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More serious parking security

by David Zatz on

Many people never use their parking / emergency brakes, which can put a great deal of pressure on the little parking pawl, a part of the automatic transmission which holds all three to five thousand pounds of a modern car, truck, or SUV.

One approach to the problem is using electrically operated, electronically controlled, automatic parking brakes (a control for one is shown on the right).

Electric parking brakes work automatically, so people who don’t normally use the parking brakes have no choice.

They also fix the problem of owners who don’t apply the brake enough to actually stop the car from moving (especially with hand-operated parking brakes, and any manually adjusted parking brakes that are neglected by owners and dealers alike). This relieves pressure on the parking pawl, and cuts the admittedly remote chance of the car moving on a steep hill.

parking pawl

A new approach from a Chrysler patent goes after the problem of over-working the parking pawl differently. It uses the computer to calibrate the transmission’s parking lock, using computer-controlled actuators that figure out exactly how far the pawl can be pushed in, so it’s fully engaged. The full system is described here. (Thanks, WhiteRhino07).


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