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How to Park a Car on a Hill

Sonu S
If you do not know how to park a car on a hill, then you might end up injuring people, or damaging property, or both. This story will tell you the right way to park a car on a hill.
Let me make one thing clear at the start, you should not even think of parking on a hill, if you have parking space available on a flat surface! So, before you park your car on a hill, make sure that there are no other parking options left.

Parking a Car on a Hill

When you find that all other parking spaces are exhausted, then go ahead and park your car on a hill, but you have to make sure that your car won't roll, because if it rolls, it can turn out to be a major threat to life and property. Here are the steps that will ensure, that your car is parked right:

Close to the Curb

The curb is the best friend of a car parked on a hill. A curb can prevent the car from rolling. So, the parking spot that you choose should be very close to the curb (the car and the curb should be just a few inches apart). Once the car is positioned, put the car in neutral and apply the brakes.

The Curb Contact

In order to make sure that the curb stops the car from rolling towards the traffic, you should focus on the direction of the front wheels. To make it easier for you to understand, I have divided this into 2 sections.
Facing Downhill
If you are facing downhill, then you should turn the front wheels of your car towards the curb. Now slowly release the brake, and let the front wheel closest to the curb, touch the curb. The curb will act as a hindrance to the forward motion of the tires.
Facing Uphill
Turn the wheel towards the road (opposite to the curb), if you are facing uphill. Take your foot off the brake pedal slowly, and allow the car to roll back a bit such that, the front wheel of your car bumps into the curb. Here the curb obstructs the backward motion of the tires.

Park and Brake

Once the front wheel is in contact with the curb, the next step is to engage the hand brake so that your car does not move. Before you apply the emergency brake, here is something that you should do:
For Manual Transmission
If your car is not automatic, then you should put your car in first gear, if it is facing uphill (obstruct the downward motion). If your car is facing downhill, then put the car in reverse gear (prevent the forward motion).
For Automatic Transmission
If your car has automatic transmission, you simply have to put it in park. When you put your car in park, the forward and backward movement of the wheel is restricted.
Now, you can engage the hand brake, and turn off the car. Your car is parked, you can get out it.

Additional Measures

If you have wheel chocks in your car, then you should place them appropriately.
  • If the car is facing uphill, then wheel chocks should be behind the wheels.
  • You should place the wheel chocks in front of the wheels, if the car is facing downhill.
If the curb is absent, then you have to use your common sense, turn the front wheels of the car in such a direction that the car does not roll into the incoming traffic. Do not leave children in a car parked on the hill, they might unknowingly disengage the emergency brake!
The emergency brakes are very important in such situations. Periodic maintenance check ups will ensure that the brakes of your car are functioning properly. If you do not park your car right, then you surely have to worry about damage compensation and car repair. Follow the steps mentioned to make sure that you find your car, where you parked it!