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How to Get a Car Unstuck by Yourself — Self Help!

Have you ever wondered how to get a car unstuck by yourself? Driving a car through damp terrain has a big chance to lodge itself in its tracks. Thus, you will be unable to keep driving to your destination. Don’t worry, though! It’s quite quick to get a car unstuck by yourself. With the right knowledge and tools, you’ll be out in a jiffy. 

In this article, I’ll be sharing my personal tips on how to get a car unstuck by yourself. 

How to Get Your Car Unstuck by Yourself from Any Terrain

Researching how to get your car unstuck by yourself in any terrain is one of the most responsible steps that you can take. Doing your research before you embark on any trip will ensure that you already have the proper knowledge for anything that can happen. After all, accidents can happen at any possible time. 

With this knowledge, you can also buy the right gear in case you’ll ever need it. While getting a car unstuck by yourself is possible, you may also need some tools to make the job even easier. That being said, here are the five things you need on how to get a car unstuck by yourself. Some of these things may require you to buy tools from your local hardware store. Some may even need you to buy tools and gadgets from the nearest car care shop in your area.

Nevertheless, I’ll still be giving these sweet five tips on how to get a car unstuck by yourself. 

Assess the Situation

The first thing that you need to do is to assess the situation. When you feel that your car got stuck, do not, under any circumstances, force the car to keep on moving. That will only make your situation a lot worse! If you force your car to drive forward even when it’s stuck, chances are you will make the hole deeper.

What you want to do instead is to turn your car’s engine off. Then, climb out of the car carefully. Afterwards, inspect the area around your car. Try to see what kind of terrain that you got stuck in. These steps will usually be a lot easier if you know what kind of terrain that you are stuck in. Knowing what terrain that you are stuck in will help you determine the best way to get yourself out.

If you are driving through snow, check your car’s exhaust pipe. Make sure that the exhaust pipe isn’t blocked. A blocked exhaust pipe might mean that there will be a carbon monoxide buildup inside your car.

Again, assess the ground underneath your car. Make sure that there isn’t any debris that is blocking your tires from moving. Additionally, check which wheel or set of wheels are stuck. 

Add Some Traction

Traction is essentially what helps a vehicle move on any kind of terrain. Without traction, the wheels of your car will not be able to move anywhere other than in place. Traction also helps prevent accidents. Driving with a set of wheels with poor traction will become extremely slippery. A slippery drive is also very dangerous.

That being said, traction helps keep your drives safe and gets you where you need to be. When you are stuck in any kind of terrain, you will want to help your car gain some traction. First, look for anything that could be causing possible blockage for your tires. Anything from a big rock, to pieces of debris could be hindering your car from moving. So make sure to get that out of the way!

Next, try to place some sand or gravel around your tires. You want to make sure that it’s really packed well in the front and the back part of your tires. This will give your car a little boost when it comes to traction. 

Now, it might be a bit tough to look for some sand or gravel in your area. You could also try cat sand or cat litter, small-sized rocks, or pieces of wood or logs. However, make sure that there is nothing sharp in the mix. Otherwise, you will be at risk of piercing your tires and creating an even bigger problem for yourself!

When that doesn’t work, try to shovel a straight path from the stuck tire. Make sure that the tire is now level with the path that you are trying to get to. If a shovel is unavailable, then get ready to get some dirt on your hands.

Jack Up the Car

A jack is a device or tool that is dedicated for lifting objects. To be more precise, jacks are used to lift cars or the axle of a vehicle off the ground. You typically use jacks to change tires. However, in this special case, we’ll be using the jack to get your car moving again.

To use the jack, you have to make sure that the ground that you are putting the jack on is firm. You are not able to do this on ground that is sandy, soggy, or snowy unless there is something that makes the ground firm (like cement).

When you have determined that the ground is firm enough to put a jack on, you can proceed to use it. Situate the jack near the tire that is stuck in the ground. Begin to lift the car using the jack. When the tire is already lifted slightly higher than the other tires, fill in the hole with gravel, chunks of wood, or a plank. When you have no jack or materials to fill the hole it, you should skip this step entirely.

Release Some Air

Tires are meant to take you to your desired destination. That means you need a set of tires that won’t have any defects. Such defects are flat tires or popped tires. However, in order to know how to get a car unstuck by yourself, you actually need tires that are slightly different than your actual ones!

What I mean by this is that you may need to release some air from your tires. This will give your tires a bigger surface area. A bigger surface area means that your tires will have a better grip and traction on the ground. 

However, keep in mind that you should not release more than 15 PSI. PSI means “pound per square inch” in case you didn’t know. If you release too much air, you might get a flat tire instead of a tire that will be able to get you out of that situation.

Winch Up

A winch is a device that you tie around a sturdy structure. This sturdy structure could be a metal pole, a tree, or another car. Usually, winches are used for hauling and lifting. It is made of a rope or a strong cable. This rope or cable is wound around a rotating drum and is turned manually by a crank. You usually see winches attached to the back of tow trucks.

If you ever have a winch, you can use it to your advantage. Simply attach the winch to the tree or a pole. Then, you can pull yourself out of the hole and go back on your journey!

How to Get a Car Unstuck by Yourself

Tools that Help Get Your Car Unstuck

Of course, you can always know how to get a car unstuck by yourself without the use of any kinds of tools. However, I do suggest that you invest in these kinds of tools. This is so that in case you or your friends and family are planning trips, you will already have these devices ready. Remember, being prepared for any kind of situation is one of the most responsible things you can do as an owner of a vehicle!

Here are the tools that I suggest you get. Some of these tools might already be in your toolshed. Others, on the other hand, have to be purchased either online or in your local hardware store. Nevertheless, these tools are very inexpensive. Remember, these are only optional. You do not necessarily have to buy these items.


A shovel will be your new best friend when it comes to getting yourself unstuck. You can shovel sand, gravel, or cat litter in front of the tires that are having problems getting out. A shovel can be bought online or at your local hardware store. If you’re lucky, you might already have a shovel right at home!

It doesn’t have to be a fancy shovel. Your shovel of choice doesn’t even have to be full-sized either. A simple garden shovel will already do the trick for you.

Price: $20 to $100


A winch is a device that is attached to the back of your vehicle. It allows you to pull yourself out of the ground that you are stuck in. All you have to do is to secure the hook part of the winch to a sturdy structure. These sturdy structures can be a tree, metal pole, light post, and more. What’s neat about winches is that you can also attach the hook to another car for towing purposes. You can purchase a winch online or at your nearest tool and hardware store.

Price: $80 to $500


The original purpose of a jack is to lift your car in order to change the tires. However, you can also use a jack to lift your car so that you can fill out the hold that your tires are stuck in. You can use jacks as long as you have steady, firm ground that you can anchor the jack to. Otherwise, it might deal some  damage to your car. You can purchase a jack at online stores or at your nearest tool and hardware store.

Price: $30 to $200

How to Get a Car Unstuck by Yourself

Final Words

There are many ways on how to get a car unstuck by yourself. All you need is the right knowledge. When you have the right knowledge, you can then use this knowledge and apply it using the right tools. Remember, researching and educating yourself is already a great step in making yourself a responsible car owner.

Did you like this article? Which method works the best for you? Share it with us down below in the comments section!