The other day I've heard a fellow Honda owner that to properly park the
car after a stop is to always pull in the hand brake before putting the
gear selector in the Park mode. To set it into Park before engaging hand
brake (even though the foot brake is depressed) can eventually damage
the A/T. Is this correct or is this some kind of old wive's tale? If
correct, what is the explanation? Frankly, I never thought there would
be any difference as long as the car is stationary when I put it into Park.
Have always heard and been taught to use that very procedure but ONLY
when parking the car on grade. The theory, apparently, is that parking
on grade will have the pawl bearing the weight of the car to keep it
immobile using the parking/emergency brake prevents that AND prevents
the weight of the car, on a grade, from "locking up the transmission due
to the weight.
Having had a parking brake seize up from lack of use I find myself using
the parking brake occasionally "just because" even though I'm not
parking on a grade but 95% (or better) of the time I don't bother.
What does the owner's manual say? I'll admit that I have never read
There's a certain logic to that...<g>
To answer my own question I took the time to scope out that previously
unread section of my Honda Owner's Manual. Yep! Set the parking brake,
then place transmission in Park.
Now for the extra point question...
"What percentage of all car owners with an automatic transmission
actually follow this procedure?:
a) Less than 5%
b) Less than 1%
c) Less than .0002%
d) What procedure is that?
It doesn't matter how you do it; no damage will result in any case.
My personally-preferred method:
1) Stop vehicle using foot brake. Keep foot on foot brake.
2) Shift into Park.
3) Apply parking brake.
4) Release foot brake.
Just last Saturday in my local newspaper's Car Talk column this very subject
was addressed. The boys said (as almost all of you have said so far) to
first apply the parking brake, then shift into Park. This is to be done
particularly when parking on a grade for the very reasons you've cited.
If you mean water-freeze (ice in the sheath), that can only occur if the
rubber bellows splits, and allows water entry /just/ the right way. Which
I've never seen on a Honda.
And even if that did happen, it would only be frozen until mid-day, at
which time it will usually unfreeze enough to allow release of the cable.
Use your parking brake, even in winter.
I guarantee you that the parking brake can freeze at -25F or colder
regardless of how regularly you use it or how you use it...Obviously, it
won't happen each and every time you use it but it can. Hondas, Fords,
Chevys, Mercedes....Makes no difference ... Will happen less often with
all wheel discs but can happen...DaveD
We're talking /specifically/ about Hondas, here.
When parking brakes seize due to water being frozen, it's because the
rubber bellows at the end of the cable has split and allowed water into the
cable sheath. If anything, freezing will happen MORE often with rear discs,
because drums generally don't have rubber bellows at their cable ends, but
the cable sheath goes right up against the drum.
I once had my parking brake freeze, and it was not ice in the sheath.
It had been a wet drive to Ottawa (heavy rain), and then it turned
cold after arrival. The right rear brake shoe froze to the drum.
It certainly did not unfreeze at mid-day. We had to jack it up,
take the wheel off and use a heat gun on the drum.
I learned, (the hard way), very early to avoid ovenight use of the
parking brake if the roads were at all wet, slushy etc.
Hell, I've even experienced tires freezing to the slush...
I have no idea where you are, or what kind of cars you've been drving over
the years, but the one-and-only time I've ever experienced a frozen parking
brake was on a 1986 Toyota MR2. In that case, the rubber bellows had split.
I've taken to not using the parking brake when there's a chance the
brakes are wet. once i forgot and had to whack the drum with a sledge
hammer to break it free. Some people with slopes for a parking spot ,
put a stop or two in the spot to roll over and then roll back onto.
one might sand it.
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