How To Do Hill Starts With And Without The Handbrake

by Chandrutpal Kashyap | 11/05/2021
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A hill start may seem daunting for new drivers. However, with practice one can make smooth uphill getaways every time. Today we have this guide on how to do hill starts with and without the handbrake engaged.

A hill start is one of the toughest techniques to learn for new drivers. Since in India the majority of vehicles sold are manual, it becomes even harder. In an automatic, a hill start is comparatively easier as you have fewer controls to take care of. If a vehicle stops on an uphill slope and there’s traffic behind, one can easily roll backwards and crash on to the vehicle behind if he/she fails to do the hill start correctly. Today we take a look at how to do a hill start with and without the handbrake engaged.


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Hill Start With The Handbrake Engaged

When you stationary on an uphill slope, make sure to keep the handbrake engaged and your foot is on the brake pedal. Once you’re ready to move, press the handbrake release button, but don’t disengage it yet. Shift to first gear, and release the brake pedal and move to the accelerator. Start releasing the clutch slowly until you find the bite point.

 In front-wheel-drive vehicles, finding the bite point will make the vehicle try to move forward and judder but cannot since the rear brakes are still engaged. Upon finding the bite point, slowly release the handbrake to start moving. Adjust the amount of accelerator you’re to get a smooth getaway. For a good hill start, you’ll have to disengage the handbrake and clutch at the same time as you press the accelerator. After practice and experience, you should be able to do hill starts with the handbrake engaged without moving backwards. However, as some new vehicles come with the handbrake with an awkwardly-placed lever or use a button instead, this technique may not work.

Hill Start Without The Handbrake Engaged

As the step suggests, you’re not using the handbrake when doing a hill start. This can be used on vehicles where the hydraulic handbrake is operated by a button or the level is at an awkward place to use.

With the brake pedal fully engaged, shift the vehicle to first. Slowly start releasing the clutch until you reach the bite point. Once reaching there, the vehicle will vibrate and come close to stalling as it wants to move forward but cannot. For an efficient hill start using this method, when you reach the bite point, quickly release the brakes and press the accelerator to move forward. Preferably one should use not this method as it increases wear and tear to the gearbox and clutch. It is advisable to use the first method whenever possible.


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How To Do Hill Starts With And Without The Handbrake

Also, newer vehicles tend to be easier to do hill starts, if you have an old vehicle then you’ll need to practice more. New vehicles also come with a hill-hold assist feature, and you should use that if it is available in your vehicle. If not, then we hope this guide came of help to you in getting hill starts with your vehicle using the handbrake.




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