While I think it is great to get the technical answers on whether there is any potential harm to the car on this question, how about the human factors? I can think of two: 1). if you left the wheels turned and forgot, when you started backing out of the parking spot you risk running into the side of a car parked next to you. Maybe you would realize it in time, but maybe not. 2). Any time I have to park next to a car with the wheels left so that the car would turn into mine I am nervous about the other driver, when he/she returns, damaging the side of my car (then not leaving contact information).
If you forget that you turned the wheels, you should notice it when you approach the car. If you didn’t notice, there should be enough space between your car and the car next to you that you can notice before you hit the other car. If you didn’t notice in time to avoid the collision, it might be time to give up the keys.
Why be nervous? That’s what insurance is for. Your car is just a thing; an object. It can be repaired or replaced. You seem to worry about it like it is a child or a pet. Perhaps you would worry less if you drove an older beat-up car. Your pride might suffer, but it could be better for your health if it helps you worry less.
The only time you need to worry about it is if you are parking on a hill. In that case the wheels should be turned so that gravity would pull the car up over the curb, In parking lots, . . . Well I have been driving for 47 years and never worried about it and never had a problem.
When choosing parking spaces in a parking lot, I always avoid spaces next to a vehicle that has its wheels turned.
Will they realize the angle of their front wheels before they hit my car when backing out? Probably.
Is it worth the possibility that they will hit my car? Nope!
"Why be nervous? That’s what insurance is for. Your car is just a thing; an object. It can be repaired or replaced. "
1). Insurance is much too high already.
2). I depend on my vehicle for transportation and I know what it is like to be without a vehicle while it is being “repaired or replaced”. I also know about the hassle of getting a vehicle repaired and would like to avoid repeating that experience if possible.
I never really realized it before, but I always park with my wheels straight (exception on hills with curbs). I think that I could only make up the reason since it is a habit that I don’t think about. But I can say that I hate the thought of sitting still while turning the wheel and basically grinding the tires on that one spot. This, of course, would apply when it comes time to leave. I always just pull in someplace in such a way that my wheels get straightened out while I’m still moving. I then leave a place moving before I turn the wheel. (Exceptions will obviously occur.
So I suppose I could sort of go in the category of the boyfriend (I think it was), though I can’t be that crazy b/c my wife just parks any which way and I don’t harass her about it.
Aside from the hills, it’s very important to turn the wheel if your finance company has been calling you and you suspect a repo may be on the way. And by “you” I don’t mean “you the one who posted the original question”, I mean “you, anyone who is behind on their payments and concerned about such things”.
Turning the wheels may give you just enough time before the flatbed arrives to earn your hiking merit badge.
I see. I didn’t know you were one of those drivers who pays high rates. I am extremely happy with my rates, so I forget there are those out there who don’t feel the same way.
I am not the Dali Lama, but if you spend your time worrying that much about your possessions, you don’t own them; they own you.