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Hill Holder On Is250


Crispy
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I have a IS250 automatic. One of the IS250 auto transmission’s features is hill start assist.

The manual is a little vague about what this actually does so I called the salesman who sold me the car. Didn't know but said he would call back. Never did. Called the dealership that services the car and their salesman didn't know either but he put me through to the service department. I spoke to the service manager and he didn't know either but later phoned me back with the details below.

He said it is "designed to hold the car on hills for 5 seconds after the brake is released to allow the driver to move his foot from the brake to the accelerator without rolling backwards. Only works with the transmission in D or S."

So this would only occur on hills steep enough to overcome the natural hold caused by the torque converter.

However on mine, it simply rolls backwards with the traction control light flashing. The brakes seem to grab and release slightly but not enough to even slow the car even a bit.

I reported this to the dealer to investigate as a fault but they told me that it is working as designed. But the guy who gave me the keys back didn't know how it worked or what it was supposed to do.

Has anyone ever used this feature? If so, how does it work on your car.

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tried mine from day one, my driveway is on a pretty sharp incline. Same problem as yours, it held the car back a bit - or rather just slow it down but it does keep rolling back, albeit slower. Still helpful though while I wait for the garage door to open.

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Live in a hilly district & mine seems to work fine compared with my previous IS300.I haven't paused purposely between brake& throttle but my new transmission momentarily gives the secure feeling that the rear brakes are locked on:really impressive & have told/shown friends who are equally in awe!!!!

Tel :driving:

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I hadn’t really tested this feature until I read this thread and as I live in a very hilly area of Devon (I guess it all is really) I decided to test it on a VERY steep but quiet hill.

If I braked to a stop and then released the brake I felt a second or two of uncertainty and then I felt the brakes come on and it didn’t roll back a single inch. The Trc light did illuminate at this point.

I then tried again but this time rolling to a stop rather than braking, it again held very well but with no hesitation in applying the brake this time. I also noticed that the TRC light did not illuminate whilst holding it as it did previously.

It worked well but I’m not sure that I would trust it when braking to a stop with traffic behind me, there was certainly a feeling of “will it wont it” for a couple of seconds. Also it’s fairly natural for me to put the brake on and then apply the parking brake anyway if I come to a stop.

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Am I being completely stupid here, but don't all Auto's do this?

My IS200 does, what's the fuss - its good, its handy but its been around for ages...........

I think it's a gimmick. My understanding from the gumf was that the Hill Start would only be necessary IF you were parked on a very very steep hill and the Torque converted could not generate enough static tourque at idle to get the vehicle moving forwards without the accelerator being pressed (i.e. too much weight in the car, very very steep hill) etc...

So - how often does that happen?

You're right in that all auto's will give you some "hill start" plus less chance of rolling back, but this new system would surely stop you from rolling back if it was a very very steep hill?

So in a nutshell, it looks as though it don't work!! All the more worrying when you say the TRC light comes on...seems like a fault in the electronics to me...

So what's the solution? Use both feet :duh:

So all you auto drivers will need to use that left leg...again...you'll need to go on a training course!

:lol:

PS If it's only supposed to work with the Handbrake, then it's half a job in my view...hill start should be for all situations (i.e. does not allow the car to roll back when in a forward gear or D).

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Am I being completely stupid here, but don't all Auto's do this?

My IS200 does, what's the fuss - its good, its handy but its been around for ages...........

And my IS300 used to do this without and problems whatsoever and so did the beemer I had 12 years ago.

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I agree, I think it is a gimmick. It certainly holds on very steep hills better than an auto that just uses a torque converter without using the accelerator but it’s not really needed. I agree with IanB, use the parking brake, I guess we can’t call it a handbrake now its operated by your left foot can we.

BTW. I would think that the fact that the TRC light comes on is probably just because it uses the same circuitry / sensors to operate it. Just a guess, but seems logical.

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Err, what's the handbrake for guys...........?

And that Ian is the problem with the IS250 Auto - there is no 'hand'brake.

It's a foot operated parking brake and from my experience of it when I got a loaner was that it is a real pain. I cannot see how you could perform a safe hill start with it.

It's no wonder you sit behind people in Merc's and the like that also have this feature because it is just too awkward to use in day to day driving.

I was continually having to twist round anti-clockwise in the seat sufficiently enough to get my foot on the pedal when it was in the 'off' position. On more than one occasion I banged my left knee up against the underside of the steering wheel.

It may sound stupid but that feature is the main reason why I will not be going IS250 in 2 years time. The tight for space in the garage is only minor.

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I agree, I think it is a gimmick. It certainly holds on very steep hills better than an auto that just uses a torque converter without using the accelerator but it’s not really needed. I agree with IanB, use the parking brake, I guess we can’t call it a handbrake now its operated by your left foot can we.

BTW. I would think that the fact that the TRC light comes on is probably just because it uses the same circuitry / sensors to operate it. Just a guess, but seems logical.

...good point, and that "parking brake" is fiddly if you're about to try and stop rolling back, trying to use the parking brake with the other foot, and then trying to "dip" it to release it as well, all within 3 seconds before the light changes, or to shoot into a traffic island...

I reckon you'd feel as though you were driving a JCB!

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And that Ian is the problem with the IS250 Auto - there is no 'hand'brake.

It's a foot operated parking brake and from my experience of it when I got a loaner was that it is a real pain. I cannot see how you could perform a safe hill start with it.

Oh no! :o It's more pandering to the American market! Why oh why did Lexus do this, and then rely on technology to get round the problem these awful foot brakes create. Even the old handbrakes that came out of the dashboard would have been better that this. :angry:

As has been pointed out here, the existing auto system on the 200/300 does a pretty good job most of the time, but I would still want an easy to use handbrake on occasion.

I agree with you kremmen, this would spoil the car for me too! But I guess I'll just have to test drive it sometime and see......?

IanB :crybaby:

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Thanks for the information guys.

The comments confirm that it does hold on hills on some cars. But it seems that on mine and chinny's, it doesn't work.

Yep. I agree, you may not use it very much and I know you can just use the parking brake. But it is in the Lexus brochure as a feature fitted to the IS250 and as I have paid for it, it had better work. Otherwise Lexus need to give me a refund for that component. Ater why design (or advertise) a feature is it doesn't do anything.

I guess I'll have to fight this one out with the dealer.

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Am I missing something here? The parking brake on the IS250 Auto is just that - a parking brake. You get in the car, let it off and the only time you need to think about it again is when you park up. You don't need to use it any other time - certainly not on hills or at traffic lights.

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If you used the foot operated handbrake just for parking then you would fail your driving test every time.

Whenever I come to rest, whatever the situation I put on the handbrake.

Being controversial, I would go as far as to say that sitting in a queue at traffic lights with your foot firmly planted on the brake pedal is bad driving ?

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Whenever I come to rest, whatever the situation I put on the handbrake.

But surely not at Stop Signs. That would be taking things a little too far IMO.

Si

Instant fail if you dont put handbrake on @ lights.

Also, i would like to add that my dad owns a Merc Vito Van (2005) and his has a footbrake. Has to hold it on the cluch every single hill, as it is a mission to try to release it when moving away.

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Whenever I come to rest, whatever the situation I put on the handbrake.

But surely not at Stop Signs. That would be taking things a little too far IMO.

Si

Instant fail if you dont put handbrake on @ lights.

Also, i would like to add that my dad owns a Merc Vito Van (2005) and his has a footbrake. Has to hold it on the cluch every single hill, as it is a mission to try to release it when moving away.

Some negatives here:I am going to check mine again as I do not even get TRC light but the car feels solidly held & moves forward smoothly.

TEL

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Whenever I come to rest, whatever the situation I put on the handbrake.

But surely not at Stop Signs. That would be taking things a little too far IMO.

Si

Instant fail if you dont put handbrake on @ lights.

Also, i would like to add that my dad owns a Merc Vito Van (2005) and his has a footbrake. Has to hold it on the cluch every single hill, as it is a mission to try to release it when moving away.

Some negatives here:I am going to check mine again as I do not even get TRC light but the car feels solidly held & moves forward smoothly.

TEL

Sorry this goes on a bit - logically speaking, because the foot operated handbrake ( :duh: ) would be impossible to administer when standing AND then quickly taking off at a sharp incline, and trying to dip it to release it, Lexus have gone for this snazzy device.

If they say it should work, then it should. And I would make them fix it if the car does roll back more then an inch or two. Simple. If it gives a TRC light if you apply the hand/footbrake, then I think it's 'cos the system is not designed for use with the hand/foot brake and the manual should be clear.

One or two other makers have dabbled with this, and abandoned it (Isuzu and Subaru??)...let's hope Lexus get it all working OK. But I really don't think it was designed to be used with the hand/footbrake during normal driving. It would be darn dangerous!! When talking about the highway code (in a manual), yes you use the Handbrake at almost all red lights, but what does the automatic driving test state? It's "bad" practice to use the handbrake whilst in anything other then P or N in an auto...

All this 'cos they wanted to keep the centre console clear of one small lever...which we poor plebs with the manual call a HANDBRAKE in the Diesel.

As I suggested earlier, use that left leg! :tomato:

PS - when I tested the auto (Lexus and C220CDI Merc) I just didn't bother with the footbrake...just used P when I switched the engine off and then applied the foot/handbrake when I was about to get out...I think it's a nuisance having the handbrake where your foot is...biggest problem is you still call it a handbrake and not a "Parking" brake (maybe that's why they call it that - should only be used when you "Park" the car!).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tested the Hill holder on my is250 yesterday.

Very steep hill. Seems to roll back very slowly for a little bit and then stops.

Not really any good if anyones behind you though. Have to be quite quick to the accelerator.

I will check this out against the manual and then bring up with the dealer if I think there is a problem.

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Have tried mine a couple of times recently, though not on any really steep hills.

Where a hill isn't too steep the auto does it's usual creep. on a steeper hill will roll back very slowly and then stay still after minimal distance.

Why all the carry-on about the foot operated parking brake. Put it on by pressing it with your foot, and when you want to release it on a hill press it while also pressing the accelerator...what's the issue ? It's the same as releasing a 'hand'brake at the same time as clutch up and accelerate.

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B)-->

QUOTE(Carlos B @ Feb 26 2006, 11:53 AM)

Have tried mine a couple of times recently, though not on any really steep hills.

Where a hill isn't too steep the auto does it's usual creep. on a steeper hill will roll back very slowly and then stay still after minimal distance.

Why all the carry-on about the foot operated parking brake. Put it on by pressing it with your foot, and when you want to release it on a hill press it while also pressing the accelerator...what's the issue ? It's the same as releasing a 'hand'brake at the same time as clutch up and accelerate.

I've not found i've needed to do this. even on a very steep hill it's easy to move foot from brake to accelerator quick enough to avoid car rolling back at all.

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