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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
F*ing stupid electronic handbrake shite bloogy crap thing!!!! :mad:

OK Guys, a few will know that I'm not a great advocate of the electronic handbrake and hill hold. Thes options are great for 'normal' type conditions, but I swear I'm going to end up hitting something one day because on steeper hills and tight spaces they just don't work very well... Here's my experiences after 5 months of ownership:

OK so the handbrake alone will release when you try to move the car by engaging a gear and releasing the clutch. Mostly this works brilliantly and simple. Applying the brake is simple too and can be done at any reasonably low speed with or without the car in gear. It also comes on automatically after a minute or so if the engine is switched off and the keys taken out of the ignition. Marvellous eh? :)

Well… :(

On a hill, the handbrake will release as soon as it detects you are trying to move the car, regardless as to whether you have enough power going through the wheels to ‘hold’ the car. On a steep hill, this means that without any warning as to exactly when the brake will release, the car goes barrelling down the hill a foot or so until you manage to either panic and hit the footbrake or try and ‘catch’ the car on the clutch, invariably either stalling or having a right good clutch burn-out session taking a lot of miles off the clutch and leaving the car stinking of hot friction material. In my case, I stalled the first time and then fried the clutch the second and ending up within inches of the car in front… A real scary moment and feeling of complete helplessness and frustration. :eek: :mad:

From the above lesson I learned that perhaps I needed to hold the switch in the handbrake ‘on’ position until I was ready, but I didn’t get to test this and so it’s still un-charted territory. Or to try the hill-hold next time...

Of course this brings me nicely on to the Hill hold assist which brings a small amount of intelligence to this, by only releasing when there’s enough power to hold or roll the car forward. Brilliant! …er no. It only come ‘ON’ if you stop the car on the brake. If per chance, you use the brake to nearly stop (say get down to half a mile per hour) and then release the brake a fraction before actually stopping, it doesn’t engage… leaving me rolling embarrassingly backwards towards the car behind before I have a chance to realise it’s not going to do it itself and hit the brake… so I pull the handbrake on manually now just to be sure. So last week, I come up to the ‘mother’ of all hill starts in Stamford. (about 1 in 3)… I roll up to the give-way having ‘specially’ engaged the hill-hold and the above happens rather dramatically. OK… so now I know I need to make sure I stop on the brake pedal… well in balancing the clutch to get to the line, I then quickly press the clutch in and go for the brake pedal as quickly as possible… In the time it take to do this I only rolled back about a foot this time! Bugger… third time lucky, I roll up on the clutch hold it at the give-way line and pull the handbrake manually… perfect! Hooray!!! Thank God I don’t have anyone behind… Just then a car arrives behind :eek: Luckily he’s a smart driver and leaves a good six feet!

…Right, so here I am, parked and teetering on a 1 in three slope trying to work out how I can pull out of this junction without making a fool of myself or hitting the car behind… I remember the steep car park saga, so I ensure the hill-hold is engaged to stop me rolling back whilst I get the car back on to the engine and clutch… tentatively, I give it some revs and begin to relaese the clutch… I feel the power being taken up and the brake is holding perfectly. Then without warning, the brake releases just a little too early and the car starts to roll backwards… about a foot before I catch it with loads of revs and a bit more clutch, but by the time I’m under control and got the car to the line, the gap in the traffic has gone and for about two seconds I sit there burning the clutch whilst I try to remember what to do next and then pull the handbrake switch, wait until I can see the light and then VERY scarily get off the clutch and HOPE the car is holding. Phew! Yes… I hope the guy behind is patient. He must think I’m a bloody learner! …Another gap, this time, don’t wait for the brake to release and try to hold the car, just go for it; revs, clutch and go! …F*ck I just stalled. I wave to the guy behind to apologise and wait for another gap… this time, floor it, drop the clutch, tyre smoke and traction control lights flashing, I make it in to a tiny gap… right in front of a police car, who then proceeds to follow me for about three miles. This whole saga left me annoyed, nearly caused me to hit another car and got me tailed by the rozzers… All because the car doesn’t have a ‘normal’ handbrake. Grrrr! :mad: :eek:

I’ve come to the conclusion that firstly Audi should provide an audible ‘bleep’ when the brake releases and when hill hold engages the brake to help, because it’s too late when you start rolling. The lack of feedback is the biggest problem. Hill hold should engage whenever the car is at zero miles per hour brake or not, in order to work properly. Finally, even with hill-hold, just apply and release the handbrake like a mechanical one (without the feedback) as if you didn’t have hill-hold just to be sure.

One thing I need to test is the ‘hold the switch up’ to keep the handbrake on, as if this works I shall be doing this where needed... in which case what's the hill hold assist for? :confused:

Apart from that I bloody love this car! :D

PS... I forgot to mention... DO NOT rev the car when parked on a downhill slope with hill hold engaged... it thinks you want to move off and releases the brake without warning, sending you barelling toward the car in front.
 

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Ianhp1: Just move to Norfolk, problem solved :)

By the way I saw you last friday on the A45 windows down in the sun :), At least I think it was you. I was driving the opposite way in a BMW 320d m but was too mesmorised by the LEDs to have a chance to react. Was about 11:00 I think, was that you? I thoguht it was a lowered S5 but could have been wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Norfolk Lol! Gotta love the flatlands... especially if you're a cyclist!

Last Friday A45 11:00am... nope not me I was in London (train). ...unless some bugger took my car for a spin! :eek:
 

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Shame you are getting frustrated. Sounds like the hill hold feature isn't for you and you should just turn it off and manually activate the brake when you need it. Just my 2 cents. I don't have it and don't really see the point of it. I guess theoretically it could be a nice feature, but I would only want it to function when I was going uphill.

Is it possible, that the "won't release until enough force" only applies with Hill Hold Off?
 

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ian: i used to find this the problem, but i found that my mistake was having my foot on the clutch pedal but not engaged. it senses the revs thinks you want to release and it barrels forwards. what im trying to say is dont get you clutch balance immediately. first fully press the clutch and work backwards, releasing to biting point.

once hill hold or handbrake are activated
fully depress clutch
get some revs on
then slowly release the clutch

the switch for handbrake/hillhold does NOT work on revs, you have to have the clutch engaged (even if it is a little bit)
 

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I'm going to have to agree with Number2. I think your making a big thing of it. The system has worked for me, so far. It takes quite a bit of force to get out to the hill assist. I don't see how you could roll back unless you stalled it or just let out the clutch with out giving it some gas. I think just letting out the clutch would stall it because that is not enough for the hill brake to let go.
 

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I love the hill hold auto brake but I have a couple of niggles.

1 - It shouldnt be called hill hold. Its an automatic hand brake engager thats all. It doesnt stop you rolling backwards on a hill unless it is engaged.

2 - you cannot select your default option (on or off). Its always off when you turn the car on. Apparantly this is because Audi feel this is the safer option. However, if you normally have it turned on and you forgot (not common) or have stalled or turned the engine off whilst waiting for the rail crossing, bridge or traffic lights etc, then it doesnt come back on again automatically. This has caused me more than once find myself rolling thinking the brake was auto on. Once I was filling up with petrol at the time and that was embarrasing. Another time I rolled down a hill into the car in front. Luckily it was only a few inches and she had a really soft bouncy bumper (well the car did but hers wasnt bad either!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm going to have to agree with Number2. I think your making a big thing of it. The system has worked for me, so far. It takes quite a bit of force to get out to the hill assist. I don't see how you could roll back unless you stalled it or just let out the clutch with out giving it some gas. I think just letting out the clutch would stall it because that is not enough for the hill brake to let go.
'
well 99% of the time its all just fine and I'm quick enough from footbrake to throttle and clutch anyhow... twice in 5 months I've had really steep slopes and on one of these not much room for error... that's when the system isn't perfect... and that's when it matters - I mean visit to the paint-shop matters. Give me a regular handbrake and I have complete confidence I can pull away as necessary every single time... and have done for 22 years of driving... now, I can't get it absolutely right every time when it matters and that makes me nervous in these 'gonna need a bumper respray' situations.

Trust me, you CAN roll backwards with the hill hold engaged even when carefully applying more gas and throttle in the normal hill-start manner. and it DOES release the brake on a downhill slope if you are stopped in-gear with your foot on the clutch and you rev the engine.
 

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Actually it have happened for me that I've forgotten to leave the car in gear and also forgotten to use the automatic handbrake button.

After parking it I stepped out of the car and started walking away... when I saw it starting roll down the street... luckily I turned my head back to ensure I was locking the car with the remote / key and saw the whole thing go down. I ran to the car and just in time was able to stop it. Had it started rolling any faster than 10km/h I would have had a hard time timing it and jumping into the car. And luckily there was noone in front of the car.

My next car is going to have a manual handbrake!!!
 

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Ian does the auto handbrake come on when you switch off the engine ? Mine doesn't seem to and its easy to forget to apply it. I parked on the car ferry last week and forgot to put the brake on, luckily the sea was calm and I'd left it in gear or it could have been embarrassing !!!
 

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F*** off electronic hand break.
I have destroyed rear bumper, because the wall was too near and I could't react quickly. Long story...

And you can't make a U-turn with handbreak, which is very usefull in the city (sometimes, maybe twice a year...)
 

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The autohandbrake comes on when you switch off the engine only if you have hill hold enabled and only if you stopped the car fully to allow hill hold to enable it.
 

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Hmm, no problems here at all. Maybe i'm just quick with my feet in finding the biting point :p
 

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I've had a struggle parking in a very tight spot on a steep hill - to-ing and fro-ing isn't easy ! :eek:

Had some people looking at the car as I drove up, must have been wondering how such a crappy parker could own one ! :p:D
 

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I wonder if there are any issues with your braking system. My hill assist locks down almost like the e brake. I've been on 20% grades and it has not moved back... not that I don't get bloody nervous everytime I engage it. There has to be some kind of adjustment that can be made.
 

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I haven't got my car yet but I've been worrying about this since my test drive and I am planning to find a deserted hill to practice with the flicky handbrake switch / hill-hold and figure out how best to live with it. I almost didn't buy the car because of the auto-handbrake.

Honestly, I really hate these unnecessary (and possibly dangerous) technology gimmicks that take control away from the driver. I am more than capable of operating a handbrake and I don't understand why anyone would think it's a good idea to automate this. It's really no hardship and I would rather not trust it to a dumb algorithm.

I used to have a BMW with automatic windscreen de-mister that drove me insane. I had to drive around with my head out of the side window like Ace Ventura because you couldn't turn the de-mister on if the car didn't want to. It was bloody dangerous and, really, how hard is it to push the de-mister button on the dashboard? This is the same kind of thing.
 

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It's my belief that the hold assist + electromechanical handbrake is intuitive ... it's when you start thinking about it that things go wrong.

Every tried walking with a hot mug of tea/coffee and though I mustn't spill this ... what's the one thing you can guarantee as soon as you think it?

Tell your kids not to fall off the wall and within 10 seconds they'll have done it as soon as you plant the idea in their heads.

I'm sure it's the same with hill hold. The only time I've ever had a problem is when I've started thinking about what I need it to do (generally applying hold assist just as I come to a stop ... it gets a bit uncertain when you're coasting at 1 or 2 mph).

My only niggle is the seat belt thing. I get a bit obsessive about parking considerately so I'm the sort of guy that will reposition the car if I'm too close to one parking bay edge. It's a real pain to jump back in the car, slot the car in reverse and then realise I need to reapply my seatbelt before I go anywhere.
 

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It must be faulty. I dont have the hill hold function but -
I drive up hill and stop the car with footbrake. While stopped I apply electronic brake.
Car can now be in neutral or left in first doesnt matter.
Then release clutch and drive away faultlessly.

Surely if you happen to stall the car and the brake happens to have released itself, it is instinct to quickly hit the footbrake. You are then stopped so no panic situation. you can apply e brake again, restart and go again. I cannot see a situation where car starts rolling back. It must be faulty if its releasing before clutch bite is sufficient to hold car.
 

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My only niggle is the seat belt thing. I get a bit obsessive about parking considerately so I'm the sort of guy that will reposition the car if I'm too close to one parking bay edge. It's a real pain to jump back in the car, slot the car in reverse and then realise I need to reapply my seatbelt before I go anywhere.
Can't you just press the parking brake down and it will release - isn't only auto-release disabled when the seatbelt isn't on?
 

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Erm ... embarrassingly I've never thought to try that! :rolleyes:
 
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