Let’s take a look at the tools that it makes sense to always have in your car so you are prepared for the worst. Thank you to the Service Manager at Patrick MINI, a full-service car dealer in Schaumburg, IL for sitting down to talk to us about this excellent topic!
You know Murphy’s law, the next time you get stuck, it’ll be at night. A flashlight will be the device that will make the process a bit easier. In fact, it may not be possible to do anything if its dark and you need to get unstuck.
A shovel is probably the single most important tool for getting unstuck. Often it may be the only tool that is necessary. Shovels are big items so to save space you have two options: First, you can take a garden shovel and cut down the handle so it fits under a seat or, second, you could get a folding shovel. Folding shovels are probably the best option because they’re designed to lie flat and are easy to stow away.
A tow strap is a handy object to have in your car. With your tow strap, you can attach one end to your vehicle and one end to somebody else’s vehicle. They aren’t that expensive. Get one that has tow hooks and is rated at 10,000 pounds or more. By the way, only connect a tow strap between a vehicle’s tow hooks or right to the frame, never to the bumpers or body as they will likely be far to flimsy to pull a car with.
A great technique to get traction in the mud or snow is to slip a chunk of carpet underneath the spinning tire so it has something to grip. Branches and sticks may also work. The technique is to get these items under the spinning tire’s front and then slowly press on the accelerator to climb out. Having someone help push the car is a big help too.
These objects are designed for maximum traction when slipped underneath a spinning tire. A well-known one is made by MaxTrax but they are expensive. You may find cheaper plastic recovery tracks through the internet.
Today’s snow chains can be easily installed on a stuck car. It’s not like the old days when it was best to jack your vehicle up to put on bulky metal chains. They also stow away easily in a car.
A hi-lift jack is a recovery gear essential on many four-wheel vehicles. The factory tire jacks that come with your vehicle are okay for jacking up your car while on the road but are inadequate when off-road and you are stuck in a deep rut.
Anyone who owns a car gets stuck in snow or mud at some point, and with the correct tools aboard you can be prepared!