Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Parked on a hill to get the gear selector out of park?

The other day parked on a 30 * incline with the emergency brake on when I wanted to move the gear selector from park to drive it was hard to do why is this when parked on a hill and can it ruin the transmission?

The parking pawl is under a lot of pressure in that situation. Ideally you should engage the handbrake/e-brake/parking brake first then put the transmission into park. Theoretically that lessens the strain on the parking pawl.


I did have the hand brake on and I even had my foot on the regular brake pedal for a minute I thought the car wasnt going to come out of park , like you said it was a lot of pressure but what Im hoping is that nothing was damaged in the transmission like the mechanisms or seals , I dont have any shifting issues or see any leaks under the car yet 2 days later . so do you think Im safe?

You didn’t hurt anything by parking on a hill. The parking pawl is very strong. You are safe.

1 Like

The next time you’re in this spot, assuming you have some space behind you, put the car in neutral, apply the parking brake, take your foot off the brake, and see if the car rolls. Perhaps your parking brake needs to be adjusted.


I understand you had the parking brake on. The question is did you set the parking brake before you originally put the car in park? If youput it in park before you set the brakke, you have the weight of the car resting on the parking brake pawl. That make it hard to shift out of park.

Thank you 4 the suggestion

thank you for your suggestion , I did read what you say is the right way to do it , so from now on Im going to set the parking brake first, I also found nice photo of what and wear the parking pawl is so I dont think I damaged anything inside the transmission or even will have a seal leak , its just a scary thing when you cant get your gear selector out of park .:anguished:

I bought a two pair of inexpensive plastic wheel chocks and keep them in the back of both our cars. If we anticipate parking the cars on an incline for an extended period, we set the chocks, put the parking brake on then lastly engage ( park).
I think every car should have this as an option.