Have a Snow Shovel and Extra Floor Mats for When Your Car Gets Stuck
You'll likely get stuck if your area gets a lot of snow this winter. Since living in Ohio with a front-wheel drive Mazda, I've become a bit of a pro at digging my car out of compromising snowy and icy situations. Be prepared with a shovel and some old extra floor mats.
Keep a Trash Can in Your Car for Snow Emergencies (and Trash)
When the time comes, here's what to do:
- If the snow is high around the car, like in a freshly plowed residential neighborhood, dig a path for the car to get to the cleared pavement. Also dig a small space around the car to give it room to move, and give yourself room to get in and out.
- Find out if your car is a front or rear wheel drive, and dig the snow from under those two tires to the best of your ability. It helps to clear some space around the other two tires, but it's more important to make sure your power tires have as much clearance as possible. Tip: your car is most likely FWD if it's not an SUV or truck.
- Sometimes you can drive out after the first two steps, but other times you have ice to consider. If your car is stuck on ice, wedge the floor mats under the front halves of all four tires. If you only have two floor mats, put them under your power tires. This will cover the ice and give the tires something to grip.
- Drive out slowly. If you're driving a stick shift, use 2nd gear for better traction and control. In an automatic just put the car in "Drive" like normal.
- When you go back to park your car, make sure you park with your power wheels (FWD would be front wheels) closest to the clear road. It's easier to have those wheels pull the rest of your car out rather than push it. Otherwise you might have to dig it out of several spots on the way to the road.
There are other ways to get your car out, but this one has been the most consistent for me over the years. If you're so stuck you can't get it out on your own, see if someone will help push while you drive, or use the tow ropes in your emergency kit and ask someone to pull your car out with theirs.