questionsdo you use your parking brake?

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vote-for8vote-against

Yes, and I also leave the car in gear with the wheels turned when parked on a hill.

vote-for7vote-against

Only if I'm driving a manual or parking on a slope. Otherwise, no way.

vote-for10vote-against

Always. Not using it can damage the transmission over time, I have heard.

Edit: http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2120334/parking-brake-on-auto-transmission-cars
Decent conversations there about this issue.

vote-for9vote-against

I drive a stick so I always use it. This is the first car I've owned that I haven't managed to burn it out though. Mostly because it's very firm, so it's immediately clear I forgot it.

vote-for7vote-against

Not unless I am parked on a slope, but a friend used to constantly nag me about not using it. He said it adjusts the back brakes when you use it, so you need to use it every time you park. I don't know if that's true. My car has a dinger that lets me know if I forget to release it.

Edit: @benyust2 that's a great link, someone there does mention the adjusting of the brakes!

vote-for5vote-against

Once, when I was about 14 or so, my uncle took me and a couple friends out to the movies in January. He was used to driving a stick and put the parking brake on on my mom's automatic before we went into the theater. When we came out, at 2200 on a school night we were stuck because everything had frozen solid. I grew up in a pretty small town so the theater was the last thing open for miles and by the time we realized we were boned all the employees were gone so we were stuck in an empty lot with no way to call anyone. When we finally made it home after midnight there were some pretty annoyed parents waiting. Of course, none of them could be bothered to drive by the theater or anything though. Jerks.

vote-for10vote-against

When I lived in SF and had a manual it was a must use. And not just for parking. Trick to use it w/ the clutch on the hills so you don't roll down when stopped and go to start up again.
I miss SF ! Fun days.

vote-for4vote-against

Yes, even with an automatic. I've driven automatics that would occasionally pop out of park (worn column shifter). I realize that most newer vehicles have an interlock that requires a foot on the brake pedal before you can shift out of park, but the habit is in place. Belt and suspenders.

vote-for6vote-against

I just remembered an example that applies to this question: On front-wheel-drive vehicles, putting the automatic transmission in park or the manual in gear locks the front wheels. The emergency brake usually locks the rear wheels. Once many years ago when I was in college, I parked my car on a sloped icy parking lot, leaving the transmission in park, but did not apply the emergency brake (i.e., one set of wheels locked). When I got out and slammed the door shut, the wheels broke loose in the ice and the car started slowly sliding down the hill. I scrambled alongside the sliding car, trying to unlock the door. I finally unlocked it, jumped in and applied the brake pedal, which locked all four wheels and provided enough grip to stop the slide. I then relocated to a less sloped area.

So there are situations where it is an advantage to have all four wheels locked.

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@ceagee: Manual in SF? That sounds like a nightmare!