It's never a bad idea to set your parking brake, especially if you drive a car with a manual transmission. If you drive an automatic it's not necessary unless you are parking on a hill. Then you should always set the parking brake prior to putting your car in park. This takes some of the weight off the parking pawl on the transmission and prevents damage. That big clunk that you hear when you shift your car into reverse or drive after sitting on a hill, that's not a good sound and over time will wear out your parking pawl and eventually it could break.
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