Hill start assist is a feature in modern cars that helps drivers start their car on an incline without rolling back, and a hill holder helps in that case. However, sometimes drivers may see an error message that says, “Hill start assist not available.” This can be frustrating and dangerous, especially when driving on a steep hill.
The “hill start assist not available” warning message can be caused by many reasons, such as a random error, faulty anti-lock braking system sensor, dead or corroded battery terminal, need for battery monitor system reset, brake and balance issue, Problem from Transmission Control Module, ABS module software glitch, Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control off and Broken brake light fuse.
What Is Hill Start Assist, and How Does It Work?
Hill start assist is a feature in modern cars that helps drivers to start their cars easily on an uphill slope without rolling back or stalling the engine. It works by automatically applying the brakes for a few seconds when the driver releases the brake pedal and before pressing the accelerator.
This gives the driver enough time to move their foot from the brake to the accelerator pedal without the car rolling back. Once the driver presses the accelerator, the brakes release and the car move forward.
Hill start assist is particularly useful for drivers living in hilly areas or those learning to drive a manual transmission.
Causes of Hill Start Assist Not Available
1. Random error
This error or message is common for Ford users and may pop up while driving out of the garage with the hood open or if the start button is held down for too long. To troubleshoot, verify if the issue comes from random faults, then check if the start button was held down for too long. Release the button and restart the Ford.
2. Faulty anti-lock braking system (ABS) sensor
The Ford Escape Hill Start Assist error will pop up if the ABS sensor is faulty. The sensor needs to be replaced to resolve the issue.
3. Dead or corroded battery terminal
If the battery in the Ford Escape has become dead or loses its charge quickly, it’s time to replace the old battery or clean the corroded battery terminal.
4. Need for Battery Monitor System (BMS) reset
When a new battery is put on the car, it is essential to reset the battery monitor system (BMS) on the Ford Escape. Otherwise, the error message will still pop up.
5. Brake and balance issue
The brake and balance issue are mainly caused when one side of the braking pair fails to apply as much power as the other side. Contact qualified and skilled mechanics to fix the imbalanced brake issue.
6. Problem from Transmission Control Module (TCM)
The Hill Start Assist problem may relate to the Transmission Control Module (TCM), an electronic component that controls modern Automotive Transmissions. If the component goes bad, it can cause the hill start assist not available error.
7. ABS module software glitch
Updating the ABS module software to the latest version will resolve the error.
8. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control (TC) off
Check if the ESC and TC are turned off. The Hill Start Assist system will not work if these systems are inactive.
9. Broken brake light fuse
If all other troubleshooting methods cannot prove well, there’s a possibility that the fuse of the brake lights isn’t working. Check and replace the broken brake light fuse.
What should you do?
I have discussed all the problems that could cause the “hill start assist not available” warning message on your car while climbing a hill road or just taking a turn. The best way to diagnose the issue is by scanning your car with an OBD scanner to find the exact problem. After that, you can have a software update on your car, as your vehicle’s software might need to be updated.
Let’s now discuss the immediate solution: attempt resetting the system by pushing and holding the brake pedal, followed by three quick presses and releases of the accelerator pedal.
Release the brake pedal and gradually depress the accelerator to pull away from the stop. This should activate the Hill Start Assist function. It is advised to send your car to a certified mechanic for additional inspection and repair, nevertheless, if the problem continues.
The “hill start assist not available” warning message can be caused by various issues such as a random error, faulty anti-lock braking system sensor, dead or corroded battery terminal, need for battery monitor system reset, brake and balance issue, problem from Transmission Control Module, ABS module software glitch, Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control off, and broken brake light fuse.
The best way to diagnose the issue is by scanning the car with an OBD scanner to find the exact problem. Resetting the system by pushing and holding the brake pedal, followed by three quick presses and releases of the accelerator pedal, may help activate the Hill Start Assist function. It is advisable to send the car to a certified mechanic for additional inspection and repair if the problem persists.