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Parking a manual Fiat 124 Spider on a slight incline: Does it need chocks?

My wife just purchased a manual 2017 Fiat 124 Spider. Not sure why considering she hasn’t driven a manual in almost 30 years.

Anyway our parking pad is on an incline. About 6 years ago I bought a brand new John Deere tractor and parked it on the parking pad. It was my first tractor, so I didn’t understand that I couldn’t just turn the key off and leave it. On the third day we were outside and heard a crash! The 3 day old tractor had rolled off the parking pad and into the nearby woods, smashing into a tree and bending its front bucket.

Needless to say I am nervous about parking the Spider on that parking pad.

Should I buy chocks for it, or will the parking brake and putting it in gear be enough to hold it? If the incline is facing forward, should I put it in reverse, or if it’s backward should I put in 1st gear - or does it matter?

Surry County, NC

Find a steeper incline and confirm the parking brake holds the car. Park it nose down, the parking brake can work better going forward. I would put it in first, too, but the parking brake is doing the work.

What my driving training said ( at that time ) parked nose up park in first gear - nose down park in reverse to increase the resistance to rolling . And of course parking brake on.

I guess she still remembers the way to turn the front wheels when parking on incline where there is a curb. Uphill - wheels turned away from curb. Downhill - wheels turned toward curb.

It has a warranty. If it doesn’t hold, FCA will fix your car. Just make sure she pulls the parking brake full on. My wife doesn’t set the brake fully and I’m worried the car will roll. It hasn’t yet. She does not drive a 124.

Test to confirm the parking brake holds it all by itself. Then once that’s confirmed, apply the parking brake first, then place the transmission in first or reverse for a back-up. No harm done if you feel you want a second back-up to put some chocks too. I wouldn’t be inclined (no pun intended … lol) to do that except if the pitch was really steep, over 15 degrees.

To satisfy my pessimistic nature I follow the parking brake + first or reverse and then look to the safest destination if all else fails and steer in that direction.

Basically with OHC engines, if its pointed downhill, use first gear, if it is pointed uphill, use reverse. This is to prevent the timing belt/chain from running backwards.

If you drive nose in from the street and are pointed downhill, then you could put in a curb for it to rest against. Get a 6’ or 8’ PT 4x4 and some concrete anchors and bolt the 4x4 to the parking pad. If you don’t have the equipment for anchor bolts but have room at the end of the parking pad, then set the 4x4 just over the edge of the pad with 1/2" holes drilled in each end and maybe one or two in between and anchor it with 1/2" rebar driven into the dirt.

When I park my truck and get out and start walking away, I always look back to see if it is staying put. Why? Have no idea. But I’ve noticed other truck owners do the same thing. I don’t do that with my Corolla.

I wouldn’t, but I wouldn’t ask. The person who asks should: one of my general rules of life.