Holding Model S on a Steep Hill

Holding Model S on a Steep Hill

I live in SF Bay area. Hills are the norm, not the exception. Some - alot in fact - are fearsome. Brand new S owner still trying to figure out best way to hold a hill. Unconvinced the "creep" setting is the answer. How best to execute a safe hold and not slide back?

Pungoteague_Dave | 26 décembre 2012

There's a pedal on the floor left of the accelerator. It is called a brake and in my experiences driving in SF, from an MG TD to a Prius, did the hill holding job just fine.

BYT | 26 décembre 2012

I actually use the accelerator to hold the hill, you just press it enough to keep it from rolling backwards but until you perfect that maneuver, the brake will be your friend. You'll need both feet for the brake method.

Also in the Bay Are and I fear no hill in San Francisco... :)

Larry Chanin | 26 décembre 2012

"You'll need both feet for the brake method."


Doesn't the Model S throw an error message and prevent you from applying both the brake and accelerator at the same time?


RZitrin1 | 26 décembre 2012

There's another thread called driving in San Francisco in which i posted a similar post. I live on Telegraph Hill with my wife and my Tesla. On hills every moment; can't get home without 'em.

I have kept creep on for the first two months I've had the car, then done the brake/accelerator combo, which is actually easier than in a gasoline car b/c the accelerator is so instantly responsive. I've always felt that a little acceleration is somehow ruining the accelerator, though i have nothing to base this on.

I just today decided to take off creep, and see how i like it on the hills. i've assumed that if i didn't live in a hilly town, i'd have kept creep off. Tried it today; felt fine, but the jury is still out.


RZitrin1 | 26 décembre 2012

And my two dogs and a cat, my wife advised me to add. I told her she should be happy i put her before the car....

Brian H | 27 décembre 2012

Fear of error messages is for wimps.
Besides, the goose pedal doesn't have to be actually pressed. You have several milliseconds after releasing the brake to take care of that. :)

Volker.Berlin | 27 décembre 2012

The issue has also been discussed here:
("private", i.e., reservation holders and owners only)

Getting Amped Again | 27 décembre 2012

Hill-hold should be an easy OTA update and would be nice to have at least for those who are used to having it. I would think that the sensors required to determine that the vehicle is on a hill are already present (active air suspension leveling and maybe accelerometers for brake lights). Once your foot is removed from the go pedal and the car senses backward motion, supply enough current to counteract that motion.

This will be one of those "I don't need it because I've never had it" vs. "I'm used to having it and would like it" discussions.

mthanos | 27 décembre 2012

My wife's Highlander handles it very well. Just as your light turns green you press down firmly on the brake. Even though your foot was already on the brake, this level of pressure is beyond the normal force you would typically apply. This increased pressure of the brake in interpreted by the car as a "request to hill hold" and it "holds" the brake at that level for about 1second, then releases it. This is just long enough to get to the throttle and give it enough to move without rolling back. It sounds cumbersome but it is very intuitive thing after just a few tries. What I like about it is you don't have to use both feet nor any electricity to hold you there. And an OTA update could institute this feature trivially.

jackhub | 27 décembre 2012

I don't see this as any different than a stick shift, unless you are accustomed to slipping the clutch ;>}

BYT | 27 décembre 2012


Never press them at the same time, as your left foot lets off the breaks, your right foot it already pressing down to propel you forward. Best to try this on baby hill's before you take on the steep grade. Yes, I have also been told that Hill Hold will be coming at some point.

trydesky | 9 février 2013

I too would like to see a hill-hold option, as I roll back a little on the steeper hills. I've driven stick my whole life, and going quickly from the brake to the accelerator with one foot is a whole lot different than using a two feet with a clutch. Maybe I'll get used to holding the car still with the accelerator, but for a car that has so many "auto" options, certainly this one should be added.

Superliner | 9 février 2013

^ ^ Remains dumbfounded??? the brake pedal has served us for nearly 100 years! suddenly we have forgotten how to drive and it becomes Teslas problem?? Go figure... I'm with you Pungoteague_Dave. It's just something else to break and for folks to complain about when it does not work, and adds more complexity that's not really needed.

I wonder how we all managed to drive in hilly locations all this time? For those who just can't manage, Google has demonstrated self driving cars that require no driving skills at all! I think Mercedes has experimented with it as well. By 2025? or so you'll be able to drive again if they roll out the technology!

The first self driving hill holding car wreck will result in a law suit of whichever manufacturer has the deepest pockets. If I were Tesla I'd stay out of harms way on that one.

I can see it now "Teslas Wonder car has hill hold failure resulting in a fatal accident involving rolling backwards over unsuspecting pedestrians" Tesla is recalling "all" cars so equipped but the fledgling auto maker may not survive after settling the suits and repairing all affected vehicles, film at eleven!

dqb | 10 février 2013

I do the same as BYT. Just use the accelerator when on a (n up-) hill and no problems.

Brian H | 10 février 2013

More likely accident: driver feels car start to roll back and mashes the goose pedal to the metal, launches into the rear of the truck in front of him and shears off the top third of the MS and his torso. Film at ten!

nickjhowe | 10 février 2013

@Superliner - we managed with paper maps for years too. Does that mean we shouldn't have nav systems? Can we cope without hill-hold? Of course. Is it a nice-to-have feature that would improve the driving experience? Definitely!

mkh1437 | 10 février 2013

On a related note, I've found that the Model S has a hard time starting on an incline when it is snowy/icy. I have the 21" standard wheels. If it is icy out, and I pull into my slightly inclined driveway and stop while I wait for my garage door to open, I often cannot pull forward on the slick driveway. The tires just spin, and I have to roll back down and get a "running start" to make it up the driveway. I realize this isn't unique to the Model S. just thought it worth mentioning. My 330xi did not have this problem (yes, it is AWD). I would hate to come to a stop on an icy street corner and not be able to pull forward once the light changes!

Vern110 | 10 février 2013

mkh143, the 21 inch wheels uses performance tires, either the continental or pilots. The tire composition does not allow for gripping in snow or on ice. The tires will also hardened depending on the outside temp, which makes everything, worse. Look up the condition ratings for the tires. Your bmw, is prob using all season tires.

trydesky | 10 février 2013

@Superliner - No need to be dumbfounded. Like I said, give me a clutch and there's no hill that I won't tackle. And the consensus is that using 2 feet (break and accelerator) is not recommended. So that leaves two options...
1. Quickly going from break to acc. On many hills this process is fine, but on the steeper ones, you just can't do it quick enough to prevent some roll back.
2. Playing with the accelerator pedal to get the car to sit still. If there's a car in front, and a car behind, then you're setting yourself up for a...
@Brian H accident :)

@nickjhowe - exactly!

Superliner | 10 février 2013

With Creep turned on, The Model S "should" perform just like most every other ICE out there with an automatic transmission. Guess I'm just brain dead. It still seems more like a solution in search of a problem.

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one"
Capt. Spock "Wrath of Kahn"

July10Models | 10 février 2013

This is the first automatic car I can truly drive like a manual except with one foot. Creep is not set so that I can rack the car on hills. This car is so much fun to drive. Hill hold is for sissies.

Revscott | 21 février 2013

The answer would be a simple software upgrade Hyundai calls "Auto Hold". Came standard on my last car and it was a great feature. When activated and the car is at a full stop you can take your foot off the brake petal but the brakes and brake lights stay engaged until the moment you press the accelerator.

I found this feature to be safe and effective on hills or level pavement, and would be an ideal solution to rolling backwards on a hill when switching from a full stop to acceleration.

gracehm | 22 février 2013

A hill hold option is needed not only for going forward but also backing up. Many parking spots are slopped downwards. If you're not careful to get your foot on the accelerator quickly, you can crush the front air-dam when the car rolls forward. | 22 février 2013

"Hill hold", just like "creep", would be functions I leave off. All can be accomplished with the accelerator pedal (and rare use of the brake). Just like all those cubby/storage spaces; there are many things I do not miss about the standard ICE configurations. After about 2 months I am sure I will never be going back to an ICE-- driving is just too enjoyable now. | 22 février 2013

Added note: When I see I would leave these things "off" I mean the option switch would be off. I have creep turned off. Hill hold, if & when available, would also be switched off.

Joyrider | 22 février 2013

If hill holding a Model S is an annoyance I have to think you are a pretty picky or quite "lazy" driver.

If hill holding is a problem I would recommend hiring a chauffeur for the safety of everyone.