How to Park on a Hill
How to Park on a Hill, by Richard Russell, Globe and Mail
Most automatic transmissions use a pawl to engage a part of the drive system when using park. This pawl is retracted or disengaged when you shift out of Park. If there is a load on the connection, it will eventually wear.
But the most important aspect of hillside parking is safety, should the car jump or slip out of the Park position.
When parking on a hill, if you are facing down the hill, turn the steering wheel so the front wheels are pointing in toward the curb. Let the vehicle roll forward slowly until the front right tire comes into contact with the curb. Let it come to rest, engage the parking brake and then shift into park. When you go to move the car, start the engine, push on the brake pedal, disengage the parking brake, place the transmission in reverse and gradually apply gas until the vehicle pulls back from the curb, brake, turn toward the road, shift into drive and depart.
If you are parking facing uphill, the procedure is the same except you turn the wheel to the left at the last moment when parking and let the vehicle roll backward until the rear portion of the tire comes into contact with the curb. Then apply the parking brake, shift into park, etc. In both cases, let the tire contact with the curb ease some of the pressure, apply the parking brake and then place the transmission into Park.
If you have a manual transmission, place the transmission in first gear when parking facing downhill and reverse when parking facing uphill.