9

I was told that I should leave my wheels straight when I park my car on flat driveway, I think this is rubbish and it doesn't matter personally

Should I leave my wheels straight when I'm parked?

What about when I stop the engine, and then turn the wheel to engage the steering lock?

  • 1
    Did the person who told you this happen to say why you should leave them straight? – CharlieRB Dec 7 '15 at 22:00
  • apart from what PAULSTER2 said, as long as all the wheels are on solid surface this should not matter – Nilabja Aug 24 '17 at 9:48
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The only time you really need to turn your wheels when parked is when parking on a hill. Uphill you should point your wheels away from the curb. When pointing downhill you should point your wheels towards the curb. This is so if the parking mechanism should fail, the curb will hopefully stop the momentum of the vehicle and keep it from rolling very far. Other than that, it really doesn't matter. It doesn't hurt anything to have the wheels pointed in whichever direction you want them to be in (or where ever they land while parking).

  • 1
    I'd add that not straightening them when car is stationary - apart from these uphill/downhill cases - will reduce tyre wear. – philcolbourn Dec 9 '15 at 22:04
  • @philcolbourn - Absolutely ... they called it dry steering when I was in Driver's Ed way back when. Still applies today, I'd suggest. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 10 '15 at 0:08
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As Paulster2 says, as far as your car is concerned, it really doesn't matter, but if your parking brake/gear fails (from being tapped by another car, e.g.) you want the curb, if there is one, to act like a chock block. If there is no curb, then you want your car to roll away from traffic.

2

Another point noone's raised - one could assume the wheels are straight normally.

If they're over at lock already, a driver might get a surprise when they get in and drive off, especially if they're in hurry.

Wouldn't take very long at all to strike something/one nearby, like walls, kerb/curbs, people or other parked cars.

2

I was told many years ago to always park with my tires at an angle so no one can steal your car by hooking it to another vehicle and towing it away. I had a lock put on my car so you could not start it without disengaging the hidden lock. So surprise to me when I walked out to find there were two men hooking my beautiful T-bird to a tow truck to haul it away, but because the salesman had told me to cock my wheels at an angle, they could not get my car out of the parking spot...

  • +1, interesting point to take into consideration! – elrobis Apr 11 '18 at 15:34
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I say keeping them straight in a normal parking is better so that your tires dont wear out. For parallel parking, I recommend that you put it based on how close back or front (or centered) you parked. Hope it helps.

  • 2
    Could you please explain why "normal" parking is different to parallel parking? Also, how are the tyres going to wear out while you are stationary? – Chenmunka Jan 13 '17 at 12:27
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It is a good practice. It might help keep your steering aligned longer. Engaging the steering lock is fine.

When you turn the steering wheel, the steering column transfers that force onto the drive shaft and other related components to turn your wheels.

So when you park with the wheels at an angle the steering parts exert an opposite force. Have you noticed how when you take a U Turn the steering tends to straighten out when you let go of your grip on it?

This force is continuously exerted on the steering column when you park with your wheels crossed and not straight.

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    Can you provide more information to the OP regarding why it is a good practice and how it might keep the steering aligned longer? – DucatiKiller Dec 8 '15 at 8:50
  • Hi, This sounds interesting. I'm just wondering, do you have a source for this? – George Dec 8 '15 at 21:20
  • "When you turn the steering wheel, the steering column transfers that force onto the drive shaft and other related components to turn your wheels. So when you park with the wheels at an angle the steering parts exert an opposite force. Have you noticed how when you take a U Turn the steering tends to straighten out when you let go of your grip on it? This force is continuously exerted on the steering column when you park with you wheels cross and not straight." Not my quote. Also it's a good practice because you might not remember which way the wheels are oriented when you get back in. – Jazzerus Dec 22 '15 at 3:49

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