22nd Feb, 2022
It’s a nightmare situation, especially if it’s still pouring with rain, or pitch black at night. If you live in a rural area, it might be a situation you’ve had your fair share of experience with, but wherever you live, it can still sometimes be tricky to know where to start. The first thing is the most obvious but also the hardest – don’t panic.
Now, you can at least rest assured that the mud probably won’t damage your vehicle (unless it’s also underwater), so you shouldn’t need to worry about scrapping your car. That’s probably cold comfort if you can’t get the thing moving though. So if it’s a problem you’re currently grappling with – wherever you happen to be – here are a few top tips to help you get out of this sticky situation. (And if they don’t work, you can always call a tow truck. Not the cheapest option, but it’s a safety net!)
First thing’s first. You’ll need to clear some space to give yourself to make things that little bit easier. Before you do that though, key safety step – turn off the engine and engage your hand-brake, otherwise you run the risk of running yourself over with your own car.
Once that’s safely done, clear away any debris from around your wheels, like tree branches, bushes and rocks, in order to give yourself plenty of room. Then, give your tyres the best chance they can by cleaning away any mud that’s clogging your wheel arches.
After clearing the area, hop back behind the wheel and slowly turn it from left to right. What this is doing is basically creating a wider surface area for your tyres to grip on to. This will generally help to create a wider surface area for which you can work off, but if needs be, placing some cardboard in front of your tyres can help create a more grippy surface for your tyres to cling to.
Another option is to carefully deflate your tyres – but only slightly! This will again help with creating a wider surface area with which to evenly distribute the weight of your car, helping you to get more grip on the road. If you’re confident enough, you can do this by placing the head of a flat-head screwdriver over the top of the metal pin found under the cap and pressing it in.
Once you’ve removed enough air, take the screwdriver out and screw the cap back on. As soon as you’re clear of the muddy road, make sure to get your tyres re-inflated to their advised pressures as soon as possible. If you don’t think you’ll be able to do this, or it’s not something you’ve done before, leave them well enough alone. It’s probably not worth the risk!
As tempting as it is to channel your inner Clarkson by slamming on the accelerator and yelling “Power!” in order to free yourself, unfortunately this method is unlikely to help much in practice. (He’s not one to call in a towing emergency, really.) Instead, try a more measured approach by pulling off in second gear, generating as few revs as possible. This will help you to reduce unnecessary wheel spin and improve the chances of your tyres gripping to the cleared surface area.
This is especially important if you’re stuck on a sloping surface, fighting gravity as well as the terrain. If you’re lucky enough to have enlisted the help of a generous local or passer-by, getting a tow is a great way of building momentum.
But crucially, timing is the key here. The aim is to keep your revs in sync with the vehicle giving you the tow – this will give you the best chance of freeing yourself. If your helper sets off too slowly, neither of you are going anywhere, and if they set off too quickly, you might even end up with damage to the front of your car due to excessive strain.
As a side note – it’s important to try and stay out of other driver’s ‘tramlines’ (tracks created by other vehicles) like the ones from the vehicle towing you, as this could end with you finding yourself in exactly the same dilemma once again, just slightly further up the road.
If you’re lucky, one or all of the above will be enough to get you moving. If you’re unlucky, it might just be a job for a tow truck. (They’re expensive, but they work!) The good news is that, as we mentioned above, mud alone probably won’t cause any serious long-term damage to your car – not unless it’s half-submerged in floodwater or something similar.
In the event that it does meet its unfortunate end in inclement weather, rest assured that we’re here to help. We might not be able to get your car back up and running again, but we can get you maximum cash when you scrap your car with us, and all with a minimum of fuss and hassle.
It couldn’t be easier to get a quote – just visit our homepage, enter a few details and you’ll be looking at your instant online quote in… well, instantly! Curious to find out how much your car is worth?