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I have two thoughts on this topic and you can take them with a grain of salt if you wish. Until I bought my current car I always left my car in gear, usually reverse. Then I bought my current car, a 1988 BMW M3 (it's actually my fun car). I was told that leaving that car in gear could cause too much tension or too much slack in the chain and that when I started it there was the risk of the the chain jumping a link on the sprocket, which would not be a good thing. Also, the chain would rattle until the tensioner had enough oil pressure to do its job. Also, me M3 will start with the clutch disengaged and every once in a blue moon I forget... I know the Mz3 is an entirely different car and newer technology but when I get mine I am not going to leave it in gear since it is chain driven (IIRC). Assuming you have a good parking brake I do not see the point in leaving it in gear.

Another thought is if the car is hit with it in gear it is possible to cause internal damage that may not be immediately apparent and would be difficult to prove that it was the result of being hit.

FWIW, YMMV
 

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re: pARKING pOSITION.

"Parking Brake
A habit that one needs to get used to is always to set the parking brake when parking, especially on hills. Unlike automatics, there is no locked parking position with a manual transmission, only the internal friction of the non-running motor. Make sure you set the parking brake first and let up on the brakes to make sure it is engaged fully, then leave the gearshift in reverse or 1st."
http://www.standardshift.com/faq.html

very similar here:

"Shutting Down And Parking The Car
Stop and park the car. Hold the clutch on the floor and the foot brake.
Set the parking brake. It is very important to always leave a manual shift car with the parking brake engaged. There is no "park" in a standard gearshift. If you don't set the parking brake, there will be nothing holding the car in one place.
Switch off the engine.
Release the clutch.
Release the foot brake. It's important to release the foot brake last, especially if you're parking the car on a hill.
Leave the car in 1st. gear. If you leave the car in gear, it acts like "park" in an automatic car. The engine becomes engaged to the wheels and the car can not move. You should always use the parking brake anyway, even if you do leave the car in gear. Don't leave the car in neutral unless the road surface is level. On an incline leave the car in 1st. gear for uphills, and reverse gear for downhills. Don't leave the car in any other gear. Remember to place the car in neutral when starting the engine."
http://cssdrivertraining.com/manualprimer.htm

another site... similar again:

Remember the parking brake

"It is important to note that the emergency brake is very important when parking a stick shift car, because there exists no "park" gear to keep the car from rolling. Some rely only on the pull-up emergency brake, usually sufficient in most situations. But for extra safety, leave the car in gear AND use the emergency brake."
http://www2.stlu.com/static_html/le...t.asp?ugid=K3PALTEQS4S79UQ&pid=556&navbar=yes
 

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I always put my car in 1st or reverse when I drove a manual. Even on flat ground, just doesn't seem safe to put in in neutral to park. That made me actually come up with a question. If it's ok to put a manual in neutral to park with parking brake on of course, why don't people with automatic's park in neutral with the parking brake on ;)? Seriously though, I am going to be thinking about this all day now...
 

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I had mine roll out of a friends driveway last night. Just had teh parking brake set, but not in gear. It was a steeper driveway, but I thought the parking brake could handle it. It was the scaryist thing seeing my car parked in the middle of the street! I'm leaving it in gear too from now on.
 

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Umm...

csweeney said:
If it's ok to put a manual in neutral to park with parking brake on of course, why don't people with automatic's park in neutral with the parking brake on ;)?
Because if you leave your automatic transimission car in netural, you cannot take the car keys out. It's as simple as that.
 
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