Tips for helping a car or truck that has become stuck in the snow. Post your ideas.
If your car gets stuck in snow or ice, remove the floormats from the car and place them under the tires. This will usually give you just enough traction to get free. (Don't forget to pick the floormats back up!)
By Becki in Indiana
By Ginny (Guest Post) 02/03/2005
Cut up a fairly large cardboard box, and leave it in your trunk for snow stuck cars....
Along with this idea, is if you replace your floormats, keep the old ones in the trunk for this purpose and also in case you need to change a tire, it will give you a "cleaner" surface to lean on.
Branches broken off a nearby tree also give traction - but I've used this when stuck in mud as it NEVER snows where I live in Australia!
If you feel the tyres begin to spin don't keep revving the engine and digging yourself in deeper. Put the car in reverse gear and gently but steadily try to reverse back up the shallower slope behind the tyres.
By Babs (Guest Post) 02/03/2005
During the winter months I keep a bag of inexpensive cat litter in the car to give traction in case I get stuck. Don't have to go back to retrieve it like mats.
By Mary (Guest Post) 02/17/2005
Be careful when putting things under your tires. Floor mats or cardboard is probably okay, but a friend of mine got badly injured when she used an old board. She was standing behind the car with the board under the tires. The car's driver revved up the engine which kicked the board up from under the tires directly into her shins, which were shattered. She spent many months in leg braces, pins, etc. to repair her damaged legs. They aren't quite the same even after 15 years. She has a lot of pain. Just be careful!
By Jen (Guest Post) 04/11/2005
Becareful with kitty litter. I got stuck in a new housing development on a bunch of packed down snow. This girl that I knew that lived there went and got kitty litter for my rear wheels.
Before the kitty litter I could move about 3 or 4 feet slipping like mad but could not get moving past that. She put the kitty litter around both of my rear wheels and I went about a foot and slipped back and could no longer move either way...
Come to find out the kitty litter was the clay stuff and it just make things slipperier for me.
I was stuck for over an hour. Another thing is to watch the reving and spinning. Even though I was stuck for slow long I didn't spin my wheels all that time. I would try for a few minutes then let things cool down.
It finally took her brother pushing along with two of his friends to get me free.
By Daniel (Guest Post) 11/11/2005
One writer said be careful of what you put under the tires. I've seen folks get their leg cut bad when a floor mat got loose and was ejected from the front tires. i've lived in snow areas long enough not to put anything under my tires. a good shovel (spade shovel) to clear the snow front and rear of the tire, and then rocking is the single best technique I know of, short of a tow truck. Sounds easy, but rocking isn't for the ones that hold the pedal down and shfit between gears... it's an art, but when mastered, works wonders!!!!
I don't offer to stand near a car that has stuff under the tires, usually the driver feels over confident, punches the pedal down, and someone gets hurt. I know that when stuck, you just want out, but be careful... tires are great at throwing things (grip with the tire, snow with no grip underneath).
By (Guest Post) 11/19/2005
I like to keep a hay bale in the back of my truck for when stuck in snow, it works pretty well :)
By Kevin From Canada...Ehh (Guest Post) 12/04/2006
If your like me and own an old van that has bald tires the best thing you can have is CAA/AAA. Wish i had it today. I tried almost everything short of a tow truck. What finally got me out was time and rocking the van back and forth. If you have a standard vehicles such as my van you have it made. Move forward then let the car roll back. For those who have automatics, umm I don't know, good luck?
By Grandma Margie (Guest Post) 12/04/2006
KITTY LITTER! I drove a delivery truck for 20+ years in remote rural areas. In the winter time when snow was a possibility I always carried a shovel, a towing chain and a large bag of kitty litter. The kitty litter was helpful the most often.... although I often had to "dig" my way out at times with the shovel. The chain was for when a kind person driving a 4-wheel drive truck would stop and I could provide the chain for them to pull me out! Bags or "tubes" of sand are also available to buy in our area in the winter. The extra weight helps to give you better traction (which I didn't need because my truck was always loaded heavily with packages!). I used to cut open the sand bags and throw the sand under my tires. Sand is really great, works even better than kitty litter, but is just a bigger aggravation and mess to deal with...until you need it! I'm retired now and NOT missing my old job........ but I'm thinking of all my fellow brothers and sisters out there driving the brown trucks! Be safe, keep warm!
By dillon (Guest Post) 03/02/2007
clorox bleach on the tires....warms em up and melts da snow
By JT (Guest Post) 12/13/2007
If I wanna help someone who is stuck, and I bring out my tow strap that has a hook on the end, where are good spots to hook it onto the car of the stuck person? And what are good techniques for pulling them out in terms of driving my 4wd Jeep?
By Robert (Guest Post) 12/17/2007
After having lived in the south I recently moved back north and forgot how easy it is to get stuck in the snow .I tired the floor mat thing and dug myself out to no avail, even got some old carpet out, still nothing. I would seriously hesitate to use kitty litter, but the guy next door brought over some sand and that combined with chopping the ice up under the tires worked great
By Stacey E (Guest Post) 01/20/2008
I have used weeds twice to get myself unstuck from a muddy area and to pave a path in snow so I could reach the road. I would also suggest that people look into buying traction ramps. There is one called Save a Tow, that's just a lightweight plastic ramp. There are also much more expensive ones called waffle boards and sand ladders. But if kitty litter works, why not use it?
By Michael in Montreal (Guest Post) 07/23/2008
The key to getting free from snow is a feather light foot on the gas. Wiggle your front wheels, gently accelerate just until the wheels slip (in 2nd gear in a manual transmission), then back up again just until the wheels slip. Keep doing this and you'll eventually have enough room to get out.
By simple (Guest Post) 12/18/2008
This will only work if your stuck and have people with you, or kind passerby's that stopped. We tried rocking the car by just switching from drive to reverse and etc. but that didn't work. Started rocking it even though it would only move about a foot both ways, we'd go forward, then when we reversed, two people would push the car, which effectively rocked it more, and eventually we got out.
There is a new product called Lions Grip Traction Pads that work super in snow and in most other stuck-vehicle situations. Very simple to use, light weight, inexpensive, and very safe. I've gotten out of snow, mud, sand, and wet grass using them.
Tips to Get Your Car Out of the Snow
1. Check the tailpipe before you start the engine.
2. Shift into the lowest gear available.
3. If you live in an area where it snows a lot, consider investing in winter tires.
When your vehicle gets stuck in the snow or ice, don't panic. Instead, try one of the techniques used by drivers that live and work in the snowiest regions.
Trac-Grabbers! Trac-Grabbers will get your vehicle unstuck. Do yourself a favor and get a set for every driver in your family! They will get you home! See video and testimonials at tracgrabber.com. Don't wait till you wish you had them.