I think most, if not all, drivers will agree that parking skills are one of the top driving skills that one should master right away. When you become an expert in parking, you can quickly identify if a spot can fit your car and what you need to do to squeeze your vehicle into that space. Parking outside your favorite restaurant is one thing, but parking on hills can be challenging for several reasons.
Safety Tips When Parking On Hills
Before we move forward, let’s clear something up first: parking on hills will not damage your vehicle in any way. It doesn’t matter if the one who told you is a guy who drives a semi for 20 years. Hills are not bad for your car – as long as you do it right. That’s why we wrote this article – to tell you everything you need to know to avoid endangering yourself and the people around you.
1. Use your handbrake
Newer vehicles have a hill-start assist feature that prevents your car from rolling backward from a complete stop. This happens because the vehicle “holds” the brakes for a few seconds after you physically release the brake pedals.
Sadly, your car may not have this feature so that you can settle on the next best thing – your handbrake. When starting your vehicle while parked on a hill, keep your handbrake engaged until you feel your vehicle accelerating.
2. Keep a safe distance from other cars
Most of the time, parking on hills will require you to parallel park with other vehicles. If that is the case, it is always wise to give the cars behind and in front of you a bit of distance. This gap will allow everybody to drive out with as little danger as possible comfortably.
It would be best to always count for this “allowance” when looking for a parking spot as a responsible driver. If you feel like the space available will not allow for this allowance, it’s better to look for a different spot.
3. Engage in first or reverse gear when parking on hills if you are driving a stick
If you are parking facing upward, put your car in first gear. If you are parking facing down, put the car in reverse. This is a manual “safety net” in case your handbrake gives out. Just don’t forget to set your stick back to neutral before starting your vehicle so you don’t accidentally hit the cars behind or in front of you.
4. Get a wheel chock if necessary
If you see yourself parking on hills a lot of times, you may want to consider buying a wheel chock. This will only become necessary if you are hauling heavy cargo in your vehicle while being parked on a hill. Regular vehicle owners won’t need a wheel chock, and a large rock or block of wood can also do the job.
5. Don’t forget your tire positioning
If by any chance, your brake, the gears, and your wheel chock fail, there is still something you can do that will prevent a bigger accident – proper tire positioning. It’s pretty simple as well.
- If you are facing uphill, turn your wheels away from the curb.
- If you are facing downhill, turn your wheels towards the curb.
This ensures that if your car rolls backward or forward, it will always hit the curb and serve as a chock.
Quality Car Repair Services In Metro Atlanta
Parking on a hill is not always easy, but by following the tips mentioned above, you can slowly master it. If you feel like something is wrong with your handbrake, your car’s hill-assist system, or gears, then you should go to a trusted repair shop so they can take a look.
Drivers in Metro Atlanta trust one name for all their Toyota, Nissan, Lexus, and Infiniti cars, and that’s T3 Atlanta. T3 Atlanta has been in the service of giving drivers peace of mind for over 20 years. Give T3 Atlanta a call today and let our expert mechanics take care of your car.