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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When you park it on a hill, PLEASE leave it in gear!

As some of you know I work as a Paramedic, and our latest lot of ambulances are Renault Masters because the Fords that we've used for years no longer provide the requirements we need. We've had the Renaults for about 2 years now and the oldest ones we have are on an 03 plate.

We have lots of electrical equipment on board and the batteries kept going flat so we were told to leave the engines running at the scene of a job, and to plug them into the charging lead when on station.

A few weeks ago though we had a memo come round saying that there had been "several incidents" of the ambulances rolling when parked on a hill and when hill-parking we were to turn the ignition off and leave it in gear even though we run the risk of a flat battery.

Old muggins here forgot about that memo and parked it on a hill with the ignition off (yes, I know I ignored the instructions to leave it running too!). We were in the patient's house for approximately 5 mins when somebody said "your ambulance is rolling"[:O]. Well, I've never sprinted so fast in my life before. I just saw the ambulance rolling backwards down the hill with a car coming up the hill and it was going across the road towards some houses[:O]. I had to sprint down a grass bank and hurdle over a metal pole then dashed into the middle of the road after the ambulance. Luckily the keys were to hand it I managed to unlock it, jump in and stop it and park it up again.

I've learnt my lesson though. Whenever I park on a hill or slope in the future I will be leaving it in gear whether I'm in the ambulance or my car. Unfortunately it was early Saturday evening so there were quite a few people about and a load of kids on bikes who were watching every bit of it![:$]

I would have got such a major rollocking if the runaway truck had hit anything and my legs were like jelly for some time afterwards. What I can't understand though is why the problem has only come to light when we've had the vehicles for 2 years![:S]
 

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All renaults are susceptible to this. The discs contract as it they cool and releases the rear brakes, (handbrake).

Work colleague lost his laguna like this too! Seems worse after a few minutes driving, say ten when the brakes are not red hot but warm.
 

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Good tip [Y]

Blimey you must have looked like Wonder Woman during that little episode! [:D] Well done for averting disaster.

Another thing you can do is park near-ish the kerb with full-lock pointing the wheels towards the kerb so should all else fail, the front will roll gently into the kerb and the car will be stopped. If you position it so the tyre just touches the kerb then that will minimise tyre impact damage, too.
 

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I wonder did someone get it on a video with their phone!???!!

Must've looked like it was a film!

Well done on jumping in like that.
 

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Old muggins here forgot about that memo and parked it on a hill with the ignition off (yes, I know I ignored the instructions to leave it running too!). We were in the patient's house for approximately 5 mins when somebody said "your ambulance is rolling"[:O]. Well, I've never sprinted so fast in my life before. I just saw the ambulance rolling backwards down the hill with a car coming up the hill and it was going across the road towards some houses[:O]. I had to sprint down a grass bank and hurdle over a metal pole then dashed into the middle of the road after the ambulance. Luckily the keys were to hand it I managed to unlock it, jump in and stop it and park it up again.
Anyone else hear the "Bionic woman" Theme tune playing...

....or maybe its "Baywatch"?

I always leave MY car in gear where ever I park it, as an additional fail safe. However I would not leave other vehicles in gear if other people were to drive it. Its surprising how many people start a car without depressing the clutch, or checking the gears!
 

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Some Citroens do this as well. Brakes cool, contract, handbrake is released and bye bye van/car.

As for leaving vehicles in gear, I've always done it. When I was learning to drive, I was even taught to start a car with the clutch depressed "just in case". I know some people say it puts additional strain on the starter motor but if it stops me having a "moment" and jumping into a car infront, I'm more than happy to sacrifice some wear on the starter.
 

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When I was learning to drive, I was even taught to start a car with the clutch depressed "just in case". I know some people say it puts additional strain on the starter motor but if it stops me having a "moment" and jumping into a car infront, I'm more than happy to sacrifice some wear on the starter.
I have always been led to believe that a modern unleaded car is MEANT to be started with the clutch pressed ??
 

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It can't put strain on the starter, if anything it gives the thing a
break as it doesn't have to turn over a gearbox aswell. Even more so
first thing on a cold morning when all the oil is thick making it even
more difficult to turn over.

I've always started a car with the clutch depressed for the 2 reasons
mentioned. Just in case i've left it in gear and to take the strain OFF
the starter.
 

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It can't put strain on the starter, if anything it gives the thing a break as it doesn't have to turn over a gearbox aswell. Even more so first thing on a cold morning when all the oil is thick making it even more difficult to turn over.
I've always started a car with the clutch depressed for the 2 reasons mentioned. Just in case i've left it in gear and to take the strain OFF the starter.
That's what I was taught as well, holding down the clutch is to lesson the effort required to turn the engine. I'm sure it doesn't matter too much however in a modern car though.
 

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I always leave the car in gear and always press the clutch at start (after putting it in neutral). Always just done this since day one.

Remember a guy at Avis was about to drive the car after i had been using it. Captain Sensible gets in the car, turns the key and starts it in gear. Cheeky sod gave me a dirty look as well and asked why i had left it in gear. Guys probably had a few surprises by the sounds of it - you'd think he would know working with cars. Halfwit was lucky it was parked up at a wall or in front of someone.

Starting a car without my foot on the clutch would feel strange though.
 

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Audi A3's, mkIV golfs and Civic type R's do this also - my neighbour must be jinx'd or stupid as all three of his cars he has had have done this...  He swears that the handbrakes are always on when he goes off down the road to retrieve them!  Yer right if you say so...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Glad it's not just me that it's happened to![:D]

I usually depress the clutch when I start a vehicle, but don't always remember to leave it in gear when parking. I will from now on though![:$]
 

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I will tell you something that had this problem mega bad and that was Citroens

I had a Xantia and its parking brake acted on the FRONT WHEELS. Got the disc cooling/shrinking effect was even worse. I heard of several that rolled away.

PS Dont try a handbrake turn in one either for obvious reasons
 

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Anyone else hear the "Bionic woman" Theme tune playing...

....or maybe its "Baywatch"?

I always leave MY car in gear where ever I park it, as an additional fail safe. However I would not leave other vehicles in gear if other people were to drive it. Its surprising how many people start a car without depressing the clutch, or checking the gears!
lol.. i'm gettin' "Chariots of Fire" in my head and claire in slow motion sprinting after a run away ambulance !

I leave mine in gear too. I've done it to kate's car before and she never depresses the clutch and has lurched forward before.. [:|]

I was told to always depress the clutch, as the starter motor isn't turning the gearbox too, only the engine. Think that was a vw techy who told me that.
 

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I used to have a Xantia and they recalled them to fit a different ratchet to the handbrake. The new one had no teeth near the bottom so you had to pull the lever a long, long way up before it locked. Problem solved.

My worst hand-brake moment happened when I took my dad's SRi Cavalier to work (late '80s when I think about it). I worked in a lab which had big windows looking out onto the (sloping- important that !) car park. I left the Cav. in a space at the top of the slope and went in. Ten minutes later the MD arrived in his 2 week old Jag XJ. He parked at the bottom of the slope. Instead of going up to his office he came into the lab to discuss one of the projects that I was working on. I was leaning against the fume cupboard facing the windows as we talked, he had his back to the windows. He was in mid sentence as I saw the Cav start rolling slowly down the hill and he stopped talking as I said "Oh sh*t". We both stood rooted to the spot as the Cav hit the rear wing of the Jag. This galvanised him into action and he sprinted (and I mean sprinted- Lynford Christie couldn't have kept up) out into the car park. I followed along more slowly............

Luckily there was no damage to either car (my dad wouldn't have been happy !). I can't say the same about my underwear.

Unfortunately, this particular incident happened just as the production on the plant had started for the morning and loads of the production guys had come into the lab with QC samples. There's nothing like an audience to remind you of details..................................
 

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Old muggins here forgot about that memo and parked it on a hill with the ignition off (yes, I know I ignored the instructions to leave it running too!). We were in the patient's house for approximately 5 mins when somebody said "your ambulance is rolling"[:O]. Well, I've never sprinted so fast in my life before. I just saw the ambulance rolling backwards down the hill with a car coming up the hill and it was going across the road towards some houses[:O]. I had to sprint down a grass bank and hurdle over a metal pole then dashed into the middle of the road after the ambulance. Luckily the keys were to hand it I managed to unlock it, jump in and stop it and park it up again.
Anyone else hear the "Bionic woman" Theme tune playing...

....or maybe its "Baywatch"?

I always leave MY car in gear where ever I park it, as an additional fail safe. However I would not leave other vehicles in gear if other people were to drive it. Its surprising how many people start a car without depressing the clutch, or checking the gears!
It was Mission Impossible for me (the old old old version though [;)])

Heh but yeah, clutch always down on start, varies on whether it gets left in gear depending on where I park it! [:)]

Nice one claire - especially for posting up here [:)]

C
 
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