Have you ever turned on your car and got the warning, “Hill start assist not available?” Sometimes, a sign accompanies this warning with a display beneath the fuel and temperature Gauge. When you see this warning, the first thing that comes to your mind is discovering what this means.
The warning “Hill Start Assist not available” could result from a fault in your anti-lock Breaking system. The problem could also be from your Transmission control module. To be sure of the exact problem, you have to find out what code it is.
The Hill start assist in vehicles might seem unimportant but, this feature is present in cars for a reason. In this article, we shall take a comprehensive look at the Hill start assist, how it functions and how to use it.
What Is Hill Start Assist?
Hill Start assist is a car feature that stops your car from rolling down an inclined slope. In other words, when a vehicle comes to a stop on a hill, it prevents the car from moving backward. This assist is valuable when starting up from a halted position on an incline since it helps to prevent rollback.
Without this technique, it becomes dangerous to find yourself going up a slope or stuck on one. Instead of staying at a point, the car begins to roll backward and is hazardous for you and any other person within your driving range. Several car manufacturers include this technique as an accident prevention mode.
While on a downhill slope, some versions of the software can prevent your vehicle from rolling forward. On the other hand, it does not control the speed of an automobile as it climbs a slope.
Th Hill Start Assist works with the sensors in your car. These sensors detect when a vehicle is traveling up an incline. With the hill start assist, you can maintain brake pressure for a predetermined amount of time while you transition from the brakes to the gas pedal.
When you press the acceleration pedal, the brake is released automatically. The Hill Start Assist feature will retain the brake pressure in cars with manual gearboxes until the driver releases the clutch pedal completely.
The Best Way To You Use the Hill Start Assist Feature?
From observations, this feature is only helpful on slopes like hilly ground and not on flat surfaces. So, you get ready to use it as you approach a hill. Continue to approach and drive up against obstacles.
When coming to a stop on an elevation, such as at a traffic signal, apply the usual pressure to the brake pedal you usually should. Keep your foot on the brake as long as you’re at a complete stop. Whenever you lift your foot off the brake pedal for a short period, the automobile should remain still rather than rolling backwards slightly in its tracks.
Instead of improving your traction, the hill start aid prevents you from rolling backward. In some cases, it prevents you from going forward if you are pointing downhill and backing up.
Ensure that this feature is active before you attempt to drive up or down an incline. With this, you should avoid several road disasters that could come with stopping on a hill.
When My Car Says Hill Start Assist Not Available, What Does It Mean?
Usually, this feature should signify that your Hill Start Assist is unavailable if the software is not active as you approach a hill. However, there have been several cases where turning on your car enables the warning. In this case, you might discover that the ESP and airbag lights are on while your screen displays “Hill start assist not available.”
This warning then becomes a thing of concern when it starts appearing frequently. When this occurs, you have to run several Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) to find out the exact problem. Below are some DTC codes for Fords and what they mean.
- U0100: Communication with ECM/PCM “A” code has been lost. There might also be an issue with the CAN bus wiring, which would cause communications to be disrupted.
- U0151: This code signifies a loss of communication with the Restraints Control (RCM) Module. This indicates that the vehicle’s Restraints Control (RCM) Module and other control modules are not communicating. Controller Area Network bus communications, or simply put, CAN bus, is the most common circuit this feature communicates with.
- U0415: This indicates that the ABS Control Module Received Invalid Data. The UO415 code is set when the TCM fails to receive the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) Control Module message within a particular period.
- B0061: Seatbelt Tension Sensor for Passengers (Subfault).
- U0452: This signifies that Data from the Restraints Control Module is invalid.
Despite the advice that you can probably fix the car yourself, it is best to leave this problem for a professional. So, if you notice a persistent unnecessary warning from your vehicle, go back to the dealer. The car’s manufacturers understand the car better and will do a better job fixing the problem.
How Do I Turn on Hill Assist?
The HLA has two modes of operation: automated and manual. The HLA triggers when the car is on a slope and you hit the brake pedal while in automatic mode. If you choose manual mode, you must use the brake pedal to activate the HLA.
To change the HLA mode, follow these steps:
- To access the main menu, click the right arrow button on the car’s menu. It will bring up an option to select Hill Launch.
- Select the option you want and press the OK button to confirm the adjustment. If you choose Off, the HLA will turn off and not activate itself automatically or manually.
- To exit the menu, press the left arrow button. To return to the trip computer display, click on the left button.
Note that when HLA is in manual mode, you should only use it when driving on greater than 3 percent gradients.