Another solution for the Flying Passat caller

The caller seemed to be dismayed at the idea that they would have to get an automatic (even though she knew that was the right answer). Plus, there’s still a risk of the car rolling away even with an Auto…

So, here’s my alternate solution: they could install speedbumps or some kind of wheel chock (like for motorcycles) in their garage! The husband would have to drive over or into them. Then the car wouldn’t be able to escape (onto the Jamaica Plain Highway) without the car being in gear, and them driving out of the “car holder”.

Brilliant, eh?

If the husband has trouble with his car rolling away then perhaps the husband should turn in his drivers license and the keys to all the vehicles that they own. If you can’t properly park a vehicle then maybe you should not be driving a vehicle. I’m just saying…! You offered a good “work around” to the problem wrppdrndthaxel but you did not address the real problem here.

I also thought of the speedbump idea ,but anotheralternative is to get a Prius which puts itself inh park automatically when shut off. There may be other cars as well. Plus maybe a sign on the garage wall “Set Brakes, Moron!”

Bad advice from Click 'n Clack today. My 99 Saab, with a manual transmission, does not allow me to remove the key from the ignition, unless the car is in reverse. Is this unusual, or no longer a feature in Saabs, or not a feature with other vehicles?

Nowadays, cars with automatic transmissions have to be in “Park” in order to remove the ignition key.
Your manual trans Saab accomplishes something similar as a result of the placement of the ignition switch on the floor (where the switch catches grit, grime, and the occasional spilled soda, thus leading to other problems).

However, in order to get to the root of the caller’s problem…there is really no substitute for functioning gray matter, which is something that the caller’s husband is apparently lacking.

I found the whole premise of this call to be incredible. I’ve tried to move my car when sitting in neutral in my garage, and it takes all I can do to muscle it a few inches, while putting my shoulder to it. The idea that slamming a car door (which, after all, is moving perpendicular to the direction of motion of the vehicle) could start a car rolling on the level seems absurd to me. What am I missing?!?

Jon…most garage floors are not that level. All of the garages I have owned have pitched slightly towards the garage door. It helps keep water out of the garage. The OP probably has one with an uncommon pitch. That would explain the vehicle rolling easy but does not explain why he would park in neutral.

JonBondy, when you slam your car door shut, the motion of the center of gravity of the door is not only perpendicular to the car’s motion. It is also backward, which by the conservation of momentum, has the tendency of moving the car forward.

So manual car rolled away because the driver forgot about parking brake and leaving it in gear. What happens when said driver forgets about taking the key on the next day, with the car not in Park? And with the popularity of keyless ignition, does the car really put itself in Park when the driver simply steps out with the transmitter?

@Spud It is an unusual feature, but a good idea. The reverse gear is usually the lowest gear so it is harder for a vehicle (that isn’t running) to overcome the resistance of the gear (and engine compression) combined. Cars with automatic transmissions usually require the driver to put the transmission into park.