Car Stuck In Mud? Here Are 6 Proven Ways To Get Back On The Road In No Time!

It’s a nightmare – no matter how far you push the paddle, the car further sinks into the mud.

It’s all because of the conventional tires on your vehicle; you were never supposed to drive on uneven and muddy surfaces with them. You’ll probably need new tires now… that is if you can even get out of the mud in the first place!

Your options are either to call for help or try everything in your power to get the car out.

It pays to be prepared for the worst – let us help you figure out what you should do in case your vehicle gets stuck in the mud.

The Right Course Of Action To Get Your Car Out of Mud

If help is out of reach, don’t worry — we will guide you on what you need to do.

For starters, try not to panic, and under no circumstances, floor the paddle because you’ll only end up burying yourself deeper in the mud.  

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to get your car unstuck, read on to know more:

1 – Snatch Recovery

This is where a bogged down vehicle is recovered using another mobile vehicle to pull it out.

A typical snatch recovery is different from a standard tow as the line connecting the two cars doesn’t have to be tensioned for the recovery to happen. 

You’ll need a 4×4 vehicle with locking differential and the right recovery equipment, including a proper anchor and snatch strap. 

Remember, you cannot do this with your car’s tow ball, chain, or rope. Follow these steps, and your car will be out in a matter of minutes:

  1. Get to your car’s recovery point and attach the snatch strap 
  2. Let the strap rest on the ground
  3. Back the vehicle in a manner that when the strap is put onto it, it would be nice and tight
  4. In the middle of the strap put a strap damper — this will come in handy in the off chance that the snatch strap breaks
  5. Both drivers should be able to communicate with each other from behind the wheel, and the driver on the rescue vehicle should push the accelerator, but not all the way.
  6. When you feel the strap trying to maneuver your car out of mud, now is the time you to should start accelerating forward on the same speed as the recovery vehicle.

2 – Rock It Out

Build up some momentum as it makes it easier to slide the car out of the mud.

This brings us to the rocking method, and you’ll have to depend on any bystanders or other passengers in your vehicle to do this right. If you are particularly strong, you could do this yourself as well – all you have to do is rock the car back and forth to gain momentum.

Make sure your vehicle has some wiggle room and that it’s possible to swing the car properly.

It’s a good idea to stay in the driver’s seat while others push your car. Your job would be to help the car keep up with the momentum they are building.

Keep putting your car in forward and reverse gear and make slight movements, while making sure that the tire does not spin in one place. If you drive an automatic, put it in the lowest possible gear, whereas second or third gear will be ideal for a manual car.

 If done right, eventually, your car will have enough momentum to be driven out.

3 – Dig Further

Since your tire is already stuck, it might help to dig around them and create a clearing. Your car emergency kit should have a shovel — find it and start digging.

You could use your hands or any objects in proximity to create space around the tires. 

Once the ground is leveled —the tire is now in a lowered clearing; your car should be able to gain enough momentum to be driven outwards.

4 – Try Other Ways To Gain Traction

As we stated earlier, tires need traction to keep the car moving; otherwise, the car will remain stuck. 

Since traction is at its lowest on muddy and sandy surfaces, try using an object lying around outside or in the car to make up for the lost traction – a car mat, sticks, leaves, rocks, wooden planks, etc. would do fine. 

If you have a rear-wheel-drive, place the item under the backside passenger wheel, whereas a front-wheel-drive car requires you to place an object under the front driver’s side wheel.

5 – Redistribution Of Weight

A good move will be to distribute weight in a manner that the drive wheels have the most weight. In case of rear-wheel-drive, put extra weight on the back seat or in the trunk, or try more weight on front wheels (for front-wheel-drive), you can place heavy objects on the passenger seat. 

The idea is to push down the tires to increase gripping and possibly traction so that your vehicle can roll out from the tight spot.

6 – Reduce Pressure To Enlarge Tire’s Footprint

If all else fails, you can try this method. The concept is simple yet practical — a deflated tire creates a larger contact patch with the ground below.

And with more tread in contact with mud, sand or other soft surfaces — gripping becomes better, traction is improved upon, and possible the car can be raised. 

Remember, this option should be done as a last resort, and only if you carry a portable tire pump or compressors, and/or a spare tire for the worst come worst scenario.  

The Bottom Line

The trouble is that there is seldom anyone around to help out when the car gets stuck. The chances are that you’ll have to wait for help to arrive, and even then, it’ll take at least a couple of hours to get your car back on the road. 

Make sure your car has appropriate tires when you go off-roading around muddy areas.

And if you are unprepared, at least keep an emergency and survival kit in your car to ensure that you are safe even when stuck in the mud. 

Remember that the goal is to gain traction and momentum so that the vehicle has enough strength to climb out of the hole. 

Photo credit: Konmac/Shutterstock

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