Hill Start Assist Not Available: How to Fix

It’s midday with subzero humidity. It’s below -40 percent and you have to take the 48-mile drive from Silverton to Claude. It can be exhilarating and tiring driving on steep topographies and inclined terrains. Not without the Hill Start Assist. These unfavorable weather and poor road conditions work against uphill driving. It implies that you must have quality control over your vehicle.

What if the hill hold control is not available? Then, here’s what you can do to fix the hill start assist not available. First off, let me tell you how this feature can become dysfunctional.

What is Hill Start Assist and How Does it Work?

Hill start assist is one of the features in your vehicle that self-activates. They help prevent a hill-climbing car from rolling back. As you drive uphill, there is a chance that the car might roll back when you step your foot on the brake pedal.

Automakers integrate the hill start assist feature into the car to stop the rollback. The feature automatically turns on each time you step on and release the brakes. When you pull your foot off the brake pedal, the hill start assist will help hold the brake pressure.

This temporary pressure holding ensures that the car drives off and doesn’t roll back. When you press the accelerator, the brake will release, supporting the car from a nosedive.

How the Hill Start Assist Gets Deactivated

I think the starting point will be to explain a few things about why the hill assist feature turned unavailable. You may not find out which of the reasons causes the Hill start assist to turn off.

Faulty Hill start sensor

The thing that could trigger the device to deactivate is a defective Hill Start Assist sensor. One of the sensors can malfunction, prompting the feature to pop up notifications. Besides, the issue will cause a code   

OBD Port data reader

Hill start assist will turn off if it features a data reader in your car’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port. The OBD port self-tests and monitors vehicle diagnostic issues and general activities. Once hill start assist possesses a data reader in the port, it’ll stop working. 

Blown Brake Light Fuse

Another reason the hill start assist may turn may not be available is the broken fuse of your car brake lights. When the hill start assist activates itself, the brakes receive pressure. Hence, it causes the brake light to turn on. However, damage to any part of the braking system, including a blown brake fuse, will cause an automatic deactivation of the hill start assist.

Gear in reverse or drive

Hill start assist will also not automatically activate if your gear pedal is in ‘reverse’ when driving uphill. It’ll also not work if the gear is in ‘drive’ when descending downhill.

How to Fix Hill Start Assist Not Available

Now that you know why your vehicle hill start assist won’t work, let me explain the tricks to easily reactivate a non-available hill start assists. This way, you can have a smooth ride uphill and downhill.

Reset ECU memory

I won’t recommend a DIY fix in this instance because software issues like this require some level of expertise. Hence, drive to an auto service center and let a certified technician help you. Essentially, the mechanic will reboot the entire system by resetting the steering-bound Electronic Control Unit of the car. Once done, the hill hold control is sure to reactivate and start working again.

Intermittently Turn off and on the engine

Another trick that works to reactivate hill start assist is restarting the car. By switching off and on your car engine, you’d have reset the entire system of the car, including the hill start assist feature. When you turn off the engine, you can allow it to rest for a few minutes before restarting.  

Turn off the hill start assist

The final technique that will help you overcome unavailable hill start assist is turning off the feature itself. You should take this step only when it seems the other methods aren’t responding. The truth is that this method doesn’t guarantee a fix. Besides, it’s not the best idea if you’re driving uphill.


Are all cars equipped with Hill Start Assist?

Except for old models, almost all modern cars are designed with the hill start assist feature. However, there are some automakers popular for equipping their auto products with this feature. They include Tata Nexon, Honda, Volkswagen Taigun, Mahindra Thar, Kia Seltos, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, and more. Even if your car doesn’t come with hill hold control, you can ask technicians at an auto service center to work it into your car.

How long does hill assist hold the car?

On average, the hill hold assist will hold your car’s braking system for at least 3 seconds. It doesn’t matter if you release your foot from the brake pedal.

Who can use the hill holder?

Any car owner or driver can use the hill hold control provided they drive uphill or down the slope. However, the technology is specifically designed to target beginner drivers who have little experience in driving along hills. Since the technology automatically activates itself, you won’t need a lot of skills to operate it. However, veteran drivers aren’t insulated from a car crash. After all, the hill-holding device is designed to help prevent or reduce the impact of an auto crash. Who wouldn’t want safety?

Final Thoughts

Driving up a slope comes with severe inconveniences. The hill start assist comes in handy to put you in a firm grip on your car to be able to navigate the hilly terrains. If you’re wary of driving with the Hill Start assist not available, I am sure this article has offered insight. You shouldn’t be worried if the device deactivates when you need it most. You can re-launch the Hill start assist feature on your car. Enjoy your up-sloppy ride.