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#2277801 - 06/02/11 10:53 PM Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks???
mareakin Offline


Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 280
Loc: nyc
According to wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parking_pawl

Quote:
Most vehicle manufacturers and auto mechanics do not recommend using the transmission's parking pawl as the sole means of securing a parked vehicle, instead recommending it should only be engaged after first applying the vehicle's parking brake. Constant use of only the parking pawl, especially when parking on a steep incline, means that driveline components, and transmission internals, are kept constantly under stress, and can cause wear and eventual failure of the parking pawl or transmission linkage. The pawl might also fail or break if the vehicle is pushed with sufficient force, if the parking brake is not firmly engaged. Replacement can be an expensive operation since it generally requires removing the transmission from the car.

It is highly inadvisable to use the parking pawl to stop a vehicle in motion. Modern parking pawls are connected to a safety mechanism that prevents the pawl from engaging unless the vehicle is stopped first. The pawl mechanism is generally not strong enough to stop a vehicle in motion, if it engages at all. Under that much stress, the pawl may simply break off in the transmission, leading to costly repairs.


So, if the parking pawl breaks, does that mean that wheels are now going to spin freely? That is to say, you *ONLY* lose the functionality of the parking pawl, but the transmission is still good and will engage in all the other gears and will function as it normally does, just no parking. That is the question.

This is really just a curiosity for me. I always engage the parking brake before letting my foot of the brake-pedal and then shifting the car to Park.

However, when I advised my sister to do the same for her 2009 Honda Odyssey, she told me I was a 'car nut' and to bugger off. She does so many terrible things to that poor Honda that I have resigned myself to its soon-failure otherwise I'd lose all my hair.

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#2277824 - 06/02/11 11:19 PM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
HTSS_TR Offline


Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 12900
Loc: Irvine, CA
Most owners don't take care of their vehicles and then blame the automaker for whatever/whenever their vehicles stop running.
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#2277873 - 06/03/11 12:47 AM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
97prizm Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 618
Loc: USA

I hear you. My sister treted her car just as bad till she rear ended someone and then totaled it. She repeatedly engaged the parking brake while pulling into parking spaces.I gave up before I had a stroke.
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#2277874 - 06/03/11 12:48 AM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
ekpolk Offline
The Regenerator


Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 8881
Loc: Pensacola FL
If the pawl breaks off, well then, Park won't work. OK, give me the "stating the obvious" award for the day.

I suppose the particular design of the trans involved would determine whether a broken-off pawl has potential to get somewhere where it can do further damage.

OK, I'll make this admisssion: a few months back, I was demo-ing for a friend how the trans selector in the Camry hybrid is totally electronic, when I found out that I was only PARTLY correct. While doing about 35 steady, I shoved the lever to R. Nothing happened, as I expected (car behaves as if you've selected Neutral, and begins coasting). Then I accidentally moved the lever to P. Not good. Heard and felt a machine-gun like noise and feel, which was obviously the pawl attempting, unsuccessfully, to engage. That part of the demo lasted only about 1/2 second before I put it back in Drive. Thankfully, Park still works just fine (meaning the pawl must be intact), though I am considering a precautionary ATF change in case any chips are floating about...

Yes, yes, I know, that wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. wink
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#2277877 - 06/03/11 12:51 AM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
Silk Offline


Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 2118
Loc: New Zealand
The park pawl is a separate part of the trans,not involved with the gear side at all.It is not directly engaged,it is spring loaded into position....for that reason alone I never use park only.
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#2277894 - 06/03/11 01:28 AM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
Colt45ws Offline


Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 7359
Loc: Central Washington
Like expolk stated it would depend on transmission design if the pawl could get somewhere and cause more damage.
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#2278076 - 06/03/11 10:17 AM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
punisher Offline


Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 1900
Loc: snowblind in TX
It all depends.

In my neck of the woods, hills are non existent. The only time my park brake gets used is during the annual state inspection. When I was in college, and parked on those awful San Marcos TX hills, the park brake saw constant use.

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#2278090 - 06/03/11 10:27 AM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 8311
Loc: Upstate NY
There's parking against the curb with the wheels turned in/out as needed to save the transmission when parking on a really steep hill.

My dad killed the transmission in his 00 Olds Silhouette by never engaging the parking brake when launching our 1.5 ton sailboat. The shift shock was enough to rock the whole car when he shifted from P into D on the launch ramp. Strangely it never did that when I used the parking brake while launching the boat.
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#2278098 - 06/03/11 10:36 AM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: sciphi]
QuadDriver Offline


Registered: 10/25/02
Posts: 712
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: sciphi
There's parking against the curb with the wheels turned in/out as needed to save the transmission when parking on a really steep hill.

My dad killed the transmission in his 00 Olds Silhouette by never engaging the parking brake when launching our 1.5 ton sailboat. The shift shock was enough to rock the whole car when he shifted from P into D on the launch ramp. Strangely it never did that when I used the parking brake while launching the boat.


Im kinda thinking the 1.5 ton boat plus the .5 ton trailer had more to do with the tranny kill...
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#2279016 - 06/04/11 12:56 PM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
stroked93 Offline


Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 190
Loc: midwest
i think this takes paranoia to a whole new level.

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#2279408 - 06/04/11 10:30 PM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
T-Keith Offline


Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 4865
Loc: MN
My driveway has a slight grade and I've always used park without problems, on several GM cars with over 200,000 miles. Sadly the parking break often doesn't work on older cars, yet I've never even heard of a parking prawl breaking.

Heck, even when I drove a manual I only used the transmission in gear. If I parked on a steep hill I put something behind the tire.

Paranoia indeed.
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#2279576 - 06/05/11 06:22 AM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 14253
Loc: Sunny Florida
We park in some very steep drives and such on a routine basis. Our trucks weigh over 9000 pounds, and regular old Park holds just fine. Never an issue in decades of severe use.
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#2279597 - 06/05/11 07:15 AM Re: Ok, so, what happens if the Parking-Pawl breaks??? [Re: mareakin]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23535
Loc: ME
Once engaged the tires will skid before the pawl gets loose. If you try to engage while going too fast it just won't go. (I did this in a driveway when I blew a brake line at 3 mph.)

I've had cars towed on a flatbed where they didn't have keys so they just tilted the bed 45 degrees and shook the car down. They say it's easier to winch uphill onto the truck. No issues.

The shape of the pawl seems to have a slight cam to it, that locks it in its receiving gear more firmly the more the car wants to roll. I don't think it would take off once confirmed to be in park. Had a work truck with a rep as a "holy roller" but IMO the linkage was whacked and it sometimes was left in reverse on nearly flat land, then "something happened" and "it jumped out of gear". smirk

I would worry less about the transmission than I would the motor mounts that will get all stretched out and sloppy prematurely. I've had a lot of econobox 4 cyls FWDs with marginal mounts to begin with... part of the pursuit of less harshness.

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