Top 3 Tricks to Get Your Stuck Car Out of the Snow

Top 3 tricks to get your stuck car out of the snowcar-stuck-in-deep-snow

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Either by mistake, or having to much fun, we’ve all ended up stuck in a pile of snow. Aside from trying to dig yourself out with that left over pizza box in trunk, here are our top three tricks to get your stuck car out of the snow.

  1. Floor mats. Find which wheel is spinning, and remove as much snow from around the wheel as you can. Place one of your floor mats in front of, or behind the wheel depending which direction you are trying to move. Slowly rock your car with the throttle until you feel it move, and use the added traction from the floor matt to get your self unstuck.
  2. Kitty litter. Maybe you’re on your way back from Petco when a spontaneous blizzard starts to drop 4″ of snow an hour, or maybe you should keep a small container of kitty litter in the trunk of your car. Either way, the grittiness of kitty litter, as well as some of the materials help melt snow. In turn, a quick, and easy way to get your stuck car free from snow.
  3. Lower your tire pressure. When you’re stuck, you can easily let some air out of your tires which causes them to deflate. In turn, this causes the contact area of the tire to enlarge and can easily help you escape that snow bank you found. Avoid dropping tire pressures below 15 psi, and just remember to stop at a gas station and fill your tires up after.

Did you know?

Antifreeze / Coolant breaks down after time, and during these frigid temperatures, anti freeze that has not been taken care of can actually damage your car. During these last couple months of winter, make sure your car is topped off with some fresh antifreeze / coolant, and avoid a very costly mistake.

About The Author: Ian Carr

ian carrIan Carr is an avid Volvo enthusiast and long time FCP Euro customer. He recently picked up his 2009 Volvo C30 after spending 5 years with his beloved 1999 S70 T5. So far he has truly enjoyed the change and has done some simple  modifications including the Polestar tune, cat-less down pipe and he is continuously exploring wheel and tires options.  He can be reached at ian.carr4@gmail.com

Categories: DIY

3 replies

  1. Advice from Canada:

    1) Don’t spin your tyres, it doesn’t work (lookup the physics of rolling and sliding friction) and it will just form ice in your ruts (lowering the friction even more).

    2) If you live in a place that gets snow regularly, do yourself a favour and use 4 snow tyres. Put a set on cheap steel wheels (no hub caps for street cred) so when you whump a curb you don’t ruin a $500 alloy. If you live in a place that doesn’t get snow regularly, be generous with your comments, you could be next. Nokian Hakkapeliitta tyres from Finland work exceedingly well, if the Nokians aren’t available Bridgestone Blizzaks start out even better but finish worse.

    3) Make sure your tyres are properly inflated. A tyre that is low will peel off of the rim in cold weather. Remember, rubber expands as it gets colder, so the pressure will drop faster than you would expect. Also, a tyre that is underinflated will have the tread collapse, closing up all of those grippy passages.

    4) Use narrow snow tyres. WRC snow tyres have a 135 tread width, they want to cut through the snow to the tarmac but the tyres don’t last long. Volvo 850 snow tyres are listed as 185s and last a long time on a heavy car. Too wide a tyre will float on top of the snow and slush, and is easier to spin.

    5) Most important, after it snows, practice, practice, practice. Go out to an empty parking lot and do some handbrake spins (remember, light poles don’t abide hoons). Do handbrake spins into your driveway. Figure out the limits to your adhesion, but don’t do it in traffic.

    • If you are parked before a snowfall and have 4 or 5 inches to get through before you’re under way or onto a cleared roadway, don’t try to turn your steering wheel while starting up.

      Instead—obviously IF you can—back up straight a foot, then run forward straight a foot, then back a little more. Repeat until you have a 5 to 6 foot “runway”. Back up as far as you can.

      Come forward straight in your tracks, trying not to spin your tires but building some momentum, then steer away from the curb and keep a light foot on the accelerator—just enough to sustain your momentum.

      If you don’t quite make it out of the “mire”, don’t spin the tires. Straighten the front wheels and try to back up a little then come forward a little. Same method. When you get a straight track to run in, Go for another try to get moving.

      I use this method often and it makes exiting through fresh snow a cinch.
      Like I said, obviously, you need to be careful of cars fore and aft.

  2. Very good advice but one thing that has served me well for 40 years in the electrical utility industry in the Northwest of the USA. Use your head first. If it looks like you could get stuck ahead find another route or go home. Park where you have good egress.

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