Leave manual transmission In gear?


Hi, My dad taught me how to drive a manuel car. He always left the car in neutral when parked. Mechanics always leave it in first. What is best? Does it matter if you are on a hill or on a flat surface

Well I learned to drive 60 years ago, and have always parked a mmanual in 1st or reverse the 2 most powerful gears. However, that dosen’t mean it is right.

It’s a belt and suspenders thing. Putting the car in gear as well as setting the parking brake means that both have to fail before the car rolls away.

On a hill with a curb, also turn the front wheels so that, if the car starts to move, it will stop when a front wheel touches the curb. If there is no curb, turn the front wheels so that the car will roll off the street, not into the middle.

You should park it in gear. Some parking brakes won’t hold on a hill, especially an uphill.

The transmission should be in gear (either first or reverse) and the parking brake should be applied, whenever the vehicle is parked.

If the car is pointed uphill, the transmission should be in first gear. If the car is pointed downhill the transmission should be in reverse. If the car is level you can use either first or reverse.

Having the transmission in gear is a second safety measure in case the parking brake doesn’t hold.

The direction of the hill doesn’t matter. You should use the lowest gear, whether it’s first or reverse, in either case.

Put it in gear, set the parking brake, and turn the wheels towards the curb so that it will roll into the curb if something fails. Use the last part if you are parked on a hill only. It’s highly unlikely that your car will roll, but you can avoid hitting another car or rolling into an intersection if there is no one in front of you.

Like your father i always leave it in neutral, but only on flat surfaces. i never in 16 plus years had any issue doing so. the only time it goes in gear is when i have to park on a hill. i had have issues with places where they had left my car in gear when i specifically told them to leave it in neutral and have the emergency brake engaged only, unless parked on a hill . its just how i have always been and had never gotten into any accidents or anything.

Rather than just relying on what Manuel told you, I suggest that you should also ask Juan and Julio.


I always park in gear in a manual gas motor. I park in neutral in a diesel semi. Somebody taught me to shift to neutral in a diesel semi before parking. I don’t remember who, and I never knew why, regarding the big trucks.

10 year old thread and the people who are leaving your vehicle parked in gear are doing the proper thing .