How to get unstuck from snow!

It is that time of the year, did I burn up my tranny after a hundred tries with the tachometer clocking red? Thanks to VDCDriver for the link http://www…shing-bmw/ I should not push my car out while in gear.

And of course I cannot believe these people are so stupid http://www…detailpage

So I if stuck in snow will do the reverse as far as I can go, forward as far as I can go, then repeat. Shirley you must have some tips, a shovel, sand in the trunk etc?

The best way to get unstuck in the snow is not to get stuck in the first place. Four real winter tires, shovel, windshield fluid, water, power bars, cell phone, etc. all help but proper driving technique is the most important. Drive slow, brake slow and turn slow.

Whenever I buy a new car I’ll take it out to a snowy parking lot first storm and play around – braking, skidding, turning, accelerating, etc. Understand how your car handles in snow before you need it.

I keep both a small aluminum shovel and a gallon bottle of sand in my trunk in winter. They’ve gotten me out of an icy spot more than once. It’s amazing how little sand it takes to give you some traction.

I have a large steel shovel and a 5-gallon bucket of sand in the garage to help out the folks who get stuck on my street without the necessary supplies in their trunk.

The faster a tire spins, the less traction it has, unless your intent is to dig through the snow toward better traction. If you don’t have traction control, a slight pressure on the brakes while slowly accelerating, “sometimes fools” the differential from supplying too much torque to the spinning wheel. Weight over the drive wheels as well as a board under the wheels or any other traction aid to get you going. If you’re hung up in snow, start digging the under carriage out. Make sure your steering wheel is as straight as possible.

Also, a fwd car has better traction backing up hill. Generally, try to go opposite the direction that led you to get stuck…ie. backing out if you drove in front first.

And lastly, cursing always helps.

Th first car in the video appeared to be contributing for fun to the effects of his being on sheer ice, and I’d bet the car was probably stolen. The others seem to have been legitimately out of control due to sheer ice. When you’re sliding sideways down a slope like that, there’s nothing you can do. I’ve seen films of a car on sheer ice sliding barely into another car on sheer ice and sending ot for a sliding, out of control, ride.

Your description of how to get out when stuck in snow is correct. Go backwards and forwards GENTLY, attempting to catch the edge of traction without spinning the wheels. Creat a gradually lenghtening groove until you can finally use the car’s momentum to help you up over the groove’s end and out again. Spinning the wheels to the point of putting the tach in the red zone not only is counterproductive but can be destructive…even of you don’t manage to catch a dry spot…which can be even more destructive.

I know several Shirleys, but none are experts on getting me out of snow.

Having lived in snow country for the last 60 years, here is a general guide on getting out.

  1. If you have a shovel, clear as much as you can from the front and rear wheels.

  2. If you have sand or some other abrasive with you, put it in front as well as behind the driving wheels. I have also successfully used an old rug and the car floormats.

  3. If you have a rear drive vehicle, a bag of sand in the trunk will improve your traction remarkably.

  4. As you concluded, going forward as far as you can, without unduly spinning the wheels, then backing up, using the momentum gained, as far as you can. Don’t abruptily shift from forward to reverse and vice versa, as you will quickly wreck the transmission. When you shift, make sure the engine speed is at idle.

  5. Needless to say if anyone wants to push (by hand) accept their offer.

My wife has practiced these tricks many times, and has never been stuck.

In the early 1950’s, Sears Roebuck offered a “road sander” in its catalog. This device had two hoppers that held grid (not sand) and each hopper mounted in the trunk ahead of the rear wheel wells. A tube extended from holes drilled on each side of the trunk in front of the rear wheels. There was a control in the car that when the driver activated the system, grit was dropped in front of the rear wheels (virtually all cars were rear wheel drive in those days). I’ve often wondered how well the system worked. I know that a similar system is used on railroad locomotives.

So I should have said surely, but today, teaching the critter some winter skills I advised her in wintery conditions not to park in a spot with a downhill slope. I also found an icy road she could see what abs felt like.

Yes. practice makes perfect. All members of our family have taken a “winter driving course” which teaches you to drive through deep snow, on packed snow, on ice etc. I believ the AAA has such courses.

We also spend many weekends in the moutains where all sorts of surprise weather awaits you.

Icy roads are very tricky, even with good winter “ice tires”. A very delicate foot on the throttle is needed.

If you can park facing downhill in the direction you will be going, by all means.

I keep several old bath towels in my trunk. They are useful for many things, including putting them down in front of the drive wheels to provide enough extra traction to get you out of most problems.

Practice and experience are also very helpful.

You answered all your own questions correctly. Carry on…

I see two mentions of the best use of sand. Using sand on the snow/ice to increase traction is the way to use sand. Storing it in a tube located above the rear axel is also an excellent way to store the sand. I also use a large carpet to aid in getting a car stuck in the snow free ( I guess I should say “used to use” as we don’t get much here in Tucson). Perhaps you think since I live in Tucson that I have no winter driving experience but I have more than I care to remember.One winter in Kalispel Montana we had so much snow we were able to dig an impressive a tunnel from the front door to the driveway.

Getting stuck was a pain and could be dangerous if you are there a long time but it was the whiteouts that really put the fear in me. Working and living close to Milwauke was a real pain in the winter. The day I hired in they told me I was the first person to come from AZ to WI as all others were leaving. I love my whitetail hunting and WI is just the place for that.

Good ol Kalispel. That brings back some memories. Agreed that weight directly over the axle is best placement. Carpet is a great trick too. Your full of great ideas. Dont hold back. Wheres the others you forgot about in your old age…

I agree that the best way to get unstuck in the snow is not to get stuck in the first place.

And taking it a step further, the best way not to get stuck in the first place is to live in Phoenix. Hasn’t snowed here since 1992 (I remember it well; the feral cats in the parking lot were looking at it with a “what the hell is this?” expression).

Driving down my road once I came across a sheet of concrete reinforcing mesh lying in the middle of the street. I stopped to get it, mostly to get it out of the road. When I got home I threw it in the garage thinking I could use it for a project at some point.

Last winter when we got dumped on several times in Virginia, a thought struck me. So I cut the sheet (2’x8’) into quarters, folded each quarter in half the long way, and covered the sharp edges with duct tape. I threw one pair in the car and the other pair in the van. They are without question the best things I have ever used when stuck. I did also have small shovels and a salt/sand mixture in each car. You can’t always manage to stop to pick up what you’ve left behind.

Iam really one of the younger ones at 55. My life has always been “rode hard and put away wet” though.

Kalispel, great place to retire. I actualy took a job at a “one store quickie lube” in Kalispel. This quickie lube job is where I saw the 90-100 car Saturday’s. My parents moved to Kalispel in 1995 and my mother died about 3 months after they got there (never cooked a meal in her new kitchen). I went up there because of her illnes and need to generate some cash flow. $5.00 an hour for quickie lube work in 1995, but you do what you have to do.

All these little ideas come from being an auto mechanic so many years. Perhaps people don’t realize it but an auto mechanic must be well versed in many disciplines. I alway said "give the job to an auto mechanic, they can figure out a way to complete any assigned task. Employers, when you hire someone that has been a sucessful auto mechanic you are hiring a “can do” type person.

ROCKING a vehicle is an effective way to get unstuck in snow…but REDLINING…is NOT the way to do it…Gently go forward and back trying NOT to spin the tires…If you have fwd…you can turn the wheel to help get out of a run…