Should I put my car in Park while waiting in line?

I have a friend who insists that it’s safer to put the car in park while waiting in a line, for example while waiting to get gas. Does this make sense?

I think that depends on how long the anticipated wait is. But, yes I do. You might be waiting several minutes, in that case I even shut off my engine.
Leaving your car in Drive while waiting always leaves open the possibility of your foot slipping off the brake and bumping into the car in front of you.
I place my car in park even in slow/non moving drive-through lines too.


I put mine in park when I’m getting food and paying at a drive-through. I’m getting my wallet, getting the food, maybe asking for condiments, maybe I know the attendant and talking with them, and so on. There’s enough distractions that I might not see that my foot’s slipped off the brake. The only other times is when I expect to be in line for at least a few minutes.
To me, it would be a good practice if you’re easily distracted or can get distracted due to the particular situation. Yes, it’s a bit of a pain, but I’d rather wait 3 seconds to put it back in gear to avoid running into something or someone.

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In my town and in most cities across Canada, its illegal to let a car idle for more than 3 minutes. After this 3 minute idling period, you need to shut down the vehicule.

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I would not care for that law enforcement job…

No one care about it anyway :grinning:

Or… put it in drive and leave it there until you arrive in another country.
America, what a country! :us:
CSA :palm_tree::sunglasses::palm_tree:

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It is maringally safer. We should always pay attention to our surroundings, even when stopped in line. If I need to do something while I’m waiting, I usually put the car in park and set the parking brake if I’m on much of an incline. I don’t need to hit someone else because I take my foot off the brake momentarily and drift into another car.

unless your new car has auto-stop. than the motor will be off

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Intersting. I once called the police about a big SUV that has been parked on my block with two guys inside and the engine running for most of 3 days. They said they would/could do nothing about it.

However, when I visibly wrote down their license plate number, they pulled out and left.

Be careful with this. You may think the engine is shut off and suddenly have it start on you. Auto-stop has been causing some problems in this manner. Some have walked away from their cars thinking they’re totally turned off when they’re not… and they start up again by themselves.

In traffic at a light I never put the car in park, but in our typical drive through car was, the wait can be long and in the winter I put the car in park while waiting for my turn. In the summer I shut the car off in that lineup.

Just curious… what kind of drive through? What lines and waits? Why?
I never go through them. I just park at a business and go inside… another exercise opportunity and less frustration.
CSA :palm_tree::sunglasses::palm_tree:

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I agree 100%. Last time I was to a bank, I parked and went inside, and there was no lines inside, and there were a bunch of cars waiting at the drive thru window.

But better yet is to walk to the bank, or restaurant or whatever.

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Also, if the lines are at a fast food joint then the best thing to do is to go home with some healthful food, prepare it yourself and eat it. Those places will kill you.

I haven’t attended a fast food joint in a few decades and almost never go to a restaurant (they’ll kill you, too), but will if roped into it. I usually eat before I go and then watch others eat or get a salad or a drink.

When I travel I prepare healthful food and take it.

My pension checks and stock dividends, (and soon S.S.), etcetera, are electronically deposited and I bank online once per month. No need to even go there anymore.

That’s why I’m curious about what kinds of drive through people would wait to use.
CSA :palm_tree::sunglasses::palm_tree:

@csa This is a brushless carwash operated by our local grocery cooperative. There are 2 bays and access lanes. Usually it’s not too busy but weekends and after a storm there can be quite a lineup.

The car owner drives the car in, stops, (the moving arms with sprayers move around the vehicle) and after the wash drives it out slowly under the blowers that remove the water.

At our local Macdonald’s, you get quicker service by going inside than by going through the drive-through.
Since I have some arthritis in my left shoulder, I find any drive-through like a bank painful.

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We recently joined costco, there is always a line at the pumps it seems, I used park yesterday, drive throughs I usually do not put the car in park.

You need to go at a different time of day.
I use the local Costco for all of my fueling needs, and–of course–I wouldn’t go there on a weekend, or during commuting hours. Instead, I go in the early afternoon–usually on a Thursday or Friday. Most of the pumps have–at the most–2 cars being fueled, with nobody waiting in that line. And, lately I have been able to drive directly up to the pump because nobody was in that line!

Then, after fueling, I park the car and go inside to pick up a few items and graze on the abundant snacks that they are offering samples of. Top Tier gas for–sometimes–as much as 12 cents per gallon less than the local competition, little or no waiting at the pump, and a free lunch. What’s not to like?


I occasionally get fuel at Costco on weekday evenings, and it’s very quick

I have a weekly meeting every wednesday, and I’ll often fill up at Costo on the way back home, at around 8:30PM. It’s not a detour, and there are no lines whatsoever.

If you fill up long before the main store opens, such as at 8AM, for example, there’s also no waiting

the fuel is cheaper than all the other filling stations, it’s top tier, and it fixed the problem with the fuel sending units on one of our cars, as I mentioned a few days ago in another discussion