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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

After a couple of days owning the Forester I decided to read a bit more into the owners manual and discovered the revolution that is the hill hold mechanism. How freaky but great is that! Being sat at the lights with just the clutch down in first with the foot hovering over the gas pedal is lots of fun come the green light :D

Now I always reverse up my drive where I park the Forester and it would be ideal if the hill hold would hold me there while I start to perform the manouvre. But it does'nt :(

Is this right or does it need adjusting or something?

Thanks
Mick
 

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06 FXT
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I've located the adjuster (thanks to Peaty), but it looks to be a pain in the donkey to get to on my 06.

I've stalled twice because of this feature... LOL
 

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Gasman said:
After a couple of days owning the Forester I decided to read a bit more into the owners manual and discovered the revolution that is the hill hold mechanism. How freaky but great is that!
The freaky thing is that the Subaru UK brochure doesn't even mention it. At least not the 2003-4 edition that I have seen. Nor does it mention the dual range gears on models so fitted. It's as if they are scared of scaring people away with such confusing technicalities.

-- Steve
 
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Only works while pointing uphill eh! Oh well I can live with that :)

Well I have to admit I did'nt read too much into the Forester before I bought one. It looked like it would do the job, and a mate who used to work for Subaru said they are crackin cars so that was good enough for me. We did test drive a couple before hand tho, and I liked it from the word go. Ours is a 2004 XT. I prefered the manual to the auto so thats the one we went with.

I suppose I should of grilled the sales chap a bit more about its features, cos I'm still trying to get my head round the climate control. Its seems to be doing things right as per the manual, its just I sometimes look at it and think 'now what you doin?' I'll get used to eventually.

Mick
 

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The hill holder is a feature that's now pretty much unique to Foresters, and as such it's been the source of some confusion to those encountering it for the first time. Here's my attempt to put together the relevant facts about it. This discussion applies to the totally mechanical hill holder in the 2003-2008 (SG model) Foresters. The SH model Forester, which started in 2009, brought with it a new electronically controlled hill holder, with all the attendant fun of a computer that knows your job better than you do!

Mission Statement: The purpose of the hill holder is to keep the manual transmission Forester which is stopped facing uphill from rolling backwards during that time when the driver’s right foot moves from the brake pedal to the gas pedal while still holding the clutch pedal down with the left foot. The three necessary and sufficient conditions: uphill, clutch down, and not moving forward.

History: Studebaker introduced the hill holder in 1936. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill-Holder

Technical Description: When the clutch is depressed while the Forester is facing 3 degrees or more uphill and not moving forward, the hill holder actuates a one-way valve that retains the existing pressure (if any) in one of the two diagonal circuits of the brake system, allows increased pressure to be added, but prevents pressure from escaping until the clutch is released.

Operational characteristics:

- The hill holder has no connection whatever to the transmission, so it functions in all gears, including neutral and reverse. As a result, the hill holder can kick in while backing down a driveway, as all three of the conditions may be satisfied in this situation. It takes a bit of experience to get comfortable with this - light application of brakes, coasting in neutral with the clutch up, etc.

- Since the hill holder only retains brake system pressure and doesn’t add any pressure by itself, the Forester might begin to roll backwards if it had been stopped with just gentle brake pressure on a steep hill. The solution is simply to add more pressure to the system by pressing the brake pedal again, a bit harder.

- It would be nice if the hill holder could provide a similar capability when one wanted to back up while facing downhill, but this fails to satisfy the uphill condition and will not work. The reason for this is that the gravity/inertia-based mechanism in the hill holder can't distinguish between a downhill orientation and a normal braking condition while traveling forward, and one would not want the hill holder to engage in the latter situation.

Maintenance:

- There's only one adjustment available, and it deals with the linkage between the clutch and the hill holder. When releasing the clutch, there should be just a brief interval between release of the brake and engagement of the transmission. If there's an overlap or too great an underlap, see Peaty's post at www.scoobymods.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2746 (his pix are posted below) for directions regarding this adjustment. Note, that if you really hate the hill holder you can "adjust" it as to effectively disable it completely. Our Peaty got himself written up in the New York Times for his discovery of this. You can also disable it by removing the cable that connects the clutch to the hill holder mechanism, and then aligning the arm parallel to the body of the hill holder and anchoring it there with a zip tie. One member actually removed the mechanism itself and replaced it with a custom-made fitting that spliced the two ends of the brake line together.

- The hill holder relies on a simple gravity/inertia-based mechanism to determine whether or not it should function. Not that many of us carry inclinometers with us, but if it fails to function when the Forester is at an angle greater than 3 degrees (about 1 foot in 20, i.e. slightly uphill), or functions at angles less than that, its mounting must have gotten bent or something such as spring sag or suspension mods altered the Forester's orientation. There's no simple adjustment specified for this. If somebody comes across one, please let us know so we can update this.
 

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bbottomley said:
Ah, the hill holder! Another subject that ought to go into a technical FAQ, if we had one here. It was the subject of a lot of discussion on the old site, and the subject kept coming back. I’ll try to put it all together here in one place.
We actually have the capability to compile a technical FAQ section now that would be available from the menu bar at the top of the page. The trouble would lie merely in the compilation of that section. With the help of the members (and write-ups such as yours above) it should be a possibility.
 

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I understand. To be good it has to be good, and that means that people (moderators and others) have to put time into refereeing, editing, and the like, not to mention the time that members have to put into the original drafting.

I've found that when people are writing for posterity they do a lot more competent job than when they dash off a few lines that answer 90% of a question but don't quite cover the whole issue. For many issues that's all it takes, but there are others that deserve a really good writeup.

And then the thing has to actually be used. RTFFAQ should be part of the greeting that everybody gets when they sign up. ("Use the search function before you ask" should be another part.) But if we can accomplish all of that, then we've got something a lot better than wading through endless threads to find the gold nuggets of answers to common questions.
 

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Gasman said:
I suppose I should of grilled the sales chap a bit more about its features, cos I'm still trying to get my head round the climate control. Its seems to be doing things right as per the manual, its just I sometimes look at it and think 'now what you doin?' I'll get used to eventually.
The non-obvious thing about the climate control ('04 model with green LEDs for the switch positions - it changed during '05 I believe) is that when you press Auto it sets all the parameters to its own favourite defaults and then varies the fan speed automatically. (It also varies the airflow but only between windscreen and foot/face positions as far as I've seen).

Having selected Auto you can then override any of the settings and the auto light will go off but it continues to control the other settings automatically. So each setting you change manually will stay where you put it but the others will still adjust themselves. E.g. in auto mode, it will turn the air con on and off as it sees fit. If you don't want the air con to run, push the A/C button to turn it off. The "auto" light will go out when you do this, but the system is still in auto mode in other respects (fan speed etc).

If you want to get it to be fully manual you need to push the auto button twice (on and then off). Then it won't vary anything.

-- Steve
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Aah now that explains a lot, cheers :)

It is a bit strange letting the climate control do things automatically, I've been overiding it on most occasions to get what I want, and where I want. I like it just one '1' or '2' speed settings as I'm not into listening to the fan.

Mick

BTW: Sorry if we've strayed way off topic.
 

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I got that a bit wrong. To put it in fully manual mode you need to manually change all the settings. Pushing the Auto button twice just leaves it in Auto mode.
 

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2007 2007 forester 2.5XT Auto with sportshift
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have put this in international section too but would like any feedback.

"quite prepared to be shot down here, but I have looked at the threads etc about adjusting out hill holder clutch and the awkwardness of reaching the lock nuts etc. On my 2006 XT it looks like the adjustment is under brake fluid resevoir. I don't want to touch anything around brakes.
Soooooooooo I disconnected the linkage at the pedal. Hill holder does not function and if I should want it I reconnect and it all adjusted!
Am I missing something or is this OK?
Input please......":confused:
 

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2007 Sport XT
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have put this in international section too but would like any feedback.

"quite prepared to be shot down here, but I have looked at the threads etc about adjusting out hill holder clutch and the awkwardness of reaching the lock nuts etc. On my 2006 XT it looks like the adjustment is under brake fluid resevoir. I don't want to touch anything around brakes.
Soooooooooo I disconnected the linkage at the pedal. Hill holder does not function and if I should want it I reconnect and it all adjusted!
Am I missing something or is this OK?
Input please......":confused:
That is the logical equivalent of adjusting it until it doesn't work any more. I can't see any problem with that as long as you've secured the loose end of the cable where it can't get trapped somewhere - like under a pedal.
 

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2007 2007 forester 2.5XT Auto with sportshift
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yeh, I thought a bit about that and went back and taped up clip and cable to the bracket that it comes through, hopefully no rattles or getting caught behind pedals as you say.
 

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I'll have to check again but I could swear my "09" works either way............
The 09 no longer has the traditional hill holder, but instead went to a system called "incline start assist", which works by applying the brakes through the VDC system. So yeah, it could be different in the way it operates.
 

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Most of us oldtimers are still learning about differences in the 2009s over what we're used to in previous models, which have been pretty stable for quite a while now. From what I've been able to gather, the Hill Holder in the '09s has electronic smarts that let it do a better job figuring out what you really want it to do than does the purely mechanical unit in the SG models (2003-2008). The SGs rely on a ball that moves inside a hydraulic cylinder, influenced both by gravity and by inertia, and it can't tell the difference between facing downhill (gravity--when you might want it to work) and hard braking (inertia--when you wouldn't).

We would sure welcome detailed owner or maintenance manual info about the 2009s. I'd be glad to update my dissertation in post 7 on the previous page if I could get good info about the '09s.

The downside of electronic smarts, of course, is that you're stuck with the factory's vision of what they think you want those smarts to do (kind of like Microsoft), they're usually impossible to get inside of and mod, they're expensive to replace, and it's risky to do anything with the circuitry that they control because you don't really know how much current you can safely pull out of them. But if they do actually do exactly what you want them to do, then they can provide a very sophisticated set of capabilities that would be difficult to impossible to achieve with discrete components.
 

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I swear the hill holder in my 05 grabs when backing up hill. It is a major pain to back up my ramps and I generally kill it 2-3 times. NWRoller had the same issue in his 04 XT.
 

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You have to keep the clutch petal pressed down the whole time you are stopped for the hill holder to work?

Isn't that bad for the clutch throwout bearing?
 
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