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Old 07-31-2011, 11:50 PM
 
1,231 posts, read 4,530,342 times
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Yes, the parking pawl is essentially a big pin, it could break and then the car is as if in neutral, will roll to its destination. The owner could be held liable for any damages to other people/properties. This also why you have to turn the steering in one direction or another so the car would hit the pavement and stop. All safety measures/layers of protection.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Ohio
780 posts, read 2,235,514 times
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When parking an automatic, I don't put any load on the parking pawl and I use parking brake. The loud clunking sound comes from the parking pawl being forcefully released from holding the weight of the vehicle when parked on an incline. When parking, the same load (due to incline) is imposed on the parking pawl. Non-moving parking pawl + rolling weight of the vehicle = impact loading on the parking pawl. I'm a mechanical engineer, I don't like the idea of impact loading on most things.

My procedure to park -
- Engage service brake
- Shift to neutral (either from R or D)
- Engage parking brake
- Release service brake and pause for a second
- Shift to P

My procedure to start moving -
- Engage service brake
- Shift from P to D or R
- Release parking brake
- Release service brake
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:45 AM
 
400 posts, read 1,513,349 times
Reputation: 235
Hi POS VETT,

I do the same thing. When driving off my incline driveway I first put the car in reverse (parking brake is already engaged). Then I release the parking brake. But I still hear a very loud clunking sound. I called the dealership and they told me it is NORMAL. I said NO because on my older car Nissan Altima 2000 I do not hear any sounds. I am going to take the car on Thursday and they are going to have a look at it. The sound is so bad that I am parking on the street now. The other option is to park the car facing out but that is too much work to reverse the car and then park facing out.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:50 AM
 
74 posts, read 486,895 times
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Poss Vet: my dad taught me the exact same procedure when I was learning to drive. He was very particular about his cars and didn't want to put any undue pressure on the transmission parking pawl. In fact, I recall in the days before the ignition locks, he would leave the car in neutral in our backyard (wouldn't roll away because of the level) with the parking brake set instead of putting it into Park. I believe that was a habit left over from days of driving Chrysler products with the pushbutton Powerflite or Torqueflite automatics that didn't have a "Park" setting.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:49 AM
 
14,780 posts, read 35,868,142 times
Reputation: 14352
Quote:
Originally Posted by POS VETT View Post
When parking an automatic, I don't put any load on the parking pawl and I use parking brake. The loud clunking sound comes from the parking pawl being forcefully released from holding the weight of the vehicle when parked on an incline. When parking, the same load (due to incline) is imposed on the parking pawl. Non-moving parking pawl + rolling weight of the vehicle = impact loading on the parking pawl. I'm a mechanical engineer, I don't like the idea of impact loading on most things.

My procedure to park -
- Engage service brake
- Shift to neutral (either from R or D)
- Engage parking brake
- Release service brake and pause for a second
- Shift to P

My procedure to start moving -
- Engage service brake
- Shift from P to D or R
- Release parking brake
- Release service brake
THANK YOU...someone else who does it "right". My wife and I have had arguments over this as she was one of those folks who never used her parking brake. It took a lot of "esplainin" and now she is a full convert to the proper way to do it.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Columbia NJ
24 posts, read 177,500 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00molavi View Post
Yes, the parking pawl is essentially a big pin, it could break and then the car is as if in neutral, will roll to its destination. The owner could be held liable for any damages to other people/properties. This also why you have to turn the steering in one direction or another so the car would hit the pavement and stop. All safety measures/layers of protection.
Honestly, have you ever been inside an automatic?
I have been inside hundreds of them and the pawl isn't just a big pin. It is a mechanism which locks in a clutch, usually the direct clutch, to stop wheel rotation. It should be used in conjunction with the parking brake. However, the system is very strong as the manufacturers are fully aware that few use the parking brake anymore.
To the OP, I seriously doubt you have an issue with the parking pawl. As someone else suggested there is most likely a problem with the CV joints. Also a bad engine mount or loose suspension components could be the cause but you should see that when driving as well.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:31 PM
 
14,780 posts, read 35,868,142 times
Reputation: 14352
Quote:
Originally Posted by hevster1 View Post
Honestly, have you ever been inside an automatic?
I have been inside hundreds of them and the pawl isn't just a big pin. It is a mechanism which locks in a clutch, usually the direct clutch, to stop wheel rotation. It should be used in conjunction with the parking brake. However, the system is very strong as the manufacturers are fully aware that few use the parking brake anymore.
To the OP, I seriously doubt you have an issue with the parking pawl. As someone else suggested there is most likely a problem with the CV joints. Also a bad engine mount or loose suspension components could be the cause but you should see that when driving as well.
Yeah, but the loud "thunk" they are hearing when parking on an incline is exactly the sound you hear when shifting from park to reverse after being on an incline where the pawl is holding all the weight. Case in point, they don't hear it when parked on a flat surface. Will it necessarily damage the transmission, probably not, but the sound can be avoided.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Columbia NJ
24 posts, read 177,500 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Yeah, but the loud "thunk" they are hearing when parking on an incline is exactly the sound you hear when shifting from park to reverse after being on an incline where the pawl is holding all the weight. Case in point, they don't hear it when parked on a flat surface. Will it necessarily damage the transmission, probably not, but the sound can be avoided.
Perhaps I misread the original post in which they said they engage the p-brake 1st, then put the vehicle in park. If that is the case then it is probably normal. However it doesn't mean that the park pawl is a big pin.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Columbia NJ
24 posts, read 177,500 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by azamsharp View Post
@vmaxnc,

Thanks for the fast reply! I first engage the brake and then put the car in park. When leaving I change from park to reverse (loud clunking sound) and then take off the emergency brake.

I will setup an appointment with the dealership! Hopefully, they can fix this series issue. From now on I am parking on the street.
Did I read this wrong?
Actually some Toyota's had a similar issue. The brake pads were moving in the bracket causing a very distinctive click.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:44 PM
 
Location: California
4,536 posts, read 5,440,760 times
Reputation: 9558
Also, check the Honda recall that just came out by googling.
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