You walk out to your leased car one morning and notice a tire looks low. A quick inspection reveals the cause, a nasty nail poking out of the tread. Now you need to get it fixed, but does this type of repair work differently when you lease versus own?
Getting a nail in a tire presents some unique considerations with a leased vehicle. Following the proper procedures ensures you handle the situation correctly within the terms of your lease agreement.
Let’s walk through the steps for safely repairing a nail-punctured tire on a leased car.
Table of Contents
First Steps – Assess the Puncture and Act Quickly
Upon discovering a nail or other object embedded in the tread, here are the initial actions to take:
- Determine if the tire is still safely holding air by feeling if it’s spongy or touching the ground.
- If it’s completely flat, position flares and avoid driving on it to prevent further wheel and tire damage.
- Note exactly where the puncture is located on the tread in relation to the sidewalls. Center punctures have the best prognosis.
- Carefully remove the nail to prevent it from falling into the interior of the tire or wheel well.
- Inspect the size and position of the hole after removing the nail.
- Act swiftly for repair to prevent sidewall flexing or interior damage from driving on low pressure.
Can a Nail Hole Be Plugged or Patched on a Leased Tire?
This is an important question for leased car owners. Many lease agreements specifically prohibit amateur plug repairs. This is because they don’t want temporary fixes done outside of a shop.
However, professional plug repairs at a qualified tire shop are usually acceptable on leases, fortunately. Most tire shops can fully remove the nail, clean the interior, plug or patch it from the inside, and ensure no hidden damage occurred.
So while DIY plug kits are ill-advised, getting a shop plug repair on a lease vehicle is fine in most cases. Just save the repair invoice in case any issues arise.
When Replacement is Required for Leased Tire
Though repairable in many cases, some nail damage necessitates total tire replacement on a leased car. Scenarios where new rubber is required include:
- Sidewall puncture or gash
- Hole larger than 1/4 inch
- Signs of internal tire damage like bulges
- Inability to fully seal the hole after professional repair
- Multiple repair plugs already present
- Tire worn below legal limits or lease requirements
Again, the lease company simply wants damaged tires replaced properly to protect the vehicle.
Using Road Hazard Warranties for Leased Cars
One of the perks of leasing is that new tires are often included. These replacement tires may carry road hazard warranties that help cover repairs or replacement for incidents like nails.
If the damaged leased tire is covered, the warranty will detail approved repair procedures. This often includes free plugging or prorated replacement.
Just be sure to follow all warranty claim instructions and document the incident thoroughly. Save receipts and repair records.
DIY or Professional Nail Removal on a Leased Tire?
As mentioned, lease agreements prohibit owners from simply plugging tires themselves with DIY kits. However, you are generally allowed to carefully remove an embedded nail yourself if needed to prevent further driving damage.
Just be extremely cautious not to further gouge the leaking hole when pulling out the nail by hand. And any subsequent repair must be done by a qualified tire shop, not yourself.
So while DIY plugging is forbidden, extracting a nail is acceptable to clear the way for a proper shop repair.
Preventing Lease Penalties for Tire Damage
Reviewing the lease terms for tires helps avoid penalties. Key steps include:
- Save all repair invoices to show diligent care.
- Adhere to any tread depth requirements for tire replacement.
- Rotate and balance tires as specified.
- Purchase optional lease excess wear and tear protection if offered.
- Upgrade to tires with road hazard protection when possible.
- Address alignment issues that cause abnormal wear.
Meeting lease requirements for tires demonstrates responsible upkeep in the event of any damage issues.
A nail in the tire elicits extra precautions with a leased vehicle. Follow lease terms for approved repair procedures. Use tire hazard warranties if available. And document the incident thoroughly.
While more restrictive than personal car ownership, leases simply require sensible tire maintenance. So don’t panic if you pick up a nail, just act quickly for professional repair or replacement. Adhering to lease guidelines prevents headaches down the road.