What’s the point in the Park function of a automatic?

What’s the point in the Park function of a automatic?

Author
Discussion

jamei303

3,016 posts

158 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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I have a rising bollard in my driveway which punches up through the fuel tank to hold the car firmly in pace each time I get home.

Court_S

13,316 posts

179 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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stevemcs said:
We see quite a few automatic cars fail there mot because the owner never uses the handbrake, personally I always use the handbrake
Same here. I have to put it into park to get the key out and I always use the handbrake as well, I guess out of habit.

valiant

10,571 posts

162 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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ATG said:
I don't trust the gearbox or the handbrake, so I chock the wheels and use an anchor or chain my car to a convenient piece of street furniture like a lollipop person or someone praying outside the VD clinic.
You don’t remove the wheels and bring them inside when you park up? Tut tut nono

Can’t be too careful…

LunarOne

5,412 posts

139 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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I once had to come to the rescue of a chap in the south of France. He had parked his automatic car on a steep slope halfway up a mountain using only the park function of his car. When he came to move the car he found that he couldn’t get it out of Park. I had to use my car to push his car up the slope to relieve pressure on the transmission so that he could get it out of park. The moral of the story is that you should always set the handbrake and then put the car on park so that there is no pressure on the transmission park pawl.

Glosphil

4,406 posts

236 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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My auto will 'bong' at me if it is not in Park when I remove the key & the electronic handbrake is automatically applied when I switch off the engine.

Always park my wife's manual car in gear with handbrake on - I don't see any disadvantage. Have done that with all our cars since I started driving 55 years ago.


V8 Bob

273 posts

127 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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Many moons ago had a Citroen BX handbrake was on front disc brake. If you applied it after a fast journey with hit brakes once the disc cooled and contracted the handbrake was effectively released….always had to leave in gear or be like a colleague who wondered where his car had gone!

wpa1975

9,149 posts

116 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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I have always leave my manual in gear (2nd), my dad has always done it as well guess I followed him for doing it.

On the autos that I have had you could not take the key out unless in park but I tended to use the handbrake as well.

Olivergt

1,381 posts

83 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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wpa1975 said:
I have always leave my manual in gear (2nd), my dad has always done it as well guess I followed him for doing it.

On the autos that I have had you could not take the key out unless in park but I tended to use the handbrake as well.
This a lot more common than you think. It happens a lot on VAG products where the handbrake is on the rear discs.

Hot discs, hand brake on, when the discs cool, car rolls away.

I leave my Octavia with hand brake on and in gear, when out and about.

The Yeti demands foot on clutch to start, which is something I always do anyway, so no fear of starting in gear.

P.S. I did once start a car in gear and it drive itself in to a wall! Since then it was always foot on clutch, check in neutral, start car.

Thomas Trent

13 posts

53 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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I believe the park function became became a legal requirement in the USA following a number of incidents where automatic cars left running in neutral would drop into reverse due to vibration.
There are a number of videos of cars doing reverse donuts without a driver.

Randy Winkman

16,544 posts

191 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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Higgs boson said:
Wacky Racer said:
You should never leave a manual car parked up in neutral.

Always in first, plus apply the handbrake....No chance of the car rolling away.
If I'm facing downhill, I stick it in reverse. You likely do, too. smile
I heard on PH that it makes little difference whether it's in a forward gear or reverse because the car cant turn the engine over by rolling either way. Can anyone confirm?

AndySheff

6,646 posts

209 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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There might be a bit of a clue in the name of said function.

GiantCardboardPlato

4,505 posts

23 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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Second Best said:
When I learned to drive (in the late 2000s)
Time traveller alert

JonDerz

153 posts

129 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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Is it not a legal requirement for all cars to have a handbrake?
I thought I read before that all cars have to have a handbrake regardless. Technically you’re meant to put your handbrake on at traffic lights.

juice

8,598 posts

284 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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TonyRPH said:
Hence the 'Park' facility, which engages a pawl in the gearbox to prevent the output shaft turning.
I always use N, then Handbrake, then P to take the pressure off the gearbox for that exact reason. Probably does very little in all honesty but as I had to spend 1500 quid on a new conductor plate and valve body I'm a bit anal about it now ! biggrin

jamei303

3,016 posts

158 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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With my car you just press the button to turn the engine off and sorts out the P and the electronic parking brake all by itself. I've never once manually pressed the P button to put it into park, I can't see when I would ever use it.

paintman

7,714 posts

192 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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JonDerz said:
Is it not a legal requirement for all cars to have a handbrake?
I thought I read before that all cars have to have a handbrake regardless.
Unless it was first used before 1906.
www.gov.uk/guidance/mot-inspection-manual-for-priv...
Section 1.1.6.

Panamax

4,284 posts

36 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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Reasons to always use the parking brake and not rely on the Park position,
  • The parking brake mechanism will seize and you'll get an MOT failure plus a costly repair.
  • The parking brake is usually a locking pin (pawl) inside the transmission. If your car gets nudged by someone parking in front or behind the pin can break, leading to an extremely expensive transmission repair.
  • If you park on a hill and rely on Park position the weight of your car is leaning on that parking pin.
The parking brake is also needed because Park position can't be engage when the car is moving, so Park is useless as an emergency brake. (Even if the electronics allowed Park to be selected, which these days they don't, the parking pawl would not be able to engage. It would just bounce off the spinning shaft in the transmission.)

Wacky Racer

38,389 posts

249 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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Higgs boson said:
Wacky Racer said:
You should never leave a manual car parked up in neutral.

Always in first, plus apply the handbrake....No chance of the car rolling away.
If I'm facing downhill, I stick it in reverse. You likely do, too. smile
Never thought of that silly

Teddy Lop

8,301 posts

69 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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cootuk said:
At least you don't have air brakes to worry about. We don't leave wagons stood long term in gear as, if they lose air pressure, you will find yourself trying to start it in gear until you can jolt it back to neutral.
airbrakes don't have the rollaway failure risk of a handbrake though

LunarOne said:
I once had to come to the rescue of a chap in the south of France. He had parked his automatic car on a steep slope halfway up a mountain using only the park function of his car. When he came to move the car he found that he couldn’t get it out of Park. I had to use my car to push his car up the slope to relieve pressure on the transmission so that he could get it out of park. The moral of the story is that you should always set the handbrake and then put the car on park so that there is no pressure on the transmission park pawl.
Can you tell that to ford, so every morning when I put the transit into D, or when I pull up and engage the brake it doesn't have a spazattack at me because the "parking brake" is on? Yes ford, the parking brake is on that's correct, the clue is in the name.

What hope do we have to educate the masses when they don't even design things properly? Also, ford, have a look at a properly indented/gated transmission shifter won't you? One like grown up car makers offer that can be moved into position by feel without looking at it, so you don't get P when you want R or drive off up the road locked in first because it's in M not D.

durbster

10,364 posts

224 months

Sunday 19th March 2023
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cootuk said:
At least you don't have air brakes to worry about. We don't leave wagons stood long term in gear as, if they lose air pressure, you will find yourself trying to start it in gear until you can jolt it back to neutral.
I once worked on a farm in Australia on which they had a lorry half parked in a billabong. They said somebody had gone to start it up and it had somehow driven itself into the water. I never quite understood the explanation so could it have been something like this?

It had been there ages because they'd concluded it was too difficult and dangerous to retrieve it, partly because of all the crocodiles.