Hill start assist is kinda cool

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by randallintacoma, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. randallintacoma

    randallintacoma New Member

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    I know there have been other threads about the hill start assist feature on the Prius, but those seem to be asking questions like can you use it in reverse and other issues. I didn't see a thread on just how cool this feature is.

    I have need to drive in downtown Tacoma and downtown Seattle a lot. Both are hilly places- particularly Seattle- and holding your car in place during a red light and during the extremely lengthy time that pedestrians in Seattle take to cross the street can be a challenge. My Camry Hybrid did not have this feature and I always hated the gas and brake juggle, it just seemed like it had to be hard on the car. I finally found myself doing what I could to traverse the hills rather than climb them just to minimize hill side holds.

    Now here comes my Prius with another feature I didn't know it had. Hill start assist is intuitive to use and works very well. Toyota warns in the manual not to become too dependent on it or use it on icy hills, but I am sure that was written by the lawyers. Common sense would tell you that stopping on an icy hill would take more than hill start assist can give.

    I have owned my Prius for a month now and I love that I am still finding pleasant surprises. Is hill start assist a new Prius feature or has it been around a while?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it's not on my 08, so it must be new on genIII. can you expound a bit? i have no trouble holding my prius or hycam on hills. sounds like my old manual tranny!:cool:
     
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    It's a new feature first introduced in the Toyota lineup in the 4Runner back in 2004. It has since expanded to most new models. It's mostly a convenience feature so that you don't have to do the brake/accelerator juggle (or use the handbrake/footbrake).
     
  4. hsiaolc

    hsiaolc New Member

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    It is a very cool and handy feature. I used it a lot when at traffic on a very steep hill and gives me a very big confidence of the car not rolling backwards.

    Very neat and nice feature. It comes with all Gen3 Prius.
     
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    This feature was on a manual transmission Subaru that my wife test-drove two decades ago, and it wasn't new then. It is missing from later and larger MT Subarus, such as my '97, but is present on recent AT Outbacks that I've driven for events.

    I haven't used this feature on my Prius. Having gone MT-only a quarter century ago, until joining the HSD world, hill starts on cars that easily roll back are now deeply ingrained in the reflexes. Even in the hilly portions of Seattle.
     
  6. vday

    vday Member

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    Can someone remind me how this is done?
     
  7. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Press the brake pedal very firmly until it beeps and the indicator lights up. Remove foot from brake pedal and place on accelerator pedal. About 2 seconds later you will here another beep and the brakes are released.
     
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  8. Retsyn

    Retsyn New Member

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    Forester has had it on the MT since 2004. I think the legacy got it 2006-ish. It's fully integrated (you don't need to mash the brake or anything). If you're stopped on a hill and you engage the clutch, it will hold till you move forward. Very well done actually.
     
  9. randallintacoma

    randallintacoma New Member

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    Page 243 of the owners manual for specifics, but after the car is stopped, press further on the brake pedal until there is a beep and an indicator starts flashing on the instrumental panel. When you remove your foot from the brake, the brakes will remain engaged for 2 seconds, giving you plenty of time to move your foot to the gas pedal.
     
  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    It is fully integrated on the Prius as well, but the Prius has no clutch. The system needs some way to know when to use it, hence the brake press activation.

    Tom
     
  11. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I thought this was how the AT Outbacks handled it too.
     
  12. jburns

    jburns Senior Senior Member

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    Not sure what you are saying here. What would hill start assist have to do with stopping, icy or not?
     
  13. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Could be. I owned a manual Subaru, but have never driven one with an AT.

    Tom
     
  14. randallintacoma

    randallintacoma New Member

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    Just repeating the users manual warning that "hill start assist may not operate effectively...on roads covered with ice" and then adding my own words that I would hope common sense would tell a driver that more care was needed in that circumstance. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
     
  15. vday

    vday Member

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    I tried it and it works nicely even though I really don't need it too often
    Thanks for the assistance.
    Danny
     
  16. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    The second-gen has it too, but not as any specifically-triggered
    mode. It simply didn't allow the main motor to turn backwards
    other than very very slowly when the car is in "D". No funny
    games with the brake pedal needed. Makes much more sense than
    the way they did it in the genIII, and a lot of you newer 2010+
    owners will probably never experience it being done the right way.
    .
    _H*
     
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  17. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Err what? The Gen 2 doesn't have HSA. I know, because I tried it on the 2005 when it was new because I thought it had it (The marketing material said it did) but it doesn't. What the marketing material meant to say (and what you're saying) is that the motor has a built-in creep function to mimic and automatic transmission.

    HSA in the common sense/knowledge is the use of computers to hold the brakes for 0.8-2 seconds (depending on manufacturer) to allow time for the driver to move the foot from the brake pedal to the accelerator.

    My smart's HSA is fully automatic (I don't have to fully depress the brake pedal like I do on Toyotas).
     
  18. Radiant

    Radiant New Member

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    I like HSA. It really helps on the hills, having driven many a car that rolls back on the hills, I really appreaciate the feature.
     
  19. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    The Gen II has a hill holder. It's not the same hill holder as on the Gen III, but an extension of the automatic creep that you describe. Just as hobbit stated, the Gen II uses the creep to keep the car from rolling backward downhill, or at least limits the speed of the backward roll. It's more aggressive than the normal creep feature, so some sort of feedback is being used to regulate the amount of holding power on a hill.

    Tom
     
  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Well I'm not willing to debate on the technicalities :D. It's just that to me, a hill start assist system is one that holds the brakes regardless of manufacturer.
     
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