How often do you engage the parking break?

How often do you engage the parking break?

Hi. A few weeks ago I watched a youtube video that showed how to engage the parking break (push the parking button for a couple of seconds while in park, the screen will show the parking break on). My old car is manual so I used to engage the parking break all the time when parking and leave the stick in neutral. I just set the Model 3 in park and forget about the parking break. Most of the time I'm parked in a level place anyway. What about you? Thanks

guydude | 14 februari 2019

"Parking brake Electrically actuated parking brake integrated into rear caliper"

Parking brake automatically engages as soon as you tap park.

Pepperidge | 14 februari 2019

Always, because you cannot leave M3 without engaging parking break.

MRNot01 | 14 februari 2019

Yup. Every time I park, I use [P]. It doesn't require holding the button, but it does have to be pressed. I might be misunderstanding your scenario, of course.. (my previous ICE vehicle was a Subaru WRX wagon, and I always left it in gear as I was almost never parked on a completely flat slope, and always engaged the hand/parking break)

CST | 14 februari 2019

Never, it would break the brake.

spuzzz123 | 14 februari 2019

“Pepperidge | February 14, 2019
Always, because you cannot leave M3 without engaging parking break“

So is there really no difference between simply putting it in park and pushing and holding the park button to activate the “parking” brake? My next question is what’s the purpose of that latter feature? Just an idiot button to placate those that feel better when they see that parking brake engaged?

Effopec | 14 februari 2019

Honestly I never knew about the push and hold feature until recently. Normally I just press the brake pedal for hold to come on, then open the door and leave. Occasionally I push the park button on the stalk, but it seems unnecessary. I've still never pushed and held.

MRNot01 | 14 februari 2019

*Ugh! I said, "break." I QUITE!

I've been curious how (H) differs from "Park," beyond the reactivity that you just touch the pedal to begin moving again. I've only driven manual trannies for at least 35 years, so my familiarity with garden variety autos is nil.

disapr | 14 februari 2019

(H) is an electronic position hold command sent to the motor(s).

The parking brake has an electronic actuator that clamps the rear caliper. You can hear this every time you put the car into drive or park.

mknewman | 14 februari 2019

Mine makes a thunk as I do the press/hold, it is a different mode. When I go into reverse from this mode I can hear something that sounds like a break pad disengage. Not sure if there is a park prawl like some cars. The normal P mode Park may be a transmission lock like a ICE car.

CST | 14 februari 2019

@MRNot01 - did you intend that follow-up typo? That was funny!

EVRider | 14 februari 2019

The manual says the parking brake is always engaged when you shift into park. There's nothing in the manual about pressing and holding the park button. The manual does say you can use the touchscreen to manually disengage and reengage the parking brake, using Controls > Safety & Security > Parking Brake -- maybe holding the park button does the same thing (if it does anything).

DickB | 14 februari 2019

When you put it into Park, the rear calipers are applied with brake fluid.
When you hold the Park button, an electric motor clamps the caliper.

If you had a leak in the hydraulic you would lose the brakes and the car would roll.
As the electric motor would still hold. Just extra protection if you use both.

Rt002k | 14 februari 2019

I can confirm that when you hold the park button you get a fancy red ((P)) on the screen indicating a parking brake has been engaged, so there is different behavior at least on the screen with holding it down vs just pressing it.

lbowroom | 14 februari 2019

If you're moving in drive, you can press and hold to activate parking brake

pelkofer | 14 februari 2019

The manual seems to dispute that there's any difference between being in park and setting the parking brake. It says in multiple places "The parking brake automatically engages when you shift Model 3 into Park, and releases when you shift into any other gear." P55 talks about the parking brake specifically and doesn't say anything about holding the Park button to engage the brake. It says using the touch screen is the same as using the button on the stalk. It does say that it will light the (P) indicator if you use the touchscreen.

DickB, what's your source on the 2 different modes of operation? The manual does state that the parking brake only works on the rear wheels and that it is an "independent" system. As far as I know, there's only 1 set of brake pads, so it can't be completely independent. But it would make sense that there are 2 different electrical and hydraulic systems that can engage the brake pad.

I'm fairly certain that there is no transmission pawl like on an ICE automatic transmission. So, "park" for the M3 means that the rear wheel brakes have been locked, which is equivalent to saying that the parking brake has been applied.

DickB | 15 februari 2019

Yes, there is no parking pawl in all Tesla cars. Regular park is applied with brake fluid on the rear calipers. The rear calipers also has a electric motor that will act like clamp when the park is held for few seconds. You can hear the electric motor apply. Both systems work on the same rear calipers (brake pads).

My source is only being a mechanic for over 50 years. Tesla might use different words explaining this. You would need a repair manual to get a better picture on how it works, not a owners manual.

apodbdrs | 15 februari 2019

To enable the parking brake, hold the parking button for 3 seconds.

kallian | 15 februari 2019

Being in park and applying the 3s parking brake is different and required by regulations.
Why? An automobile should be able to stand still without any power available, as in it shouldnt roll. This is a requirement for all vehicles. Hence 3s P push does the mechanical brake clamp, which requires no further power to maintain its position. The regular parking brake loses pressure if no power is present in the vehicle.

lbowroom | 15 februari 2019

Sorry kalian, not buying that explanation. Every time you put the car in P you can hear the mechanical screws clamp the pads to the rotor.

kallian | 15 februari 2019

Well if it applies both, then I must eat my words. I figure the 3s one where a different sign shows up on the dash actually does the mechanical that requires no further power to maintain.

pelkofer | 15 februari 2019

@DickB Thanks; I wish I could find a repair manual. I'm very curious to learn more about how the various systems on the car work. Web searches and reading forums seem to contain more misinformation and speculation than facts.

gmr6415 | 15 februari 2019

I always thought the "press and hold" was used if you were driving and the regular brakes failed. This video is of an S, but I thought the resulting use was still the same on all Teslas.

tripplett | 15 februari 2019

When I press the quick Park I can hear something at the back of the car engaging park. When I then press and hold the park button I hear yet ANOTHER thing engaging. Before people comment that they are both the same please check your facts. It is my “guess” that the people here who say the second press does indeed engage some type of physical clamp are correct. Just my opinion. If I had a floor jack I’d take the wheel off and check.

In the end if you’re parked on a hill what harm would it do to engage the long press parking brake? One day we will get clarification on this like we eventually got on the heated seats (yep) and heated steering wheel (nope).

surfpearl | 15 februari 2019

@tripplett +1

mscott | 15 februari 2019

When you just briefly press the park button, the brakes on the rear wheels are clamped by an electric actuator (not via the normal hydraulic system). The sound is very distinctive and lasts close to 2 seconds. I can't imagine anyone who drives any Tesla regularly not being very familiar with this sound.

Like many others on the thread, I had never heard mention of this 3-second press before now, so I just tried it on our 3. With the car already in park I held down the park button for 3 seconds. A little red "P" icon (kinda like the brake hold icon, but with a P in the middle) appeared on the right side of the white status area of the screen. There was also a very quiet and quick (less than 1/2 second) "click" which sounded like it came from the front. I have no idea what this does, but it sure doesn't sound anywhere near as substantive as the clamping. The sound was significantly quieter than the sound of the clamping of the rear wheels. I suppose it's possible this is some kind of mechanical lock being activated in the drive line somewhere, but that would be pure speculation on my part.

Taking the car out of park I could only hear the electric actuators on the rear wheels unclamp, but that sound easily drowns out the click I heard from the 3-second press.

It seems maybe there is a bit more going on with the 3-second press. I sure hope somebody with some actual knowledge can tell us what it is! ;-)

TickTock | 17 februari 2019

According to IngineerX:
"There are electric motors on each of the rear brake calipers that can mechanically apply the rear brakes when you engage P. If it's already applied, the second push-hold just tries to tighten it, but nothing will happen except a small noise."

Found here:

jimglas | 17 februari 2019

What parking break?

ODWms | 17 februari 2019

It’s when you’ve been parking for a long time, and then you stop for awhile.

detayls | 17 februari 2019


lilbean | 17 februari 2019

MRNot01 | February 14, 2019
*Ugh! I said, "break." I QUITE!

Oops, not quite! :o)

firebay2001 | 17 februari 2019

The delivery adviser for our M3 showed us the parking brake. I agree that there is another mechanical sound when the button is held down. The reasoning and working of it was not explained or when we should use it.

billlake2000 | 17 februari 2019

Probably shouldn't use it while tooling along at 85 mph. Just a guess.

DanFoster1 | 18 februari 2019

OP please delete this entire thread—the quantity and quality of misinformation is astounding.

lilbean | 18 februari 2019

Haven’t seen OP. He must be on a brake.

Resist | 18 februari 2019

So why isn't pressing and holding the stalk button parking break included in the owners manual? Shouldn't this be something we should know as an owner?

Mike UpNorth | 18 februari 2019

I think 50% of this car isn't in the owners manual....IMO.

Mostly in a fun way :)