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I have 2 questions regarding MT:

1. Do you guys use the emergency break when you park and turn vehicle off or just put it in first gear? This applies to parking not on a hill. Wondering if the emergency break has a life span if used often.

2. Is it bad when you're in 2nd gear (or 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th) and you really should be one gear less, so it takes the car a little to catch up?
 

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1. No. I rarely use the parking brake unless I'm on a steep hill. Just leave it in first gear.

2. If you're talking about "lugging" the engine, I don't do it as a matter of course, but it does happen. Usually I just grab one gear lower. If I'm headed downhill, I just go with it. And if I'm starting on a downhill, I start in second gear.
 

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I have 2 questions regarding MT:

1. Do you guys use the emergency break when you park and turn vehicle off or just put it in first gear? This applies to parking not on a hill. Wondering if the emergency break has a life span if used often.

2. Is it bad when you're in 2nd gear (or 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th) and you really should be one gear less, so it takes the car a little to catch up?
Generally, in all cars, the emergency brake benefits from regular use. It's not really a significant wear item unless one habitually forgets to release it. It is the seldom used emergency brake that tends to seize at the most inopportune times. In AT cars, the e-brake is seldom used by most people, but when it is, troubles can start due to lack of use.

The classic scenario is loaning an AT car to an MT driver. The MT driver sets the parking brake out of habit and locks the car up because the seldom used brake cable binds and won't release, or the rusted, never to have been moved brake shoes freeze in the braking mode. The AT driver says to the MT driver, "Why-o-why did you touch my e-brake? Nobody touches that thing."

As someone who has driven MT's for 5 decades, I would recommend making a habit of always setting the brake whenever the vehicle is parked in any condition. It is the habit that will save you from an unbraked parking job on a steep hill when the tension on the tranny pops it out of gear with noone in the vehicle. I always leave the vehicle in 1st gear as well. Safety first.
 

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1. Do you guys use the emergency break when you park and turn vehicle off or just put it in first gear? This applies to parking not on a hill. Wondering if the emergency break has a life span if used often.
Part of the answer to this question is in the terminology. It's properly called a parking brake, not an emergency brake, and should be set whenever you park, regardless of slope or what kind of transmission you have. See the owner's manual, page 7-44:



Using the parking brake for parking doesn't put any significant wear on its shoes or drums. (The parking brake on Subarus is generally a "top hat" design, with each rear disc brake rotor incorporating a small drum and shoes for the parking brake.) Brake wear comes from the friction of stopping the car. If the car is already stopped, there's no friction wear taking place. You might see wear on the brake cables from the repeated stress of application; they stretch and occasionally they can break. Stretched cables can be adjusted back into spec.

2. Is it bad when you're in 2nd gear (or 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th) and you really should be one gear less, so it takes the car a little to catch up?
Yes. Lugging the engine is bad for it. With the Crosstrek I've found that to get the best performance without lugging the engine, I have to keep the revs up and slip the clutch a little. Otherwise the engine lugs and the car is slow.
 

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Hmmm...I see some of us have never experienced the joy of having "parking brake" or "emergency brake" ever get stuck. :p

After having it happen to me three times, I don't use it unless I have to.

As far as what "the manual" says, I take everything in there with a grain of salt. There's a lot more lawyers behind what's in there than there are mechanics.
 

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I can't imagine what you're doing to cause that. In forty-three years of driving, I've had a sticky parking brake exactly once, on my '05 Acura. That car used the rear calipers for the parking brake, and the problem was the calipers themselves. I did what sensible people do in that situation: I had it fixed so I could continue to use it properly.

For the sake of discussion, let's assume the lawyers wrote that part of the manual. Why would the lawyers be worried about setting the brake unless there was a potential for the car rolling off? I know people are used to relying on setting an auto trans to Park, but never ever would I rely on just leaving a manual transmission in gear. At least with an auto trans there's a pawl that locks the trans from rotating. With a manual, all you have is the resistance of cylinder compression. It's not locked in any way.

As far as not using the brake because you're worried it will break and strand you, there are hundreds of parts on the car that can break and strand you. If your answer to preventing that kind of problem is not to use that part of the car, then your only logical course of action is to leave the car at home and take the bus.
 

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I'm having a hard time following this one - are we talking about hill starts? I've always used the parking brake with manuals and admit to occasionally fudging it with an automatic using engine revs or both feet, LOL.

I like the Crosstrek's hold feature but it takes a little getting used to, and trust. Especially on some of the steep ramps out of underground parking lots here, with someone behind who thinks it's OK to leave just a two inch gap... :rolleyes:
 

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I'm having a hard time following this one - are we talking about hill starts? I've always used the parking brake with manuals and admit to occasionally fudging it with an automatic using engine revs or both feet, LOL.

I like the Crosstrek's hold feature but it takes a little getting used to, and trust. Especially on some of the steep ramps out of underground parking lots here, with someone behind who thinks it's OK to leave just a two inch gap... :rolleyes:
the hold feature on my focus ST worked awesome on the hills of San Francisco. I adapted to it very quickly.
 

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Here's a story about when setting the parking brake prevented a minor catastrophe for me. It was an unlikely set of circumstances, but many accidents are.

I brought my Civic Si to a Honda dealer for an oil change. The girl at the podium took my information, then went to get the mileage from the car. I heard the car start, and moment later a screech! of tires and the engine died.

She was not a manual transmission driver. (Few people in the US are, especially girls in their late teens.) She knew enough to press the clutch to get the car to start, but she didn't know to check whether the car was in neutral before releasing the clutch. It wasn't. It was in first gear, per standard practice for parking a manual. Because the brake was set, the car didn't go very far, maybe a few inches. If I'd just left the car in gear with the brake not set, it would have careened into the wall or another car, with the girl hanging out the open door.
 

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Q: How do you properly drive a manual transmission Crosstrek?

A: Like you stole it............ ;)
You mean, slowly and carefully, being sure to diligently obey all speed limits and traffic signals, so as not to attract the attention of the police? :D
 

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You mean, slowly and carefully, being sure to diligently obey all speed limits and traffic signals, so as not to attract the attention of the police? :D
I think he means to redline in 1st gear, then depress the clutch and wait patiently for the rev hang to calm down...wait some more...and, OK! shift to 2nd. Repeat. 😐
 

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I missed that page in the owner’s manual where it says “Never exceed 97 mph in 1st gear”.......

Jake
 

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You mean, slowly and carefully, being sure to diligently obey all speed limits and traffic signals, so as not to attract the attention of the police? :D
I think he means to redline in 1st gear, then depress the clutch and wait patiently for the rev hang to calm down...wait some more...and, OK! shift to 2nd. Repeat. 😐
There is no need to wait for the revs to drop. You need to get back into the gas as you are releasing the clutch anyway. Just shift briskly and enjoy.
 

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I can't imagine what you're doing to cause that. In forty-three years of driving, I've had a sticky parking brake exactly once, on my '05 Acura. That car used the rear calipers for the parking brake, and the problem was the calipers themselves. I did what sensible people do in that situation: I had it fixed so I could continue to use it properly.

For the sake of discussion, let's assume the lawyers wrote that part of the manual. Why would the lawyers be worried about setting the brake unless there was a potential for the car rolling off? I know people are used to relying on setting an auto trans to Park, but never ever would I rely on just leaving a manual transmission in gear. At least with an auto trans there's a pawl that locks the trans from rotating. With a manual, all you have is the resistance of cylinder compression. It's not locked in any way.

As far as not using the brake because you're worried it will break and strand you, there are hundreds of parts on the car that can break and strand you. If your answer to preventing that kind of problem is not to use that part of the car, then your only logical course of action is to leave the car at home and take the bus.
Take the bus? Really? :rolleyes:

I'm sure you'll find this hard to believe, but I've done nothing to "cause" the parking brake to stick. Just out of curiosity, what do you think I could have done to "cause" it? Use it? Silly me! I put the brake on, it didn't disengage. End of story.

The mechanics I've been taking my car to for almost 20 years don't use the parking brakes in their own cars unless their on a steep incline. Soooo....I'll just go ahead and not use it unless I need to.
 

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Take the bus? Really? :rolleyes:
Yeah, I'm sorry for that. I was in a bad mood when I wrote it, and it came out as snark. My apologies.

I'm sure you'll find this hard to believe, but I've done nothing to "cause" the parking brake to stick. Just out of curiosity, what do you think I could have done to "cause" it? Use it? Silly me! I put the brake on, it didn't disengage. End of story.

The mechanics I've been taking my car to for almost 20 years don't use the parking brakes in their own cars unless their on a steep incline. Soooo....I'll just go ahead and not use it unless I need to.
Politely and respectfully this time, I urge you to reconsider. Being mechanics does not make those guys driving experts. Driver's license examiners, who are driving experts, will ding you for not setting the brake when you park.

I realize that on level ground the compression resistance of the engine will usually prevent the car from rolling, but why take a chance? If you develop the habit of parking without the brake, sooner or later you'll come out to find your car is not where you left it. Maybe you misjudge a slope. Maybe someone nudges it when parallel parking and that's all it takes to start it moving. Maybe you don't have it fully in gear when you walk away and it pops out. Maybe something else. Belt and suspenders.

Just out of curiosity, what do you think I could have done to "cause" it?
I literally do not know. I said as much. But you're also literally the only person I have ever heard of having this trouble consistently across multiple cars. At least, I assume it was multiple cars. If it was all on the same car, then we can safely blame the mechanic who isn't fixing it right, and maybe that's the reason he's saying you don't need it.
 

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Yeah, I'm sorry for that. I was in a bad mood when I wrote it, and it came out as snark. My apologies.

No worries. ;)


Politely and respectfully this time, I urge you to reconsider. Being mechanics does not make those guys driving experts. Driver's license examiners, who are driving experts, will ding you for not setting the brake when you park.

I realize that on level ground the compression resistance of the engine will usually prevent the car from rolling, but why take a chance? If you develop the habit of parking without the brake, sooner or later you'll come out to find your car is not where you left it. Maybe you misjudge a slope. Maybe someone nudges it when parallel parking and that's all it takes to start it moving. Maybe you don't have it fully in gear when you walk away and it pops out. Maybe something else. Belt and suspenders.


I literally do not know. I said as much. But you're also literally the only person I have ever heard of having this trouble consistently across multiple cars. At least, I assume it was multiple cars. If it was all on the same car, then we can safely blame the mechanic who isn't fixing it right, and maybe that's the reason he's saying you don't need it.
The thing is, it's about the chance that the car will roll away vs the chance that the brake might stick on. As I've never experienced a roll away in 36 years of driving manual transmission cars (I've owned one automatic for a year.) But as I have experienced the parking brake failing to disengage, odds are better not applying the parking brake. Is it safe? That depends. When I first started driving, my buddies and I used to try to roll the car while it was in gear. We'd even try to roll it back and forth to see if we could get it to pop out of gear. We could eventually get it to move a bit. But as soon as we stop pushing, even on a hill, it stops moving. We could never get it to pop out of gear.

My experience tells me it's perfectly safe. Maybe yours does not. To each their own. ;)

I also live where it gets very cold, snowy, wet, and icy in the winter. Two of the incidents occurred after I'd left the car parked all day the mechanism froze and wouldn't release. The other was in the summer.
 

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The mechanics I've been taking my car to for almost 20 years don't use the parking brakes in their own cars unless their on a steep incline.
That's simply bad counsel.

I have never not used the parking brake in any vehicle I've owned, or driven, auto or stick. It is simply Good Practice. And 'cause The Murph.

Or course, with these new fangled cars, there's been all manner of Idiot proofing being built in, having the unintended consequences of making us lazy, less attentive drivers, and less in touch with our machines. And these last couple-three of decades, in a car with a manny tranny, it is not possible to start the engine without the clutch being pushed in. But being the owner of multiple vehicles over the years, mostly manuals, I have learned the value of ensuring that the parking brake is pulled every time I park it, wherever I park it. Because in the days of yore, because there was no start lock-out on these old boys, it was possible to engage the starter while the vehicle was in gear without the clutch being pushed in, which of course causes the vehicle to lurch forward, creating that sensation of "dang I'm a stupid doof for not paying attention!". I occasionally, though rarely, do this in my ancient '76 4-speed Toyota-based Chinook pocket RV.

My '89 Toyota pick-up 5-speed has a Start Clutch Cancel switch, meaning that, when pushed, the engine can be started without having to push the clutch in first. Why? The explanation from Toyota:

"What Does it Do?

To understand when this would be useful, imagine this scenario. While driving up a muddy hill, you begin to lose traction and slip backward. Eventually, you come to a complete stop, just one inch away from a massive boulder behind the truck.

In a normal manual, you would have to gently release the clutch, looking to move forward without spinning the wheels and without moving backward at all. The odds of nailing all of those different factors are slim.

This is when clutch start cancel can be a lifesaver. Because it’s putting an even amount of power to each wheel on takeoff, the odds of getting a nice smoother start are much greater, plus, the truck will not roll back at all. Not even a little bit. In some situations, this could be a big deal."

I have not ever tested this.

Now all this has raised a question in my head:

Is it possible to push start a 6MT Subaru if the battery is all dead?
 
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