How do you put a manual car in park?

I’m supposed to drive my grandmother’s car while visiting her for the summer. She’s got a manual car and I’ve never driven one of those before. How do I put it in park?

I hope you have fun over the summer with your grandmother! When it comes to parking, a manual car is different from an automatic car.
You’ll notice there are three pedals at your feet. The one on the furthest to the left is the clutch, then there’s the brake in the middle, and to the right is your gas. How you park will differ depending on where you’re going to park.
Let’s start with an uphill incline. You will want to start this process with your gear shift in neutral.
  • When you park on an incline keep your right foot pressed on the brake and your left foot fully on the clutch.
  • You will notice there should be a gear shift and a lever. The lever is an emergency brake.
  • Move the gear shift to first gear and then push the button in at the top of the emergency brake and pull it up and towards you.
  • Then you’ll turn off the car.
Now for a downhill incline make sure your gear shift is in neutral before starting.
  • Your right foot should press the brake down.
  • Your left foot should push the clutch down.
  • Move the gear shift into reverse.
  • Engage your emergency brake by pushing the button and pulling it back and towards you.
  • Turn off the engine.
Lastly, how to park your grandmother’s manual car somewhere flat. Once again start with your gear shift in neutral.
  • Right foot pushes down the brake.
  • Left foot pushes down the clutch.
  • Move the gear shift into any gear you want that is not reverse.
  • Engage your emergency brake by pushing in the button and pulling it back towards you.
  • Turn off the engine.
To help you have some peace of mind while driving your grandmother’s car, it may help to have roadside assistance. You can get a roadside assistance membership through the Jerry app. This provides jump starts, lockout service, key replacement, and towing so you’re never stranded on the side of the road.
Lauren Smith
Answered on Oct 26, 2021
Lauren has written for World Nomads, the Matador Network, Korvia Consulting, and once upon a time Three Fates Games. She graduated from Columbia College of Chicago with a BFA in Creative Writing. After graduating, she moved overseas and lived in South Korea where she spent her free time traveling and going on road trips with friends. She misses the rest stop potatoes and is trying to figure out how to recreate them at home. She's now based outside of Chicago and when she's not writing she spends her free time reading, playing video games, and exploring whenever she can.

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