Park button vs. Parking brake

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by ukiltmybrutha, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. ukiltmybrutha

    ukiltmybrutha Junior Member

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    Just wondering how important it is to hit the actual parking brake as opposed to press just the button. The quick instructions guide seems to contradict itself at some points and make it seem almost not necessary.

    I have never owned an automatic where I need to press the parking brake while parking and I like to remove any layer of complexity that I can.

    Please advise.

    Thanks.
     
  2. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    I always set my parking brake and the button, as well as try to curb the wheels in the appropriate direction as needed.
     
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  3. ukiltmybrutha

    ukiltmybrutha Junior Member

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    Is this a Prius specific disposition? Do you/would you only do this on a Prius? I understand turning the wheels in the appropriate direction etc. It is pretty flat here though. No one takes these precautions around here and I am wondering why there is (in particular) more of an emphasis on doing this for the Prius.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no, it isn't prius specific. but all auto manuals will tel you to set the parking brake for safety.

    i never use it unless the slope puts a lot of pressure on the motorized parking pawl, that is prius specific
     
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  5. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    The park button performs the same function as placing an ice car in Park, it engages a mechanical device in the transmission to lock it, preventing the driven wheels from turning. It's all fun and games until that mechanical device fails to engage, and your car rolls backwards 5 minutes after you parked it and then the po-po come to your door asking why your car rolled into someone else's car in the parking lot. Speaking from experience, lol. I've used the manual parking brake, in addition to 'park', every single time since that day.
     
  6. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    Many places require you to set the parking brake if you're parked on a public street with any perceptible slope. I do just because it's the law and it seems sensible.
     
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  7. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    If you have a US-market, Gen 2 Prius, the brakes in the rear are drum brakes with mechanical self-adjusters. The way those work assumes that you use the parking brake with at least some regularity.

    Any time you apply the parking brake, if the brake linings have worn more than a small threshold amount, it will cock a lever up over the next tooth on a wheel. The next time you release the parking brake and use the regular brake, you take the pressure off the adjuster, the lever pulls the wheel down by one tooth, and the adjuster expands (described further here). You get a maximum of one tooth of adjustment for each time there's a use of the parking brake, followed by use of the regular brake.

    If the parking brake isn't being used regularly enough, the rear brakes will go gradually out of adjustment. This isn't easy to notice in a Prius, because the electronic brake control can sort of mask it; if it takes more fluid to apply the rears, the system just applies more fluid.

    The illusion collapses, though, if the system ever drops into fail-safe mode for any reason, because then you are limited to the amount of fluid your foot moves before the pedal hits the floor.
     
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  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    A conventional automatic shifter will require you to push the lever to "P" before you'll be able to get the key out of the ignition.

    Also, any time you turn the Prius off, it performs the same function as pushing the Park button.
     
    #8 Mendel Leisk, Oct 23, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  9. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    I would for any automatic. It helps me prevent the vehicles weight from rolling and resting on the transmission. I also find it makes me happy to not hear a noisy clunk when first shifting out of park. Not sure if it would prevent future transmission issues, can't hurt.

    Maybe newer fancier vehicles don't have this issue, but I've noticed it on just about every automatic vehicle over the decades.
     
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  10. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    +1. Pretty much my thoughts too.
     
  11. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Member

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    Absolutely- parking on an incline puts quite a bit of load on the parking pawl. Releasing it puts stress on the mechanism (electric actuator on the Prius) and can cause slight wear on the pawl and toothed drum it engages. Setting the parking brake first places the vehicle load from the slope on the brakes, not the pawl.

    A second benefit is that regular use not only helps the rear brakes to self adjust, but keeps the brake cables and levers "limber". I often see problems from rusted up/ seized parking brakes on cars where the owner never uses it.
     
  12. ukiltmybrutha

    ukiltmybrutha Junior Member

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    I am going to start using the parking brake. My only concern is that I am too dumb at times and start driving off with it on. I guess that would eventually stop.
     
  13. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    You should check that the warning light for it on the dash works. That should help with forgetting.
     
  14. ukiltmybrutha

    ukiltmybrutha Junior Member

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    It works. I start driving with brake on then look up and notice it. I guess it can be overcome like any bad habit. When I was young I used to run cars out of gas. That stopped after a few times, lol!!
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    The brake brake warning light should be more in-your-face, maybe beeping if you start rolling with it on. Maybe it does lol; I can't recall.
     
  16. ukiltmybrutha

    ukiltmybrutha Junior Member

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    Lol, it takes me a second or two to become sensitive to any warning lights or audio alerts.
     
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  17. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    If you can actually move off with the parking brake set, it is not on hard enough. Press the brake another click more than the last time until you reach the point where you can no longer easily drive off with the parking brake set on.

    With this method, you don't need to notice the brake warning light.
     
  18. ukiltmybrutha

    ukiltmybrutha Junior Member

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    Awesome, I did not know this.

    Thank you.
     
  19. R-P

    R-P Active Member

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    I'm usually reminded of the parkingbrake by the smell...

    But ever since I started driving auto's, I no longer use them. It's not like the "Nether"lands have any hills let alone mountains...
     
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