Being prepared can make all the difference when it comes to snowy weather. Before a storm arrives, here are two key things you should do to ensure your vehicle is ready to handle the snow.
Check Your Tires
Snow tires are designed to give better traction and handling in snow and ice. Having the right tires in good condition is crucial for driving in snowy conditions. If you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall, you should invest in snow tires rather than all-season tires.
Before the snowstorm hits, check your tire pressure and tread depth. Low tire pressure can affect your car’s handling and performance, while worn-out tread can reduce traction on slippery roads. Keeping your tires properly inflated and in good condition can make all the difference when driving in the snow.
Keep a Snow Shovel in Your Vehicle
In addition to having the right tires, it’s also a good idea to keep a snow shovel in your car. It can be useful for digging your vehicle out of the snow and helping others who may be stuck on the road.
Keeping a winter safety kit in your vehicle with other essential items like blankets, food, and water is also smart. By preparing your vehicle, you can be confident that you’re ready to face whatever the winter weather brings.
How to get unstuck in the snow?
With the onset of cold winter months, people are busy stocking up on essential items like batteries and candles. However, the challenge arises when taking your car out of the driveway or garage, which gets stuck in the snow. It’s a common scenario during the winter season. In such a situation, it’s best to know how to get your car unstuck from the snow without having to call a tow truck and spend money unnecessarily. Following are a few tips to help you free your car from the snow:
Clear the Path around the Tires
The first step is to attempt to clear the path around your tires. It will help you move your car back and forth to gain momentum. Clearing the track around your tires is crucial, especially if you are not using winter tires. Winter tires have tread patterns that help them grip and bite into snow. Keeping a snow shovel in your vehicle is essential if you plan to drive in snowy conditions. Use the shovel to clear a path around the tires.
Try Rocking Method
After dislodging snow from around the tires, the next thing is to attempt to rock your car free of the snow. But before then, clear your exhaust. Ensure that your tailpipe is clear of ice and snow before attempting to rock your car. When stuck in the snow, you need momentum to break free. Switch from drive to reverse to dislodge snow around the wheels. Put the car into drive, then reverse and repeat the process until the car is free.
Add Traction under the Tires
If rocking does not work, the next suitable option is to add traction under the tires. You can use kitty litter, salt, or sand under the tire. Avoid using antifreeze to melt snow and ice, as it is toxic. Shift to the lowest gear so that the tires can spin slowly. Shift to a higher gear for a manual transmission and control the spin with the clutch. After adding traction to the tires, don’t floor the gas and attempt to gun your way out.
Push Your Car
If your vehicle remains stuck after applying all the three tips above, call for help. Simply moving your car out of the snow can solve your need. While they push, gently press the gas to add momentum. Remember not to floor the gas, and add traction under the tires before your helpers push the car out of the snow.
Release Air from Your Tires
If all else fails, the last resort is to release air from your tires. Lowering the air pressure in your tires will make them sag, and putting more rubber in contact with the ground grants more grip. But be sure to deflate your tires slightly and not release air if you have not cleared the snow from under the tires.
Things to keep in mind when you are stuck in snow:
- Do not press down hard on the gas pedal, as it will make it harder to get out and dig deeper into the snow.
- Don’t forget to clear the pathway for your car to get back to safer ground, or else you may end up stuck again or, worse, hit a tree.
- Don’t panic; it won’t help you get out of the situation faster and may even make communication with others harder.
- Don’t try to get your car unstuck by yourself, especially if there are people around who can help you. It’ll save time and prevent any injuries.
- Don’t drive recklessly once unstuck, as you don’t know what lies ahead beyond the snow pile.
Q1: What causes a car to get stuck in the snow?
A: A car can get stuck in the snow due to a lack of traction caused by the slickness of the snow. When the tires lose traction, the car cannot move forward or backward, making it stuck in the snow.
Q2: What to do if your car gets stuck in the snow and won’t start?
A: To gradually free your car from snow, engage the lowest gear available, such as the second gear for a manual transmission, and move slowly, only a few inches at a time. Then, apply the brakes, shift into reverse, and repeat the process repeatedly. This method can help you gain momentum and gradually dislodge your car from the snow.
Getting stuck in snow can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous experience. However, with the right procedure and techniques, you can get your vehicle back on solid ground and continue. Remember to remain calm, assess the situation, and avoid common mistakes such as overexerting the gas pedal or trying to go alone. Following the tips outlined in this guide can increase your chances of successfully freeing your vehicle from the snow and returning safely to your destination. Stay prepared and stay safe during the winter months!