5 Important Tips for Parking a Manual Transmission Car


It is safe to say that parking a manual transmission car is not like parking an automatic transmission car. If you’re not too good at changing gears with a manual transmission car, then you’re going to find a lot of difficulty when it comes to something that should be simple like parking. You need to understand which gear you need to select when you go to park on certain leveled terrains. There is no parking gear like in an automatic transmission has, so you can’t use that. But once you learn some simple tips about parking with a manual transmission car, it will get much easier for you.

5 Tips for Parking a Manual Transmission Car

Below are the top 5 tips for parking a manual transmission car. The two gears you’ll need to concern yourself with the most are the first gear and reverse gear.

  1. Emergency Brake – A manual transmission car does not have a parking gear like an automatic transmission car does. This means when you go to park your vehicle, you need to use the emergency parking brake. If you don’t, then your car is simply going to roll away and that will cause all kinds of accidents and damages. So, always lift the emergency brake lever whenever you want to park.
  2. Hill Parking – If you are parked on a hill with the emergency brake set, there is still a chance that your car could roll if you don’t have the right gear set too. Choosing the right gear depends on which direction the car is facing on the hill. If the car is pointed toward the incline of the hill, then you set the first gear. If the car is pointed toward the decline of the hill, then you set the reverse gear. Of course, make sure you always have the emergency brake lever lifted no matter which gear you choose.
  3. Neutral Parking – If you are on flat land and parked between two vehicles, it is better to set the neutral gear. This would be a rare situation, but it helps protect your transmission in case someone accidentally bumps into you. As always, use your emergency brake in conjunction with the neutral gear.
  4. Forward Parking – If your pulling into a parking space at a business or driveway to park your vehicle, then you would normally shift to first gear and then use the emergency brake. However, you can also use reverse gear as well and it should still be okay. The only exception to either of these is if the parking space happens to be on a steep hill. But most parking spaces are on flat land anyway. You shouldn’t use neutral because you’re not parked in between two cars.
  5. Reverse Parking – If you’re backing into a parking space at a business or driveway to park your vehicle, then you will want to keep it in reverse gear after you’ve backed in all the way. You could get away with first gear but leaving it in reverse gear is better if you’ve backed into the parking space instead of going forward into it.

Read also: 5 Tips on Driving a Car for a Beginner

Things to Remember

When you go to lift the emergency brake lever, make sure you don’t release the clutch until after the emergency brake is set. This will put all the car weight onto the brake. The importance of setting the right gear is in case the emergency brake fails for some reason. The gear will determine which direction the car would roll. If gravity is working against the gear, then your vehicle will not roll. That is all you really need to remember about gears and emergency brakes with manual transmission cars.


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