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Car stuck in snow! Ideas and suggestions?

Seluv

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Okay, massive winter blizzard hit upper midwest United Sates. Started snowing last night with "thunder snow" around midnight and didn't finally stop until middle of afternoon! Have never had to drive in this much snow! Use to living a bit further south. Landlord called and said a snow plow would be coming overnight to plow driveway and parking area and said all cars need to be moved. I had parked in an alleyway right next to south end of building and out of the "wind tunnel" so I didn't have any massive drift to dig vehicle out of as others did. Backed into intersection of north south street behind me where again the south east corner of building prevented massive snowdrift. Entered set of track made by another vehicle earlier sometime around noon. Proceeded south to end of residential street and had to turn either left or right. Didn't see anything coming from so proceeded to swing a wide left turn, which I figured would be easier than a sharp right. Stayed in lone set of tire tracks along poorly plouged residential street, for only a few seconds before momentum of turn propelled car to slide out of tracks, off to the right, and directly into snow bank and drift. Now I can only get the tires to spin!

Street gutter's slope and grade sufficiently prohibit backing out back into into existing tracks and going forward, I'll only be digging into deeper snow. High school kid wondering by tried to push, but by himself alone was no help. Came back inside to get shovel and warm up before going out to scoop, and dig!

Any good ideas on how to get car out?
 

Master-Classter

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the car is the best source of moving itself. all it needs is traction. Try taking out your floormats and putting them under (or as close as) the wheels. Go get some dirt/sand and put it under the tires. worst case, go break off a bunch of tree branches and put them under the tires.

ie, enable the car drive itself out.

use people to rock it back and forth to get something under the tire for traction.
rocking back and forth might help get momentum to get it moving otherwise.
 

Bhowie

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This is another threak that begs for FLMM's advice on helicopter parents.
 

LatinStyleLover

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Shovel cat litter and/or ice melting sand (similar to cat liter) in front of and behind all of the tires, packing it in real tight. You might also want to call someone with a 4-wheel drive truck with a tire attached to the front bumber. I have been pushed out of some pretty deep holes with ice/snow all around that way. The cat litter should work though. Good luck. Been there. Done that.
 

GreenFrog

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I have an audi a4 and the bitch was stuck on ice.. threw snow salt under the tires, shoveled out all the snow around the tires, got my friends to push from behind, tried the momentum method by cradling the car back and forth, all to no avail.

i called aarp and got it towed out for free within one hour.
 

Blackhood

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In a recent blizzard I was delighted to sail past a Roly Royce that was struggling to get up a hill. My 10 year old Vauxhaul corsa didn't have a problem. The joys of a car that weighs exactly 15kg.
 

otc

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They give people drivers licenses who don't know this?

God damn people are idiots...just like all the people who were stranded in their cars and scared because they had less than a quarter tank of gas and were getting cold. Come on--you knew the fucking blizzard was coming, why would you not have a full tank of gas and a blanket in the car. Hell, in cold weather, lots of people try to avoid having less than a quarter tank of gas even when there isn't a blizzard.
 

TylerDurden

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Get some gasoline, pour it around your car, on top of your and under your car. Throw a flare somewhere on your car.

Note:I am not responsible if your dumb enough to do this.
 

Ropavejero

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Don't think the,
Originally Posted by otc
They give people drivers licenses who don't know this?

God damn people are idiots... * * *Come on--you knew the fucking blizzard was coming, * * *.

comments are fair. I live in the snow zone of the U.S. and no this is not a something you must prove you can do to the "license examiners" in the Office of the Secretary of State - Division of Motor Vehicles and the "written exams" only cover shape of road signs and laws regarding using the various traffic lanes.

If you are "se to living a bit further south," where you didn't get as much and/or had more of a "wet and slushy" snow, driving around in it is a skill you can learn only with time. Many lifelong residents in the region have never learned basic safe winter driving habits! Here, I am referring to very basic things like slowing down and allowing additional space between your car and the vehicle in front. SUV's don't do that automatically, the driver inside must conscious and alert. Besides I have seen just as many big trucks and SUV's off in ditches along the interstate highways as I have small compact cars.


Hopefully you got out by now, but back to what you described:
Originally Posted by Seluv
[P]roceeded to swing a wide left turn, which I figured would be easier than a sharp right. Stayed in lone set of tire tracks along poorly plouged residential street, for only a few seconds before momentum of turn propelled car to slide out of tracks, off to the right, and directly into snow bank and drift. Now I can only get the tires to spin!

Street gutter's slope and grade sufficiently prohibit backing out back into into existing tracks and going forward, I'll only be digging into deeper snow. High school kid wondering by tried to push, but by himself alone was no help. Came back inside to get shovel and warm up before going out to scoop, and dig!

Any good ideas on how to get car out?


I'll give you some advice and suggestions for winter because, I wound up getting my car stuck in a snow bank last night and know too well how it feels.

1) First, it will happen when you least expect it. Last night I was parked at a downhill angle in a small gently sloping hillside parking lot. Entrance from street was behind me a small narrow driveway at the opposite end of lot plunges sharply downward into an alleyway shared by five houses and a neighboring business. If people frequently will exit the lot via the down hill driveway and proceed out through the alley. Six weeks ago in a Christmas Eve snow storm had been parked in same lot. In thick quickly accumulating snow was in a hurry to get home for holiday dinner and had gone down the driveway and into un ploughed alley without any problem. Last night was different, a cold frigid night, but with no snow falling was easy to let guard down, parking lot had been ploughed with a clean dry concrete surface, a clearly visible path made by snowplow could be seen down the driveway, and when looking down the hill into the alley good sets of tire tracks indicated residents had gone in and out many times since the blizzard on Tuesday and Wednesday. Since everything had been ploughed and cleaned up figured the downhill driveway would be quick way to roll out. Unfortunately, descended down the driveway right into a big snow bank. You couldn't see from parking lot how all the snow people had shovelled, pushed, and piled along the alley had mixed and drifted together!

2) Second, put that snow scoop you had to come home and get into car and keep it there! People too often don't even have a shovel to use. I've seen people try to dig out a car with flimsy windshield ice scrapers. They sell collapsible "emergency scoops" for car. I have one, but have never had to use it as I also throw in a full size snow shovel. I figure if I am out with someone else or a good Samaritan comes along those extra hands could be put to work using it.

3) Third, don't count on having any extra hands around to help! If some high school kid came by, you got more help than I found. For me it this happened around eleven-fifteen (11:15 p.m.) at night and wind chill had picked up. Nearby residents if not in bed were probably headed there and so only help coming would be anyone I might obtain if I called. So figured I should first see if car out myself.

4) Fourth, don't just sit and spin the tires. See people do this all time to no avail. If you were going forward when you became stuck, put vehicle in reverse if don't move in that direction (and for me it was a futile attempt as I was headed down a hillside), throw it in "Drive" and try going forward again. If you haven't moved vehicle, get out and survey situation! I could see wheels were deep into snow bank, but with some shoveling I would probably be able to get car moved over into the center tracks through the alleyway. Think it took me about four attempts: shoveling snow from different spots around the car, getting back inside, putting it in gear and gently attempting to pull forward or back up, before vehicle tires in the mess of snow something solid to grip on and begin rolling.

5) Fifth, exercise extra caution when driving at night. It is much, much harder to see and judge those snow depths in the dark. A couple of years ago got car stuck driving down lane to a farmhouse. Land was as flat as a pancake and while lane had been plowed after snowstorm a few days earlier, the wind had drifted a bed of snow across the land. I only discovered the depth of the when vehicle wheels began to spin and my forward progression, suddenly became harder and I tried to steer in to where I hoped snow would not be as deep.

5) Sixth, keep in your car an old pair jeans, crummy winter coat, and extra pair of boots. Most of us are interested in clothing, so I think this is self explanatory. On Christmas Eve I was on my way home from work and had on: suit, tie, dress shoes, overcoat, colorful knitted scarf, hat, etc., clothes you don't really want to get dirty in! Last night, fortunately attire consisted of: wool sweater, Levi's blue jeans, and winter parka.
 

countdemoney

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Originally Posted by Seluv
Okay, massive winter blizzard hit upper midwest United Sates. Started snowing last night with "thunder snow" around midnight and didn't finally stop until middle of afternoon! Have never had to drive in this much snow! Use to living a bit further south. Landlord called and said a snow plow would be coming overnight to plow driveway and parking area and said all cars need to be moved. I had parked in an alleyway right next to south end of building and out of the "wind tunnel" so I didn't have any massive drift to dig vehicle out of as others did. Backed into intersection of north south street behind me where again the south east corner of building prevented massive snowdrift. Entered set of track made by another vehicle earlier sometime around noon. Proceeded south to end of residential street and had to turn either left or right. Didn't see anything coming from so proceeded to swing a wide left turn, which I figured would be easier than a sharp right. Stayed in lone set of tire tracks along poorly plouged residential street, for only a few seconds before momentum of turn propelled car to slide out of tracks, off to the right, and directly into snow bank and drift. Now I can only get the tires to spin!

Street gutter's slope and grade sufficiently prohibit backing out back into into existing tracks and going forward, I'll only be digging into deeper snow. High school kid wondering by tried to push, but by himself alone was no help. Came back inside to get shovel and warm up before going out to scoop, and dig!

Any good ideas on how to get car out?


I assume the car is out, but it sounds like you had a pretty good slide to get yourself stuck. The sliding you can prevent or, at least, minimize.

The next semi decent snow, take your car to some deserted large parking lot or other flat place with lots of driving room and no people. Drive around and give the car a chance to slide about. Learn how to get yourself out of a skid. Lots of it is counter intuitive. In many instances, braking is the worst thing to do. There's no way to really learn that without doing.
 

TheSauceBoss

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Originally Posted by countdemoney
I assume the car is out, but it sounds like you had a pretty good slide to get yourself stuck. The sliding you can prevent or, at least, minimize.

The next semi decent snow, take your car to some deserted large parking lot or other flat place with lots of driving room and no people. Drive around and give the car a chance to slide about. Learn how to get yourself out of a skid. Lots of it is counter intuitive. In many instances, braking is the worst thing to do. There's no way to really learn that without doing.


This

When I was a kid, my friends and I would take our cars to Shea Stadium whenever there was a snow storm. We would drive, race, spin, and have loads of fun in a wide open area. This was all with rear wheel drive muscle cars that were a hoot in the snow.

It taught us all valuable skills on how cars react in the snow. More importantly it taught us not to panic whenever the car went into a skid as we have practiced it dozens of times.
 

henrikc

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Part of the driving education here in Norway is driving on a slippery track. It's one of the mandatory things you have to do before you can take your driving exam, and basically you drive up with a driving instructor, they spray water and oil on the track and you learn how to control the car.

It's incredibly fun, and it's really awesome sliding through a slight bend and then regaining control of the car again.
 

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