Flat Tire Questions

So I’m thoroughly enjoying the Forester that I leased with the help of this site, but unfortunately, a nail found it’s way into my tire today and it’s completely flat at this point. There’s 3,1xx miles on the car right now.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the most cost-effective way to go about replacing the tire? Do I try to get it repaired? Would the dealership be a resource for a single tire? I’m under the assumption that I wouldn’t need to replace all four tires at this point since they’re so new, although I presume I need to get the same tire so the car has a matching set if I turn it in at the end of my lease.

If anyone has been through this situation or has any advice, I would greatly appreciate it! I do have access to a different car for the next few weeks, so I’m not terribly opposed to ordering a tire online if anyone has any reputable websites to recommend.

Thank you in advance!

What kind of tires are on it? Get the exact information and call your local Discount Tire and see if they have it in-stock or can order it. Buying single tires, especially given the low mileage, is no biggie but you want them to match what’s there. Then just take it over and they’ll put it on.

Happens all the time. In fact happened with my wife’s X1 and it was no problem.

One other thing, definitely let a tire shop look at it. They can work wonders with repairs and Discount Tire will usually repair for free.

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First thing is to see if your tire can be repaired safely. The tire store will know.

If you need a new tire- chances are you’re okay, but Subarus are famous for tearing up the AWD system if the tires vary more than a little bit for wear. Subaru has specs that your tire store could measure for the maximum allowable difference in circumference between tires.

If you’re out of spec, see if you can find a racing shop that can shave the new tire down to the same tread depth as the others. Subaru dealers are famous for recommending entire sets of four tires, and fo good reason.

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It’s a Bridgestone Dueler H/L P225/55R18…I hadn’t even though about Discount Tire, so thank you for the suggestion.

I’ll take it over there tomorrow and see if they can fix it first - looks like they have a few of my particular tire in stock so if they can’t fix it I’ll have them make sure it’s okay to just get a singular new one.


I’ll make sure they take a good look at the wear patterns on the other tires to make sure that only one tire needs to be replaced. Thanks for the advice!

It’s not wear patterns, but the circumference of the tire Subaru concerns themselves with (at least it was years ago). All the tires have to be within a half inch or so (going from memory). It’s a measure of tread depth and relates to how many times a tire will turn in a given distance. Wheels that turn at different rates strain the AWD system, and the Subaru one is delicate (or at least it used to be 10 years ago).

Have your tire dealer call the Subaru dealer for the spec (or you call yourself) if the tire is not repairable. Be careful, as the consequence of a bad decision is very expensive.

If the tire can be fixed- you’re golden. Is the nail in the tread, away from the edges a bit? If so, you’re probably okay. If it’s in the sidewall, you’re screwed. Was the car driven with tire flat? That can ruin the tire regardless of where the nail is.

20 bucks and just about any mechanic can shove a plug in it. Not a big deal at all, unless it’s a sidewall issue, then you will be replacing.


I see, thank you for the clarification. If it can’t be fixed, I’ll call the dealership myself for the specs.

The nail is squarely in the middle of the tread. My tire pressure light came on as I was driving to work this morning but we were slammed at work and I didn’t get a chance to check it out, so I was planning on taking care of it when I got home (I live 3 miles from work, but yes, I should have checked it out right away). It really wasn’t noticeable when I got home from work - it looked slightly lower but I figured I just needed to add air.

As I was about to leave my house about 2 hours after getting home from work to get gas/put air into the tire, I noticed that it was completely flat. So, yes, unfortunately, it was driven with a nail in the tire.

It’s in the middle of the tread, so I’ll definitely see if I can get it fixed first before I spend $180+ to replace. Thanks!

if its in the middle, you can just buy this and do it yourself for $4, if its sidewall, you will need to see a tire shop

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Sounds like you didn’t drive it while flat, so you should be okay. I think it’ll be better if they remove the tire and inspect it inside vs plug it.

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Same thing just happened to wife’s Highlander. 2,500 miles. 2 nails non-repairable.

Bought a Take off Tire (~5 miles) for 1/3 the price of new. Took it to tire shop today and mounted for $20

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Took the tire into Discount Tire today, dropped it off for a few hours, and they were able to repair it. Thank you everyone for the suggestions!

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I’m trying really hard to not say something smart ass about this whole post…

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Sorry but what smart ass thing would there be to say?

It’s a giant post about a flat tire, life skills 101. It reminds me of our intern last year that didn’t know how to pump gas.

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Sorry we don’t all have years of experience in the automotive industry.

My go-to resources are my parents and they don’t lease their cars, and I couldn’t find a solid consensus via a Google search. I’m a 23 year old female and didn’t want to get taken advantage of at a tire store by not knowing my options. After I finished putting the spare on my car (by myself, I should add) I thought, hey maybe I should ask people on a lease specific site what they would do or have done in this situation.

What one person might take for granted in terms of knowledge and experience might be a new situation for the next person, and I’m thankful that plenty of people were willing to give advice.


Ok I understand, I’m a forty something dude that plugs his own tires. In general if it’s not on the sidewall, it’s a easy repair. Free at discount tire or the like. I’d give your parents a hard time for not educating you on these things or not answering the phone.

I would also add that the info about wear patterns on AWD Subaru’s was useful. I would not have expected 3k miles to make a meaningful difference and am definitely socking that tidbit away for later.

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