A parking pawl is an important component in an automatic transmission. Parking pawls lock up your transmission when the lever is in the park position. It works by engaging a small pawl (pin) that stops the wheels from rotating. It is made up of a variety of smaller components including the gear, the pawl, the actuator rod, cam collar, pivot pin, cam plate, and the return spring. Like any part of your vehicle, it is important to understand how it functions and when to bring it in for repairs. The earlier you catch and resolve an issue the less risk to you and other motorists on the road.

Does Using Your Parking Brake (E-Brake) Help Your Transmission?

When you park on a steep hill, you should always use your emergency brake (or parking brake). Whether you have an automatic or manual transmission you should use your e-brake to secure your vehicle if you are on any type of incline. When you park using your transmission you are putting pressure on the parking pawl and its components. Using the e-brake decreases the stress on these components which can increase their lifespan. This is especially true on steep hills. Failure to use your parking brake can lead to damage to your transmission and parking pawl.

When Should I Use My E-Brake?

Contrary to common thinking, the job of the parking pawl and the park setting on your transmission is not to keep your car parked when it is not in use. The park setting on your transmission is simply there to prevent the engine’s power from reaching the drive wheels. The parking pawl prevents your engine from moving your vehicle, it does not prevent gravity or other forces from moving your vehicle. For that reason, you should engage your e-brake or parking brake whenever you leave your vehicle. This will prevent your car from rolling down a hill and will also prevent damage to your parking pawl and transmission.

How Do I Know My Parking Pawl Needs Repairs?

A tell-tale sign that your parking pawl needs to be looked at is if your vehicle continues to roll forward/backward after putting the vehicle in park. If it simply rolls a couple of inches and stops, it is likely that your pawl is worn-down and needs repairs or replacement parts. If your vehicle rolls and doesn’t stop without engaging the emergency brake, it is likely that your pawl is fully broken and needs to be addressed immediately.

How Much Does it Cost To Fix My Parking Pawl?

Repair costs always vary for a variety of reasons. Where you take your vehicle, what type of vehicle you have, and the extent of the damage will all impact your overall costs. Generally, a full replacement of parking pawl starts at a minimum of $500. But of course the quicker you notice an issue with your vehicle the less expensive the repairs will be.

Transmission & Parking Pawl Repair in Boston

If you need your automatic or manual transmission repaired, we would be happy to help you. Our team at Everett Transmission and Auto Repair provide a variety of services to ensure that Boston motorists’ vehicles are safe. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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