How To Park On A Hill – All You Need To Know

Most drivers that do not attend driving school do not know that any form of hill parking takes special consideration. On level pavement, you can park your car on the driveway and lock it. But there are risks when parking your baby ride on a hill, either uphill or downhill.

This is because the hand brake can fail and the car roll into oncoming traffic, causing collisions. Here, we’ll help you understand how to park on a hill to boost your confidence behind the wheel. You’ll learn how to park on a hill without a curb, with a curb, and which way to turn your wheels on a parking hill.

how to park up and downhill

How To Park On A Hill (Automatic and Manual cars)

We have pointed out that parking on a hill requires special consideration. Now, let’s look at how to park on a hill step-by-step guide to ascertain these considerations. Here, we’ll explain how to park manual and automatic vehicles on a hill. Let’s start with automatic parking.

Automatic parking

Step 1: Pull your vehicle parallel to a curb

Parking on a hill with automatic transmissions is similar to manual transmissions. The only difference is how you control automatic and manual transmission cars.

Whether you’re facing downhill or uphill, ensure you leave a full space that can accommodate another car so you can freely position the vehicle and wheel your tires into the curb. 

Step 2: wheel your car tires toward the road curb

Some drivers often ask – which way do you turn your wheels when parking uphill. If you’re parking your baby ride uphill and the road curb is on the left side, face your tires to the right and roll back the vehicle.

To do this, position your vehicle beside the curb. Then, put the gear selector in neutral, steer the wheel one full turn away from the curb, and roll back.

Let the vehicle roll back until the front tire beside the curb relaxes on it. On the other hand, face the tires towards the road curb if you’re on a downhill park. After positioning the vehicle, depress the brake pedal and shift the gear selector to park.

Now you’ll wonder, how should I park on a hill without a curb? Wheel your tires towards the road edge if there’s no road curb. Follow this guide whether you’re parking uphill or downhill. By parking like this, your vehicle will roll into the grass, dirt, or bush instead of rolling into oncoming traffic.

Step 3: Get out of the car.

Look around through the side mirrors and over your shoulders and ensure no vehicle is coming close to your door. After that, open the door, lock your car, and leave.

Manual parking

Step 1: Pull your vehicle parallel to a curb

Like automatic parking, park your vehicle parallel to a road curb. And leave a full car length so you can freely position the vehicle and have enough space to back out.

Step 2: Face the car tires toward the curbs

If you’re parking uphill, wheel the tires away from the road curb and roll back the vehicle. However, if you’re parking downhill, face them toward the road curbs. To do this, turn the wheel one full turn and remove the gear shifter from any gear while depressing the brake pedal.

After that, roll the vehicle towards the curb until the front tire beside the curb touches it.

Step 3: Engage the emergency brake

After positioning the vehicle, shift the gear shifter to reverse or the first gear. Leave the shifter in reverse if you’re parking downhill or the first gear if you’re parking uphill. After that, engage the emergency brake.

Kindly note that the emergency brake is never enough, and you have to support it by leaving the vehicle in reverse or first gear. This explains how to safely park on a hill. Still, it will be unfair if we leave you without a visual guide on how to park on a hill with a curb.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Q: How do you park on a hill with a curb?

As reiterated above, safely parking your vehicle uphill and downhill is appropriately seating your tires on the curb. When parking on a downhill, turn the steering wheel to face the tires toward the road curb and do the opposite when parking uphill. This prevents the vehicle from rolling into oncoming traffic, suppose the brake fails.

Q: What 4 things should you always do when you park on a hill?

While many drivers may have their preferred and acceptable way of parking on a hill, there are four common things every experienced driver does when parking on a hill. These includes

  • Secure a parking space.
  • Shift your car into neutral once you position the vehicle into a parking space while depressing the brake pedal to roll the tires until it touches the curb.
  • Shift the gear selector into the park if you have an automatic vehicle or into reverse or first gear if you have a manual car.
  • Turn off the engine and leave the car. Of course, you should lock your doors.

Q: How do you park on a hill without damaging your transmission?

You can damage your transmission or put much strain on it if you don’t park your vehicle the right way on a steep hill. Do not hold the car with the park gear only to avoid damaging your transmission or the parking brake cable. You have to put the vehicle in park and engage the emergency brake. However, there’s a right and wrong way of doing this.

When parking on a steep hill, secure a parking space and hold the vehicle with the leg brakes. After that, Shift the gear selector to neutral while depressing the leg brake. Then, apply the emergency brake before shifting the vehicle to park. While many may argue this, this is the right way of parking your car on a steep hill to prevent damaging the transmission or the brake cable.

Q: Do you put your car in reverse when parking on a hill?

You should put the gear selector in the park position in automatic transmissions. But if you have a manual transmission, you can put it in reverse or the first gear when parking on a hill. But there’s a catch.

On manual transmissions, leave the car in reverse if the front is facing downhill and leave it in first gear if it is facing uphill. This will prevent the vehicle from rolling forward or backward.

Q: Is automatic good in hilly areas?

Automatic cars are good for hilly areas with many inclines, especially the newer models. This is because most new model automatic vehicles feature hill-hold and creep functions. These features prevent the cars from pulling backward when driving uphill. Aside from these functions, most automatic cars have a manual mode, which allows you to switch to manual and drive to your preference.

Q: Is it OK to shift to neutral while driving?

While switching your ride to neutral when going downhill will help you save gas, do not do it. It is not safe. Changing a vehicle gear to neutral when ascending or descending from a hill will limit your control over the car and invariably increase the risk of road accidents.

when parking uphill with a curb turn your wheels

Final Word

Simply taking additional safety measures when parking your car on a steep hill can help prevent causing injuries to oncoming vehicles or pedestrians suppose your hand brake falls. Some drivers may overlook these simple adjustments; however, it is a safety precaution that you should adhere to.

This article has explained how to park on a hill with or without a road curb. We also provide a visual presentation to help you understand it better. Remember to share this article with anyone who may find it interesting.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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