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  #1  
Old 06-22-2011, 01:31 AM
Lothario80 Lothario80 is offline
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Default Hill Start Assist 101

Hi Guys,

Remember a while back discussing what and how this modern day miracle called "Hill Start Assist" works. Well today, I experienced it first hand and thought I'd share my experience - and hopfully avoid others from freaking out as I did

On my daily commute home and traffic being a real nightmare, I was stopped on a fairly steep uphill slope coming out of downtown from under a railway bridge. While I am not good at "grades" I can't comment to how steep the hill was but I do know for a fact that the hill start assist did kick in...

Coming to a stop and facing nose up hill I pressed down on the breaks as one normally would. This time however I felt the pedal to be quite different. Once stopped I pushed a bit further on the pedal expecting some resistance and we all should feel.

This time however the pedal went all the way to the floor like as if the breaks had failed. At this point I was just about pooping the so called shorts. "Great, Downtown, Rush Hour, No Breaks!"

As I reluctantly moved my foot from the pedal I felt really no pressure but the pedal came back. I pushed down again and it was absolutely ROCK solid no play whatsoever. I completely removed my foot the pedal and it came all the way back up and the truck didn't move at all! I then tried to push on the pedal again and it was like a brick all the way at the top.

With my foot on the break (still rock solid) I pushed on the Happy Stick and what do you know - the breaks released and it lurched forward pedal back to normal feel. I will note that I didn't test to see how long the breaks would hold in this condition since traffic was bumper to bumper and rolling back in to another car was really out of the question.

So to prove out any failures I went around the block and stopped in almost the exact same spot and it happened again. What a relief and the rest of the drive home the breaks were perfect as they always were.

So for all you folks wondering what it was Hill Start Assist is all about; if you can imagine being on a hill with a MUSH break pedal that comes back up and then is hard as a rock - you've sucessfully engaged this modern vehicular option miracle.

Hopefully I've helped some folks avoid "touching cloth" as I did

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  #2  
Old 06-22-2011, 07:34 AM
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I think you better get your brakes checked.

Hill start assist does not normally allow your pedal to go to the floor, nor does it require you to do anything different (like pumping the brakes or having to apply the brakes more than once). A brake pedal going all the way to the floor is NOT NORMAL under any conditions.

You have a problem that needs to be corrected ASAP.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:14 AM
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The brake pedal going to the floor is not right.
As I pull heavy trailers often, I am very familiar with the hill start assist operation, and I never feel anything different in the brake pedal, nor do I do anything to engage it. It even applies on completely flat ground.
Explain you experience to the dealer.....I'm sure they will expeditious about getting it in for a look see.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:05 AM
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I don't think it is set to on in my truck, i roll back all the time, but i'm used to it, i have had a CDL since about 1973
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:34 PM
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Grabbed this off another forum since I don't have the truck here.

"Check page 352 of your owners manual.


Hill Start Assist (HSA)
The HSA system is designed to assist the driver in
launching a vehicle on an incline. HSA will maintain the
level of brake pressure the driver inputs for a short
duration once the driver takes his foot off of the brake
pedal. If the driver does not apply the throttle during this
short duration, the system will release brake pressure
and the vehicle will roll down the incline. The system will
release brake pressure in proportion to the amount of
throttle applied.
During operation, HSA will activate the brake control
system and a clicking noise may occur. If your foot is on
the brake pedal during operation you may feel a slight
pedal movement. The clicking and pedal movement is
normal and both will stop when HSA becomes inactive."
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:31 PM
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When my HSA engages I can hear and feel it click but Ive never had my brake pedal go mush or hit the floor.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:32 PM
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That click freaked me out the first time it happened. Once I read the manual, it put my mind at ease though.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:37 PM
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Hmmm, well then... I've been told But it did do it again in the exact same place! Didn't blow any lines or leak any fluids and the breaks are still operating normally otherwise. I'll test again on my way home today but I have no other explanation... Air Bubble in the line?
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:03 PM
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Well I had the chance to try the Hill Assist today and it worked. Before today I didn't even know I had it; there are not that many hills on Long island steep enough for it to engage. It held the truck for about 2 seconds before it let go.

Now I didn't have quite the experience of the OP but it did feel different. The pedal felt firmer than it usually does with the same about of pressure and then it felt almost as if the pedal wasn't coming back up. As soon as the Hill Assist disengaged the pedal felt normal again. I did this test a few times with similar results whether I used the gas pedal or let is disengage by itself.

While not the exact experience of the OP I could see how this could seem similar if you weren't aware of what was happening at the time. On the flip side it is subtle and if you weren't looking for it it would be easy to miss the difference as well. It's possible (and more than likely based on my travels) the Hill Assist has engaged before but I didn't know it. I had the benefit of reading this thread and knowing how the system worked before I went looking for it.
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Last edited by highlandchef; 06-22-2011 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:22 AM
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too bad it didnt work as line lock
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