Hill Start Assist: My Car Does What

Hill Start Assist

Helps prevent roll-back when starting up again from a stopped position on an incline.

What It Does: Assists in keeping a car from rolling backward when stopped on a hill.

What It Does Not Do: Manage a car’s speed going up a hill.

Quick Guide

1

STOP ON A SLOPE

Come to a complete stop on an incline, such as a hill.

2

HOLD THE BRAKE

Continue to hold the brake as you remain stopped.

3

SWITCH PEDALS

Hill start assist holds the brake for you while you switch your foot away from the brake pedal to begin driving again.

How it works

WHAT IT DOES

This feature can prevent rollback on an incline by holding the brakes while you switch between the brake and acceleration pedals. Some versions can also prevent your car from rolling forward on a decline.

THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND IT

Sensors in the vehicle are used to detect when a vehicle is on an incline. The hill start assist maintains the brake pressure for a set period of time as you switch from the brakes to the gas pedal. Once you press the accelerator, it releases the brake.  In cars with manual transmission that have this feature, the hill start assist will also maintain brake pressure until the driver lets up on the clutch.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

Continue to approach and drive up includes such as hills as you normally would. When stopping on an incline, such as at a stop light, hold the brake using the same pressure as you normally would. As you shift your foot away from the brake pedal momentarily, the car should remain stopped instead of rolling back slightly.

TIPS FOR USING

  • Hill start assist does not increase your traction, it just prevents you from rolling backwards (or in some cases, forwards if you are pointing down hills and are backing up).
  • When stopped, be sure to remain aware your surroundings.

Question & Answers

Does hill start assist allow me to drive up any hill now, regardless of how steep it is?

Unfortunately, no. Hill start assist is not intended to function on a hill or other incline that is so steep that you wouldn’t be able to brake on it normally.

Also, certain road surface conditions can also prevent hill start assist from stopping the vehicle on an incline; these include snowy and icy driving conditions where the car may slide once the brake is engaged.

Is this feature available on vehicles with manual transmission vehicles?

There are some vehicles today with manual transmission that also offer hill start assist.

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