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Chamonix
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Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:19 pm

Automatic transmissions:should one use the footbrake/handbrake when selecting "P"?

[Edited 2011-04-08 08:19:58]
 
MattRB
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:22 pm

When parking, I brake, place the car in neutral, pull the handbrake and then place the vehicle in park.
 
mt99
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:25 pm

Quoting MattRB (Reply 1):
When parking, I brake, place the car in neutral, pull the handbrake and then place the vehicle in park.

If i remember correctly, this is the proper way to do it..

i think i heard that on:

http://www.cartalk.com/
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:27 pm

I've never found it absolutely necessary but it does provide me with a bit of added piece of mind should a be parked on an incline and/or pulling a trailer.

I've never placed the vehicle in Neutral before using the parking (hand) brake.
 
ALTF4
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:13 pm

Maybe I do it incorrectly, but I come to a stop, put the vehicle in park, release the regular brake (unless I'm on a steep hill), and then engage the parking/hand brake. I do that so the car does its "lurch" as it often does until it hits the constraint of the transmission in park before I engage the parking brake.

Maybe the parking brake is there to prevent the lurch too, as well as to prevent the car from rolling should it slip out of gear, as well as prevent undue wear on the transmission?
 
aero145
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:27 pm

There is no 'correct' way. The correct way to park a car is so that it doesn’t roll. The parking pin is pretty surely strong enough to hold a car still. Steep hills is another case of course!

However, when one is worried about the parking-pin in the transmission, or the transmission itself in a stick shift car, one should let the car roll into the parking brake before engaging the parking pin or the gear.

In RWD cars with a RW-parking brake it doesn’t really matter if one releases the brake and engages the parking brake before putting the transmission into P or a gear, the rear wheels won’t roll anyways so the car’s rear wheels cannot roll anymore.

On hills I always use the method where one selects neutral, applies the parking brake, releases the brakes and then engages the parking pin or the gear – where the ground is flat I don’t think too much about that, and I sometimes don’t apply the parking brake at all.
 
WestJetForLife
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:29 pm

For me, it goes something like this:

-Stop the car in the spot I want to park.
-Apply brake pedal.
-Shift car into park.
-Release brake pedal.
-Set parking brake.

Dad taught me to do this when I was driving, and it's become a habit...plus, the car I drive has a note on the dashboard that says "apply brake when shifting to/from park."

No sense in ignoring it, really.

Nik
 
rfields5421
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:54 pm

Doesn't matter. Just a personal preference.

I park, set the brake with the car or truck in neutral, then put the transmission in Park.

I just don't like the extra pressure and clunk required to move out of Park when on an incline most times - like my driveway.

Quoting aero145 (Reply 5):
the rear wheels won’t roll anyways

Yes, but doesn't guarantee it will stay in one place. This winter in Dallas, the entire F-150 slide down the hill after being parked for over an hour as the ice started to melt. Not a wheel turned.
 
lowrider
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:03 pm

I set the parking brake while still in drive and holding the foot brake, then shift into park. Habit born of trying to keep the vehicle from moving a fraction when picking up a trailer solo. That little bit of slack in the transmission can move you just far enough so you move out of alignment with the hitch.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:06 pm

Slightly OT, but in San Francisco, wheels MUST be curbed on any hill or you will get a very expen$ive ticket.
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:53 pm

Wow, so I guess I'm the odd one out. I never use my parking brake unless I park on a hill, which is pretty much never.
 
KPHXFlyer
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:06 pm

Has anyone heard that it is actually better for your car to use the parking brake when you park? Something about tensioning properly?

My car has the handbrake rather than my wife's car pedal push parking brake. I find myself using the parking brake more in my car than hers.
 
aero145
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:37 pm

Quoting KPHXFlyer (Reply 11):
Has anyone heard that it is actually better for your car to use the parking brake when you park? Something about tensioning properly?

That’s why the parking brake (hand brake in this case) in my car is used when I park away from the garage and often at traffic light stops, but never in the garage – long time parking brake tension: no. short time parking brake tension: yes.
Maybe that’s the reason why my parking brake is in a very very good order. Since I started using the parking brake often but not for very long, the cables haven’t frozen ONCE in the winter since, even if I had driven in wet snow before having parked.
My car is btw a semi-automatic. Still, I only shift to park if I need to lock and leave the car, otherwise it’s the N-setting and hand brake. Same as with stick shift cars, however I always check if the transmission is in first gear before I lock and leave the car.
 
Chamonix
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:44 pm

 
aero145
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:48 pm

Chamonix: What are you trying to say? I now realise that I should have called the parking pin *pawl*. Otherwise, haven’t we, with help from Wikipedia, helped you out?
 
nws2002
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:55 pm

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 10):
Wow, so I guess I'm the odd one out. I never use my parking brake unless I park on a hill, which is pretty much never.

Me too. Maybe I'm lazy, but I can't tell you the last time I used the parking brake in my car.
 
dragon6172
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:01 pm

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 4):
Maybe I do it incorrectly, but I come to a stop, put the vehicle in park, release the regular brake (unless I'm on a steep hill), and then engage the parking/hand brake. I do that so the car does its "lurch" as it often does until it hits the constraint of the transmission in park before I engage the parking brake.

Actually I think you want the weight of the vehicle resting on the brake and not the transmission (this is more important on a hill.) I'm not sure the order matters so much, I just make sure to set the parking brake before I let my foot off of the brake.

[Edited 2011-04-08 14:02:57]
 
lewis
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:29 pm

Hmm, I never use parking break because 99% of the time my car is parked on a flat surface. I just break, put in P and release break. Is that bad for the car/transmission? Auto gear boxes are something new to me.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:30 pm

Quoting westjetforlife (Reply 6):
For me, it goes something like this:

-Stop the car in the spot I want to park.
-Apply brake pedal.
-Shift car into park.
-Release brake pedal.
-Set parking brake.

Dad taught me to do this when I was driving, and it's become a habit...plus, the car I drive has a note on the dashboard that says "apply brake when shifting to/from park."

Actually, there is a better way to do it. The parking brake (handbrake) is a cable which goes to 2 of the wheels, normally the rear ones and locks up the brakes on those 2 wheels. The 'P' position on an auto transmission simply locks up the transmission. Only one wheel (or maybe two, depending on the type of differential you have) actually holds the car in place, and there are a number of failure points under a lot of strain. As anyone who's lived in San Francisco will tell you, sometimes that ends up very badly.

If you park on a hill and put it in P (without the handbrake), the weight of the car gets loaded up on the drivetrain. The driveshaft, the U-joints, the differential etc. are all subject to torque from the car wanting to roll downhill. That is why when you get back into the hill-parked car, sometimes you find it hard to get it out of 'P', because all the components are bound up under tension (torsion, actually). If the car spends a lot of time parked on that hill, components can actually start to bend.

Parking the car on the hill, locking up the transmission and then applying the handbrake after releasing the brake pedal doesn't avoid you loading up the drivetrain. All it does is ensure that if something in the drivetrain snaps the car doesn't roll down the hill.

The best way to take care of your car when parking on a hill is to stop, set the handbrake, put it in P, and then release the brake pedal. That way the weight of the car rests on the brakes (where it should be), and there is no load on the drivetrain.

[Edited 2011-04-08 14:35:01]
 
EMBQA
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:51 pm

Quoting Chamonix (Thread starter):

A few cars I've driven you must have your foot on the brake to put the car into or out of park. It won't shift without doing so...
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:05 pm

I only use it if the surface I'm parking on is not completely flat.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 18):

Actually, there is a better way to do it....

        
 
ArmitageShanks
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:32 am

Quoting MattRB (Reply 1):
When parking, I brake, place the car in neutral, pull the handbrake and then place the vehicle in park.

I do the same. I don't like to have a lot of "weight" on the transmission when its in park. It always sounds bad when shifting it into drive... CLUNK.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:56 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 18):
The best way to take care of your car when parking on a hill is to stop, set the handbrake, put it in P, and then release the brake pedal. That way the weight of the car rests on the brakes (where it should be), and there is no load on the drivetrain.

Having learned how to drive in EssEff mainly, this is exactly the way I do it as well, and for this basic reason. You also want the car to fall back onto the parking brake first so you know where the tire will rest on the curb.

When steel-belted radials first came out, some people thought if the curb was digging into the tire too much, it would actually bend the tire permanently. I haven't heard that in eons, so it was probably just an urban legend, but it's always stuck in the back of my mind if it was a possibility or not.

As a tangent, I found it is incredibly difficult for some colleagues from Europe to drive rental cars with auto transmissions at first. They always end up riding the main brake with their left foot, even while barreling down the freeway.
 
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Moose135
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:59 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 19):
A few cars I've driven you must have your foot on the brake to put the car into or out of park. It won't shift without doing so...

Many cars have had a "brake shift interlock" since the 1980s. About 5 years ago, facing potential NHTSA regulations, most large auto manufacturers agreed to install them on all their cars. At that time, more than 80% of cars were already equipped with interlocks, and full compliance was expected in 2010.
 
Speedbird741
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:02 am

So long as the car is in a (near) flat surface, there is no need for it. In fact, even when I drive with a manual gearbox, I only leave it in first gear on flat surfaces. If the car is on a slope, in order to not pressure the gearbox to hold the car you can (should) set the parking brake.

Speedbird741
 
kingairta
Posts: 454
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:05 am

I always use it.

I've had a buddy who's car ended up running down the hill and getting totaled in the middle of the night. I've also had an incident where the brake didn't hold and the weight went onto the trans and I couldn't get the trans out of park. Too much tension on the pieces and had to push the car uphill slightly to get the pressure off in order to get the car out of park.
 
bohica
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:26 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
in San Francisco, wheels MUST be curbed on any hill or you will get a very expen$ive ticket.

Growing up in SF, I learned to always use the parking brake when parking as well as curbing wheels. I have seen the aftermath of an unmanned vehicle that traveled three blocks bouncing off parked cars, knocked down a power pole, and slammed into a house.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:01 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 22):
As a tangent, I found it is incredibly difficult for some colleagues from Europe to drive rental cars with auto transmissions at first. They always end up riding the main brake with their left foot, even while barreling down the freeway.

That's just weird. Normal driving with a manual is left foot for clutch, right foot for the other two pedals. You can heel-and-toe, but only with the right foot.
 
David L
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:14 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 27):
That's just weird. Normal driving with a manual is left foot for clutch, right foot for the other two pedals.

   I don't doubt that it happens but I've never witnessed it. It seems more likely to me that people who do that just don't have much experience of driving either type. Trying to find a non-existent clutch with the left foot, on the other hand...
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:19 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 28):

I haven't driven a manual in a couple of years, and I STILL do that when I have to stop suddenly - both feet go down.
 
aero145
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:12 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 27):
That's just weird. Normal driving with a manual is left foot for clutch, right foot for the other two pedals. You can heel-and-toe, but only with the right foot.

Well, true, but I, for example, when in stop-and-go-traffic, put the left foot onto the brake pedal when holding still instead of the right one because sometimes I get tired in the right foot. Of course I never brake with the left foot, but holding the pedal down is something else.
 
planewasted
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:46 pm

I never use the park brake. It has a nasty habit of freezing and becoming impossible to disengage in the winter.
 
Maverick623
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:29 pm

Quoting Chamonix (Reply 13):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parking_pawl

Not trying to flame you, but that article cites no sources. I wouldn't trust it with the bandwidth in came in on  


Having basically learned how to drive with a manual transmission, using the parking brake is a habit for me. Even with automatics, the saying goes "the transmission is not a kickstand".
 
David L
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:48 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 32):
Even with automatics, the saying goes "the transmission is not a kickstand".

That's what the handbook of every automatic I've read says (mind you, that's only three or four) - it's a second line of defence.

I keep the foot brake depressed, put it into neutral, apply the handbrake, release the foot brake then put it into Park. It sounds convoluted to some but after the first couple of times it became second nature and only takes about one second longer. I'd only have to think about it if I tried to do it differently.
 
swissy
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:09 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 33):
I keep the foot brake depressed, put it into neutral, apply the handbrake, release the foot brake then put it into Park. It sounds convoluted to some but after the first couple of times it became second nature and only takes about one second longer. I'd only have to think about it if I tried to do it differently.

That is how I learned it... if you go in park before applying the park brake, how do you know your park brake is working properly... and it keeps the load off the transmission...

Cheerios
 
wn700driver
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:35 am

Quoting lewis (Reply 17):
mes:

Hmm, I never use parking break because 99% of the time my car is parked on a flat surface. I just break, put in P and release break. Is that bad for the car/transmission?

Very.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 18):

Parking the car on the hill, locking up the transmission and then applying the handbrake after releasing the brake pedal doesn't avoid you loading up the drivetrain. All it does is ensure that if something in the drivetrain snaps the car doesn't roll down the hill.

Correct. Engaging the park brake after putting the car in P and releasing your main brakes is as useful as an ashtray on a harley. . .

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 20):

I only use it if the surface I'm parking on is not completely flat.

Just out of curiosity, why? I've seen a few people say this and I have to wonder, what is so hard about just engaging it, in the right order, every time? It literally adds no time to the equation. . .
 
aero145
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:04 am

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 35):
Very.

Please state a reason. “Very” is a strong word.
There are “very” many cars with automatic transmissions in the world and “very” many of them are already old and have parking brakes that are “very” seldom used but still have a “very” good transmission.  
Quoting wn700driver (Reply 35):
Just out of curiosity, why? I've seen a few people say this and I have to wonder, what is so hard about just engaging it, in the right order, every time? It literally adds no time to the equation. . .

Fly2HMO parks his car on flat surfaces in neutral without the handbrake – nothing you can damage and if he would at all engage the first gear, he wouldn’t damage anything either…
 
Kent350787
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:53 am

Years ago we had a neighbour up the road who didn't use the parking brake, just put the shift in "P" when parking. The gearbox was playing up one day, so the left it in neutral when parking on the levl ground outside her house....

.... only the road wasn't quite level, and the car had rolled backwards down the street, bouncing off either gutter at least twice before running into and down our steep driveway, demolishing the side fence.

Sensible to use the parking brake I reckon. In an auto, I also do the parking brake then place in "P" thing.
 
wn700driver
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RE: Should One Use The Footbrake/Handbrake In "P"?

Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:47 am

Quoting aero145 (Reply 36):
nothing you can damage and if he would at all engage the first gear, he wouldn’t damage anything either…

There are all kinds of things you can damage doing that. Starting with your Park pawl. Ever replace one of those? Then there's your drive shaft, (transaxle on front drivers) and your CVs. Why on earth would you think it's a good idea to stress parts that aren't made for that purpose, for no reason? Your transmission is not a brake, full stop.

Quoting aero145 (Reply 36):
“Very” is a strong word.
There are “very” many cars with automatic transmissions in the world and “very” many of them are already old and have parking brakes that are “very” seldom used but still have a “very” good transmission.  

They most certainly do not. You'd think they were "fine" until you drive a car that really is. Just because it's not leaking buckets or failing to shift doesn't mean your transmission is just "fine," especially if you've been forcing the whole weight of the car on a very small part of it. Remember, that pawl/pin seats directly into the splines of your driveshaft or 1st gear, car depending. You think putting a few thousand pounds of weight right there, all the time, will never change their shape?
Compare any of them to a car that's been well taken care of, drive for drive, over the last 50,000miles. There will a huge difference in shift times, shift points, how far the clutch has to go in to engage, even the condition of your seals, and what your RPM goes to off the gas at speed. You really need to look closely at a pair of transmissions side by side, but there's no question that it makes a huge difference in overall condition.

The only other thing you can do, as a consumer, that is as bad for your transmission is to use the wrong type of ATF.

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