View Poll Results: Parking brake: do you use it??
Always! 258 47.78%
Always!
258 47.78%
Never! 84 15.56%
Never!
84 15.56%
Sometimes...only on hills 198 36.67%
Sometimes...only on hills
198 36.67%
Voters: 540. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-18-2002, 04:53 PM #1
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Parking Brake...do you use it??

Hey all,

For me, i ALWAYS use the parking brake. It is a habit now. Using it will prolong your automatic transmission life AND help out when someone rear-ends your car.

Conclusion: it is a lot cheaper to replace your parking brake than it is to replace your automatic transmission.

What do you guys think??

Thanks.
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Old 11-06-2003, 12:37 AM #2
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I dont think I have ever used my parking break. That makes sense though, I could see how not using it would wear down the auto trans. after ahwile. The hard part is getting in the habit of using it. Thanks.
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Old 11-09-2003, 12:16 AM #3
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When I had the '98 4Runner I used it religiously. It just became so much of a habit, plus it was so easy with it located on the center console... parking brake down, shift into gear.

Now with the 4th gen, I have to make a conscious effort to use it and disengage it. My left leg isn't used to doing anything besides stretching. I'll get used to it.
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Old 11-09-2003, 12:33 AM #4
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I used the hand brake all the time on my '96 4Runner.

With my '04, I'm forcing myself to get used to the floor-mounted parking brake. It's tough, since my '96 had a manual transmission
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Old 11-09-2003, 12:37 AM #5
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I use it pretty much on the trails only. And if I'm parked on a hill (which rarely happened in Arizona ) Except now I gotta extend my e-brake bracket cuz of the lift. Ahhh too lazy!
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Old 11-09-2003, 05:05 PM #6
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Always use it. You never know when something could go wrong, and making a habit just gives you an extra measure of security.
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Old 11-09-2003, 05:36 PM #7
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Absolutely!!! If you've had an automatic transmission apart and seen the small size of the park detent, you would too. I wouldn't trust it. Maybe some of you automatic transmission techs out there can vouch for this.
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Old 11-18-2003, 02:09 PM #8
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When I drove manuals I always did it without question. Then I converted to automatics with the handle for the break right next to the automatic shifter so I did it out of habit, but when I got my 03 Runner I didn't bother. I don't get how it can save your automatic transmission: can you explain that a little further? Keep in mind I know next to nothing about cars.
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Old 11-18-2003, 03:17 PM #9
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Quick explanation: the automatics have relatively small detents in it's gears to stop your vehicle from rolling. Over time, these detents can wear out due to excessive use on inclines/declines. Also, if you get rear-ended, then you may damage the transmission further.

The parking brake relieves stress on the transmission.
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Old 11-18-2003, 04:53 PM #10
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What's the long explanation then?

That makes sense, except I am not sure I get what is detents.
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:29 PM #11
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The parking brake serves as a mechanical emergency backup brake system. Should your hydraulic brakes fail, the parking brake can be used to stop the vehicle.

Many people who have vehicles with automatic transmissions rarely use their parking brake. They simply put the transmission into park to lock the drive wheels when they park their vehicle. Even so, it's important to use your parking brake periodically.

Using the parking brake regularly helps keep the cables freed up so corrosion can't accumulate and cause binding. Applying the parking brake also works the self-adjusters in the rear brakes, which helps keep the linings in drum brakes properly adjusted for minimum pedal travel. On cars with four wheel disc brakes and locking rear calipers, using the parking brake keeps the threaded self-adjusting mechanisms inside the rear caliper pistons working freely to compensate for pad wear.

The "park" setting on an automatic transmission jams a little rod into the gears. The rod is big enough to hold the car in place even on a steep hill, BUT thin enough so it will break off if the car is pushed or if "park" is engaged while the car is moving.

If you live in like San Francisco, or anyplace hilly, then I'd suggest engaging the parking brake. It works a lot better if you engage the parking brake FIRST, then put it in "P." Less stress on the little Parking pawl, and the shift lever will be easier to get out of "P" the next time.

Hope this explains it.
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Old 07-02-2004, 04:52 AM #12
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This was more of a problem in older cars, but I've heard of automatic transmissions sliding out of park or something breaking and your car just rolls away. I use the parking brake every time I park the car. I'd prefer it to be a handbrake in the center console like my Rover, but my pickup truck was on the floor too so its not all that strange. Did take a while to get used to the kick-again-to-disengage, as my truck had a hand pull thing to kick the brake back out.
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Old 09-07-2004, 05:21 PM #13
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Use it if I am parked on an incline and most times in the Summer out of habit - NEVER use it in the winter unless I really have to - most people here warn against it because of the risk of the parking brake freezing up
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Old 01-09-2005, 07:38 AM #14
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Re: Parking Brake...do you use it??

Quote:
Originally posted by Thai
Hey all,

For me, i ALWAYS use the parking brake. It is a habit now. Using it will prolong your automatic transmission life AND help out when someone rear-ends your car.

Conclusion: it is a lot cheaper to replace your parking brake than it is to replace your automatic transmission.

What do you guys think??

Thanks.
Okay, Thai, I agree with you, in part. Under fair weather conditions it is a good idea to always use the parking break. However, in cold weather using the parking break may not be a good idea. If the break discs/drums get wet and you use the parking break, the pads can and will freeze to the metal discs/drums--now we are talking very serious stress/wear on the transmission if you try to drive with you brakes frozen, not to mention the brakes themselves.

So, I use the parking break selectively. If I must park on a hill in the winter and conditions are right for freezing I turn the wheels so that if the car rolls it will go into the curb (you should do this anyway).

So, there are exceptions to every rule. Always using the parking break is a rule that can, and should be, broken from time to time.
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Old 01-17-2005, 08:07 PM #15
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Always do

When I first learned how to drive, that was what my dad and my driver's ed teacher taught me to do. So, in every car I've had or driven, I have always used the parking break.
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