Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Dynamic Dave
This question stems from another forum I frequent where several people have had expensive bills where their handbrake has failed and the car has run away and crashed into something. (no comments about worn rachets please - save that for the other forum post)

Does anyone bother leaving their car in gear anymore, or do they soley rely on the handbrake?

Even before the days of owning an auto (and leaving it in P), I always left my car in first gear when parked up; regardless of whether on a flat level surface or a hill.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - SjB {P}
Always in gear and handbrake, except in my home garage and airport long term car parks when it's in gear only to reduce the chance of the brakes binding on due to lack of use; due to working from home when in the UK or abroad when not the V70 can sit in such locations for extended periods.

With autos I always use P as well as handbrake. In fact I use the handbrake, release the footbrake to let the car settle, and then select P; especially on steepish inclines this can make a helluva difference to the load the transmission is parked under. I started this technique with the various autos my bro has owned over the years as all gave increased vibration on startup when this technique was not used and some required quite a tug, and gave a bang when freed, to get in to neutral or drive.

Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Pete M
Most modern automatic gearboxes prevent you from removing the ignition key unless they are in the Park position. Getting them out of Park involves turning the ignition on, and pressing the footbrake.
I still use the handbrake in addition to the Park position. In a manual, I only leave it in gear on a hill, also remembering to turn the wheels to the kerb. I think in some places, not turning the wheels is an offence.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - jc2
I have seen several cars that have run away on hills. H/brakes on cars with rear discs seen particularly prone to the problem.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Oz
Always in gear as well as handbrake on.
Goes hand in hand with foot on the clutch when starting.
Oz (as was)
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - L'escargot
If my car is wet (especially after I've washed it) when I put it in the garage I leave it in gear but with the handbrake off to ensure that the brake pads don't rust onto the rear discs.
--
L\'escargot.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - glowplug
I've always done it from my first cars (Mk2 Cortinas) with poor hand brakes to new hire cars. I always saw it as a way of having 4 wheel braking whilst parked. Now I'm driving a citroen that doesn't count anymore but I still leave it in gear.

Steve.
Xantia HDi Exclusive.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Cliff Pope
Always - it's second nature. Leave it in the gear that would do the least harm if you accidentally started - ie 1st if facing up hill, reverse if parked overlooking a precipice.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - NowWheels
Most modern automatic gearboxes prevent you from removing the ignition key unless they are in the
Park position. Getting them out of Park involves turning the ignition on, and pressing the footbrake.


Mine's the same, and so is every other auto I have driven. But I have wondered about the loading issue, so in future I'm going to take SiB's advice of handbrake, release footbrake, then Park, and take care not to let the lever linger in he Reverse position on the way.

Most of the old manual cars I owned had lousy handbrakes, so parking in gear is instinctive or me in a manual. This creates difficulties if I borrow my mum's car, because she never had to do a driving test and never learnt to leave her car in gear ... so when she tries starting it after I have used it, she gets a bit of a shock :(
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - mfarrow
On our sloping drive, yes. Always on the Focus with its rear discs (I don't trust them).

--------------
Mike Farrow
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Altea Ego
Never in leave in gear, but then I apply the handbrake properly.

Foot hard on footbrake, then apply the handbrake.
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - mss1tw
Not as a habit no but I do when I'm in Cornwall, due to the fact there are steep slopes everywhere - don't fancy having my car end up in the ocean!
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - George Porge
Always in gear. It does'nt matter if you do use the footbrake before applying the handbrake, the rear discs and pads will contract as they cool leaving the handbrake less effective. Modern cars with ABS use far more rear braking than non ABS cars of old, hence the discs and pads get far hotter and contract more.

When we first got together the other half never left the car in gear, or depressed the clutch when opperating the starter. We had a few instances of the car lurching forward on start up when she was driving after I'd parked the car the day before. Thankfully she's a quick learner.

Also at night she used to turn on the headlights before starting up the car, sometimes for a few minutes whilest she faffed around doing whatever. I've managed to cure her of that habit now too.


--
2 Dirty VW diesels and a Honda with an 18 inch blade
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - SjB {P}
> Never in leave in gear, but then I apply the handbrake properly.
> Foot hard on footbrake, then apply the handbrake.

A mate's Dad did this with his new Audi 80 back in 1977.
Some time later he heard a huge kerrunch and thought there had been an accident outside.
Later still, "ding dong". Door bell.

There had been an accident; involving his new car that now wasn't parked where it should have been....
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - R75
Always leave manual vehicles in gear with handbrake applied, on our auto i also use the handbrake but swmbo hardly ever uses the handbrake on that?!?!
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Galaxy
I always apply the handbrake firmly, probably too firmly, and leave the car in gear as well.

Quite a few years ago I took my Triumph to a small garage in West London to get the gearbox repaired.

When I returned to collect the car it was parked in the road, left in first gear and with the handbrake off! I guess there's some logic there somewhere.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Group B
I have always left mine in gear, my Dad taught me it was the correct procedure when I was learning to drive. Now I have got to leave my current car in gear; its a Saab so cant get my keys out if I dont! I used to sometimes leave my girlfriends car in gear when I parked it, and get told off, because she never did and sometimes forgot to check it was in neutral before starting the engine...
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - commerdriver
Always I have always believed it to be a good habit.

If the car is stopped when the handbrake is applied and the engine is off when the car is put in gear and the car is put into neutral before restarting how can it be harmful?

If it stops the car running away once in a thousand times that I park it that must be worthwhile. (thinking about it I guess I park the car at least 1000 times a year.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - PW
Always in gear. Was one of the first things Dad taught me (BSM taught me to pass the test- Dad taught me to drive). As a result have never started a car without clutch down.

Really infuriates me as my wife refuses to leave the car in gear when parked. She doesnt put the clutch down so says I have to leave her car like that or risk damage to the garage. Have tried to get her to change this habit- but she's far too stubborn.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - tyro
I never used to leave my car in gear - just trusted the handbrake.

However, (probably due to something I read in the Backroom) I now tend to leave the car in gear if it is parked on a slope.

My question is whether (or in what circumstances) I should leave the handbrake off when I leave it in gear.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - commerdriver
My question is whether (or in what circumstances) I should leave
the handbrake off when I leave it in gear.

The one situation I do this is when I am leaving a car parked up when I know it will be for a few weeks or more. Handbrakes can stick, especially in older vehicles, cars don't stick in gear
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - RichardW
Always leave my own cars in gear. Always have to remember to leave the site cars we have here OUT of gear, as many folk don't check for neutral or depress clutch before starting....

Particularly important on Xantias, that have a habit of running away....!
--
RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Xileno {P}
Always in gear and if on a slope I leave the wheel pointing slightly in to the curb.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - BobbyG
I very rarely leave it in gear, unless parking on a steep hill. Call me old fashioned but I thought brakes were for stopping the car and gearbox was for helping the car go?

Having driven for close to 20 years, parking with just my handbrake, I have never come back to my car to find it has rolled away.

Incidentally, what damage (if any) would get done to the gearbox if your car either gets a gentle or more serious bump whilst left parked in gear?
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - BobbyG
And should add of course, that if I had to start parking in gear now, there is not a hope in hell of being able to "train" SWMBO to do the same !
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - mark111
With my car (automatic) I leave it in Park with the handbrake on. It's a bit like having two handbrakes lol. With manual cars I only leave it in gear only on hills. I also turn the wheels into the kerb.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - mike hannon
Always use park in the autobox, even with the old one that doesn't need to be in park to get the key out, and use the technique mentioned above to take the strain off the transmission. I was always told to leave a manual in gear too.
IIRC Mk II Jaguars 40-odd years ago often used to take off on their own as the back discs cooled down, unless left in gear as well.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - buzbee
In gear. Handbrake on. Starting as Oz.

Many years ago came out of shop to find car 30 yards further on down a slightly sloping road resting up against the back of another car. No damage. Very embarrassed. Used gears ever since.

Daughter does same and was OK until a dustcart pushed her car up onto the pavement. Said box was never the same afterwards. The gearing is not good for that.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Number_Cruncher
>>Incidentally, what damage (if any) would get done to the gearbox if your car either gets a gentle or more serious bump whilst left parked in gear?

On a manual, virtually none, because the gearbox is only loaded by the friction and residual cylinder pressures in the engine. Or put another way, the load required to turn the engine over is negligible in comparison to the loads the gearbox normally handles.

Number_Cruncher
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Altea Ego
On a manual, virtually none, because the gearbox is only loaded by the friction and residual cylinder pressures in the engine. Or put another way, the load required to turn the engine over is negligible in comparison to the loads the gearbox normally handles.

BUT this theory totally goes out the window when its hit by a car at 15mph or more. The engine CANT (as in not possible) accelerate from 0-15mph in milliseconds. It might as well be locked solid. That leaves all the week spots in that chain, most of which will be in the transmition If your are lucky the drive wheels will be locked and skid along the road.




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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Number_Cruncher
Yes, you're right, I was thinking of the more frequent and gentle parking type knocks.

In a faster impact, you will get a torque spike that is proportional to the velocity of impact, and also to the square root of the effective engine inertia multiplied by the effective transmission stiffness - so, possibly a short lived, high torque, which at some level of impact speed will begin to do damage if some other part doesn't slip first.

Number_Cruncher
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Altea Ego
Hmm I wonder at what level we are looking at? my 15mph was hypothetical. (ie finger in the air stuff)

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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Number_Cruncher
As is my wont, (and it's Friday afternoon, and I needed some fun!) I've thrown numbers at the question.... lots of them!

Until I included a check in my calculation for the wheels skidding, it was looking horrible, with a large potentially damaging torque spike even under 5 mph impacts.

Once the wheels can skid, even with high values of mu, the torque becomes acceptable again - this makes some sort of sense as the wheel skidding condition may be used in the sizing of transmission parts.

Number_Cruncher
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Altea Ego
So with the wheel skidding factored in,

Is it safe?


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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Number_Cruncher
Yes, I'm fairly sure it's OK

I've just thought of something I've left out of my sums - which actually makes it even safer - which is that the engine and transmission will rotate as a unit on the mountings, so this will act as another compliance to include in the stiffness calculation.

Number_Cruncher
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - cheddar
>> Until I included a check in my calculation for the wheels
skidding, it was looking horrible, with a large potentially damaging torque
spike even under 5 mph impacts.
Once the wheels can skid, even with high values of mu,
the torque becomes acceptable again - this makes some sort of
sense as the wheel skidding condition may be used in the
sizing of transmission parts.


Too many variables surely, the deformation charateristics of both vehicles, the flex and damping characteristics of the engine/transmission mountings etc. I would hazard a guess that the torque spike would be disapated by the progressive deformation of one or both vehicle to the extent that it would take a collision of rather greater than 15mph for the acceleration of the drive train to cause any mechanical damage. At which point the structural damage would make any such mechanical damage seem insignificant anyway.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Number_Cruncher
>>Too many variables surely...

Yes, you can say that about virtually anything, but all I'm up to is using a simple model to get a rough order of magnitude idea of what is going on. My model is so simple, it isn't even based on any particular car.

Even though the model is simple, its output has surprised me, and it has caused me to reappraise my earlier answer. This, for me, is the main puropse of numerical modelling; I don't usually spend much time producing a complex model including every last detail, that's much too academic, and isn't often a valuable investment of time.

>>I would hazard a guess...

I don't know how you make your living Cheddar, but one thing I have learnt in engineering is that guesses and hunches which at first seem obvious can turn out to be hugely wrong when the part is on the test rig!

Number_Cruncher







Leaving the car in gear when parked up - cheddar
>>I would hazard a guess...
I don't know how you make your living Cheddar, but one
thing I have learnt in engineering is that guesses and hunches
which at first seem obvious can turn out to be hugely
wrong when the part is on the test rig!
Number_Cruncher


I agree NC hence the need for a test rig, within a forum such as this hazzarding a guess does no harm however the same cannot be said of a test lab or design office.

Nevertheless I would be interested in the definative answer, two typical vehicles, one parked in gear, the other hitting it at 15mph, if the stationary vehicle was hit from the rear and the handbrake was on then that would reduce the load imposed on the transmission if the car was also in gear, additionally the deformation of both vehicles impact areas would also absorb a lot of the energy as would the flexible mounting of just about every component through to the engine itself. Then it comes down what gear the vehicle was left in and the applicable gear ratio, after all if the car was in a higher gear then the wheels could move more for only a small movement at the engine, then there is the compression ratio of the engine, how much energy it requires to turn the engine over etc etc.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - George Porge
Which would cost the most? A recon gearbox fitted or someones funeral?

Handbrake on, in gear always
--
2 Dirty VW diesels and a Honda with an 18 inch blade
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Number_Cruncher
One way to approach this kind of problem is to carry out what may be described euphemistically as a "conservative" calculation. The idea is, you make a series of "safe" assumptions which simplify the model. Then, from the model, you get one of three possible outcomes;

1) Even with all the safe assumptions and a simple model, you find there is no real problem - no further action required, the first pass assessment is enought

2) The model shows some borderline problem - probably by removing some of the conservative assumptions and making a more complex model, you might be able to analyze your way out of trouble.

3) The conservative model shows that the part you are considering will be doomed as soon as the event you are considering happens - in this instance, you probably need to beef the part up - in order to determine by how muvh, you probably need to remove some conservative assumptions from your model, or else you will end up with something Victorian in its proportions!

So, my extremely simple analysis used the following conservative assumptions;

The vehicle concerned goes from zero to whatever speed instantaneously at time t=0
The gearbox stiffness is infinite
The gear ratio between driveshaft and engine is 12
The engine inertia (which itself is a conservative estimate) is referred to the driveshaft
The tyre longitudinal stiffness is 7e5 N/m
The suspension longitudinal stiffness is 5e5 N/m
The driveshaft stiffness is calculated on the basis of being a 80cm long 40mm dia solid steel shaft
The vehicle mass is 1500 kg

The model then estimates the torque in the driveshaft, using the formua I hinted at higher up in this thread. Where I overestimate a stiffness (or even ignore one), this increases the torque value the model predicts.

To determine if there was a problem, I then compared the predicted driveshaft torque with a level which might be expected from the engine. I found that even at low speeds, the torque in the driveshaft became (very) large when compared with reasonable numbers.

So, this is when I included the idea of the wheels skidding.

The transmission is sized for static strength on the basis of the maximum torque which might be expected to occur in the driveshafts. For many FWD cars, this is limited by wheelspin, and the sizing criterion will be the skidding torque multiplied by a safety factor. Of course, the transmission parts are also sized on the grounds of fatigue performance, but, as this is a one off event, that isn't an issue here.

This means that the driveshaft will withstand slipping torque whether caused by the engine or by an impact - increasing the complexity of the model will not affect his conclusion.

Or, said another way, my model is, in the real world, utterly worthless, and I should have thought more about how these parts are sized during the design process.

Number_Cruncher

Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Altea Ego
Or, said another way, my model is, in the real world, utterly worthless, and I should have thought more about how these parts are sized during the design process

Ok now lets look at it another way. Assume that your average car does 30 mph / 6k revs in first.

Now how many times will a transmision survive a sudden clutch dump (as in side step your foot off the clutch) at 6k revs? Many a car has been instantly broken by car journos doing 0-60mph times this very way. (in this case all we are doing is putting in the torque spike from the other end of the drive chain)
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Number_Cruncher
Yes, I think you're right - dumping the kinetic energy of the rapidly spinning engine into the transmission as well as the max torque condition is an extra load that for most users of motor cars is irrelevant. Cars designed for this condition would have bulkier transmissions. In many cases, the safety factor covers this type of one off behaviour, but not always.

If this is a design case, I would be surprised if the number of applications of this brutality is more than 10.

My reason for saying this is based on a completey different extreme design case. The suspension of the Ford Transcontinental was based on riding up a standard kerb fully laden at 30 mph - the design case was that the truck should withstand this abusive behaviour 6 times.

Number_Cruncher
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Group B
Incidentally, what damage (if any) would get done to the gearbox
if your car either gets a gentle or more serious bump
whilst left parked in gear?


But if your car gets a "more serious bump", the front or rear could be stoved in and require an insurance claim. So if gearbox damage was to occur, this could be dealt with by the claim.

:o)
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Altea Ego
Indeed but would you know at the time! the damge could be hidden

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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - grafen
Always do, can't see a reason not to really.

I often look inside parked cars to see how many are left in gear - suprisingly few, even on hills...
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - bell boy
always have always will use belt and braces
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Peter D
Always left in gear. Big advantage in winter if you park on a slope, as if it freezes any front wheel drive car will have its front and rear wheels lock and yes I know there a couple of cits with front wheel hand brakes. Regards Peter
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - artful dodger {P}
On flat areas I only use the handbrake, but on any slope I leave it in gear. When starting I always depress the clutch so there is no likelyhood of lurching.

The rear discs do not hold the car as strongly as I would like. Occassionally I have heard a slight binding after I have applied the handbrake on a slope and this acts as a reminder to leave the car in gear. If the slope is steep I will also ensure the steering is left to direct the car to the kerb to act as a physical brake.

However during the winter on freezing nights I park on the level road outside my house using only the gearbox. The cable on the handbake has a tendency to freeze where it passes into the bodyshell and locks the rear brakes.

Many years ago my brother was visiting some friends and parked his car on their sloping drive. After they had been in bed for some hours, there was a knock on the door. A policeman was advising that my brother's car was parked across the road and partially blocking it. When he parked the brakes were hot and had contracted overnight, allowing the car to move down the drive. No action was taken by the police, but since then both my brother and I leave our cars in gear when on a slope.




--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Xileno {P}
Some people may remember this thread I posted last November. All caused by the driver of the van not leaving it in gear:

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=36138&...e

And now everything has been sorted, a few pictures. Just as well my mother's immaculate Volvo was in the way...
You can't see it from the pictures but the van ended up on the pavement. You can see the force of the impact by looking at the Volvo's tyre marks on the road (about 8 feet it was shunted). And the silver trim jumped off. If the Volvo wasn't there, then the van would have gathered speed as the hill steepens quite a bit after her house.

s71.photobucket.com/albums/i147/Xileno/
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Group B
An ex-colleague of mine, a bloke in his '50's, when parking on the flat used to put it in gear but not use the handbrake (all year round, not just in winter). He was of the opinion that handbrakes were for hills only, and he didnt want to weaken his handbrake cable by using it too often! I wondered if he'd had an issue in the past with a snapped cable or siezed brakes.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - SteVee
I usually leave it in gear with handbrake on - but if SWMBO is in the passenger seat, she'll often nudge it into neutral :-) Motorcycles sometimes have to be left in gear - especially facing downhill on a sidetand !
I have no idea if I have the clutch pedal depressed when I start a car, but it's a requirement on many bikes to pull the clutch lever in.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Peter D
Always in gear. If it is winter and you park on a slope and the road frezes front wheel drive cars have the advantage of all wheels being locked. Well except for a few stange models. Regards Peter
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - kithmo
I use: handbrake only, when on level ground, handbrake on and in gear with front wheels turned towards the kerb, when facing downhill and handbrake on with wheels turned away from the kerb when facing uphill.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - commerdriver
Interesting footnote, for years Saabs have used a gearlever lock with the ignition key in the centre console so the car had to be left in reverse gear when parked.
New 93s atill have the central key but you no longer have to leave the car in gear, I still do but not necessarily in reverse..
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - SjB {P}
> Interesting footnote, for years Saabs have used a gearlever lock with the ignition key in the centre console so the car had to be left in reverse gear when parked.

Great idea - for theft security too - until the reverse gear mechanism wears which it often does on 9-5s at least.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - David Horn
Always in gear with handbrake on. Also have always pushed the clutch down when starting the engine, anyone who doesn't is insane. What harm does it do and no chance of driving through garage wall.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - mss1tw
anyone who doesn't is insane.


Cluck cluck jibber jibber my old man's a mushroom.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - bell boy
sorry mss1tw you cant keep your father in a darkened room and feed him horse manure there will be a law against it somewhere.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - mss1tw
>:-(

Nanny state at it's most intrusive.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Lud
As well as leaving the car in gear with the handbrake firmly applied, it's a good idea to fill the boot with breeze blocks which can then be used to firmly chock all four wheels both fore and aft.

Motorists in the past are said to have built substantial brick walls all round their vehicles when leaving them unattended.

Belt, braces, skyhook and a valet walking along behind you holding your trousers up. Better safe than sorry.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - bell boy
Belt, braces,..........that was my post lud....... ;-)
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Lud
Sorry om. I wasn't plagiarising you, just quoting. I just thought the skyhook and valet would help to make everything properly secure...
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - DP
Always leave the car in gear and handbrake on. For some unfathomable reason, it drives SWMBO nuts (which is a bonus!) ;-)

Cheers
DP
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Roberson
Yes, always left in gear with handbrake on regardless of slope. Some kind of habit.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - oldgit
Yes, always left in gear with handbrake on regardless of slope.
Some kind of habit.


Me too!
I still live in the house in which I was born 68 years ago and which has quite a sloping driveway up to the garage and so, understandably I have always applied the handbrake and left my cars in gear.

Many moons ago, back in the very early fifties or even late forties, when there were seemingly only a few million vehicles on the road, my father managed to bring home from his firm's car pool a rather well-used Vauxhall saloon. This car must have had a worn handbrake mechanism (worn pawl) because overnight the car (which had not been garaged that night) decided to leave our drive and position itself opposite our driveway on the other side of our road. Needles to say, my father never left the cars he occasionally drove, in gear!

Nowadays, had that happened, such an action would have resulted in an accident with passing vehicles.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - piggy
Always park mine in gear with handbrake off. Years of experience with my present car have taught me the rear pads can "weld" themselves on to the disc if the car has been stood for a few days,particularily in winter.Result - friction material stipped from backing plate. Oh,the joys of Italian engineering!
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Pugugly {P}
Handbrake on, in gear on a manual, especially the Landie.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - NowWheels
Coastal village in the sunny south-west of Ireland, in the middle on a gorgeous day in the height of smumer, about 1980.

The peace is disturbed by the sound of a car horn blaring, continuously. Gradually people start coming out to see what's up.

Or rather, what's down.

A brand new Fiat Ritmo (the bees knees in them days) had dived nose-first over the edge of the slipway, and was now stuck on its nose in a foot or two of water. No sign of anyone having been in it, so it had obviously slipped its brake and gone for a swim, causing the horn to short-circuit.

How nobody was hurt is a bit of a miracle, 'cos the slipway concerned was heavily used, and there were often kids playing beside it.

As people collected pints from the pub to watch the proceedings, the crowd began to divide into three takes on the swimming car:

* us young 'uns: hahahahahahhahahahahahahaha
* Leo and a bunch of very nice people: the poor driver must feel a right eejit, and will need our sympathy
* most of the rest: the silly sod, someone could have been badly hurt if the car had landed on them

... and all agreed that it was quite the best sport since the previous year's stunt of the Dubliner who had set off towing his boat up the hill, but had forgotten to take down the mast. Being made of aluminium, the mast's collision with the power line had nearly sliced off part of the mast, and had cut the village's leccy supply.

Not wanting to be the poor eejit to whom that happened, I have never forgotten either the leave-car-in-gear advice which most of the crowd spouted as being beyond-the-obvious (while sneaking off quietly to put their own cars into gear), or the woman from San Francisco who told us all that it was illegal to park there without your wheels turned into the kerb.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - No FM2R
>>or the woman from San Francisco who told us all that it was illegal to park there without your wheels turned into the kerb.

Certainly is, and you'll get a ticket if you don't. Mind you, with some of the hills involved you'd have to be nuts not to. Since having a place there I've got into the habit of always leaving a manual in gear and using the parking/emergency/hand brake with an auto when on a steep slope. Also I am always aware of the wheel position and always turn them so that they "lean" against the kerb if the car moves at all.

When not on a steep or signfiicant slope - then a manual survives with the p/e/h brake and neutral while an auto survives with whatever the gearbox lock is in park. I've never been one for needless effort or pointless belt and braces.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Andrew-T
I think all the possible reasons for using handbrake or gearbox have been throughly covered. People probably evolve their own habit to suit their environment - in East Anglia you might get away with neither, while in West Yorkshire you probably need both. Thinking back 40 years to the days of Morris 1100s (for example) there was talk of handbrake cables stretching with excessive use. OK, you could adjust for that. But if you lived in Canada with several months of (sometimes very hard) frost, the last thing you wanted was rear drums freezing on, so in-gear every time. And clutch out as well to reduce the load when starting a cold engine.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Clanger
Footbrake, handbrake on the flat. Footbrake, handbrake, in gear with wheels turned into kerb on any sort of slope. Saved my old Jag S-type from a nasty shunt when I kicked the handbrake off with my heel as I exited the car.
Hawkeye
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Stranger in a strange land
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Edward
Always park in gear, car and bike (even persuaded SWMBO to leave the car in gear!!).

Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Pugugly {P}
Bike always in first gear......except on its main stand.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - Bagpuss
When parking up next to a large country hotel about 10 years ago, a white Citroen Xantia zoomed past me and screeched to a halt next to the hotel entrance. The driver jumped out of the car and ran into the hotel, clearly in a real hurry, leaving the car door open and the engine running. I went into the hotel, checked in and went to my room. Thirty minutes or so later, I was walking out of the hotel and noticed a crowd of people standing next to a tow truck. The tow truck was winching something out of the lake next to the hotel entrance. I stayed to watch and was greeted by the sight of a white Citroen Xantia emerging from the waters, like the fake shark in Jaws. Sadly, I didn't have a camera with me but I did feel very sorry for the driver, who will presumably be very careful about handbrake usage in the future.
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - JH
I leave it in gear if I'm on a steep hill and point the wheels into the kerb. Since I don't usually leave it in gear I leave a duster on the seat to remind me.
JH
Leaving the car in gear when parked up - David Horn
I leave it in gear if I'm on a steep hill
and point the wheels into the kerb. Since I don't usually
leave it in gear I leave a duster on the seat
to remind me.
JH


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