Repairing a tyre with a nail in it?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by mjbcswitzerland, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. mjbcswitzerland

    mjbcswitzerland Karting

    Jan 8, 2008
    Hi All

    I know that most people will say that if I drive a Ferrari I should not think about repairing a tyre with a nail in it and just get two new ones, but I will ask anyway.

    Two months a go I had 4 new Michelin types mounted on the 458.
    Today I found the pressure too low in the rear left type (after leaving it for a week in the garage and after a 400mile drive outing) and after inspection there is what looks like a nail in it. It looks like a flat tack head about 1/4" diameter and is right in the middle of the tyre (not near to an edge or side wall). Obviously I don't know what is under that with removing it.

    Supposedly a plug-repair is what can be done which will cost me about $30. Two new rear ones will cost another $1'000, which is annoying since I have only really scuffed the surfaces since the last change (but possibly enough to demand two new ones).

    Noting that I never go on the track and the highest speed on the road here is about 80 miles an hour (much more and the car may get confiscated) so I don't really need the 200miles per hour that are theoretically possible. Also I don't know whether a good repair of such a hole actually represents a reduction in performance or not.

    So before I call a few tyre repair shops to get their (possibly biased) opinion or book the car in for two new ones at the dealers I am wondering whether someone has real experience or important technical knowledge as to what is possible and wise?


  2. smg2

    smg2 F1 Veteran

    Apr 1, 2004
    Newport Beach
    Full Name:
    If the milage is low and they are new you might be able to get away with buying just one new tire. Repairs can be done but they have to be done correctly to insure that the inner metal cords are not exposed to moisture where they will rust and the tire will literally come apart from the inside. Any good tire shop will first check the inner wall to see if it's a simple puncture or if the damage is greater.
  3. smg2

    smg2 F1 Veteran

    Apr 1, 2004
    Newport Beach
    Full Name:
    Recently had to buy one tire for my wife's new car, ran over a screw at roughly 500 miles. Zero issues as the wear was practically non existent.
  4. Redneck Slim

    Redneck Slim Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 10, 2011
    Palo Alto,CA,USA
    Full Name:
    Walt Kimball
    Unlimited-speed plugs (installed from INSIDE the tire) have been available here in the colonies for many years. I have used them many times.
  5. thorn

    thorn Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 7, 2012
    Tallahassee, FL
    As others are saying, it's quite possible that the tire can repaired safely. Will depend on what it looks like on the inside.

    Be sure the shop uses a proper patch/plug combo, not those plug strips that look like beef jerky.
  6. flash32

    flash32 Formula Junior

    Aug 22, 2008
    Central NJ
    Full Name:
    First ...check with tire company .. I know pirelli has free road hazard insurance which covers that .. not sure about Michelin

    I have used inside plug type for my low profile tires on my BMW And they seem to hold up fine

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
  7. Motob

    Motob Formula 3
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Nov 11, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    Full Name:
    Brian Brown
    As long as the repair is not near the shoulder of the tire and is performed correctly using a plug/patch combination from the inside of the tire you will be fine.
    You have said that the car is not tracked and you don't exceed 100MPH for extended periods of time, then the repair will last the life of the tire. Have the inside of the tire inspected for any other damage when it is off for the repair, but unless it was driven with very low/no air pressure I would not expect to find any.
  8. setbkk

    setbkk Rookie

    Mar 16, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    Full Name:
    Had the same situation on a Michelin on my F430 two years ago, but screw, not nail. Good tire shop added patch from inside. No problem. Some places (like dealer) refuse to patch tire because it is on a "high performance" car and their claimed "liability". B.S., they just want to sell you one (or two) tires.

    Keep in mind if patched from the inside, the internal air pressure pushes the patch against the tire.
  9. Keith360

    Keith360 Formula Junior

    Feb 6, 2015
    Santa Barbara County
    Full Name:
    Keith Williams
    Have them break it down and patch it. No sense of replacing the tire when your own imposed speed limit is 80mph. Anything else is foolish with your money. Just make sure it's a Ferrari Patch they install. Just kidding about the Ferrari Patch.
  10. GTS Bruce

    GTS Bruce Formula Junior

    Oct 10, 2012
    Orchard Park NY
    Full Name:
    Bruce Roche
    Internal patch with proper prep work no problem at 80mph. Had the problem on a viper and a 575M. I like to hit it and when the coast is clear get up into the 150's or so. In my case the patched tire is kept as a spare. GTS Bruce
  11. mjbcswitzerland

    mjbcswitzerland Karting

    Jan 8, 2008
    Hi All

    Many thanks for all the replies; after reading them and understanding that it is not necessarily a "no-go" to have a tyre repaired I made an appointment at a tyre repair company where they checked it and did a repair. They said they have 35 years experience of such repairs, including many high performance tyres, and never had any problems.

    Knowing the repair is there means I certainly won't go on the track (which I wouldn't have done anyway).

    In case of any issues I'll post again.



    P.S: On a side note, I didn't realise before that one writes "tyre" with "tire" in the USA. "tyre" looks to be more common in the UK!
  12. Never had a problem with a plug.
    ernie likes this.
  13. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Nov 19, 2001
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy

    You can even by the plug kit and do it yourself for around $7. Best plugs I have used are red. I've bought my kits from Harbor Freight and Tool.
  14. Rory J

    Rory J Formula Junior

    May 30, 2006
    Full Name:
    Have patched tires on multiple "ordinary" cars as well as several modern performance cars that continued to be driven aggressively. Have never had an issue with a patch failing or causing any other failure.
    lashss likes this.
  15. andrewmr

    andrewmr Formula Junior

    Jun 7, 2005
    Bucks County, PA.
    Full Name:

    And the horse is facing up......
  16. GTUnit

    GTUnit Karting

    May 25, 2014
    Full Name:
    I discussed the plug or patch issue with a tire shop guy and he said they only do both at once. Never just plug.
    He says that water can get in by the plug and rust the steel belts causing a leak so they patch it from the inside as well.
  17. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    Lewisville, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Guess
    A reliable tire shop with lots of repairs can tackle thie repair without any issues just make sure they use a top of the line "Radial Plug Patch".

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  18. thorn

    thorn Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 7, 2012
    Tallahassee, FL
    Correct. The best is an integrated plug+patch. You use a reamer, grinder, an adhesive for the plug, and another over the patch.

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