You've been driving your car WRONG your whole life

You’ve been driving your car WRONG your whole life: Experts reveal the common parking mistake that could cause serious damage to your vehicle

  • A woman admitted to not knowing how to correctly use her car’s handbrake 
  • She claimed she always put her car in ‘park’ before pulling the handbrake
  • But another driver jumped to her aid and explained why that was dangerous
  • The correct way is to put your car in ‘neutral,’  handbrake, and then put it in ‘park’
  • Mixing up the steps can put unnecessary load on the gear box and damage it

A woman is suffering backlash for ‘misusing’ her handbrake her whole life – and millions have admitted to making the same mistake.

Emily, from Melbourne, posted a video showing that she puts her automatic car in park – not neutral –  before pulling the handbrake and many car experts have chastised her for doing it ‘wrong.’

‘I’m so confused, I need someone to help me,’ she said. ‘I put the car in ‘park,’ and then I put the handbrake on – is this wrong?’

Many admitted to following the same steps when parking their car and had no idea they were making a mistake. 

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Emily [pictured], from Melbourne, posted a video asking for advice regarding how and when she was supposed to use her handbrake when parking her car

Jean McDonald, another driver, jumped in to help Emily and millions of others with their problem.

Jean’s advice is identical to several driver’s education websites as well. It was also shared by car education page Hot Rod.

He explained that if people continued to put their car in park before using the handbrake, the gearbox could suffer serious and expensive damage. 

‘When you put your car in park and then put your handbrake on, the entire weight of the car is gearbox,’ he said in a video.

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Jean urged people to put their car in ‘neutral’ first before using the handbrake.

‘That way, the weight of the car is resting on the handbrake and not the gearbox.’

He then said that the last step was putting the car in ‘park’ before finally taking your keys out.


Jean explained that if people continued to put their car in park before using the handbrake, the gearbox could suffer serious and expensive damage

Many have thanked Jean for his simple explanation and advice.

‘I didn’t know I was damaging the gear box – thank you for explaining!’

‘I’ve been driving for six years – glad I learned this now!’ said another. ‘Better late than never.’ 

How to park correctly 

Manual Transmission

  • When parking on flat ground, leave the gearbox in neutral and apply the handbrake
  • If parking facing uphill, put the gearbox in 1st gear, turn the wheels towards the kerb and apply the handbrake
  • If you are parking facing downhill, put the gearbox in reverse, turn the wheels towards the kerb and apply the handbrake

 Automatic Transmission

  • Wherever you are parking, keep your foot on the footbrake, put it in neutral, apply the handbrake and put the gearbox in park

But several others have disregarded the advice for being ‘stupid.’

‘It doesn’t make a difference – the gears in there will wear down eventually, but they’re not going to wear down before the whole car rots out.’

‘What a load of rubbish,’ said another. ‘All the huge forces go through the gearbox when you’re driving, it’s 100% not going to hurt anything.’

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