Parking brake or leave in gear?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Gary(SF), Mar 24, 2004.

  1. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2003
    Los Altos Hills, CA
    Full Name:
    Gary B.
    I have made a habit in most manual gearbox cars I have owned to use the parking brake, leaving the box in neutral. I notice the large majority of Ferrari drivers leave their car in gear with the parking brake off. Is there a technical reason for this, or just personal preference?

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  3. Cavallino Motors

    Cavallino Motors F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    May 31, 2001
    Florida or Argentina
    Full Name:
    Martin W.
    When your brakes have been used a lot and the discs are hot you can damage the rotors if you use your parking brake. in driving school that is the first thing you learn. You can also cook your brake fluid faster (I guess ???)

    I always leave it in gear. Unless you park in San Francisco you don't need the parking brake. BTW it is referred to as the "emergency brake", not the parking brake.

  4. rossi

    rossi Formula Junior

    Feb 6, 2004
    I always use parking brake and first gear, no matter what car I'm parking.
    Concerning the 355 it was important to use the gear as well, as the effect of the handbrake was often, well let's say "insufficient". (think it was a construction fault of the 355 handbrake)
  5. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Pikop Andropof
    I use both the parking brake and 1st/reverse gear. Since I'm primarily a street driver, overheated rotors aren't an issue.
  6. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 23, 2002
    S W London
    Full Name:
    Tony H
    Just the hand brake for me,oops parking brake!
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  8. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    Although I too use 1st gear to keep the car stationary, it has always bothered me (with all cars) how the car slightly rocks while parked in gear. It just seems to put undue stress on the gearbox. Am I nuts, or is the e-brake a nice additional measure to keep the car from rocking?

    FWIW, I don't use the ebrake most times -- just 1st gear. I like to think of that little handle as my "EJECT" device for when things get really rough, and other systems in the car have failed. Drive a mid-80's Jeep, and you'll know what I mean.

  9. Tifoso1

    Tifoso1 F1 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2003
    Pacific NW
    Full Name:
    Anthony C.
    I was under the impression that you want the weight of the car to be on the parking/emergency brake first, and then put the car in proper gear according to if the car is parked uphill vs. downhill. As for an automatic car, similar rule (parking/emergency brake first before putting the trans into P) applies in order safe the transmission. Then again, this is for street driving and not track driving.
  10. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ

    Nov 29, 2001
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    For us with lousy 308 type parking brakes, our only choice is to leave it in gear.
  11. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

    Feb 16, 2003
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    On 308's, even when the E brake works, it doesn't, at least not very well. (Sort of like the airconditioning.)

    I use both in case it gets knocked out of gear. I also have a nice yellow factory wheel chock from a 240Z for extreme slopes or emergency conditions.

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  13. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Good topic. I've had this discussion with a couple of mechanics. Theoretically, with an "interference engine" run by belts, if you leave the car in gear and for some reason it should roll (gets bumped?), it could (a) cause the belts to skip a tooth or two, (b) cause the belts to break, (c) cause pistons to hit valves. VERY unlikely, IMHO, but the risk is there, one supposes.

    The (much) bigger risk is that the traditional ineffective Ferrari hand brake doesn't work well enough to keep the car from rolling into something. Martin is right too that if the brakes are smoking hot, you could do damage by using the hand brake. But unless you've just pulled off the track, or just rode your brakes while coming down Mt Washington, it shouldn't be a problem.

    What I do: if the car is on an incline, use the handbrake, come off the foot brake to make sure the car isn't rolling, THEN put it into gear. Same if parked on flat, but don't bother checking to see if car will roll. If it requires a Herculean yank to activate the brake enough to prevent rolling, time to get the hand brake adjusted.


  14. nzo4re

    nzo4re Karting

    Mar 13, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    Full Name:
    Tom Lassen
    My mechanic tells be that putting a car in gear to park it can cause the cam belt to slip a tooth. Here's how:

    If parking on an upgrade (doesn't have to be steep) and you park the car in a foreward gear, the car naturally rolls backward putting oposite slack in the cam belt from where it normally is when the engine is running. When you then go and start the motor that slack now needs to transfer to the opposite side of the crank, presenting the opportunity for the belt to jump.

    What do you all think?
  15. Wildwarrior

    Wildwarrior Formula Junior

    Mar 26, 2003
    Full Name:
    Glen Winters
    Parking brake first to hold car ,then let out clutch leave her in first gear .This way the drive train has no stress on it what so ever.And just in case the brake fails, your 1st gear will hold the car.Just like an automatic in park,ever park on a slight grade and have trouble getting her out of park.If you apply parking brake first, that will never happen.
  16. jdb

    jdb Formula Junior

    Nov 16, 2003
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    None of my parking / hand / emergency brakes work at all, never have. Always leave it in first.
  17. Dale

    Dale F1 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2003
    Full Name:
    Dale Juan
    If its been thrased on the track for a few hours,handbrake off out of gear chock wheels leave to cool,go get a drink and watch the other track folk,
    depends on the rotor type,handbrake type,how hard do you drive it,
    very hard to answer,road use handbrake out of gear,the handbrake should be
    as well serviced as your sump oil is,timing belts etc,

  18. jdb

    jdb Formula Junior

    Nov 16, 2003
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    I know why it is bad to use handbrake after laps on the track, but why is it bad to leave in gear after track use?
  19. bloke

    bloke Rookie

    Jan 10, 2004
    Use the Parking/Hand brakes. Dont just leave it gear. Even on a small downgrade, there is a chance it will roll. This happened to me with my 911 and thank goodness, there was nothing behind me.

    The only time, you want to wait is after a hard drive or track event till it cools off.
  20. Tennlee

    Tennlee Formula Junior

    Feb 10, 2002
    Great Smoky Mountains
    As I have a 308, I pretty much have to use the "gear" method, however, on most cars I do both for piece of mind.
  21. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Hmmm, always in gear for me with hand brake on. Lets see so somebody may nudge my car ... and make the engine go backwards. If it was real hard nudge the rotating of the engine backwards is going to be my last concern ...

    Lets think also, hand brake fails on large hill (as Italian cr@p hand brakes will) car rolls forward and gathers speed and stuffs itself into a house ... now I'm real glad I did not put any extra stress on that drive train ...

    Priorities guys, priorities ...

    Also starter motors start off slow, so I would doubt if you would jump a tooth ... but don't know.

  22. paulie_b

    paulie_b F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 13, 2003
    Jupiter, FL
    Full Name:
    Paul Bianco
    with my F1, it depends on where I am. if at home in the garage I use the parking brake. if away from home I put it in 1st.
  23. Mr Iceman

    Mr Iceman Karting

    Mar 3, 2004
    Canterbury, England
    Full Name:
    When the car is in the garage, which lets face it is where it spends the majority of its time, I use chocks and dont apply the handbrake to save stretching the cable. If the car is parked on the road I use both the handbrake and first gear.
  24. stevep

    stevep F1 Veteran

    Jan 19, 2004
    Geordie Land
    Full Name:
    neither just a brick under the back tyre for me, which the wife kindly obliges to when she gets out
  25. kenster888

    kenster888 Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    I only use the hand break and leave the gear in neutral.

    During my undergraduate years a few friends and I went out for dinner one evening (I still remember, Spaghetti Factory, Newport Beach). They had valet parking and upon returning my 88 MR2 supercharged (such a wonderful car btw), they left the car in first gear. I depressed the clutch to start the engine but didn't realize the car was in gear, next thing I know the car jumped forward hitting a friend in the legs and squeezed him between my front bumper and another car's rear bumper.
  26. ZINGARA 250GTL

    ZINGARA 250GTL F1 World Champ

    Jun 21, 2002
    Full Name:
    GLen, I live in East York. I am in the book and would enjoy talking with you. What is your ride? From your logo, it looks like a TR. Regards, Ken
  27. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ

    Feb 16, 2003
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    If the belt to pulley relationship is so sensitive that nudging the car while parked in gear can cause a belt to jump then these cars have a SERIOUS problem! The same goes for stresses on the transmission.

    If this is the case then no more shifting at 7,000 RPM and no more DOWNSHIFTING or slowing the car on compression.

    I'll nudge my car a bunch and let you know if my belts jump from parking in gear.

  28. nickdtm

    nickdtm Rookie

    Mar 21, 2004
    Annapolis, MD
    I always use both. My dad lost a brand new car over a hill once (the first day he had it, no less) by just putting on the parking brake. The brakes cooled after a drive, and it was no longer really enough to hold the car.

    I know that on my M, the parking brake can't even hold the car in place. Damn fat sedan :D

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