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Discussion Starter #1
Years ago it was normal to set the emergency brake whenever you placed your vehicle in park even when on level ground. Not only for safety reasons but there was something about setting the brake that helped with a mechanical aspect of the braking system but I forgot what it was.

I went 59000 miles in my '99 Dodge Dakota and, as far as I know, never set the brake. Does anyone know if setting the brake in a Ridgeline helps the braking system or has it pretty much become an optional thing?
 

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It's important on a truck with rear drum brakes and a mechanical linkage, because if you don't, everything rusts up and sticks. Here in MA we have a yearly safety inspection, and the e-brake is tested, so you have to keep it in good shape to pass.

I don't know how it works on our vehicle because I haven't taken the time to read the service manual cover to cover.
 

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I set it when I think there is too much stress on the parking pawl in the tranmission.

On a hill or a slight incline if with trailer

-W
 

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I use the e-brake at all times, even on flat surfaces. I guess it became a habit after me dad's old car transmission locked up in parking.
 

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It takes the strain off the transmission, but you have to apply the brake while the truck is still in gear then put in park.
 

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I have always used the parking/emergency brake. Call it a habit at this point, but I figure the extra 0.75 seconds it takes me to set it and then release it is worth it to me. Even if it only saves the transmission a little from added stress (torsion) then I have gottten my benefit.

Remember these trucks are heavy and any chance you can save some wear and tear on the engine and transmission is just practicing good vehicle ownership.
 

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To spare the transmission the stress of holding the vehicle in place while parked, you should always set the parking brake first, then shift into park.

Likewise, when starting, you should always put the vehicle in gear then release the parking brake.
 

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I always used it out of habit.
 

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I only set the parking brake on inclines (even the slight slope of a driveway) and never set it on level ground where it would not help the transmission. In other words I set the brake on any slope where I would hear the dreaded "clunk" when I shift out of park and into drive.
:rolleyes:
 

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I park on a steep hill each night so I always use it. Thanks for the tip on engaging brake before "P".

Any other thoughts or issues with parking on a hill? Oil at start-up etc??

thanks
 

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Years ago, while working as a professional lifeguard in San Diego, I responded (lights and siren) to an emergency on a rainy day in my Ford Explorer. The incident involved a worker on a bridge over Mission Bay who had fallen and was seriously injured. When I pulled up in the muddy area, I turned off the siren, radioed in about my arrival, grabbed the medical pack, and responded on foot. I provided necessary medical aid until the paramedics showed up, then returned to my vehicle.

My vehicle had moved about 10 feet and hit a post, which was a good thing, because if the post hadn't been there, the vehicle would have been IN Mission Bay. Nevertheless, the front bumper was damaged. In my haste, I had left the vehicle in drive, but it didn't seem to move when I got out because of the mud. Obviously, that changed.

Under city policy, I had to report the accident and appear before a tribunal as to why I dented the car. (Standard scenario to reduce the problem of careless city workers damaging cars.) Anyway, they cut me slack for the fact that this was a life-threatening situation, but there was one problem. City policy is to ALWAYS use the parking brake. I had violated policy and had I not done so, this clearly wouldn't have happened.

So ... I was given the option of a written reprimand in my file or traffic school. I chose the latter and attended the Laugh and Learn traffic school, certified by the state and taught by a comedian. (No kidding.)

Bottom line, I've set the brake in every car I've driven, always. By doing this reflexively whenever I get out of the vehicle, if for some reason I have failed to put the vehicle in park, there's a fail safe.

These days, with the keys working as they do, this is a much less likely scenario, but the added safety of taking that extra step is worth it in my view. It's a little like putting on a seat belt. What was once a pain in the butt is now a simple, reflexive action that may save my life.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Neat story lifesaver. Better safe than sorry. I may not put the brake on when on level ground but if I have a slope, it will be enabled from now on.
 

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I wondered about this too--I use the e-brake out of habit since I drove a stick before this truck. I apply the e-brake before putting the truck into park but usually have my foot on the brake and occasionally, the truck rolls forward still. Does that mean it's using the tranny to "hold" the truck instead of the brakes?
 

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I have always set mine. Habit I guess.

I definately notice a difference in the stability of the car while parked. For the last couple of days I have been doing A LOT of yard work, hauling 1/2 loads to the yard debrit dump (another story), and while shovling scoop after scoop I noticed a considerable rocking. I got out of the bed and set the brake and my RL was rock solid.
 

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We use it when parking on a grade, like our driveway, to relieve the stress on the parking pawl. It's habit, and I don't even know if it is a help on this vehicle, or not.
 

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You can also keep your foot on the break pedal then release the parking brake before shifting into gear. Same in the reverse. Actually you have to have the break pressed in order to shift out of park no? So break pressed, release parking break, shift into drive. Works for me.
 
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