Are you geared up for the winter season?
Preparedness is key when it comes to navigating through the challenges of a snowy environment, especially if your vehicle gets stuck. While it might induce panic initially, freeing your car from the snow is a manageable task with a bit of foresight and the right tools. Here, we'll explore six essential tips to ensure a smooth escape when you find yourself stuck in the snow.
Preparing for Winter
The first step to tackle the snow season is proactive planning. Equipping your vehicle with a few essential tools can make a significant difference when the need arises. Consider keeping the following items in your car:
- Snow Shovel
- Sandbags, Kitty Litter, Cardboard, or Carpet Scraps
- Snow Chains
- Hi-Lift Jack
- Winch or Tow Strap
Performing winter maintenance on your car before the snow season hits is also crucial. Check tire conditions, fluid levels, brakes, wipers, lights, and the car battery to ensure everything is in optimal working condition.
What to Do When Stuck in the Snow
- Prepare For Your Escape
- Turn off traction control if your car has it.
- Engage low-range 4WD or a low gear setting.
- Avoid flooring the gas; control your movements.
- Clear a Path Around Your Tires
- Use the shovel to clear snow and ice from the front, back, and underneath the tires.
- Make space in front of and behind the tires to facilitate movement.
- Improve Your Traction
- Use sandbags, cardboard, carpet scraps, or kitty litter under and around your tires.
- Utilize a hi-lift jack to create space for traction tools.
- Get Your Car Moving
- Start the engine in the lowest gear.
- Roll down the window to monitor surroundings.
- Apply the "forward and back technique" to compress loose snow gradually.
- Get By With A Little Help From Your Friends
- Enlist passengers or passerby assistance.
- Coordinate a simultaneous push while gently pressing the gas.
- Consider towing options with a 4WD vehicle, tow strap, or winch.
- Be Ready Once Your Car Gets Free
- Turn traction back on.
- If low-range 4WD was engaged, switch it off.
- Ensure proper airflow to the radiator, preventing engine overheating.
- Check for snow buildup on wheels causing vibrations and remove it.
Navigating snowy conditions might induce panic, but with the right preparation and a calm approach, freeing your car becomes a manageable task. For more tips on winter vehicle readiness, explore the AAMCO Lee's Summit Blog. Don't let winter catch you off guard—be prepared!