I was nervous driving a borrowed manual transmission and, as I was parking, accidentally went over one of the rocks that line the sides of our driveway. The front wheels went over but the rock basically reached up to the side carriage of the car (it rides low) and I was having trouble reversing back over it. I put on the hand break and went out to see what happened.

At this point I panicked about getting stuck in place so I got back in the car and depressed the gas to reverse. There was no response, so, thinking there was resistance from the rock, I depressed it further. Well, with enough pressure I went over the rock - the car sort of dragged backwards with an unpleasantly reluctant sensation. It was only after backing out of the spot (maybe 8-10 feet total) that I realized I had reversed without disengaging the (fully engaged) handbreak. There was a pretty strong burnt chemical smell.

I re-parked the car and after taking the keys out it made the hissing sound that it sometimes makes after a long drive, but otherwise it seemed to handle OK (a little trouble getting into reverse, but that's often the case). Now, from reading a bit on the forums, my understanding is that there are three damages that I could have done in this case: (1) Ruin the clutch, (2) Wear down the brakes, (3) Strip the rear tire treads in one spot. My questions are:

  1. What would be the warning signs that I can check to see if these things happened (aside from the car not braking well)?

  2. Is it safe to drive the car back and forth to the airport (~1 hr each way) before we take it to the mechanic for a brake check?

  3. Given that it's a manual 2005 Mustang convertible (and so as I understand it, the engine is more powerful), are there ways in which my situation would be different from other related questions?

Related questions here, here and here. Thanks!

  • are you saying you had the clutch out and it didnt move but didnt stall either?
    – agentp
    Mar 28, 2017 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


The clutch, e-brake pads, and tires are almost certainly all fine. They can take a lot of abuse and if they're still working (assuming no noticeable tire gouges) they are fine. You probably ought to have the underside of your car's frame checked, though. If it scratched off the coating you could get rust problems later on, especially if you live where they salt the roads.

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