Is it necessary to push the "Park" button?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by danbirch, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. danbirch

    danbirch Junior Member

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    I know that the Park button says to "Please push" it. It seems to me that when you stop, if you just push the Power Off button, the Park is automatically engaged.

    My question is, why is it necessary to push the "park" button when stopped (and parking)? Or, "Is it necessary to push the Park button, or, is it only a "safety" suggestion?

    Thanks.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no, when you push the power button, it applies park before shutting down.
     
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  3. alfa737

    alfa737 Member

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    Park button is there when u dont want to turn off the car but want to take the foot off the brake.

    because the prius has en electronic shifter it automaticaly puts the car in park when you push the start button thus eleminating a step.

    kinda make sense logicaly.
     
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  4. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    The button is there if you want to select it manually and the car engages it when you turn the car off, for when you forget.

    Simple :)
     
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  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    With an electronic shifter, it's not necessary. It's there if you want to stop the car and take your foot off the brake but leave the car running (just like any other time you'd use Park in a regular automatic-equipped car).
     
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  6. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    I'm not the OP but I'm grateful that this question has been asked and answered by knowledgeable people. I always knew that I could simply push power when I got to my final destination, but never did it as I wasn't sure if there were consequences for doing so. Now that I know there aren't any I will be sure to have fun with this 'new' feature.

    I know new aston martin's have different buttons you push for P, R & D, so I assume it is digital and could be turned off w/o putting the car into park just like the Prius. But what about those old cars (I think 60's chryslers) with push button gears, how did those push button gears work in the pre-microchip era??
     
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  7. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    I've noticed that when you push the P button then shut the car down, the car has a different feel to it than when you shut it off without pushing the button. Try it.
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it definitely seems squishier when you don't push it, but i have a gen II.
     
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  9. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    Has anyone parked on such a steep grade that the parking pawl actually refused to pull out? I have seen the references to the error message on the MFD saying to move the car to a level place and try again, but that is usually due to a problem with the parking release motor itself, apparently.

    Anyone in SF for instance, where I would think this would be tested? I park on some steep grades, and being paranoid I put on the manual parking brake first before powering down.

    And how would one move the car to a level place if the pawl was stuck? Seems a real Catch 22. I've not had a problem, just curious.
     
  10. danbirch

    danbirch Junior Member

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    ....."I have seen the references to the error message on the MFD saying to move the car to a level place and try again, but that is usually due to a problem with the parking release motor itself, apparently"


    I had this problem recently, but it was the Prius' way to actually say, "you're about to need a new battery, I'm not getting enough volts"![​IMG]

    I wished the error message would have been more accurate....
     
  11. Gary in NY

    Gary in NY Member

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    I used to own one of those 60's cars with pushbutton gears, and can tell you how they worked. I'm attaching a photo I found of a car like mine:
    [​IMG]
    This was on the left in my car, it's that vertical row of 5 pushbuttons, for R, N, D, 2, and 1. To the left is the Park lever. Lift it up, then the buttons can be pushed. Push the lever down, and the Drive, Reverse, or other button pops out, and the Neutral button goes in by itself. In this photo, the car is in Neutral, because the lever is up, and the N button is in. It's completely mechanical so the buttons had a long travel and the button for whichever gear you selected stayed in, and when you push another button, the previous one pops out. There's no interlock with the ignition or anything else (except I think it had to be in Neutral or Park to start).

    It's opposite of the Prius, because everything was a button except for Park. But like the Prius, where you can skip pushing P and just power off, here you could skip pushing N, and just push the Park lever down. But you did have to put it in Park yourself, simply turning the ignition off wouldn't do it. The mechanical linkage made sure you were in N when the Park lock was engaged.

    And here's a picture of the primitive mechanicals:
    1963 Valiant Push Button Shifter Switch & Bezel | eBay
    These pushbutton units varied in arrangement of the buttons and lever. I've read the first ones had no lever, and no parking lock. Here's an earlier model the gears in a different order with a Park lock where it looks more like it was added as an afterthought, you can barely see it underneath the dash, right below the 5 buttons on the left and above the turn signal lever:
    File:Valiantcluster.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    You can also see a foot-operated parking brake on the floor, below the turn signal lever. This would be all you had on the early models with no transmission parking lock. I think on mine, they had switched to a handbrake (under the dash, not on the center console as usually done today, I had no center console)
    For something really strange, I never knew about, but just found this Edsel pusbutton unit, in this case electromechanical, mounted in the center of the steering wheel:
    File:EdselRanger-interior.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia from the description here: [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletouch[/ame]. These electromechanical units were apparently not so reliable, but my purely mechanical one worked fine.
     

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  12. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Re: Is it necessary to push the "Park" button?

    No.

    There is nearly a one-hundred percent chance that you won't forget to power down your car if you just hit the power button when you park it.
    Usually...the only time I use the "P" button is when I stop the car to do something like shut a gate, or answer a phone call.

    YMMV.
     
  13. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    thanks Gary, yes I knew a mechanical button would require a much greater travel distance than a digital button, but I guess to fully fully understand the inner workings I would have to see a modern marvels style cartoon on history channel. I am curious if they just went out of style or lost popularity due to unreliability.

    Another retro feature on old muscle cars you don't see anymore is a button on the floor near the left foot for flashing the high beams. I can imagine how much fun it would be to push it with your foot for flashes, but I can also imagine how annoying it would be if you had to push it for extensive periods of time. I wonder if this is a common mod people perform on todays ch#rg$rs, m&st%ngs or c*[email protected]?s. (sorry for the 3 priuschat dirty words at the end)
     
  14. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    The button system was mechanically complex, so it added cost and reduced reliability. It was also easy to confuse gears, with more than one death caused by mis-pushing buttons.

    As for the high-beam button on the floor, it wasn't for flashing the high beams, it was for switching between high and low beam, just like we now have. Headlights take a lot of power, so you needed a big switch and large wires. The easiest an cheapest place for it was on the floor. Starter buttons used to be located on the floor for the same reason. I am old enough to have used both. You wouldn't think them such a neat idea if you lived in a wet climate with salted roads. Corrosion was a constant problem.

    Tom
     
  15. Gary in NY

    Gary in NY Member

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    I believe a couple of other reasons pushbuttons went out of style was the industry tried to standardize driver controls, with automatics using the PRND21 sequence everyone now knows. These pushbuttons weren't as standard (though I thought mine was convenient to use.. a lift of the park lever with my finger, and a push of the D button with my thumb all in one motion, was easy and quick, and a push down on the park lever to get back into park was also easy). While looking for pictures of mine I found other pictures of different variations on the order of buttons, sometimes arranged in 2 rows, etc. A second reason these fell out of use, maybe this was later, was steering and transmission locks tied to the ignition lock became standard. These pushbutton units were probably not as easy to tie in to the lock.

    The pushbuttons were nothing but a complex mechanism to move the cable or linkage to the transmission back and forth (which a simple lever does much more easily), in what seemed like a futuristic manner. They were as much of a gimmick to make the car seem modern, or advanced, as anything. The transmission itself was the same automatic (usually 3 speed, but back then, there were even some 2 speeds) that cars with a conventional shift lever had.

    My car also had the floor mounted dimmer switch, and suffered also from salt badly corroding the car. The button on mine eventually failed due to the floor rusting out from underneath it (cars from that era rusted much more quickly). Back then, the only controls usually mounted on the steering wheel or column were the turn signals, the horn, and usually the shift lever, even with manual transmissions).
     
  16. Lisa Lucas

    Lisa Lucas New Member

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  17. alekska

    alekska Active Member

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    Here is the way I think it should be done on a significant hill, to avoid parking pawl disengagement problems:

    1) Push and hold a (regular) brake pedal
    2) Put car in NEUTRAL by switching gear selector to N and holding for 2 seconds
    3) Apply parking brake by pedal
    4) Release a (regular) brake pedal, make sure the car is not moving
    5) Put the car in PARK or hit the power button.

    Thanks,
    - Alex


     
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  18. Agape

    Agape Member

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    Since I have prius I use above procedure on the hills. Never got any messages (except when my 12V batt was down, but that's batt problem)
     
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