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Old 16th January 2008, 17:44   #1
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Default Switch off / Park in first gear or neutral?

Hi,
I have a very basic question which stemmed out of a debate I had with my manager today - When you stop your vehicle, do you change the gear to neutral or first? I had given my vehicle for valet parking and the driver after bringing back the car, switched off the engine and kept the gear to first. I normally change the gear to neutral before switching off. But I have seen quite a few people keeping the gear at first.

So, what is the recommended approach and the reasons behind? Is it true that we should keep the vehicle in gear when stopped on an incline? My understanding is that if the hand brake fails, then anyway you are screwed unless the steering wheel does some magic and rolls the car to a safe spot.

Appreciate all inputs and excuse my ignorance - am a new driver (1 month) and am trying my best to a good one.

Cheers
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Old 16th January 2008, 18:04   #2
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Devnull,

Always leave the car in gear when you park. Especially when you park on an incline.

Use either reverse or 1st gear. If you use a higher gear, the car is more likely to be able to move / be pushed. If your handbrake fails, this will prevent the car from rolling to a great degree.

Some people say to use reverse when parked facing downhill and 1st when parked facing uphill, but i dont really think that makes much of a real difference.

In addition to this, always use your handbrake.

If you want to be super careful, you can turn your wheels as well (some places require this by law when parking on an incline). For further details on that check out this thread > http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...k-incline.html (What is the correct way to park on an incline?)

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 16th January 2008 at 18:08.
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Old 16th January 2008, 18:07   #3
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i usually leave the car into the gear as i have this habbit of starting the car with clutch depressed,so its ok.

and as Rehaan also suggested leaving in gear helps as the car wont move


technically these things wont make any difference
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Old 16th January 2008, 18:11   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simply_sunny001 View Post
i have this habbit of starting the car with clutch depressed,
Which is always a good practise, and in addition to that it apparently reduces load on your battery / starter motor to the extent that battery life increases. (I read this somewhere...but cannot confirm)

Quote:
technically these things wont make any difference
Not true! You can park your car on a slight incline and keep it in 1st or reverse and not even have to use your handbrake at all.

cya
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Old 16th January 2008, 18:13   #5
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theres no problem in turning off the engine in first gear only if you have brought your car to a halt if your car is still moving and you turn off the engine it is not advisable.handbrake should be pulled at inclined surface and put the car in gear incase handbrake fails to operate.
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Old 16th January 2008, 18:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Which is always a good practise, and in addition to that it apparently reduces load on your battery / starter motor to the extent that battery life increases. (I read this somewhere...but cannot confirm)
I was just going to question this, but you answered before me. Guess I need to change my habit then coz I just start the engine without pressing clutch (as I keep the car in neutral). Hmm... major changes to be made in my habits
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Old 16th January 2008, 18:27   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
You can park your car on a slight incline and keep it in 1st or reverse and not even have to use your handbrake at all.
This will work, but is not advisable as per what I have heard, as it will increase the load on the gears. I always engage the handbrake before switching off the engine, keep the car in neutral and check that the vehicle doesn't roll down the incline. Then I shift to the appropriate gear (first or reverse) and switch off the engine. This ensures that the handbrake is properly engaged and working and secondly, ensures that the car is stopped due to the handbrake rather than the engaged gear (so that there is no load on the gears).

Last edited by rks : 16th January 2008 at 18:30.
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Old 16th January 2008, 18:31   #8
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So, what is exactly the reason for putting it in gear? Is it just so that one can start the car immediately without having to change from neutral or does it make actually the car safer while parked? Also, on level land, would it make any difference if it's parked in gear or neutral?
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Old 16th January 2008, 18:40   #9
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i always park on either first (on up slopes) or reverse (on down slopes), along with hand brake.

it is a fail safe method. even if ur handbrake fails, the gears will hold good.
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Old 16th January 2008, 18:51   #10
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I park my ar with first gear where ever I park the car. I switch off the engine and put into the gear. This is how it should be done. Otherwise, the car will give the jerk when put into gear and stopped. Also the handbrake is always recommended when you stop the car.

But in traffic signals, I bring the gear to neutral and put the hand brakes in flat road and if it is incline, I usually use the foot brakes and hand brakes both.
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Old 16th January 2008, 19:02   #11
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Rehaan has already explained in brief the correct details. Although modern day cars have excelllant handbrakes still it is the most neglected section as far as maintainance is concerned. Since it is cable operated, during service none check it for damage or fraying.

So to rely on it entirely is foolishness. Cars always have to be parked in gears and that too lower ones. And as far as inclines are concerned, downhill it is the reverse gear and vice versa.

Now, what I've not understood is how by depressing clutch the load on battery/starter is lessened and is a good practice in comparison to starting the vehicle in neutral?

Last edited by gd1418 : 16th January 2008 at 19:04.
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Old 16th January 2008, 19:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
I park my car with first gear where ever I park the car. I switch off the engine and put into the gear. This is how it should be done. Otherwise, the car will give the jerk when put into gear and stopped.
As per my manual, the gear should only be engaged when the engine is running (I think this will ensure proper lubrication); it is OK to go to neutral before starting your car. If you switch off your car with gear engaged and clutch pressed, there will be no jerking.

In case you have already stopped your car and engaged gear before engaging the handbrake, it is a good idea to press the clutch and release the load on the gear (the car will usually move a little, indicating that the gear was holding it in place rather than the handbrake). The reason I am particular about this is that a mechanic told me that too much load on the gears will eventually cause slippage and damage to the gear box. Secondly, it will ensure that the handbrake is indeed properly engaged (very important on steep inclines).
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Old 16th January 2008, 20:17   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks View Post
In case you have already stopped your car and engaged gear before engaging the handbrake, it is a good idea to press the clutch and release the load on the gear (the car will usually move a little, indicating that the gear was holding it in place rather than the handbrake). The reason I am particular about this is that a mechanic told me that too much load on the gears will eventually cause slippage and damage to the gear box. Secondly, it will ensure that the handbrake is indeed properly engaged (very important on steep inclines).
Exactly. I read this in the owner's manual of my Honda Civic AT and I practice this religiously every time. As you have rightly pointed out, the whole idea is to shift the burden from the gears to the parking brake.
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Old 16th January 2008, 20:23   #14
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Quote:
Some people say to use reverse when parked facing downhill and 1st when parked facing uphill, but i dont really think that makes much of a real difference.
Oh. yes; it does makes a difference.

When the vehicle is facing down on an incline, it will have a tendency to move forward. If the 1st gear is engaged, the engine too will turn, and the vehicle will move. But if the reverse is engaged, the engine will prevent the vehicle from moving since it will (ought to) have a mechanism to prevent it from turning in the opposite direction.

Apply the above logic in reverse for a vehicle facing up on a slope; so you will have to apply the 1st gear rather than the reverse.

Always engage the hand brake. If handbrakes are now applied, the vehicle can roll when force is applied (deliberately, as in thieves trying to push your car away so that they can "scan" your ultra hi security hi tech security system; or accidentally when another vehicle rams into yours).
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Old 16th January 2008, 20:31   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks View Post
As per my manual, the gear should only be engaged when the engine is running (I think this will ensure proper lubrication); it is OK to go to neutral before starting your car. If you switch off your car with gear engaged and clutch pressed, there will be no jerking.
The authorised service centre guy (Maruti) informed that its the other way round.
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