About a year ago, Alyssa and I were in my car and when I parked, she said, “You’re parking wrong.”
I’ve been driving and parking for over thirty years, so I had no idea what Alyssa was talking about.
“Huh?” I asked her a bit confused.
“When you stop the car, you need to put the emergency brake on first before you put the car in park,” Alyssa answered.
“It saves the transmission,” Alyssa said.
Alyssa and I don’t give advice unless we know what we are talking about and she obtained the information about how to park a car from a very knowledgeable and credible source, so I believed her. Since that day I have parked the way she told me to park the car.
It wasn’t until a last week that I was “challenged” on my method of parking. Hmph! So today I am going to explain the details of why parking the car the way Alyssa taught me is the right way to park the car. Yes, it is the RIGHT way to park the car! (silently gloating)
The right way to park the car is as follows:
- Step on the foot brake pedal to stop the car
- When the car is completely stopped, deploy the parking brake
- Put the transmission in park
- Release the foot brake pedal
Now let me tell you why that is the right way to park the car. Refer to the picture as needed.
There is a ratcheting mechanism called the PARKING PAWL which locks the OUTPUT SHAFT of the transmission. When the OUTPUT SHAFT is locked, the PARKING PAWL locks into the PARKING GEAR and the wheels are fixed in place. This ensures that all the pressure is on the brakes instead of the drive components. It also reduces the wear on the PARKING PAWL. The PARKING BRAKE provides a much stronger hold than just putting the TRANSMISSION IN PARK. Plus, if you do not use the PARKING BRAKE regularly, it can rust and then won’t be of any use when you really need it in an emergency.
If you put the TRANSMISSION IN PARK first, the car will rock and roll a bit. That causes the weight of the car to rest on the PARKING PAWL. More importantly, all the weight of the vehicle then rests on one tiny half inch pin! If the PARKING PAWL breaks or becomes dislodged, the car will roll away. The chances of this happening are slim, but if the car is bumped or wrecked into, it will easily roll.
So that’s the low down on how to park the car the right way. There is indeed a right way to the park a vehicle and many people don’t know it! Although this post isn’t exciting like fireworks, it is a helpful and educational bit of information especially if you have been parking incorrectly all these years.
Now I have a question for you. Have you been parking the right or wrong way? If you have been parking the wrong way, are you going to start parking the right way now that you know the reasoning behind it?