How to Park a Car in First Gear or Neutral

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In a manual transmission car, there is not a gear designated for parking. Instead, the first and neutral gears are used. Although this may take some time getting used to if you are not familiar with a manual transmission car, parking your car in first or neutral will soon become second nature.

  • Park your car on a completely level surface. Shift your car into neutral and turn off the ignition. Apply the emergency break to prevent your car from drifting back.

  • Shift your car into first gear when parking on an non-level surface. Keep the clutch pressed in until the ignition is turned off and apply the emergency break. If the clutch is released when the engine is still running, the car will jerk and stall.

  • Turn the steering wheel toward the curb as far as possible when parking on a steep hill. Shift into first gear and apply the emergency break. Keep the clutch pressed in until the car is turned off. Shift into reverse if you are parking on a downward slope.

  • Shift into neutral when you want to idle the car while it is parked. Apply the emergency break and make sure that you are on a level surface. Neutral is the only gear position that you can idle the car in without having to hold in the clutch.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make a habit of using the emergency break when parking. When parking on a steep hill, give yourself some space so you do not drift into the car behind you.

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