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Thread: Advise on Hill parking on regular basis?

  1. #1
    VIP-Member MCD's Avatar
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    Default Advise on Hill parking on regular basis?

    Hi guys,

    So at weekend i moved into our stunning new house with my wife! However, its high up in the hills with a really steep driveway.

    So parking upwards, i put handbrake on and left it in first gear.... however to test what would happen if handbrake failed, i put my foot on brake, took handbrake off... and then slowly released the brake... the car started to roll backwards (roughly in a judder kinda way?) I really thought you couldnt do this in gear? Tried my wifes Astra (56 plate 1.9cdti)... low and behold, it did the same?

    So, i guess drive is too steep! Thinking of buying some caravan wheel chocks to just stick behind the wheels? Do you recon im being over paranoid, as really, both cars are fine with handbrake on... in any event, in gear apears that it wouldnt save them anyway...

    What do you think? (am i making any sense??)

    Mike


    Noobtune 220bhp / 270lb - (07) 2.0 turbo SRi XP1 NAV - SUNROOF/AFL/CD70/XP2'd

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    Regular Member Matt&Jemz's Avatar
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    Put it in a higher gear and try, someone told me 4th before.

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    Regular Member george1987's Avatar
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    imo, better safe than sorry.

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    In first gear the car will roll slightly, with the handbrake disengaged, but it shouldn't be more than 3 inches
    I always park my car without the handbrake engaged, and with first gear engaged

    I apply the handrake and then switch off the engine
    First gear is then engaged and the handbrake slowly released
    The car may roll, accordingly to the direction of the hill, but eventually the gear "engages" and the car stops rolling

    On severe hills I then restart the engine and turn the steering towards the kerb

    I don't reapply the handbrake as this often "welds" the brake pads to the discs

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    Regular Member 67688c's Avatar
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    It's obvious that the incline is sufficient to overcome the compression of the engine, even on a modest hill the engine will likely eventually turn over abeit slowly without any other means of holding it. ie handbrake off.

    In your case matey if its that steep, I would definately put a couple of chocks under 2 wheels just to be on safe side. (peace of mind)

    Caravan centre's/dealers such as towquip sell proper plastic wheel chocks which are light in weight but will do the job, or just use a couple of bricks.

    Only cars which should'nt move at all if the handbrake is off is automatics, as they have a tangent which engages into a slot that locks the gearbox when in park position, (similar to steering lock) though I still would'nt trust that 100% without the handbrake on.

  6. #6
    VIP-Member MCD's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for teh advise thus far peeps!

    On both my vectra, and my wifes astra in first gear they just started rolling with no intention of stopping... or at least i got nervous and applied the foot brake again as it was a bit scary!

    I will try 4th gear later.... Both cars have been on the drive all weekend with handbrakes on, and in 1st gear, and neither have moved.. i just worry about failure of the handbrake with no apparent support from the gears!

    Mike


    Noobtune 220bhp / 270lb - (07) 2.0 turbo SRi XP1 NAV - SUNROOF/AFL/CD70/XP2'd

  7. #7
    Regular Member 67688c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m8internet View Post
    In first gear the car will roll slightly, with the handbrake disengaged, but it shouldn't be more than 3 inches
    I always park my car without the handbrake engaged, and with first gear engaged

    I apply the handrake and then switch off the engine
    First gear is then engaged and the handbrake slowly released
    The car may roll, accordingly to the direction of the hill, but eventually the gear "engages" and the car stops rolling

    On severe hills I then restart the engine and turn the steering towards the kerb

    I don't reapply the handbrake as this often "welds" the brake pads to the discs
    Not wishing to sound pedantic matey but parking without the hand brake applied is most definately illegal in the UK, and is the reason why the hand brake is checked during a MOT. Certainly turning the wheels into the curb is a good practice on hills especially if one's hand brake is not brilliant. I certainly would not rely purely on the engine if parked on a hill to hold the car, as eventually the compression will be overcome and it will turn, allowing the car to move.

    On Vectra's and most cars these days that utilise the rear discs for hand-brake use too, when parking on a hill, one should always apply the footbrake firmly and while the footbrake is held down the hand brake should be applied. Remember the little adhesive stickers that VX sent out to everone.?
    Even then.. when the discs/pads cool down, the pressure applied on the rear pads when the hand brake is applied tends to slightly ease off as they cool down. Hence the reason why modern hand brakes are not so good in some ways as the old drum type.

    This is one of the reasons why BMW and Mercedes still use the old fashioned brake shoe's inside a inner drum just for the hand brake. They still use big rear discs and pads for normal braking of course. IOW the brake shoe's only get used when applying the hand brake on BM's.

    In any case! If in doubt, always chock the car if necessary, not worth the risk of injury or killing someone.

    Only time I might suggest leaving the hand brake off is perhaps if parked up for months AYS, as long as it's secure from moving, but if one has issues with the hand brake locking on after just a few days then it's a issue that needs fixing.
    Last edited by 67688c; 12th April 2010 at 13:45.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt&Jemz View Post
    Put it in a higher gear and try, someone told me 4th before.
    No !!!!!

    Why do you think it's easier to bump start a car in a higher gear?

    Because the engine will turn over easier.

    1st or reverse gear only when parking on inclines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
    No !!!!!

    Why do you think it's easier to bump start a car in a higher gear?

    Because the engine will turn over easier.

    1st or reverse gear only when parking on inclines.
    I second this..... When I rebuilt the Westfields engine I had to turn the engine manually with a drop of WD sprayed into each piston via the spark plug holes, it can take 10 seconds or more to get oil around a degreased engine block, so this had to be done before it was started.

    I turned the engine by pushing the car in 4th gear, in 1st it wouldn't move at all.

  10. #10
    Regular Member 67688c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt&Jemz View Post
    Put it in a higher gear and try, someone told me 4th before.

    If facing down-hill you should put it into reverse gear, and if facing uphill it should be in 1st gear. This is VX own advice, and something everyone should know as basic safety knowledge when parking a car.

    Dont they cover such basic things these day's when teaching someone to drive.

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