How to Get a Car Unstuck from Mud or Snow

by: Ursula Nizalowski

When driving anywhere, it’s less of a headache if the ride goes smoothly. Yet accidents do happen, and they can appear in the form of getting stuck in mud or snow. These obstacles may not damage the car as much as crashing into another vehicle, but they are time-consuming problems if the right equipment isn’t used. And depending on where the car gets stuck, you could be stranded in the middle of nowhere. So to avoid this scenario, here is a list of methods to get a car unstuck from snow or mud and how to avoid these situations in general.

How to Get a Car Unstuck From Mud

In remote areas where there is a lot of dirt and rain, the combination of these elements creates mud. Though it may seem like a mere nuisance, the mud’s loose composition creates deep trenches that can be difficult to drive out of. When this happens, have these supplies on hand according to Virginia Auto Service’s website: a shovel, cardboard/carpet/plywood, plastic recovery tracks, a high-lift jack, and a tow strap. How these items will help is that the shovel can scoop up mud to create a path while the cardboard/carpet/plywood provides traction so the car won’t spin its wheels. On top of that, the plastic recovery tracks can be a scooping tool and traction provider. As for the high-lift jack and tow strap, the former can lift the car to make traction easier while the latter allows another car to pull your car out instead of doing it yourself.

How to Get a Car Unstuck From Snow

Compared to mud, snow is a tougher substance to get out of. Because it’s frozen water, it becomes slippery when enough friction is applied yet hard under cold temperatures. This means less traction when cars drive over snow, and when enough snow is clustered together it creates solid frozen ditches that your car can get stuck in. So AAMCO Colorado suggests having a snow shovel, sand/kitty litter/rock salt, an ice scraper and screwdriver, and optionally tire chains in case this happens. After all, it’s important to have tools to pick the snow off the car so the metal exterior doesn’t corrode hence the use of a shovel, ice scraper or screwdriver depending on what one has. Once that’s done, creating traction is necessary to get the car out of the snow so using a sturdy substance like sand, kitty litter, or rock salt can counteract the snow’s slippery but hard composition. Same goes for the tire chains, which can be put on the car’s tires either before the trip or after one has cleared enough snow from the tires.

How to Avoid These Scenarios

While there is no foolproof way of not ever getting stuck in mud or snow, there are ways to reduce these kinds of things from happening. First, you should check the weather before going on any trip to be better prepared. Second, have your car’s tires either fitted with chains if one is going through cold areas or double-checked to make sure they’re in top condition. Then lastly, have a plan for dealing with these kinds of situations. Not only should one have the right equipment for getting the car out, but also have a means of getting help. Some phone-numbers that wouldn’t hurt to have include a tow truck to get your car out if it’s really stuck or an attorney such as Rick Wagner for dealing with the aftermath.