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How to get your car out of the snow

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Waking up in the morning after a heavy snowfall and seeing your car stuck can make even the happiest morning person angry. 

When your next in that situation try these simple steps to see if they can speed up the process.

Step 1- Check your rear

Before you start the engine, check there is no snow blocking the exhaust, as this could build up deadly gases in the car if it is blocked.

Step 2- Dig

If you have a shovel at hand, dig away the excessive snow around the tyres, but if you don’t have one, break up what you can.  Use a sharp object to break up any ice that has formed at the bottom of the tyres.  A rougher surface area will help to provide traction when moving the car.

Step 3- Give it some metal

If you have snow chains place these in front of the tyres to give the car more traction.

Step 4- Ride the breaks

Usually, one wheel is spinning more than the other because it has less resistance. Pressing the brakes slightly will decrease the spinning and transfer some power to the other wheel so that both wheels are working to pull you out of the snow.  If you have rode the brakes for an extended period of time, the brakes may overheat which can result in longer than expected stopping distances until they have sufficiently cooled.

Step 5- Use salt, sand and cat litter in front of the drive tyres

The salt will help to melt the ice that tends to form when the wheels are spinning.  Rock salt from gritting bins is preferable, but table salt can do a similar job.  Sand and cat litter can also be useful as they soak up excess water and provide traction.  Do not use antifreeze as pets can drink it off the ground and it is poisonous.

Step 6- Straighten the wheels

Try to keep the wheels as straight as possible.  This may be difficult if obstacles are in the way, but straight wheels make it easier for the car to move.

Step 7- Let some air out of the tyres

Not to the point that they are highly deflated, but a slightly flatter tyre will give a much better traction.

By Ben Malkin

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