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When parking do you leave it in gear or in neutral?

  • 13-11-2021 8:29am
    Registered Users Posts: 9,009 ✭✭✭ dulpit

    Hey, the other day my wife was at work, and when they came out at end of the day the car of one of the lads she works with had rolled about half way out of its spot because he forgot to put on the handbrake. She asked him why it wasn't in gear and he said he never did when parking. She said more than half the people she worked with said same. I checked with my buddies and about half of them also said they leave car in neutral when parking.

    Seems mad to me, I was always told to leave it parked in gear, especially when parking on a hill. What's the logic of leaving it in neutral?



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,634 ✭✭✭ Miscreant

    I always leave mine in neutral. The handbrake should be strong enough to hold the car stationary in anything but the most extreme hills. Even then I would just turn the wheels towards the footpath kerb to make sure the car doesn't roll downhill. Not once have I had to leave it in gear in 20 years of driving but I am aware of the practice.

    Handbrake performance is checked as part of the NCT so if your wife's colleague's car rolled out of a relatively flat parking space while the handbrake was on then that is more of a vehicle maintenance issue, in my opinion.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 13,534 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ednwireland

    A former work colleagues golf rolled into a shop front when she thought she put the electronic parking brake on and hadnt

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  • Registered Users Posts: 72,776 ✭✭✭✭ colm_mcm

    I had a new Skoda Kodiaq roll out of a driveway in front of me and wallop into a wall on the other side of the road. Had turned auto hold off, which also disables auto handbrake when turning car off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭ .red.

    Is there a reason for the different gears?

    I always leave it in 1st gear. Its what I was told to do when learning and I don't even think about doing it now. Can't see any reason not to.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,210 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78

    always leave it in gear, handbrakes knackered

  • Registered Users Posts: 596 ✭✭✭ drogon.

    I believe this is just down to the way how people are taught to drive these days. I remember when I was learning to drive about 8 years ago, I was told to always start the car in neutral. So I think there was tendency to just leave it in neutral, rather than shifting from gear to neutral before starting the car.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,796 ✭✭✭ KaneToad

    Most cars now require the clutch to be depressed to start the engine. This wasn't the case in the past. Are you more likely to start the car in gear now, given that clutch is now involved in starting engine?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,836 ✭✭✭ long_b

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,770 ✭✭✭✭ Akrasia

    Why would you go to the trouble of always turning the steering wheel towards the kerb when leaving it in gear is actually way less effort?

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,770 ✭✭✭✭ Akrasia

    I used to work at a petrol station even I was a teenager, saw a car roll out of the forecourt and thread the needle across 2 lanes of traffic and into a ditch. Very narrowly missed cars driving in both directions

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,770 ✭✭✭✭ Akrasia


    Start a car.

    Sit in it.

    Put the key in the ignition.

    Push the brake pedal and hold it pushed in

    Put the car into neutral

    Start the car

    Check all your mirrors and blind spots, adjust mirrors and seat if needed

    Release the handbrake keeping foot brake engaged

    Put the car into gear

    Then, and only then can you start driving

    This is how to start a manual transmission

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,071 ✭✭✭ johndaman66

    I think we'd likely be hearing of more people kerbing wheels and damaging bodywork rather than rolling cars if it was considered best practice to turning the wheels in towards the kerb (not condoning turning the wheels in towards the kerb or not leaving the car in gear when parked as good practice).

    I always leave the car in gear when parked and clutch in and in neutral when starting it (even in older cars I had that didn't require such). That has being like second nature to me since I started driving.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭ Andrea B.

    How so?

    I mean, if it becomes habit, then habit would lead to straightening wheels to pull off.

    I am probably a bit hypersensitive on the topic anyhow☹️

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    Gear, had a roller when someone else was driving it before me and didn't, handbrake slipped (ratchet isn't in the best nick). Driveway is slightly sloped but luckily the road is not even vaguely busy

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,463 ✭✭✭✭ lawred2

    except for the odd occasion where you forget to fully clutch when turning the ignition key

    although our Ford won't allow starting the car without fully clutched... the newer peugeot on the other hand has no such feature

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,071 ✭✭✭ johndaman66

    You would probably think or assume and I wouldn't doubt that you would be fine yourself but the amount of them out there that would be incapable of grasping that concept might be an eye opener, then high kerbs and all that etc.

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  • Posts: 0 Yara Mammoth Jet

    I'm no expert, but why the need to "do the right thing" by clutching while starting, when the car's in neutral? What difference could it possibly make - is it to do with safety; so the car doesn't roll back or forwards when it's taken out of gear, before turning on the ignition, or is it something else!? And if the handbrake's on before starting, then the car can't roll..

    If it was me and I had a car, I'd put it in gear when parked.... take it out of gear before starting, get the car started, and then press the clutch - doubt I'm the only one...