What to do if your car gets stuck in the snow.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: December 2nd, 2011
Winter will soon be upon us, so depending on where you live, winter weather may soon be complicating your commute. Before long you’ll be dealing with wet, slippery, icy roads, and if you’re very unlucky or are just a really crappy driver, you may find yourself stuck in the snow.
You could call a tow-truck to pull your car free, but who has the time or the money for that? And if it’s just a snowbank or an unplowed street parking space you’re stuck in, there’s really no need. You can liberate your car without much help, if you know how. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you ever find yourself hubcap-deep in a pile of powder and ice.
The first thing to do if your car is snowbound is make sure your tailpipe isn’t obstructed, and if it is, dig it out before you do anything else. Your car’s going to be running, and if your exhaust pipe isn’t free and clear your car’s cabin will soon fill up with carbon monoxide, which, as we all know, is not a good thing to fill your lungs with unless you’re intent on taking your own life.
Once you’ve dug out the tailpipe, you might as well keep digging and clear as much snow as you can from around the wheels. Clearing out the wheel wells can help too.
Slow and Steady
The biggest mistake people make when their car is dug in is trying to speed their way out. Spinning your wheels will only dig the car deeper, so this is to be avoided at all costs. Put your car in a low gear and accelerate slowly; give your wheels a chance to gain some traction. Going slowly forward a tiny bit, then putting it in reverse and going backward slightly can help give your car the momentum to get itself free, but don’t do this for too long, it could overheat, and potentially ruin, your car's transmission.
Get a Grip
If clearing and rocking don’t do the trick, you may need to put something on the ground in front of your tires that your tires can grip. Things like pebbles, cat litter, salt or wooden planks are commonly used, but if you don’t have any of these things handy (which is highly likely) and nothing else works, you can use your car’s floor mats. Just be forewarned, your mats will be destroyed. Also, slightly deflating your tires will allow give them more grip, since it increases the amount of rubber on the road (this is commonly done for off-roading).