What's The Worst You've Ever Gotten Your Car Stuck?

My brother got his Dodge Caliber stuck in some Arkansas mud yesterday. Photo: Ben Tracy
My brother got his Dodge Caliber stuck in some Arkansas mud yesterday. Photo: Ben Tracy

The other day, for the millionth time, I had to help someone get their car unstuck from a mud hole. That got me thinking: I wonder how many awesome stories Jalopnik readers have on this topic. Let’s hear your stories about the worst you’ve ever buried your cars.

Earlier this week I got a call from my brother asking for advice on how to get his 2007 Dodge Caliber (yes, the same one that never has its oil changed) out of an Arkansas mud hole.

After pretending like I hadn’t heard “Dodge Caliber” and “mud hole” in the same sentence, I walked him through the standard procedure: dig the tire out until the body is no longer touching the ground, rock the car between drive and reverse, turn the steering wheel left and right.

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After hanging up the phone, I got to thinking about how many times I’ve had to help get cars unstuck from mud holes or deep snow. I think the answer is somewhere close to infinity. Which is great, because—for some reason—I love getting cars stuck.

When I was living in Kansas, my five brothers and I had a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee at our disposal, and, often times, zero to do. I’ve already told my story about the worst I’ve ever been stuck out there in Kansas, now let’s hear yours.

What was the worst you’ve ever gotten your car stuck? Let’s see some pictures of your buried automobiles.

Speaking of pictures, here are a few I have lying around:

My 1992 Jeep Cherokee high-centered somewhere in western MIchigan
My 1992 Jeep Cherokee high-centered somewhere in western MIchigan
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My friend got a Ram 2500 stuck in deep snow in northern Michigan (I wrote about it here)
My friend got a Ram 2500 stuck in deep snow in northern Michigan (I wrote about it here)
My brother got a rental Mercedes CLA stuck in my back yard.
My brother got a rental Mercedes CLA stuck in my back yard.
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The same brother who buried the CLA did the same thing to my parents’ Chevrolet Astro van, except this is in what used to be their front yard in Virginia.
The same brother who buried the CLA did the same thing to my parents’ Chevrolet Astro van, except this is in what used to be their front yard in Virginia.

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me. Cars: Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94), Chrysler Voyager Diesel ('94)

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DISCUSSION

bubbaprog
Timothy Burke

El Valle, Panama, near the El Chorro Macho. Tried to do a three point turn at the top of a hill, realizing we were lost. Rental Rav4 slid down the hill into a jackfruit grove, about 30 feet down a muddy hill.

Found some scrap wood outside what I thought was an empty house, and tried to use that for traction. No dice. Young kid comes out of the house, I scramble “Por favor, ayudame” and he comes out with a shovel. Perfect! I then break the shovel.

We go down the hill toward town, seeking una grua or perhaps the police who can find a way to tow us back up the hill to the road. The police informed us they would not even attempt to get a truck up that hill.

Mind you, I am with my now-wife and my now-mother-in-law as we were on a trip to scatter my wife’s recently-passed father. And now I have stranded us and our car in a remote part of Panama.

Hours pass. Some curious townfolk passing by start gawking at our situation. More time passes. Suddenly, four very large young men show up. They all move to the front of the Rav4. “¿Tres?” “Sí,” i say, then count down and punch the diff lock button. Floor it in reverse, and we make it about 15 feet. One of them produces a huge rock from... somewhere... and shoves it under a front tire. They take 30 seconds.

“¿Tres?”

And we’re back to the top of the hill. Unbeknownst to me, while I was scanning my brain for ways to get the truck out, my now-mother-in-law had said the one word of Spanish she knew to a boy standing around watching our predicament. That word: “¿Hombres?”

So the boy went back to town and returned with his brothers and cousins. And that’s how I got out of what I was quite sure was going to be me abandoning a Rav4 in the middle of Panama.