Yes, you love your car, and you trust your car, and you’re unafraid to battle the elements.
But if you’re taking your vehicle off road, be smart about it. And if you -- or your friend -- find yourself stuck, follow these tips:
1. Don't Accelerate
This is an easy mistake to make, especially if you're frustrated. Truth is, higher speed doesn't mean greater traction, so it won't do you any good. In fact, it might make matters worse as spinning wheels can reduce traction and cause you to slide even deeper.
2. Take It Slowly
Slow movement is your best chance and should be your first course of action. Stay very light on the gas to get the traction you need. (Note: If you’re driving an automatic transmission, put the car in the lowest gear possible, and if you’re driving a manual transmission, put into a high gear and barely let out the clutch.)
3. Dig and Wedge
If slow moving isn’t doing the trick, you’ll have to get on your hands and knees. Dig a good bit and then find a thick, flat object – a car mat, a blanket, a thin piece of plywood, or an item of clothing – to wedge under the front or rear wheels, depending on which ones are the power source. This will fix many situations, but please be sure to stay safe and communicate with the driver.
4. Get Creative
This viral video from last year demonstrates one inventive way to dig yourself out of a mud pit. If you’ve got the necessary equipment, do what they did and tie a board to your tire to give it an extra lift.
5. Be Prepared
This won’t help you in the heat of the moment, of course, but it can certainly come in handy. Keep a small shovel in your car in case you need to dig yourself out, pack some blankets or old coats to wedge under the tires, and carry some rock salt or cat litter to pour around the affected tires for added traction. (Just make sure you get the clumping litter.)
- Always take appropriate safety precautions when working on or operating your vehicle. Take the necessary steps to help prevent injuries; always use protective gear like helmets, safety goggles, and gloves.