Auto Hold System Fault – Causes and Resets

The auto hold system fault is an issue faced by many vehicles with the auto hold system, a technology that makes driving stress-free and convenient. The error message, under discussion, often appears in certain cars that have recorded a high mileage.

In this article, we will discuss why the auto hold system fault message pops up and how to solve the issue. But first, let’s have an in-depth view of what the auto hold system does or means on your car’s dashboard.

auto hold system fault Toyota

What does auto-hold mean on my dashboard?

Auto hold is a feature that keeps your car in a stationary position when you hit the gas pedal and helps keep the car there until you’re ready to accelerate. This invariably lets you keep your foot relaxed from constantly stepping on the brake pedal. And also ensuring your vehicle doesn’t roll away.

Auto hold comes in handy in cases where you have to brake suddenly. Like in go-and-stop traffic or meeting traffic when climbing an incline or steep hill. However, the auto-hold system must be turned on or activated.

Here is how it works. When turned on, using the auto hold button, the feature stops your car immediately when you step on the brake pedal and holds your car stationary until you press the accelerator.

Basically, once you step on the brake pedal, the auto hold system receives and maintains that same pressure applied. So even when you take your foot off the pedal, your car won’t move. However, there are situations where auto hold will not stop or keep your vehicle stationary even when activated.

What causes auto hold system fault message?

What causes this auto-hold system fault message? The auto hold system fault message is an error message that pops up on your dash when the auto hold system is not working as it should, even when turned on.

Usually, when you see that message, the system is telling you to use your brakes since auto hold is not working. Thankfully, the Auto hold system fault in Lincoln is the same across all cars, so a wide range of car owners will find this helpful.

But what are the causes of auto-hold fault? The common causes of auto-hold fault include applying insufficient brake pressure, faulty brake, damaged auto-hold button, and low power supply. Others include unlocked doors, not strapped to your seat belt, active park assist, etc.

1. You’re not applying enough pressure

The auto hold system depends on the pressure you apply from the brake pedal to stop your car. If, however, this pressure is not enough for auto hold to function, it won’t stop your vehicle from rolling. Here, you will get an error message reading “auto hold system fault, press brake.” Invariably telling you to put more pressure while pressing the brake pedal.

2. Low power supply due to a defective battery

Another reason for the auto hold system fault in Ford Escape 2020 and other models is low power supply caused by a faulty battery. The auto hold feature works with your car’s electrical system to keep your car still.

Typically, your car’s electrical system depends on your battery to function. If the battery is faulty and does not supply enough electricity to auto-hold, it will malfunction, causing the error message on your dash.

3. You don’t know how the system works

Sometimes, the message you’re seeing may not be an error message; you only lack knowledge of how it works. Usually, auto hold activates automatically by showing a green light when you step on the brake pedal.

And then deactivates automatically when you hit the accelerator; you don’t need to deactivate it manually. However, you may feel the system is not working if you are hearing about its working mechanism for the first time.

4. Your braking system is faulty

Your car’s auto hold system does not work independently; it depends on your applying the brakes to work. Even if it is active, it won’t function when the brakes are bad. Hence, the error message.

5. You’re not fastened in

Auto hold system fault in Ford Escape 2021 and other vehicles can also be caused by not buckling up. Auto hold works with seat belts to ensure you don’t lose balance when activated. So if you are not fastened to your seat belts, auto hold may fail to activate.

Here, the auto hold fault message you get will read, “Auto hold, fasten seatbelt to enable”, asking you to fasten seatbelts so that auto-hold can be activated.

6. The doors are not locked

Just like the seatbelt, there is a connection between auto hold working and your doors. So if your doors are opened or not locked correctly, auto hold won’t activate.

In this case, the auto-hold door light will illuminate, showing an error message. Here, you will get an auto hold fault message reading “Auto hold, close door to enable”, asking you to close your doors properly so the auto hold can become active.

7. Your park assist is active

Active park assist can cause the Auto hold system fault in Kia or other vehicles with this system. Typically, the park assist helps prevent your car from rolling, so if it’s active, the auto hold won’t function.

8. Entering into shift before auto hold activates

If you reverse into the shift, the auto hold feature will fail to turn on or activate when you hit the gas pedal, prompting the error message.

9. The auto-hold button is faulty

For the auto hold feature to work, it must be turned on using the auto hold button.

If, however, this button is broken, the feature can’t be turned on. So long auto hold is inactive; it won’t respond when you step on the gas pedal. To test if the button is working, turn on the feature. 

To turn on auto hold, press the auto hold button on your dashboard. This should illuminate the auto hold sign on your dash. Whether it is the Ford Explorer auto hold button or Hyundai, the process is the same. With this feature active, step on the gas pedal and see if your car will stop and remain stationary till you hit the accelerator.

10. Faulty wiring

If the wires supplying electricity to this feature are loose, torn, or damaged, it will interrupt the flow of electricity. Without electricity, auto hold won’t function, prompting the error message to appear on your dashboard.

11. Your car’s computer deactivates auto hold

Auto hold system faults in Hyundai and other cars could be caused by your vehicle’s computer. Even if this feature is turned on, your car’s computer might deactivate it if it senses any fault in your vehicle to keep the engine safe. Here, you will get an auto hold fault message reading “auto hold system failure”, telling you that there is a fault that needs a car service.

auto hold fault haval

How to reset the auto-hold system fault?

If you want to reset the Auto hold fault in Haval or any other car, the very place to begin is to identify the reason why the auto hold system is malfunctioning. Start by strapping yourself to your seat belt and ensure the doors are correctly locked.

You may also want to learn how this feature works so you don’t think otherwise. Also, ensure you’re applying enough pressure to your brakes. Check the auto hold button to know if it’s working correctly, or replace it if needed.  If these are done, and the error messages remain, go further.

Low or no power supply could result from bad batteries or damaged wires; check them out and fix them as needed. Sometimes, your car’s computer may have shut down the feature due to a fault; plug in a compatible scan tool to your vehicle’s OBD port.  Read the fault codes generated by your computer in your manual and fix them as needed.

You may also need to troubleshoot your braking to ascertain they are working correctly. Doing these should erase the error message. However, in some cases, after fixing these issues, the auto-hold fault message may still be showing.

In this case, you may need to clear the error message yourself. To remove this message, turn off your vehicle and put it back on. Importantly, if you are not confident in doing these things listed in this session, take your car to an expert to get your car checked so you don’t complicate things

Benefits of using auto hold system

The major benefits of using auto-hold systems are:

1. Comfortability

The auto-hold system makes your journey comfortable and helps you relax your foot more, especially when you often need to step on the gas.

For example, in a start and stop traffic where you need to use your foot on the gas when stopping or starting. With the auto hold, you only need to put your foot on the gas pedal once, and the auto hold does the rest for you.

2. Safety

The auto-hold system prevents your car from rolling. An explicit example is when you suddenly hit traffic when climbing an incline. Usually, your first instinct will be to press down the brake pedal as much as possible so you don’t hit another car in front or roll backward.

However, with the auto hold option, you only need to apply pressure using the brake pedal, and the auto hold automatically stops and keeps your car stationary. You can also say it’s a safety feature.

3. Alertness

Usually, when the auto hold is activated, it also causes the rear brake light to turn on, alerting drivers just in time that you want to stop. Thus, helping to prevent back collisions.

Important tips and tricks for using the auto hold system

While the auto hold feature has proven effective in making journeys comfortable and safe, here are tips to observe if you want it to work efficiently, last long, and prevent casualties.

  • Learn how to use this feature. Each car has it stated in its owners’ booklet.
  • Always strap yourself to your seat belt and keep the doors locked, or else the feature will not work.
  • Turn off the feature before taking your car to a car wash
  • The auto hold is not a substitute for parking brakes, so use your parking brake when you need to stop your vehicle.
  • Check the system if you notice abnormalities.
  • If the system is turned on but unable to stop your car when you step on the brake pedal, put it off and control the vehicle yourself until you have it checked. This will help prevent accidents.
  • Always check your car whenever you see the auto hold fault message

Frequently Asked Questions—FAQs

What is auto hold in Hyundai?

The auto hold in Hyundai is a feature that helps bring your car to a stop when you hit the brake pedal. And will remain there until you press the accelerator. The major purpose of this feature is to ensure your vehicle doesn’t flick.

It also helps to keep your foot from the brake pedal as often as possible, especially when needed. However, for the feature to work, you must activate it by pressing the auto-hold button. You should know the feature is active when the auto-hold light illuminates on your dash.

What is auto hold in Ford?

Auto hold in Ford is a feature in Ford vehicles that helps keep your car stationary when you hit the brake pedal. All you need to do is activate this feature by pressing the auto-hold button. With this feature active, your car will come to a stop whenever you press the gas pedal and will stay like that until you hit the accelerator.

Is it ok to drive with auto hold-on?

Yes, it’s ok to drive with the auto hold-on. You will find it helpful, especially when caught in traffic where you constantly need to place your foot on the brake pedal. Here, the minute you press the brake pedal, the feature takes over, allowing you to rest your foot. This has helped reduce fatigue.

Is auto hold the same as hand brake?

No. Auto hold helps hold your car stationary until you press the accelerator. And comes in handy in situations where you regularly need to put and take your leg off the brake pedal.

Whereas the hand brake helps prevent your car from rolling backward when parked. The hand brake also serves as a backup brake to stop your vehicle when the main brake fails.

Is auto hold always on?

So long you have activated it via the auto hold button, the auto hold will stay on until you activate your parking brake or shut off your car. Here is how to turn off auto hold on Ford Explorer or any other vehicle. Press and hold down the auto-hold button. Do the same if you need it back on again.

Which cars have auto-hold?

Recent cars with electric brakes have auto hold. Examples are Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, Lincoln, Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Audi, etc.

Final Words

To sum up, the auto hold system fault message pops up when the auto hold system is malfunctioning. The system could malfunction due to doors not being locked, not strapped to your seat belts, low voltage supply, faulty auto hold button, etc.

Generally, shutting off the engine and putting it back on should clear the auto hold system fault message. However, to ensure it doesn’t come back again, fix whatever is causing the auto hold to malfunction.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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