Hand(Parking) brake at long stops?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by RichardLUK, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. RichardLUK

    RichardLUK New Member

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    UK based, so please interpret
    - hanbrake = parking brake foot thing - the thing that applies rear wheel brakes when stationary;
    - manual = stick-shift etc.
    - service brake = normal foot brake/big middle pedal

    Driving scenario:
    Short pauses, quick lights etc - no problem, the car is held on the normal brake and the drive knows I have my foot on the brake so shuts all drive down.

    Discussion point here - at lights, longer pause in heavy traffic, level/railway crossing etc. The sort of pause where you want to take your feet off the pedals and wait.

    With a manual I would put the car in neutral, apply the handbrake and wait. Then when moving again, car into gear, hand brake off balanced with clutch bite and accelerator.

    With my old automatic it had an automatic handbrake, so as soon as I stopped the car would apply the handbrake and I could take my feed off the pedals, when moving again simply apply accelerator and the car would disengage the handbrake.

    The car was left in drive all the time & knew if the handbrake was applied not to try and engage forward torque/ride clutches etc. Never needed neutral on the Audi multitronic.

    With Prius III when I pull up, if I leave the car in drive and apply the handbrake, then take my foot off the service brake the power modes display shows the car putting torque through the drive train - i.e. battery->motor->wheels & you can feel it pulling slightly in creep mode against the handbrake.

    Prius doesn't seem to know the handbrake will stop the car moving, in the same way it knows the service brake does.

    I know there is no clutch to wear out, but presumably torque through the motor to wheels when the car cannot move is a-wasting energy & b-heating up the motor for no reason.

    I'm assuming best practice is to shift into neutral in this scenario?

    Thus:
    Stopping - apply servicebrake to stop, apply handbrake, select neutral, release servicebrake
    Starting off - apply service brake, select drive, release handbrake, accelerate

    (Using park is really odd in the UK(or maybe just me), I think even in automatics the norm is to use handbrake's more than park, that bit in the U.S. movies or tv when cars lurch after being put in park, taking up the park pawl slack, is almost never seen over here even on automatics. The concept of level ground doesn't really apply its all hills and gradients :) )

    i.e. no big deal - just seeking opinion on best practice/experience/received wisdom.
    Cheers.
     
    #1 RichardLUK, Aug 3, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  2. qdllc

    qdllc Senior Member

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    I would advise putting the car in Park. THEN using the handbrake IF you are on an incline as so you don't stress the transmission. If you have your car set to unlock your doors when you put it in Park and you do this often, you might want to change that setting. On fairly level surfaces, the transmission isn't stressed with the weight of the vehicle.

    The Prius cuts power to the motor when you apply the brakes. Unlike a standard ICE where the brakes overcome the natural forward propulsion being sent through an automatic transmission (which is minimal, but still enough to make the vehicle crawl forward). No pressure on the brakes = engaging the traction motor.
     
  3. Tony D

    Tony D Active Member

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    I just stick it in Park, by applying the brake on the dash. I rarely use the handbrake. Only when parking on steep hills etc
     
  4. GaryHere

    GaryHere Member

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    I was going to start a thread on this too cause I had some questions.

    Does it really stress the transmission if the parking brake isn't used?

    Aren't there no gears in the Prius?

    I notice that the car jerks slightly when put in park and my foot is taken off the brake and I don't use the parking brake.

    Is it going to adversely mess up the transmission if I don't use the parking brake to stop the car from rocking a bit when placed in park?
     
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    This seems to be more of a UK / Commonwealth cultural item, particularly with some custom towards turning off the brake light to reduce blinding glare to the driver sitting behind.

    In North American driving culture with automatic transmissions, nearly everyone leaves the car in gear. There is no attempt to shut off the brake light, which isn't any brighter than the glaring advertising and street lights adjacent to the road.
     
  6. energyandair

    energyandair Active Member

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    I normally just leave my foot on the brake and the engine turns off unless it needs to charge the battery.
     
  7. qdllc

    qdllc Senior Member

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    There is the possibility that the Prius CVT is vastly different than other automatic transmissions, but the way a "transaxle" (a.k.a. front-wheel drive) works in Park is to set one wheel to roll forward and the other to roll backwards. The opposing forces only let the car move a few inches before the opposing stresses prevent further motion.

    The down side of this is that on a sufficient incline, you are putting the transaxle under significant stress. Done enough times, the part(s) that establish this set up could fail and leave you with an expensive repair.

    The procedure recommended for anyone (not necessarily FWD cars, but anyone) parking on an incline is to use the parking brake BEFORE putting a car into Park and to release the parking brake AFTER taking the car out of Park. This would minimize the stress placed upon the transmission/transaxle as you should have your foot on the brake pedal when shifting the car into and out of Park.
     
  8. situationalawareness

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    Why is it even being questioned? The parking brake keeps the car from moving when it's parked. The engine and transmission is designed to push the car forward and backwards.
    There is no brake on the dash, that's the same as shifting into park on a normal automatic. It's simply a little piece of metal keeping the engine and transmission still. - the parking brake is to lock the car i to place, not the transmission lock, not what it's designed for.

    When this parking brake is on, it's also best not to put engine torque against it either, just as you wouldn't put car weight against the transmission lock.
    Just use things for what they were made for, and not try and find its extreme limits.
     
  9. qdllc

    qdllc Senior Member

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    Maybe the same reason some people need to be told to change their motor oil regularly. I've known people who've cooked a motor long before it should have ever died because they didn't realize such service was needed.

    Not saying the OP is that foolish, but a lot of bad practices might be picked up that need to be shed.
     
  10. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Well, the "P" transmission "lock" is a hypoid gear, not unlike a steering gear (not rack and pinion). It is slid into its mate to "lock" the transmission by a sononoid. It is not intended to hold the car on an incline, but it will. In my years of driving two different Prius I have seen no "damage" to this system in normal use, including when other owners have reported their car had to be "dragged" out of a garage by a tow truck. But I wouldn't stress my car this way.

    Back to the OPs question. With a Prius, you -want- to have the brake pedal on firmly when stopped for some time. This is because it shuts of the fake "transmission creep" built in, saving a bit of energy. It saves more than the brake lights waste. You also want to have the brake lights on, because they provide a good target for the drunks and/or distracted drivers coming up from behind. ;)

    So my opinion is use the foot pedal brake, not the "P-brake". I find I can "rest" my foot on it just fine.
     
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  11. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    Simple...if you are parking the car, use the parking brake.
    If you are stopping at a red light (this is not parking) use the brake pedal to stop the car and continue to use it to remain stopped.

    Mike
     
  12. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    I'll do something similar at long traffic lights to rest my feet. I always shift to Neutral first and then apply the parking brake. Then I can take my feet off the pedals. When it's time to set off I release the parking brake first and then shift out of Neutral.
     
  13. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    The Prius doesn't have an electronic parking brake (handbrake) like your old car does. It's cable operated so in the scenario you described, I would shift into neutral and apply the parking brake. Leaving it in Drive will just drain the battery unnecessarily as it's trying to move the car forward (as you noted on the Energy Monitor screen with power flowing from the battery to the wheels).

    However, I would recommend shifting into Park because in neutral, the engine does not come on to recharge the battery if the battery drains while stopped (e.g. A/C is running on a hot day and you're waiting at a railway crossing for a long train to go by). In Park, at least the engine will come on to recharge the battery if necessary.
     
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