A reader named Andy recently wrote in with a tip about the “hill-start assist control” on the new Highlander. According to the owner’s manual:
Hill-start assist control: Prevents the vehicle from rolling backward when starting on an incline or slippery slope.
Great, but how does it actually work? The manually says that it operates “automatically,” similar to the anti-lock brake system (ABS), but that’s not what Andy experienced when he needed the HSA system to kick in.
In his e-mail, he described his experience:
“I was on a steep grade coming out of a parking garage and had to wait on the hill for the car in front of me to exit the parking garage. As happens with every car, it started to roll back when I took my foot off the brake. It was a race to engage the accelerator since the car in back of me was only a few feet behind me! I was surprised, because I knew the car had hill start assist – but it didn’t work for me!”
When he had a spare moment, he checked the manual and found what I stated above — it’s supposed to operate automatically. But it didn’t. The solution?
“You may already know this, but the way you use it is to press on the brake way firmer than you currently are. A little display comes up on the screen in front of you, telling you that HSA is engaged. Now you can take your foot off the brake and the car won’t roll back. It is only disengaged when you press on the accelerator pedal.”
No, I actually didn’t know that. And I’d be willing to bet that many readers didn’t, either. Thanks to Andy for taking the time to share!
If you have any similar tips, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’m always looking for new and better ways to make the most of our Highlander. 🙂