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This might seem like a dumb question, but I currently don’t have the opportunity to experiment with this feature on a test drive. I’m wondering if there’s a quick way (i.e. much faster than the 2-3 seconds it’ll take to do it on its own) to defeat the hill-assist now present on the manual E90s. I’m not sure how it’ll work out, but in places such as the steep inclines of San Francisco, I can imagine times when I would much rather prefer the guy in front of me to have this feature instead of me. Often times, it’s easy to notice a rookie or tourist in the city by how much they roll back starting off on steep hills. When I notice someone in front of me struggling too much upon advancing, I quickly step into the clutch to roll back with him, coming to balance my car within six inches of the guy behind me, granting all possible space to the front car. I reckon the occasional slight wear of my clutch is minor compared to the scratches on my front bumper. Two-three decades ago, when there where a lot more manual drivers, one could frequently witness this phenomena: an out of town driver not knowing how to manage his manual car on hills, and 2-3 experienced city drivers behind him, who’d immediately roll back in unison giving the rookie a full car’s distance to get his act together (upon failure, there would be a colorful exchange of words…). Anyhow, would double clutching, or a momentary shift to 2nd before reengaging 1st allow one to begin rolling faster? Now that I think about, parallel parking on hills will also be cumbersome if one needs to wait 2.5 seconds to begin rolling in the opposite direction of the gear once the clutch goes in, short of actually shifting. Among my long list of why I prefer a manual to an auto, quicker parking into tight spots on inclines is one of them; I hope I don’t have to give it up.
 

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The feature ONLY activates if all the following are true:

a) You are at a complete stop
b) The clutch is pressed
c) The breaks are pressed
d) The car is in first gear

Then, when you lift your foot off the breaks, the feature will activate. The length of time it stays engaged seems to depend on the steepness of the hill. (Note that if you are facing down-hill, the feature activates if you're trying to back up the hill). I think it's simply brilliant and would help you A LOT with parking due to it working in reverse as well if needed.


So, if any of the above conditions are not met, the feature doesn't activate, so you can take your pick as to how to make it roll. Also, as soon as you start moving forward (in the forward-driving uphill scenario), the feature is disengaged. So, for example, if you start moving slowly forward then notice someone rolling back, you can do your clutch slipping without worrying about it activating. I think I would love it in a place like SF :)
 

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Shift to neutral. So in theory a double clutch should work.
 

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Although it's a neat gimmick, I didn't particularly think it was a great feature, while driving my e90 around. The clutch takeup is much better than the car it replaces, and it beging to grab nice and progressivly, with the pedal almost right off the floor.
 

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LarryN said:
Although it's a neat gimmick, I didn't particularly think it was a great feature, while driving my e90 around. The clutch takeup is much better than the car it replaces, and it beging to grab nice and progressivly, with the pedal almost right off the floor.
Well, it is not a great feature if you like using your hand breaks on steep hills or if you like rolling back a bit at first before you go forward (which is inevitable on some hills no matter how fast the clutch grips).
 

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silverado said:
Well, it is not a great feature if you like using your hand breaks on steep hills or if you like rolling back a bit at first before you go forward (which is inevitable on some hills no matter how fast the clutch grips).
Should you ever need to use the hand brake to stop from rolling back?
 

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330maybe said:
Should you ever need to use the hand brake to stop from rolling back?
Yes, if you are not starting up. The hill assist feature is designed to detect when you are about to try to move the car up a hill from a stand still and it engages the breaks for you. At all other times, you are on your own.

For background knowledge, starting a manual transmission car up a hill usually requires using the hand breaks to keep the car in place while the first gear is being engaged enough to support the car. In fact, it is part of a standard driving test (if you do it in most countries other than the US which require taking the test with a manual transmission car). It's a basic technique that any manual transmission driver needs to know.
 

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silverado said:
Yes, if you are not starting up. The hill assist feature is designed to detect when you are about to try to move the car up a hill from a stand still and it engages the breaks for you. At all other times, you are on your own.

For background knowledge, starting a manual transmission car up a hill usually requires using the hand breaks to keep the car in place while the first gear is being engaged enough to support the car. In fact, it is part of a standard driving test (if you do it in most countries other than the US which require taking the test with a manual transmission car). It's a basic technique that any manual transmission driver needs to know.
Wow, I have been driving manuals for over 20 years and never tried or needed to use the hand brake to support the car up hill while going into first. Different driving styles I guess.
 

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330maybe said:
Wow, I have been driving manuals for over 20 years and never tried or needed to use the hand brake to support the car up hill while going into first. Different driving styles I guess.
Well, the idea is that you ideally should never roll back at all if going forward, not even an inch. On steep hills, that could be impossible without the use of hand breaks. I've been in a Eurpean driving test where you are stopped on an upwards going hill and asked to start going again. If there is any drifting back at all, you fail the test.
 

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330maybe said:
Wow, I have been driving manuals for over 20 years and never tried or needed to use the hand brake to support the car up hill while going into first. Different driving styles I guess.
You've never driven in SF, have you?
 

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silverado said:
Well, the idea is that you ideally should never roll back at all if going forward, not even an inch. On steep hills, that could be impossible without the use of hand breaks. I've been in a Eurpean driving test where you are stopped on an upwards going hill and asked to start going again. If there is any drifting back at all, you fail the test.
I'm sorry but I think I can easily past that test without the hand brake.

Am I alone in this idea that you never need the hand brake on a hill?
 

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330maybe said:
I'm sorry but I think I can easily past that test without the hand brake.

Am I alone in this idea that you never need the hand brake on a hill?
Care to share your magic technique?! :) Imagine you are on a steep hill (SF style), you are at a complete stop facing forward, your foot is on the breaks and you want to start going forward. There is an a-hole who pulled up to within an inch behind you.

You take it from here :)
 

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330maybe said:
I'm sorry but I think I can easily past that test without the hand brake.

Am I alone in this idea that you never need the hand brake on a hill?
I don't either but, depending on how steep the hill is, you can tend to smoke the clutch a bit OR end up having to launch the car VERY quickly forward if you don't want to end up drifting backward.

I think that is what this hill descent feature actually does. It tells the handbrake to activate under all of the conditions mentioned by Silverado, and then lets it go as soon as you give it the gas & let out the clutch.

Edit: Yeah, double what Silverado said: A-Holes who pull up an inch behind you on a steep hill are now completely eliminated. :thumbup:
 

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silverado said:
Care to share your magic technique?! :) Imagine a steep hill (SF style), you are at a complete stop facing forward, your foot is on the breaks and you want to start going forward. You take it from here :)
It's not just the hill, it's also the traffic behind you. Imagine a 30% hill wth cars 1 ft off your rear bumper. It's a challenge at the least, especially if you are not used to such environment.
 

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silverado said:
Care to share your magic technique?! :) Imagine you are on a steep hill (SF style), you are at a complete stop facing forward, your foot is on the breaks and you want to start going forward. There is an a-hole who pulled up to within an inch behind you.

You take it from here :)
Easy just lift off the clutch a split second before releasing the brakes. You should be able to time it so the clutch has caught the car just as the brakes are letting go. You really never need to use the hand brake. With a little practice you can do this and not roll back or smoke the clutch. I am not claiming to be some expert driver this is just the technique I was taught. Give it a try!
:)
 

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330maybe,

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. There are cases where even an automatic would slide backwards if you don't use two feet, so, IMO, there is no way you can use your technique with zero sliding backwards on a really steep hill. :) And imagine you also have someone really close in front of you (bumper-to-bumper traffic) and all you need is to move slowly forward, so split-second switching from break to gas isn't an option either because you want very controlled forward movement.

OK, I'll stop beating the dead horse now. :)
 

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silverado said:
330maybe,

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. There are cases where even an automatic would slide backwards if you don't use two feet, so, IMO, there is no way you can use your technique with zero sliding backwards on a really steep hill. :) And imagine you also have someone really close in front of you (bumper-to-bumper traffic) and all you need is to move slowly forward, so split-second switching from break to gas isn't an option either because you want very controlled forward movement.

OK, I'll stop beating the dead horse now. :)
Agree to disagree it is! But give it a try sometime. :thumbup:
 

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330maybe said:
Agree to disagree it is! But give it a try sometime. :thumbup:
You know, 2 months ago, I would have agreed with you. However, since moving to SF from Boston, I must say that I've changed my tune somewhat. Back east, I never had any problems starting on a hill with zero rollback. In fact, I had no problem holding the car on a "hill" using just the clutch (not for long--I don't want to destroy my clutch--I know the technique you refer to and I'm rather fond of it myself. But some of the hills in SF are just impossible. 8 or 9 times out of 10, the hills here are manageable, but there are a few--like the one that my building is on--where the inclines look like they could be at a 45 degree angle. If there's no one around, either in front of or behind you, it's ok. But if you have to creep your way up behind someone...

Bottom line, I'm with my fellow Bay Area residents on this one--come out for a visit and try our hills (it's not a bad town to visit otherwise!)
 

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330maybe said:
Easy just lift off the clutch a split second before releasing the brakes. You should be able to time it so the clutch has caught the car just as the brakes are letting go. You really never need to use the hand brake. With a little practice you can do this and not roll back or smoke the clutch. I am not claiming to be some expert driver this is just the technique I was taught. Give it a try!
:)
I do this sometimes also. But I have to say that as good as I am at driving a manual, if I was on a 45 degree hill in SF during a lot of traffic I might use the handbrake as extra insurance. But I've never driven there so it's hard to say.
 

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I never use my handbrake on hills. Granted, we dont have SF type hills here, but I just take my foot off the break, and balance my clutch.

I think the hill assist feature is great, it gives those people who aren't so good with their cluth that abitlity to have care free driving. oh well...people are looking for things to dislike about this car because it's a benchmark.
 
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