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What to Do if Your Car Gets Stuck in the Snow

By: StaffPublished September 28, 2021

The following list of do's and don’ts is designed to help you get your car unstuck from the snow.

Don’t: Spin Your Tires

Lightly push the gas pedal to ensure that your tires are gaining traction. If your wheels are spinning and you are not feeling any momentum, stop immediately.  By allowing your tires to spin, you are only digging yourself deeper.

Do: Turn Your Wheel from Side to Side

Try turning your steering wheel from side to side. This may help clear snow from around the tires and give you the friction you need to regain traction.

Don’t: Forget to Straighten Your Tires

When your wheels are straight, they are more likely to make full contact with the ground, and that means better overall traction.

Do: Use a Shovel to Clear Snow from Around The Tires

If you push the gas and nothing happens, your next step should be to remove the snow from the front, sides, and rear of the tires. This may also involve breaking up any ice that has formed underneath the tires.

Don’t: Forget to Check the Tail Pipe

If the snow around your car is high, make sure to check the tail pipe, ensuring it not blocked by snow. When snow is covering the tailpipe, you run the risk of toxic gases becoming trapped inside your interior cabin.

Do: Use Sand or Kitty Litter

By pouring sand, kitty litter, or rock salt around your tires, you are creating a place where your tires can find traction. If you do not have any of these items available, try placing your vehicle’s floor mats in front and behind each stuck tire.

Don’t: Push the Pedal to the Metal

Slow and steady is the key to getting your car out of a snowdrift. That means that you should avoid the (very natural!) temptation to rev your engine and spinning your tires. This will only make things more complicated.

Do: Try Rocking Your Car

Rock your car by shifting it between forward and reverse. Keep in mind, however, that this may damage certain types of transmissions. So be sure to check your owner’s manual before resorting to this method.

Don’t: Forget to Try a Lower Gear

By putting your car in a lower gear, you may be able to create more traction without excessive tire spinning.

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