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How to Park Your Car: Why You Should Shift into Neutral Before Applying the Handbrake – Driving Tips

You’ve been driving WRONG all your life: Experts reveal the most common parking mistake that can cause serious damage to your vehicle

  • A woman admitted to not knowing how to properly use her car’s handbrake
  • She claimed she always put her car in “Park” before applying the handbrake
  • But another driver jumped to her aid and explained why that was dangerous
  • The correct way is to put your car in “Neutral”, put the handbrake on and then put it in “Park”.
  • Mixing up the stages can unnecessarily stress and damage the transmission

One woman has just discovered she’s been “abusing” her handbrake her entire life – and millions have admitted to making the same mistake.

Melbourne’s Emily has posted a video showing her putting her automatic car into park – not neutral – before pulling on the handbrake, and many car pundits have chastised her for doing it “wrong”.

“I’m so confused, I need someone to help me,” she said. “I put the car in park and then put the handbrake on – is that wrong?”

Many admitted they had followed the same steps when parking their car and had no idea they were making a mistake.

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Emily [pictured]from Melbourne, has posted a video asking for advice on how and when to use the handbrake when parking her car

Emily [pictured]from Melbourne, has posted a video asking for advice on how and when to use the handbrake when parking her car

A woman suffers backlash for abusing her handbrake her entire life - and millions have admitted to making the same mistake

A woman suffers backlash for abusing her handbrake her entire life – and millions have admitted to making the same mistake

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Do you put your car in neutral before you put the handbrake on?

Jean McDonald, another driver, stepped in to help Emily and millions of others with their problem.

Jean’s Rat is also identical to several driver education websites. It was also shared by car education site Hot Rod.

He explained that if people continued to park their car before applying the handbrake, the transmission could suffer serious and expensive damage.

“If you park your car and then put the handbrake on, the entire weight of the car is the transmission,” he said in a video.

Jean urged people to put their car in “Neutral” first before applying the handbrake.

“So the weight of the car rests on the handbrake and not on the gearbox.”

He then said that the last step was to put the car in the park before finally taking out your keys.

Jean explained that if people continued to park their car before applying the handbrake, the gearbox could suffer serious and expensive damage

The correct way to park your car is to put it in neutral first, then pull the handbrake and then put it in park gear before removing your keys

Jean explained that if people continued to park their car before applying the handbrake, the gearbox could suffer serious and expensive damage

Many have thanked Jean for his simple explanations and advice.

“I didn’t realize I was damaging the gearbox – thanks for the explanation!”

“I’ve been driving for six years – I’m glad I learned how to do it now!” said another. ‘Better late than never.’

Why should you put your car in neutral first?

To engage the parking brake properly, put your car in neutral before parking it. Then apply the brake and park your car last. To start your car again, perform the same steps in reverse order.

When you put the transmission in P and release the footbrake, the car rolls slightly forward or backward, putting pressure on the pawl (the notched wheel on the driveshaft).

Source: The News bike and rider knowledge tests

But several others have disregarded the advice as “foolish.”

“It makes no difference – the gears in it will eventually wear out, but they won’t wear out until the whole car has rotted away.”

“What a pile of rubbish,” said another. “All the enormous forces go through the transmission when driving, it will 100% do no harm.”

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Bradford Betz

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