Rock Talk

How to Get a Car Out of Snow

Last updated on January 7, 2020 at 04:27 pm

From snow blowing the walkway to shoveling a path for the dog, the day after a snowstorm can be challenging. But nothing can be more frustrating than trying to dig your car out of a parking spot after the snowplows have gone by. Before you venture out and begin digging, check out these helpful tips for getting a car out of the snow.

Clear the Tailpipe

Before you start your car, make sure the tailpipe is free and clear of snow. A blocked exhaust pipe can lead to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide.

Clean Your Car

If your car was plowed in after a snowfall, chances are your car is also covered in snow. Before you do anything to free your vehicle, make sure to remove all ice and snow from it.

Dig Away What You Can

If your winter car emergency kit includes a shovel, put it to work! Clear the snow and ice away from the area around your tires and make a path for your car out of the snow.

Drive Out

At this point, it’s worth a shot. Make sure you have enough clearance to drive safely out of your spot. Keep your wheels as straight as possible, so they don’t slip when turning.

Tires slipping? 

Try salt, kitty litter or sand to give your car more traction if it begins slipping. And while you’re at it, leave some in the back of your car in case you’re ever stuck in a rut while out and about. 

Traction Devices

This tip requires some advance preparation on your part. There are some nifty gadgets out there that may help if snow and ice have immobilized your car. Snow socks and ZipGrips are just a few devices available. Make sure to follow all instructions for using these products, and if you have experience with these devices, let us know in the comments.

Last Resort

If you’re trying to drive out (not reverse out), place your floor mats, treads down, underneath and in front if the tires that are slipping. While your mats may be dirty afterwards, it could be the key to helping you out of a slippery spot! 

Once you’re free, here are 11 quick tips for driving in the snow that can be incredibly helpful.

Plymouth Rock wants to know about your tried and tested tips for how to get a car out of snow. Leave a comment to share with everyone!


2 thoughts on “How to Get a Car Out of Snow

  1. Patience is everything! Before you move the vehicle make sure any helpers/pedestrians/tools (shovels, brushes etc.) are clear of the vehicle. Compose yourself, put your lights on, check traffic. Pull out slowly to avoid spinning the tires in the snow. This cases melting and freezing of the snow into ice and also causes rutting. Safe travels!!!

  2. It’s a lot easier if you have a manual transmission. With a manual you can “rock” the car… that is shifting rapidly back & forth from 1st to reverse accelerating gently. Don’t let the wheels spin. Each time the direction changes the car gets a little farther until it eventually breaks free. Front wheel drive helps too because the weight if the engine is over the drive wheels.

    Many auto makers have announced that they will soon stop making cars with manual transmissions for the US market. That will deprive us of this valuable technique.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *