Can ‘playing’ with your parked car lead to damage?

We just got used to it. When we were younger, we watched our parents drive that it has become so fascinating that we want to pretend that we are driving.

man in black long sleeve shirt standing beside man in white long sleeve shirt

So, we touched on the switches, the controls, or anything that were reachable that makes pretend driving a reality. Of course, we got caught not just once. As we grew older, somehow toying with our automobiles stuck in our mind. A lot of the systems in your vehicle are moved by electrical components. However, if it is off, will it damage the car?

  • Ignition.

    • The on and off routine is not a good idea because it is actually draining your battery, which eventually will have a bad effect on your vehicle.
  • Brake.

    • The clickety-clack cranking noise of handbrake going up can be bothersome, but to some kids and adults, it is amusing. Pulling it strongly could expand the cable and could result to a loose and useless handbrake.
  • Brake pedal.

    • Toying with it when the vehicle is not in motion, eventually, you will notice that the pedal is getting harder. In today’s hydraulic braking systems, a vacuum helps so that you won’t exert so much effort. If you press down four times, or several more times, this will result to a tough brake pedal.
  • Accelerator pedal.

    • If you have the current electronically fuel-injected vehicle parked and pushes down the accelerator pedal, no damage will occur. This kind of vehicle has a fuel system that is restrained by its engine electronics so if the engine is not running, nothing will happen.
    • This is not the same with a more aged carburetor-equipped cars that operates with gasoline. When you press the accelerator pedal, a little of the fuel reserve goes in the carburetor. If you keep on doing it, this will cause the engine to drown. Starting your vehicle will surely be hard.
  • Clutch pedal.

    • You will surely damage the clutch if you continue to toy with it. Of course, there are other factors like changing gears when you are driving, but that is part of wear and tear.
  • Gearshift.

    • The automatic ones are controlled electronically so when the car is off then it will not be affected if you toy with it. For manual gearshifts, nothing will happen as well. Even if you play with it, there is real damage. But of course, it is smart not to as the clip-on shift knobs can just come off.
  • Steering wheel.

    • When you are driving, turning your wheel will require a lot of psi from the pump. Now, when you do the same while car is not in motion, it will demand twice as much pressure. If your car has the electric steering pumps, steering the wheel may cause momentary overheating of the assist motor.
    • Point of clarification, we are talking about cars with its engine off. The problem that may arise when toying the steering wheel is that a small patch of rubber can easily wear off when you play with it.


Chaney’s Collision Center can help you with your car concern. If you have any questions, just call Chaney’s Collision Center at (623) 915-2886. Chaney’s Collision Center has skilled technicians to check with your car. Plus, Chaney’s Collision Center has been around since 1977 so you are guaranteed of having the best of the best!