncture-proof tires, anyone?
- Use Puncture Resistant strips
- Avoid driving in places where your tire is likely to be punctured by nails
- Avoid driving after a storm
- Avoid potholes as much as you can
We often go for medical checkups periodically. Do the same for your tires.
Depending on how often you use your vehicle or the kind of neighborhood you reside in, you might schedule these checks for daily, weekly, or monthly.
And you could conduct these checks personally, or take the car out to the tire shop.
What do you check for?
Check for bulges in the sidewalls, cracks in the tread, and nails sticking out. Check for tears in the treads too. Check the valve.
Keep your garage doors locked
If you have a garage where you park your car, keep the doors locked always especially if you live in a neighborhood where criminals are likely to break into your garage and put nails in your tire.
And if you have to leave the doors open on your garage for any reason be sure to not be out of sight for too long.
Leave the light on in there at night too to scare off intruders. If there’s an adjoining door between the garage and the main house, always keep this locked too.
Keep tools locked away in a cupboard so that intruders don’t find sharp objects to puncture your tires with.
Keep kids away or watch them around the car
Keeping track of kids is a daunting chore. And keeping track of what they play with is not easy too. Narrow the tracking down to when they are playing around your car, or in the garage.
Make sure to keep sharp objects away from them. Watch out for stray nails on the floor and take them away.
Puncture-proof tires, anyone?
Puncture-proof tires are now talked about as though they will revolutionize the use of tires.
For more than a hundred years we have used the regular tires, endured flats, blowouts and punctures. Are we looking at a time when all these would be in the past?
Puncture-proof tires are used mostly on trucks. They are innovative with their thick rubber tread, reinforced sidewalls. They will bend nails out of shape.
Anyone trying to stick a nail in a punctured proof tire risks personal injuries on themselves. They are quite pricy though, but they give you money’s worth.
Use Puncture Resistant strips
They come in different sizes and are available for car tires and bike tires.
How to fix puncture Resistant strips
Remove the tire, remove the tube, prepare your strips by cutting them into a measured length that would completely run the circumference of your tire.
Get an adhesive, line the surface of the strip that would face the underside of the tire with it. Carefully place the strip into the tire, and line it up properly.
When the adhesive has sufficiently dried up, put your tube back in and inflate the tire. Fix the tire back on the rim.
Of course, the strip does not prevent nails from puncturing the tire surface.
But it protects the tube from a nails puncture. If you check your tire periodically, you’d be able to remove such a nail before it does any more damages to your tire.
Avoid driving in places where your tire is likely to be punctured by nails
If you have been living in your neighborhood for a while, you are likely familiar with the area, the streets, the ones with the deep potholes, series of bumps.
Or that industrial area, or the one where plenty of constructions are going on.
That neighbor who’s putting in a new fence on his lawn close to the road, that home going through a renovation, or even the one where a new owner is moving in.
All these places are likely to have nails or any spiky material lying around the road or curb.
Avoid driving right after a storm
Debris can be as hard as nails too. After a storm, the road is covered with debris from fallen trees, blown-out homes, fallen thrash.
Until the roads are cleared it may not be a good idea to drive around the neighborhood. Your tire may suffer a brutal puncture from falling sharp metals, sharp sides of tree branches.
Especially if your tires aren’t that new anymore, or are getting threadbare, you’d be shocked at how easily these sharp objects can pierce into your tires.
The same thing applies to driving at night. Don’t drive without headlights. And even when you do, be sure to look far enough in order to spot potential hazards. You don’t want to learn in the hard way.
Why are we talking about potholes? They aren’t nails, are they? Yes, potholes are not necessarily sharp. But they can be receptacles for sharp objects too.
After a rain, a pothole may contain a pool of water which in turn has nails or any sharp objects nestling under the brown dirty water, waiting to puncture your tire.
Avoid potholes if you can; slow down and drive around them if you can. Save yourself the trouble of regret.
Read this post on: Can A Pothole Cause a Flat Tire
Is it possible to tell if someone has put a nail through your tire, with malicious intent to cause damage?
Yes, you could, if you have a security camera mounted in your garage or somewhere. However, the truth is they’d have to use a hammer to get the nail to go in which makes it likely for them to be caught.
This is not saying the possibility for someone to do this to your tire doesn’t exist. The chances are simply slim. Tires are hard, even for nails to puncture.
There’s a much possible scenario though, and that is if the nail is set against the tire in a way that drives the nail in when the tire rolls on it.
Now, this is a more likely situation, one that is more likely to happen than sticking the nail in with bare hands.
Moreover, another sign that shows someone is trying to cause you some inconvenience is the location of the nail on your tire, and the frequency of the occurrence.
If someone wedged a nail against the middle of the tire so they couldn’t miss, then you know that’s too deliberate to be a coincidence.
And if this happens several times, in the same spot, then you’d know your tires have been targeted for termination.
Unfortunately, nails are a common culprit for tire punctures. They are everywhere on the roads. One more tidbit, rear tires are more often the targets of punctures.
Why? Because you are more likely to approach your car from the front. By the time you have walked halfway by your car, you are at the driver’s door, ready to drive away.
Culprits will target the rear tires, so always make sure to check not just the front tires, but also the ones on the rear.