What to do if your car is stuck in snow, mud, or sand

How to free a car stuck in snow, mud or sand

It is not always domestic motorists have to drive on good cleared roads. This is especially true in winter or in the off-season, when there is a high probability that when traveling to the country or to relatives in the village the car will not be able to overcome the skid. The proposed material considers how to get out if your car is stuck in snow, mud or sand, without resorting to outside help.

The car got stuck in snow, mud or sand

Car stuck in snow

Given the peculiarities of the domestic climate, in winter there is a high probability of getting the car in a snowy skid. Moving across a snowy road, especially if the car has a low landing, threatens to get stuck, so many motorists are interested in how to get out if the car is stuck in snow.

Going on the road in heavy snowfall, it is necessary to stock up on the following equipment:

  • A plastic shovel;
  • a bucket of sand;
  • chains;
  • rope;
  • cord.

The first thing you need to do is to calm down, eliminate panic and do not press on the gas, trying to get out in this way.

The sequence of actions in this situation is as follows:

  • Clear a section of the way under the car and in the direction of further movement. If the skid continues for a long distance forward, it is recommended to get out in the opposite direction to choose another route. Clearing will release the initial section of acceleration, through which it will be possible to overcome the skid;
  • try to ride out by “swinging”, gently pushing the car forward and backward. The main thing is to avoid free spinning of the wheels and do not apply too much pressure on the gas. Movements should be short. The choice of gear direction is determined by the way the car is driven: rear – for rear-wheel drive and vice versa. If you tie a cord to the throttle pedal pull, it will be possible to regulate it without assistance when traveling alone;
  • if the specified method did not succeed, a possible way out is to increase the traction of the wheels with the soil: sprinkle sand with two tracks from each row of wheels, wrap chains on the wheels, put a few branches under the car, if there is vegetation nearby;
  • in case of insufficient efficiency of the above mentioned methods, only rescuers or casual fellow travellers in an off-road vehicle will come to the rescue.
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Car Stuck in the Snow

In such a situation, do not use the anti-skid system – it will not be able to help, but only cause problems.

If you can not get out yourself, then, waiting for rescuers, you should adhere to the following recommendations:

  • if possible, position the car so that the engine is located on the side opposite to the wind direction;
  • cover the engine from the radiator side;
  • the car must be warmed up from time to time to avoid freezing;
  • the exhaust pipe must be cleaned of snow and free of foreign bodies to prevent gases from entering the interior.

If the car has stalled and you can not start the engine, you should assess the surroundings, using available landmarks, determine the distance to the nearest settlement. You can not go to sleep, waiting for help. If you decide to leave the car and call for help yourself, when choosing a route, you must stick to the route.

The machine must be cleared from all sides, otherwise there is a danger of being completely buried under the snow, especially if the precipitation continues.

Car stuck in the mud

In the autumn or spring muddy weather, for many Russian drivers the question of how to get the car out of the mud, if it turned out to get stuck, is relevant.

It must be remembered that if the car is stuck in the mud, it is much more problematic to free it than if it is caught in a snow drift. You will need the same equipment as in the case of snow. It won’t hurt to have a pair of rubber boots in stock.

Promptness of correct actions is very important, delay will aggravate a situation. Stalling will only hurt, as the car will sink even deeper.

If the stuck car is tightly mired in mud, put under the wheels of branches, stones or any other objects available at hand will help. Car mats will also do.

The car is stuck in a dirt

The easiest way is to use the “skidding” method. It is preferable to choose the second gear, because the car will get bogged down even more in the first one.

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A possible way out is to clean the rut in front of the car with a shovel, if you have one with you.

Another way is to use a crowbar hammered into the ground and a rope secured to the wheel. However, this method is fraught with undesirable complications in case the rope breaks – damage to the car and injury to people.

Planks, wrenches or other objects attached to the drive wheels can help. When using this method, the strength of the means by which the object is tied to the wheel is important. Rope will do, and if it is not available, scotch tape or torn rags.

It is important not to panic and to act as quickly and systematically as possible.

A car is stuck in the sand

When driving on a road with sandy soil you need to know what to do if the car gets stuck because of the insufficient density of the sand. The bulkiness of this material contributes to the rapid bogging of the car if the surface is not sufficiently tamped, especially when driving uphill or downhill.

In such a situation will help all the above methods that have been described for the release of dirt. Especially effective is a rubber mat placed under the wheel.

Another possibility to get out of such captivity is to wet the sand. Then the wetted area is covered with whatever is at hand – branches of bushes, rags, car mats, etc. This will compact the sand and reduce wheel slippage due to increased traction. Sometimes it is effective to deflate the tires.

Car stuck in the sand

In these circumstances, there is a small chance that digging out the wheels will help, because it is not so easy to get to a solid base.

As you can see from the presented material, any difficult situation can be resolved, the main thing is not to panic and choose the right course of action. Inventory prudently placed in the trunk will come in handy. But the best solution for drivers is to avoid traveling in bad weather, especially on bad roads.

What to do if your car is stuck in mud, snow or sand

Russian roads – the national fun in which every driver constantly feels like an extreme racer and daily risks getting his wheels stuck in mud, sand or snow. When it happens within the city – consider yourself lucky, because there are always around the same “extreme” to help. But if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, you’ll have to cope on your own. And for this purpose, it does not hurt to know a few guaranteed ways that will help you pull your car on smooth and clean asphalt.

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Mud, sand or snow?

It is very important to understand what your car is stuck in, since mud, snow and sand differ significantly in their physical properties, and the wheels of the car in each case behave differently.

  • Our mud is usually a soft clay soil with an admixture of sand, which after heavy rains turns into a viscous “mush”, where even professional off-road vehicles get stuck. Experienced drivers recommend passing such road sections slowly. When traveling a short distance, you may slightly deflate the tires – this will improve the traction of the tread, but the movement on the muddy areas is only allowed on the first gear. Be sure to have in the trunk a shovel, a jack, a crowbar, a couple of wooden bars and a reliable rope.
  • Deep snow – loose material that can be partially melted with water or salt, scattered with a shovel, or put any objects under the wheels (such as wood twigs bars or wheel covers), then slowly rocking the car, pull it on solid ground.
  • Sand is loose and crumbly. To improve the traction of the tires with it, the easiest way is to let the wheels down. You can also increase the density of the material – water it, or put a board, a stone, twigs, a rag or a car mat under the wheel.

And now – about methods of getting out on hard pavement if your car is stuck off-road.

The most versatile way to get your car out is by towing another car with a rope or a winch. This way you can pull your car out of mud and snow of any composition and depth. It can be done in the city with no problem – just call a friend with a car, who will pull you out in five minutes. To do this:

  • it is better to use a nylon rope rather than a metal one;
  • You need to attach the rope to the towbar or eyelets, but not to the bumper;
  • it is better to pull out the car in the direction of travel, not backwards;
  • it is better to pull the jammed car slowly and evenly;
  • initially try to pull out the car a sharp jerk, and if bogged – a gradual rocking.
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If you find yourself alone outside the city – this is a problem. Here it is more difficult to find a car for towing, and it is better to rely on yourself.

How to pull out a stuck car

In mud and deep snow, the wheels do not just slip, but also burrow deeper and deeper, complicating the problem. Therefore, you need to pull out carefully and carefully. For this purpose will do:

  • Rocking. Suitable if the car is stuck in shallow mud. Set the wheels straight and slowly rock the car back and forth, quickly shifting forward-reverse gears (or D-N-D on automatic transmission) and gradually increasing the rocking amplitude until it is caught by the wheels on the harder ground, then it can be pulled out by jerk. In gear the car goes forward, you squeeze the clutch, shift gear and go back, and then the cycle repeats. The variant of nudging by a pedal also works: “gas – pause – gas”. However for deep dirt such technique is not suitable – you risk to get bogged down even more deeply.
  • Correct load redistribution. If the mud or snow is not too deep, you should move most of the weight to the driving wheels of the machine. You should then start rocking the car with the gearbox, moving the wheels a little left and right, groping for hard ground. Passengers can remain in the cabin if the car is not overloaded – they will provide the necessary weight load and improved traction of the wheels with the pavement.
  • Putting branches or sticks under the wheels. A good option when there is no traction with the surface. It is better to use planks or tree branches (the larger the surface area, the better). Placing the chocks should be in the direction of movement. It is possible to combine with the rocking technique, placing a plank at the moment when the car was at its maximum rear swing point and is ready to rock forward (but here you need a second person). If you don’t have a plank, use a rag or a car mat.
  • Digging out. If you have a sapper shovel in the trunk, you can dig a track that the wheels will take the car to a dry place.
  • Using a jack. Additionally, you will need branches, rocks, planks and anything else you have on hand from hard objects. You should put a branch or board under the jack to prevent it from sinking into the mud itself. Then jack up the drive wheels and put solid objects under them (preferably the same branches and planks). After that, the jack is lowered, and the car drives out on a normal road. You can also use a rope that is attached to the movable part of the jack and to a tree: by lifting the jack, you gradually pull the car out of the mud.
  • Using a winch. If the car has a heavy winch, you need to anchor the rope to the tree, the other end is attached to the receiving slot on the frame, to the bumper canopies or to a special device inside the car. Use the remote control to start the winch and pull the car up a little, then put some solid objects under the wheels in front, then turn on the winch again. If you don’t have a winch, you can assemble it from the available means. Attach one end of the rope to the car and the other to a tree or a crowbar driven into the ground. Insert the winch into the rope loop on the tree and gradually wind the rope around the tree. With a lever like this, you can pull the car out.
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In conclusion, it should be noted that it is difficult to pull the car out of the mud, sand or snow, but it is possible if you have experience, possession of some techniques, some tools in the trunk and improvised materials. The main thing is to take your time and follow the instructions above correctly.

The main thing is also to remember that your car can get stuck off-road at any time. That’s why you shall always have a shovel, a crowbar, a crowbar and a tow rope in the trunk – it will expand your opportunities, enable you to choose the rescue options depending on the situation and will significantly reduce the time of the car wheels search for dry asphalt.

Author: Y.L. Kiselev.

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