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Thread: Crashed my car because forgot parking brake (5 speed)

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    Senior Member fc321's Avatar
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    Crashed my car because forgot parking brake (5 speed)

    I was at Home Depot and barely awake at 6am and when I came out I saw my Mirage had rolled a few feet and crashed into an old Jeep. The guy was sitting in the jeep and his car had zero damage, mine a light scratch.

    But it could have ended very badly. I cant believe I would make such a foolish mistake. THis was in Florida, no hills just flatland but there was enough slope for the car to roll forward about 4 feet.

    Thats why its smart to engage the parking brake AND ALSO to leave the car in gear. I tend to leave it in Neutral and just engage the parking brake (Not smart).

    I hope others can learn a lesson from this event. Always leave car in gear when parked PLUS put on the parking brake.


    2015 Mirage DE 5 speed Manual (no bluetooth) nickname: "Agile Grey Rat"

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 44.9 mpg (US) ... 19.1 km/L ... 5.2 L/100 km ... 53.9 mpg (Imp)


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    On the flip side, I once started the car while in gear... luckily the parking brake was strong enough to keep me out of the lightpost (or worse). Thanks for the reminder.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 44.3 mpg (US) ... 18.8 km/L ... 5.3 L/100 km ... 53.2 mpg (Imp)


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    In the first driving lesson: push the clutch before starting. So that is drilled in for eternity now.

    But if you do start thinking about tasks which should be done automatically, everything goes wrong.

    BTW, if you have a Mirage with push-button start, it's not possible to start it while in gear.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2013 Space Star Cleartec Intense 1.0 manual: 53.5 mpg (US) ... 22.7 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.2 mpg (Imp)


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    Quote Originally Posted by anog View Post
    On the flip side, I once started the car while in gear... luckily the parking brake was strong enough to keep me out of the lightpost (or worse). Thanks for the reminder.
    Assuming you must have let the clutch out, & your car was in gear after you started it. This is why clutches have cut off switches I guess. I think we all have those brain fart moments. I just didn't know others admitted it.

    I've been driving manuals most of my life. My grandpa's 1948 Farmall H tractor is one of the few vehicles I remember that could be started in gear without the clutch being pushed in.

    I sort of chuckle when people get all excited about push button start on new cars. The Farmall H must have been ahead of its time. It had push button start way back in the 1940's. Then again, it didn't have a key either. There was nothing preventing your neighbor from borrowing your tractor. Times must have been simpler back then?

    My dad still has that tractor. It hasn't been stolen yet! I use to roll it down the hill and pop the clutch to start it when I was a kid. Wonder if I can do that with my Mirage? I might have to try it some day! If you knew your battery was dying, you just park on top of a hill all the time. Provided you don't live in a flat area.

    Some things in life come full circle. Not slamming anyone who loves their push button start. It's just not a deal maker/breaker to me. Then again, we never lost any time looking for the keys of that old Farmall H.

    We all have brain fart moments. I can't put my Kawasaki Versys motorcycle in gear with the kickstand down. If you put the kickstand down while in gear, the bike shuts off &/or will not start. Apparently some have set their bikes down on the kickstand while running and in gear & let go of the hand clutch. A simple switch prevents that from ever happening. Thankfully, companies are protecting us from ourselves!!!!!

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    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about this!

    I always leave mine in gear and set the parking brake. My first girlfriend's family had a few manual transmission vehicles, some of which she used. But she didn't like driving them and often asked me to do it. Her family had an unwritten rule about manuals: leave the transmission in the gear you will need when you drive it again.

    If you need to back up out of a parking stall, for example, you should leave the transmission in reverse gear. If you had backed in, you would leave it in first. Obviously, the 'hill rule' still applied on inclines.

    That was many, many years ago...but it has stuck with me to this day!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I use to roll it down the hill and pop the clutch to start it when I was a kid. Wonder if I can do that with my Mirage?
    No, you can't. A 'classical' engine can be started by just rotating the crankshaft. Fuel and ignition were functions of the rotation.
    But in a modern engine the fuel injection and ignition are managed by the ECU, and so it won't start as long as the ECU thinks the engine doesn't run.

    I have read some time ago that you shouldn't try to start a car with a flat battery by pushing or pulling it (which used to be common practise, in a country with only manuals) because it could damage the catalizer. I think that was true for a car having a classical caburator, and electronic ignition. The engine would draw fuel, which didn't burn, and push that unburned fuel to the catalizer. Which doesn't like that. But on a car with both electronic injection and electronic ignition I can't think why it would harm something. Except the car just won't start.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2013 Space Star Cleartec Intense 1.0 manual: 53.5 mpg (US) ... 22.7 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.2 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Wolf View Post
    No, you can't. A 'classical' engine can be started by just rotating the crankshaft. Fuel and ignition were functions of the rotation.
    But in a modern engine the fuel injection and ignition are managed by the ECU, and so it won't start as long as the ECU thinks the engine doesn't run.

    I have read some time ago that you shouldn't try to start a car with a flat battery by pushing or pulling it (which used to be common practise, in a country with only manuals) because it could damage the catalizer. I think that was true for a car having a classical caburator, and electronic ignition. The engine would draw fuel, which didn't burn, and push that unburned fuel to the catalizer. Which doesn't like that. But on a car with both electronic injection and electronic ignition I can't think why it would harm something. Except the car just won't start.
    Depends on why the car won't start. If the starter is dead, then there is no reason the Mirage can't be push-started. Instead of engine rotation providing power for the wheels, the wheels are providing power for engine rotation. Simple. Once the motor starts spinning it should start normally.

    If the battery is dead and the alternator is functioning, then once the engine starts turning while being push-started there is usually enough juice provided by the alternator to get the engine electrical system going.

    If the battery AND alternator are dead, then you are in trouble... You'd have to pull start a car for LONG time before fuel in the catalyst became an issue.

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    fc321 : bummer!


    Quote Originally Posted by Cobrajet View Post
    I always leave mine in gear and set the parking brake.
    So do I.

    Except that one time I didn't!

    And it was a VERY similar situation that fc321 described.

    I'm embarrassed to say I went to a store and for some boneheaded reason left it in neutral with no brake on. It was ALMOST perfectly level ground, or I would have noticed the car moving when I got out. Instead, a few minutes later, someone on the store intercom announced: "Would the owner of a Pontiac Firefly, licence plate blah blah blah please come to the front door." I thought: "crap! Someone hit my car!"

    Fortunately, no. It had just slowly rolled into the middle of the lane of the parking row, blocking it. No contact, no damage, no harm. (Other than to my ego! )

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage base ES 1.2 manual: 54.0 mpg (US) ... 23.0 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.9 mpg (Imp)


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    I got myself in the habit of using the parking brake years ago... and it has saved me from a few mistakes since then. (Like attempting to start driving in the wrong direction).

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 automatic: 37.6 mpg (US) ... 16.0 km/L ... 6.3 L/100 km ... 45.2 mpg (Imp)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Wolf View Post
    In the first driving lesson: push the clutch before starting. So that is drilled in for eternity now.

    But if you do start thinking about tasks which should be done automatically, everything goes wrong.

    BTW, if you have a Mirage with push-button start, it's not possible to start it while in gear.
    Same with the key-start Mirage. I can't start mine in gear unless I push the clutch down.



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