Believe it or not, getting your car unstuck from the snow involves quite a science. If you don’t know how to do it, you might actually make the situation worse, keeping it stuck until a tow truck can help. Fortunately, it only takes a little knowledge to ensure you are able to get yourself out of the snow, should you bury yourself in an embankment.
First, What You Shouldn’t Do
Do not spin your tires! This is the first mistake inexperienced winter drivers make when they get stuck. What happens is that you will burn little holes in the snow beneath your tires. This causes two problems:
• Your vehicle rests on the snow beneath it, making it more difficult to get out
• The snow beneath your tires melts, reducing their traction
What to Do
If you do get stuck, put your car in reverse and press gently on the gas for no more than 3 seconds. If you don’t get out right away, then you will have to take the following actions:
• Ensure your tailpipe is clear of snow. If it’s not, the snow can block the exhaust fumes, causing them to go back into your car. Inhaling carbon monoxide for extended periods of time causes death, so make sure to look out for this hazard right away.
• Remove snow from beneath your vehicle. If your efforts so far haven’t gotten you out of the snow, then you’re probably stuck pretty good. Remove as much snow from beneath your car as is possible. Make sure to clear pathways for the tires to follow out backwards as well.
• Straighten your wheels. Make sure your wheels are facing straight backwards, but account also for hazards such as fire hydrants, signs, and other vehicles. Trying to reverse with the wheels turned causes some of the force to go to the side, which makes it much more difficult to get out of the snow.
• Place sand/lime underneath your tires to increase traction. If you’re not stuck too far in, then the additional traction from sand and lime can give your tires enough to work with to get your vehicle out. Make sure to dig your way in beneath all four tires.
• Ride the brakes. Sometimes, one wheel spins more than the other because it has less traction. By pressing the brakes in every slightly, you can even out the power so that both wheels are working together to pull you out of the snow. Don’t do this for any more than a few seconds, as your brakes will overheat if you do it for too long.
Visit our Service Department if you have any problems with your vehicle after removing it from the snow.