The parking brake is intended to prevent cars from rolling down while parked on an inclined plane. Although some people only use the handbrake when parking on hills, many experts say it is better to put it on whenever you park.
Parking brakes are important for both cars with manual and automatic transmissions, so read on to learn how to use it properly!
Putting the parking brake on
If you drive an automatic car, move the lever to the position “P” (Parking). For people who drive manual transmissions, it is best to put your car in first gear when you are parking uphill and in reverse if you are downhill.
- Position the wheels of your car so it rolls into the curb rather than into traffic if the brakes fail.
- Keep your foot on the regular brake as you pull the handbrake lever up on your car’s central console. Keeping your foot on the brake while applying the other reduces the stress placed on the parking ratchet.
- Turn off your car’s engine and remove the keys from the ignition.
Removing the parking brake
Start your car and put it in “D” (Drive). Keep your foot on the regular brake:
- Push the handbrake down.
- Pull your foot off the brake. Now you are ready to drive.
If you forget to remove the parking brake before driving, you can damage the brake and your car. Also, be careful not to pull the lever too hard when you put the handbrake on, this can damage your transmission.