We’ve all been there before, gunning the accelerator when your car is trapped in snow. Getting out and trying to rock it back and forth. Digging frantically to get your car out of the snow as soon as possible before your face freezes off. For many of us, this is just a typical Wednesday in Winnipeg. But many people new to the city probably haven’t experienced a Winnipeg blizzard. 2cm of snow and most cities would completely shut down. 20cm here and you’re in trouble for being late for work.
Many of you mind find this as common sense, but some genuinely wouldn’t even think of straightening their wheels when getting out, or using the floor mats as quick grips for your tires. So here are some different techniques you can try if your car is ever hung up in deep snow:
1. Know whether your vehicle is AWD, FWD, RWD or 4×4
You don’t have to do anything for the first step but you should know where the power comes from in your vehicle. If it’s FWD, then you should focus on your front tires so they can catch grip and drive out. It’s a lot easier to get out if your vehicle is AWD or 4×4, but only select vehicles have that option.
2. Dig snow away from specified tires and from underneath vehicle.
The whole reason why you’re probably stuck is because you’re tires can’t grip the snow or you’re hung up on snow. Make sure to carry a compact shovel with you during the winter, it makes it a lot easier to dig out the snow instead of using your hands or your snow brush. Go as far underneath your vehicle as your can so you don’t get hung up. Also, dig snow away from the exhaust. If you end up having to wait for someone, you won’t want your car filling up with carbon monoxide.
3. Straighten your wheels
I’m not too sure the science behind it, but your vehicle will grip better and pull itself out when your tires are straight. Unless putting them straight means your car will fall off a cliff, keep them as straight as possible.
4. Don’t go heavy on the acceleration
If you put the pedal to the floor trying to get out, you’ll only dig yourself deeper into the snow. Go slow and steady. If your car will get out, it will. If not, then you have to get out and keep trying. Trying moving your wheels left to right and pack down the snow before you start as well.
5. Use salt around the tires to melt away snow and ice
Get a little more traction by melting the snow and ice from around your tire. A small bag at many stores is fairly cheap, so keeping some in your trunk isn’t a bad idea. Kitty litter and sand will also do the trick as well.
6. Use your floor mats
This is a last resort. If you do decide to go this route, be warned that this may ruin your floor mats. Again, this will add just a little more grip so your vehicle can pull itself out.
7. Get someone to help push you out
Sometimes all you need is a little help. If someone calls you to help them out of a snowbank, do them a favour and help them out. You’ll never know when you’ll have to ask for the same favour.
There are also many different tools and things that can be used to help you in a sticky situation. If you drive a small, light vehicle, maybe looking into these isn’t the worst idea. For more car info, head to our Facebook page!