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Discussion Starter #1
Even though I live in a snowy area, I've never managed to get a car stuck in snow. Until today of course - in my apartment building's unplowed parking lot no less! :oops:

Since you folks all deal with the low undercarriage and some of you deal with snow - how do you get your Insight out of sticky I-misjudged-that-snowbank situations? (Assuming you're unfortunate enough to have made this mistake *sigh*)

I just dug as much snow from under the front of the car as I could and got a neighbour to push while I worked the car out in first gear, but surely there's a better way?

O.
 

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Up until a month ago my winter car was my '78 RX-7 with bald rear tires. Talk about getting stuck. For one thing, I would simply avoid unplowed parking lots. Second trick is to always get a "running start" when trying to cross a snow bank.

However, if you are seriously stuck in a snowbank, you will need to dig the car out. Putting chain male or traction pads under the tires helps as well, but be careful not to damage the car.

If you're a little insane (as I am) and have good reflexes, put the car into reverse and let the clutch out. While the tires spin in the snow, push against the front using your legs against the snow bank. The car should dislodge and hopefully stall. If it doesn't stall, QUICKLY put it in neutral or yank the parking brake via the drivers window (which you should have opened before starting this procedure).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hrm, while the quick reflexes trick sounds like a good one, I think I'm too small to reach the parking break through the window!

I don't feel quite so bad about the situation now: I watched a guy with a large Chrysler take at least 5 tries to get into the parking lot driveway tonight (it's a left turn up hill - a pain in the butt).

The Insight took the ice, snow, and turn quite handily on the first attempt :p

Thanks for the advice!
 

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Yeah, unless you have 4-wheel drive you're bound to get stuck at some point. At least with the Insight it only takes a little shove to get out. Not like something heavy.
 

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Snow. Well, as for snow, the one thing Im going to keep in mind is to try and be safe on the road and even though its a gas guzzler, use my backup Toyota 4 Runner on those icy/snowy days. I dont have a long commute, its in the same town. Most of my long drives are to family and to friends.

I did notice how low the Insight is, so maybe 3-4 inches of snow is your limit. Has anyone tried those "rubber chains" from Japan, that someone had listed on their website?

Michael
 

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beware of undercarriage panels!

While I've never gotten stuck to a degree that a little help of my collapsible shovel couldn't fix in minutes, there is one thing that bugged me this winter.

The passenger side panel covering the bottom of the car from just behind the engine compartment on backwards came loose. It's really poorly designed: this panel is held by only one real bolt, the rest are these little plastic pop-type fasteners. To make it worse, the front edge of it actually scoopes down at one point, making it a perfect target for snow and ice to hit it.

What I think happened is this: driving in one of the last major snowstorms we had here in the Boston area, a piece of ice hit this scoop hard enough to make the panel come loose (the eye that the only bolt holds ripped out). Then, the continued snow and slush spraying against it, quickly turned it into a little snowplow until it folded all the way over.

The fix was easy: bend it back, fabricate a large washer out of a plastic lid and put that under the bolt holding the panel back up. But it's even less reliable now, so I'll need to invest the money to get it replaced (was told $300+).

Of course, I could just remove the panel and go without it. But then, salt and gravel would be attacking the underbody of my car directly. Not a comforting thought.
 

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opal said:
Hrm, while the quick reflexes trick sounds like a good one, I think I'm too small to reach the parking break through the window!
It's quite dangerous actually, but it certainly does work. And provides a rather interesting show for onlookers.

I don't feel quite so bad about the situation now: I watched a guy with a large Chrysler take at least 5 tries to get into the parking lot driveway tonight (it's a left turn up hill - a pain in the butt).
Rear wheel drive always is interesting in the winter. Quite fun as long as you know how to work the throttle and parking brake properly...
 
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