Whether you’re an avid off-roader or you’ve just had the misfortune of getting your Volkswagen stuck in the mud, it’s a sticky predicament that causes undue stress. The next time you get your Volkswagen stuck, follow these steps to safely and efficiently extricate it from the mud.
Know Your VW’s Capabilities
Before you decide to check out some off-road trails, you should first acquaint yourself with the attributes and restrictions of your Volkswagen. Two-wheel drive cars don’t often fare well in adverse weather, and driving them into mud can often end with a call to the towing company. However, many Volkswagens come with 4MOTION Four-Wheel Drive, which allows them to navigate even the most demanding conditions. When in doubt, check your manual or ask a mechanic if your car is ready to handle the workload.
Once you’ve ascertained just how capable your car is in off-road conditions, you’re finally ready to tackle the mud. As soon as you leave the pavement, remember that speed is not usually your friend in the mud. When you accelerate too quickly, your tires don’t get proper traction, slinging mud into the air and getting your tires buried as a result. To keep you at the right pace, you may also want to shift into a lower gear. Unless you need to ford a stream or river, ease off the accelerator, and you’ll get better traction and more nimble handling.
Don’t Mash the Gas Pedal
Another terrible thing you can do in the mud is push the gas pedal abruptly, even if you aren’t doing it to drive quickly. When you stomp the gas pedal, it makes your tires spin faster, creating deep ruts that even four-wheel drive may not get out of. If you find yourself slipping or sliding, take your foot off the gas if you’re heading downhill, or maintain a steady speed if you’re going uphill.
Keep the Wheel Straight
When you enter the mud, it’s important to keep your wheel as straight as the road will allow. When you turn the wheels, your Volkswagen slows, and without momentum, your odds of getting or staying stuck go up exponentially. If you’re sliding, a turn of the wheel back and forth will help improve traction, but prolonged turning actually ends up working against you.
Get As High Up As You Can
If you’re on a muddy road, other motorists may have created ruts or tracks. In addition, water can collect and form dips in the road, which may make driving much more difficult. If you can, always make sure to avoid these ruts and stay as high up as possible. This may mean you’ll have to blaze a new trail on the road, but it will significantly improve your traction and handling.
Hopefully, following these rules will make you a legendary off-road driver. However, before you hit the muddy trail, always make sure to pack an emergency kit in case the worst happens, and above all, have a great time.