How does Hill Start Assist work?
The subject of this week’s How’s This Work is found in a multitude of vehicles from a wide array of manufacturers, but it is mostly found in utility vehicles and trucks and other large vehicles that will often have heavy loads attached to them: hill start assist. Much like last week’s look at VSA, HSA is a safety technology meant to help your vehicle do what it’s meant to do.
[ LAST WEEK: What is Vehicle Stability Assist? ]
What is Hill Start Assist?
Steep slopes are generally the scariest terrain you can encounter when behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle, or hauling a heavy load. HSA, or Hill Start Assist, and its counterpart Downhill Assist Control, are meant to make these steep slopes more manageable and much less scary.
When a heavy vehicle tries to climb a steep slope suddenly, or a slope covered in rain, sleet, snow or other poor weather conditions, the vehicle can begin to slip backwards. The same can be said for the way down a steep slope as well. Hill Start Assist was designed to make sure you maintain control and to keep your vehicle from sliding back down the hill.
How does it do that? By taking over the control of how much pressure is applied to your brake fluid and when. Picture this: you have come to a stop on a steep incline, and it’s time to go again. In order to apply pressure to the gas, you have to remove pressure from the brakes. There could be up to a 2-second pause where you’re not applying pressure to the brake or gas, and on a hill that means you could begin rolling backwards. Hill Start Assist is there to prevent this from ever happening.
The short video below gives you a more visual idea of what Hill Start Assist does and how it works. If you’re interested in finding out which of our Honda vehicles come with Hill Start Assist installed, feel free to give us a call and we’ll find the right vehicle for you.