Set your parking brakes!

For American drivers who used to live in fairly flat cities who normally don’t use the parking brake… pay attention:

Every Taiwanese sets the parking brake when they park the car. It’s necessary because they do tend to roll around and you know, cause damage (which you WILL be liable for).

But it’s more than that too, when you set your car to P, it’s not applying any sort of brakes. It simply inserts a pin in your transmission to lock it. That pin isn’t all that big and certainly won’t hold the weight of a car. So if a gust of wind causes it to move a bit, or maybe got gently nudged by some asshole driver (which only caused superficial damage that can be overlooked), well now that broken parking pawl is just going to bounce around inside your transmission, destroying it completely.

Not something you want at all! Not to mention all the liabilities if it should roll around and kill someone or damage something.

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Where do you get the idea Americans dont set the parking brake?

We do.

Only an idiot wouldn’t.

Its also taught in drivers ed and tested on the drivers test.


Met one American who didn’t have a habit of doing it. Can tell by the way the car seems to want to roll around when you so much as touch it.

In the US driving test can be highly variable. Some DMV just about rubber stamps a pass.

And if you park on a road side turn your wheels to the curb, not to the street.

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so you met one idiot.


I grew up in America, and no one ever set a parking brake unless on a hill.

When does a hill become a ‘hill’? False flat is a hill.

Whenever it’s steep enough to make you worry I guess.

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I grew up in the USA and everyone set the parking brake no matter where they parked. Sweeping statements are stupid.


You really should even if you are parking in a completely flat spot with zero grades, or even in a depression that just happens to be where you parked your car (meaning it can’t roll at all). This is because maybe some asshole driver could bump into your car, or a gust of wind, or whatever. And having your transmission destroyed over something that should have caused minor (if any) damage would really suck!

I learned that when I first moved to Taiwan. Parked in a hill every day and had to change a transmission after four years. Luckily it was super cheap for a quality Japanese replacement. Now I always set it too.

Sometimes I wish cars are as simple as lathes… Lathe transmission is basically flip this lever here for x speed at the high or low range. Then flip between A, B, C, and 1-9 to select feed speed (or thread pitch when cutting threads). Sometimes change gears to cut certain threads like metric threads.

Soon. Electric cars are dead simple.

Taiwan is at least better in this regard… don’t need to drive.

My Taiwanese colleague doesn’t, at least he never has when I’ve been in a car with him.

It’s not necessarily a pin, even the picture in the link you provided doesn’t show a pin.

A gust of wind is not going to break the parking pawl!

D for drive is not simple enough?

I didn’t pick up the habit of using the parking brake until I drove a manual. I don’t remember ever being taught this in driving school(2008 for me). I’m also from the midwest where it’s flatter than a flapjack.

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You could always drive a lathe if you wanted.

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Its just good practice . Tere are unlimited situations where it can save a life. It costs nothing to do, nearly zero effort and doesnt put any daamge on the car. Its just simple good practice. Should be a habit.

I am with @SuiGeneris. Only an idiot wouldnt.


Its called a parking brake for a reason.


A lot of people call it emergency brake