How To Fix Hill Start Assist Not Available?

Hill start assist system help start a car on very steep inclines, but can disappear due to software or internal issue. Though you can keep driving with hill start assist not available light, fixing the problem increase safety and prevent the car from rolling back on inclines.

So, how to fix hill start assist not available problem? You can fix this error massage easily and quickly by resetting or upgrading the software if it’s caused randomly or due to software issues. But if your car showing this error massage due to damaged rear-wheel ABS sensors, broken brake light fuse, faulty ESC or TC, or battery you’ll need an expert’s help. Let’s get the details

Causes of Hill Start Assist not Available 

Hill start to assist and hold the brake for a few seconds once a driver removes their foot from the accelerator. This feature engages after parking the car at an incline.

Owners shared their experience of hill start assist not an available issue on numerous pages of registered NHTSA. Most of them confirm that this error message comes on due bad battery, faulty fuel injector, and misaligned radar.

However, the hill start assist not available message may pop up occasionally when you are driving on uneven or lose ground on start up. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong. After appearing once or twice, this massage should disappear automatically. If not, these problems can be the culprit:

1. Damaged Rear Wheel ABS Sensors

If your car’s rear-wheel ABS sensor is fired or burnt, it can activate the ABS and hill start assist not available light on the dashboard. The car may also show OBD codes on the display. In this case, you have to replace the sensor to disappear the hill start failure message.

Damaged Rear-Wheel ABS Sensors

2. Broken Brake Light Fuse

A broken brake light fuse can also trigger this error message, particularly on Ford edge cars. The brake light of Ford is connected to its hill start assist system. So if the brake light malfunction, your ford can activate the “hill start assist not available” light. To fix this issue, you have to repair or replace the brake light circuit issue.

Broken Brake Light Fuse

3. Random Error

Ford vehicle sometimes shows error massage, codes, and lights randomly. It may also show this HSA error light randomly. It can happen with both old and new vehicles that have driven only a few miles.

If you take the vehicle out of a garage with an open hood, keep the start button down for a long time, or have some function disabled, the error message can activate. The HSA light may also turn on mistakenly particularly if you have a child passenger or car wash partner.

4. Faulty ESC and TC

If your car’s electronic stability control (ESC) or traction control light (TCL) deactivates completely, the vehicle can turn on some other features including HSA. If so, you must take the aid of an expert mechanic.

Faulty ESC and TC

5. Bad Battery

If the battery voltage performance drop-down, it’ll affect the HSA system’s performance and disable it temporarily. If this massage turns on when you start the car and disappear after a few seconds, the bad battery can be the source of this issue. The car might not show other warning lights or any DTC codes. If so, recharge or replace the battery.

Bad Battery

6. Overheated Transmission

If you drive a vehicle in hot weather or heavy traffic, it can overheat the transmission. As a result, the hill start assists not available light may come on. However, it should disappear after cooling down the transmission.

Overheated Transmission

7. Driving Aat High Speed

The HSA system is designed to work at lower speeds like under 10 mph. so if you drive the car too fast, the system can disable and the car can show a warning light.

Driving at High Speed

How To Reset Hill Start Assist not Available Problem?

The process of fixing the HSA error message depends on the underlying problems. You can fix some issues at the home garage while others may need to hand over to the expert mechanic. Below are some potential solutions:

1. Use an OBD scanner

Use an onboard diagnostic (OBD) scanner to determine the actual issue. This device will read the error code that you’ll have to interpret to diagnose and solve the issue.

Use an OBD scanner

2. Perform a software update

You can update the car’s software and fix the HSA issue particularly if your vehicle is due for an update. Even it’s quite an easier solution than diagnosing the issue using an OBD scanner. Follow this procedure to update the software on your Ford vehicle.

3. Reset the Feature

If your car’s HSA system turns off and on frequently, simply reset the feature.

How To Reset Hill Start Assist Problem?

The HSA system prevents the car from rolling backward after starting the car from a stop. While noticing the hill start assist not available light is extremely hazardous, you can easily restore its functionality by simply resetting the system. The processes are:

How to Reset Hill Start Assist System
  • Park the vehicle and turn off the engine.
  • Place your left foot on the brake pedal, depress, and hold it for 30 seconds.
  • Restart the engine.
  • Release the brake pedal and you should receive a reset complete massage.
  • You should now drive the car normally.

If the message appears again, there can be a fault in the system that requires mechanical investigation. The massage should disappear automatically after solving the underlying issue.

Remember, the HSA feature work within various parameters including hill angle, vehicle speed, and voltage of the battery. So read the owner manual and talk to a qualified mechanic so you can utilize this safety system properly and avoid unwanted massage.

Cost of Fixing Hill Start Assist not Available Problem

If the resetting method doesn’t work, you must go through expensive repair or replacement. The most common part to replace to fix HSA is the fuel injector. It can cost around $1200 depending on the car’s brand and model.

Cost of Fixing Hill Start Assist not Available Problem

However, replacing faulty rear-wheel ABS sensors and broken brake light fuse is fairly cheaper. It’ll cost between $100 and $150 for rear-wheel ABS sensors and $30 to $75 for brake light fuse. Likewise, fixing damaged ESC and TC costs between $96 and $106 while replacement of a bad battery cost $45 to $250.

Can I Drive with Hill Start Assist Not Available?

You can drive your car with a deactivated hill start assist system as it isn’t a part of the engine. so driving without a hill start assist won’t hurt your driving experience. This feature helps prevents a car from rolling backward on the hill and is critical for driving on certain terrain that needs especial vehicle behavior.

But if you always drive on a flat road, the HSA feature isn’t essential for you. The HSA feature isn’t also the same as the hill descent control (HDC) system includes in some Ford models. The HDC helps a car to maintain a steady speed during driving on rough terrain or rough terrain. If this feature disappeared, a driver should need to be extra careful during driving downhill.

Automobile enthusiasts recommend fixing any error message or light appearing on the dashboard. So if your vehicle has an HSA feature, keep it in performing condition no matter if you use it or not. Otherwise, your safety will be in danger.


Can Hill Start Assist Be Installed?

If your car doesn’t have a hill start assist, you can install it manually. But the aftermarket system can be expensive and void your car’s warranty. So if you want to enjoy this safety feature while driving on a hill, go for a car that features this system.

How Long Does Hill Start Assist Last?

The hill start assist operate the brake system automatically for around 3 seconds even after releasing the brake pedal.

Does Hill Start Assist Work with Handbrake?

 Hill start assist still works after releasing the handbrake. It senses the vehicle on an incline and holds the brake for a few seconds to help run the car safely on a hill or rough terrain.

Final Words

Hill start assist is highly beneficial for a starter driver, particularly for starting the vehicle on an incline without worrying about rolling back. So knowing how to fix hill start to assist not available problem is essential to enjoy safe driving on uneven terrain.

Though this error message should be fixed easily by resetting or upgrading the software, you may need a professional’s help for internal issues. So don’t hesitate to pay a qualified mechanic instead of ignoring it particularly if you can’t handle it.

My name is Henry Roberts and I am an experienced car mechanic with over 15 years of expertise in the automotive industry. I am currently running a Auto Repair Shop in Denver, Colorado. I have been servicing and repairing vehicles at my shop, where i have built a solid reputation for my skill and knowledge. I am passionate about sharing my automotive knowledge through blogging and my goal is to provide accurate and helpful information to car owners to keep their vehicles in perfect condition.

3 thoughts on “How To Fix Hill Start Assist Not Available?”

  1. Thanks for sharing this helpful guide on how to fix hill start assist not available! I’ve been experiencing the same issue with my car and your tips have given me hope that I can fix it myself. I’ll definitely try the troubleshooting steps you mentioned. Keep up the great work!

  2. I was experiencing the same issue with my car’s hill start assist not available. I’ve tried the suggestions in this post and I’m hoping they work for me too. It’s so frustrating when you’re trying to start from a stop and the car won’t catch. Fingers crossed that these tips help!

  3. I’ve been experiencing the same issue with my car and tried the methods you outlined. The first one worked like a charm! I’m so glad I found this post. It’s frustrating when our cars act up like this, but it’s great to have a clear and easy-to-follow solution.


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