The parking brake ….and other pedals
The purpose of the parking brake is to keep the motor vehicle in place while parked. “This brake can also be used in an emergency if the foot brake fails,” says Kurt Harding, an experienced St Andrew-based auto mechanic. In some cars, the parking brake pedal is located on the far left. It is engaged by pushing down on the pedal. To release the parking brake, one should pull the lever on the left side under the instrument panel. In other vehicles, it is in the centre console of the driver. The parking brake is set by pulling up and releasing the button at the tip of the handle and lowering the lever.
The foot-brake pedal is an essential aspect of the driving process. Pushing down on the foot-brake pedal causes the motor car to slow or stop. Pushing this pedal down also activates the brake lights in the back of the car. By this automatic action, the drivers behind you know your intention is to stop. By tapping the pedal lightly, the brake lights will flash without actually slowing the car. Power brakes reduce the physical effort a driver must make to stop the car, but they do not necessarily shorten the distance needed to stop.
The accelerator pedal is located to the far right of the foot brake pedal. The accelerator controls the speed of the motor car by regulating the flow of fuel and air to the engine. Pushing this pedal down increases speed while releasing it slows down the car. “The accelerator pedal also activates the automatic choke, which controls the amount of air to the carburetor during starting,” says Chamicka Brown, car enthusiast. “I try to understand the operation of a vehicle for my own growth and becoming a defensive driver,” Brown adds.
It must be remembered that a closed choke reduces the amount of air to the carburetor. Less air and more gasolene make starting the car easier when the engine is cold. To close the choke, press the accelerator to the floor once, then release it before starting the engine. After warming the engine, you can tap the accelerator to open the choke and thus reduce engine speed.
The clutch pedal, in a stick shift motor car, is to the left of the foot-brake pedal. Pressing this pedal down before shifting gears keeps you from grinding the gears.