Anyone who has ever experienced one before will know there is nothing worse than a flat or punctured car tire. Causing major issues to the car's performance and normally being fairly expensive to fix, they are something that every motorist hopes to avoid getting.
Sometimes, a motorist could have a small puncture for a long period of time, with the tire very slowly deflating due to how small the cut in the rubber is. Other times, the effect will be immediate, likely because the wheel has gone over something much bigger or sharper.
Some items will cause countless tire punctures each year and estimates say that seven punctures take place every second in the United States. But not all of those incidents come from the usual suspects that everyone knows and hates. As this list will showcase, sometimes the things that cause them can be absolutely ridiculous.
Within this list, you will find all manner of items, from things that can only be found in remote locations in the world, to some which could cause problems for every motorist. Some items seem like they would never be able to cause issues to a car wheel, whilst others are certainly sharp enough but would never be expected to be on the roadside. Keep scrolling for a strange list of 23 truly ridiculous things that people discovered in their car tires.
We will start the list with one of the most obvious things that people have found inside their car tires, with nails often being the cause for a flat tire or slight punctures because nails are often left around on roads. Whether it is from construction sites or because people have dropped them by accident, a nail or screw being found on the road isn't a major surprise and if a tire was to drive over one, the nail would certainly stick in.
This is one of the most common reasons for people getting flat tires, with drivers going over them without noticing most of the time due to how small they are. But the damage can certainly be significant.
22 Coat Hanger
That's right, the seemingly safe household object that never really leaves a person's closet has been reported as an item that has caused a puncture in someone's car, when a driver's tire got stuck by a hanger that was on the roadside. The old-school, wire-style hangers are something that people don't tend to use anymore and therefore, many of them simply get thrown away.
But in this instance, the hanger didn't make the trash and the driver was left trailing the hanger along the road. Thankfully with this item, it is pretty obvious to notice the situation straight away due to the noise it makes and it isn't something you're likely to come across all that often.
It might not be found on the roadside for people to drive over like other examples on this list, but out of all the DIY tools available, a hammer is the most likely to cause accidental damage to a car tire. Even though the main part of a hammer wouldn't damage a tire, unless someone was going to put some serious power behind a swing, the claw element of old-fashioned hammers could certainly pop the rubber.
Whilst an experienced mechanic isn't going to make such a rookie mistake, someone attempting work at home could very easily catch a car tire with the sharp end, causing an accidental puncture.
A coin might not seem like something that can't cause any damage to a car tire due to the fact that they are not very sharp or big, but that isn't the case, as one motorist found out when he went to get his tires looked at. After getting the car checked out due to a mystery puncture that was causing issues, it turned out that a quarter was buried deep into the surface of the tire, not just causing a small puncture, but actually going deep into the tire itself! They say that if you find a penny and pick it up, you get good luck, but in this case, that saying couldn't be further from the truth, with the puncture costing a fair amount to replace.
Not every item on this list is something that can be driven over on the road, as sometimes, people can cause their own problems by not thinking enough, which one motorist found out when they realized they had a quarter-inch wrench embedded into their car tire.
This wasn't something that they had just driven over, though; no, the wrench had been in their own garage and the driver must have knocked it or driven over it when the wrench had fallen onto the floor, causing the issue. The wrench hadn't just caused a small issue either, with a slight puncture, as can be seen in the photo, it had gone all the way through the tire, making it undrivable.
People losing their car or house keys is something that happens on a regular basis, but having some keys actually burst a tire is a ridiculously rare thing that isn't going to happen to many people. Because of their sharp nature, keys can certainly rip a car tire's rubber with relative ease, if one happens to be laying on the road for someone to drive over. However, the other way that a key can damage a car is, sadly, intentional.
When keys are dropped on the floor, they are often flat, which won't cause any problems. But if someone was to poke it in intentionally, it would certainly do the trick. Whilst most people think of keys being use for scratched cars, this is another way that they can be used.
Sadly, just like the previous example. when knives are found lodged into someone's car tire, the chances are that more than likely that it has been stuck in on purpose, with a knife being commonly used to slash tires. Knives tend not to be items that are just left around on the roadside, for obvious reasons of safety, but there have been countless examples of people finding knives lodged into car tires. Sadly, a knife can cause some serious damage to a car tire, and, if used to fully slash a tire, will leave the wheel unfixable, unlike other examples on this list which would just require a quick (but expensive) fix.
Just like the previous entry, people who find that their car tires have a razor in them are likely to have been attacked by somebody for one reason or another, with a razor being a common choice of weapon for attacks like that. Because everyone has razors lying around in their homes, they are quite often used in attacks as they are certainly going to get the intended job done, with razor's easily slashing the tire rubber.
However, it should also be noted that razors are quite commonly just discarded, which means it could happen to be an accident if a razor ends up inside a tire, but either way, it is guaranteed to result in a trip to a mechanic.
When you think of shrapnel, thoughts instantly go to conflicts that leave shards of metal laying around. Now, thankfully, most people don't have to be concerned about that, but there is surprisingly a large amount of shrapnel still laying around.
Countries such as England, France, and Belgium can often be home to pieces of shrapnel, especially in the countryside, which can be incredibly dangerous to go near. Should a car end up driving over shrapnel, a flat tire might become the least of your troubles.
14 Deer Antler
Deer antlers are certainly not something that most people think about when it comes to car tires, as very few people will ever experience one bursting a tire, but because of how sharp and tough they are, they can destroy a tire with ease. The antlers have evolved for use against other stags to prove who is the most dominant and therefore, are certainly strong enough to cause damage.
When they are broken and discarded onto the road, any car passing by is in serious danger of having a surprising bump. As can be seen in the photo above, antlers can get a firm grip on any car tire, no matter how big they are, but luckily for most people, they do not live near where deer roam.
Whilst a screwdriver isn't something you will see on the roadside all of the time, if you happen to be driving near a construction site, the chance of one being dropped or left by accident does increase, as one motorist found out.
Driving over a screwdriver is certainly going to cause a big bump and if you happen to be unlucky enough to get the sharp end stuck in the rubber of your car tire, then you will know about it quickly. Because of how sharp and strong a screwdriver is, the DIY tool has no problem causing a puncture or tear in a tire, providing an expensive trip to the mechanics to get it fixed.
12 Drill Bit
Much like many other items on this list, a drill bit is not something that you expect to be just laying around on the roadside, as they can be very dangerous, but one unlucky motorist did end up driving over one and it quickly embedded itself into the rubber wheel.
However, most punctures and issues from drill bits are likely to come from people thinking they are mechanics, then getting the drill out to fix some sort of issue and accidentally drilling into the tire. After all, the drill bit is really only a tool that is made much more dangerous and powerful by the drill itself, with that being what powers the drill bit.
11 Bicycle Pedal
One of the most ridiculous items that has been reported stuck inside the car tire is a bike pedal, something that most drivers would never even fathom was a possibility. However, one unlucky motorist learned the hard way of the damage a pedal can cause. Thankfully, the person who was reported to find a pedal lodged in their car tire hadn't collided with a cyclist beforehand, but the pedal was more than likely just discarded on the side of the road after falling off. Whilst the cyclist was likely frustrated by the situation, the motorist was left with a flat tire to pay for whilst being stuck on the side of the road.
This is another more common example of an item that can often cause slight rips and tears in a car tire, with rocks often being found on the roadside, especially in the countryside or on epic winding roads. Most of the time, a couple of small rocks on the road won't cause a problem and a car can quite easily glide over them with just a very small bump or two for those inside the vehicle, but other times that won't be the case. Because rocks vary in size, shape, and sharpness, it is quite easy for a car to end up catching one that can cause damage to the rubber, creating an issue for the driver pretty quickly.
9 Cat Claw
Unlike everything else on this list, the cat claw mechanism is actually designed with ripping tires apart in mind. Its sole purpose is to destroy car tires, rendering it impossible for a vehicle to get away once the claw is attached.
These devices have been created with crime prevention in mind, being placed on pavements next to busy roads to ensure that anytime a driver decides to drive their car on the pavement, the metal from underneath the claw will spring up and pop the tire immediately.
There is no doubt that this device will have the designed effect, and it won't just leave a small little puncture either, it will totally tear the tire apart.
8 Wood Chippings
They might seem harmless and unlikely to cause problems, but loose wood chippings can actually cause plenty of damage. Much like a splinter in your finger, having a piece of wood, no matter how small, lodge itself into a car tire isn't ideal. Wood chippings are often found on roads, especially in areas full of trees, and whilst they may seem fine to drive over, the sharp edges and unpredictable size can often lead to drivers falling afoul of a gnarly surprise. Small punctures have often been credited to pieces of wood that seem unnoticeable at first until the tire starts becoming flat.
7 Mesquite Thorns
Just like the wood chippings example, mesquite thorns are an item that could very easily have a serious impact on a car tire if one was to drive over them, as the thorns are known for being very sharp. They are the sort of thing that would cut flesh at just the slightest touch and even though most people presume that a car tire can withstand a lot of punishment, a mesquite thorn isn't something that the rubber could handle.
Luckily for most people, mesquite thorns are quite geographically specific, with the sharp thorns being found in places like Mexico, Texas, and California, with most parts of the world being safe from this issue.
A seemingly harmless pen is something that countless people carry around with them at all times, but often, they are easily dropped, lost, or thrown away on purpose, which can lead to them being found on the roads.
If a car was to run over one, the driver would likely never notice it due to just how small a pen is—especially the actual sharp metal tip—but it would eventually become an issue with the tire slowly deflating. Several motorists have taken a car into a mechanic to question the issue, only to find out that it was something as random as a pen that has caused all of the damage.
Twigs are something that everyone encounters on the road and 90% of the time, driving over them will not cause a single issue because the twig is more likely to snap than impale the rubber of a car tire. But on the rare occasion, they can be known to cause punctures. Twigs are known for being sharp and can cause some serious damage, despite how innocent they look.
Because they seem safe, drivers will often not try to avoid them, but doing that is a risk. It is fairly common for the small piece of wood to cause small holes in a tire that will see the air deflate slowly over time and because they are so small, it normally takes a while for the problem to be detected.
Whilst most examples on this list have been items that have burst a car tire, something that the driver doesn't want to happen, this example is one that is often intentionally placed inside the tire, mainly for hiding it. Big sums of cash have been found hidden within car tires before, with the driver often hoping that the money is never found by certain authorities.
Of course, it is a good place to hide cash as it isn't a place that people would think to look in. However, the risk involved in possibly damaging the tire beyond repair in order to put the money into it in the first place is something that must be thought about beforehand.
3 Porcupine Quills
Throughout this list, there have been examples of animals that have damaged car tires, from dogs teeth to deer antlers, but perhaps the most ridiculous example of an animal destroying a car tire is from a seemingly harmless porcupine. However, even though a porcupine doesn't tend to be an animal that humans worry about, the quills that they use to protect themselves against predators can have a devastating effect on the car tires.
They are known for being incredibly sharp and have, in several cases, pierced a car tire. Whilst the tire clearly means no harm to the animal, porcupines aren't aware of that, and therefore, the animal has been known to destroy tires.
2 Broken Glass
Broken glass being on the roads is something that shouldn’t really happen but sadly, in this day and age, it is becoming more and more common and therefore, there have been plenty of cases where glass has come out of people’s car tires.
Whether it is from broken bottles or car accidents, glass can often be found on roads and as soon as a car tire goes over it, the chances are high that the glass will penetrate the tire and lodge inside. Thankfully, broken glass appearing inside people’s car tires isn’t overly common, but it is one of the items on this list that you are more likely to experience in your lifetime.
1 Animal’s Tooth
This next item would most likely be a dog’s tooth unless someone happens to live in a very exotic location where wilder animals might live, but teeth have certainly been reported as items being lodged into people’s car tires before. How the teeth end up coming loose is unknown—whether it is through fights or simply old age—but the teeth of animals such as dogs can be incredibly sharp, which is why it isn’t really a surprise to know that they have been found in people’s car tires.
Of course, dogs are also very curious animals and whilst going on walks or being let out can end up chasing things such as cats or leaves and have been known to bite into a tire, causing punctures.
Sources: ETA UK, Drivers Ed Guru, Evans Tire, BBC, and How Stuff Works.