Ram 1500/2500/3500 Owners & Service Manuals

Ram 1500/2500/3500: Hill Start Assist (HSA) - If Equipped

The HSA system is designed to assist the driver in launching a vehicle on an incline. HSA will maintain the level of brake pressure the driver inputs for a short duration once the driver takes his foot off of the brake pedal. If the driver does not apply the throttle during this short duration, the system will release brake pressure and the vehicle will roll down the incline. The system will release brake pressure in proportion to the amount of throttle applied.

During operation, HSA will activate the brake control system and a clicking noise may occur. If your foot is on the brake pedal during operation you may feel a slight pedal movement. The clicking and pedal movement is normal and both will stop when HSA becomes inactive.

HSA Activation Criteria

The following criteria must be met in order for HSA to activate:

  • Vehicle must be stopped
  • Vehicle must be on an approximate 7% or greater incline
  • Gear selection matches vehicle uphill direction (i.e., vehicle facing uphill is in forward gear; vehicle backing uphill is in REVERSE gear).

WARNING! There may be situations on minor hills with a loaded vehicle or while pulling a trailer where the system will not activate and slight rolling may occur, which could cause a collision with another vehicle or object.

Always remember the driver is responsible for braking the vehicle.

The system will only work if the intended direction of the vehicle and vehicle gear match. For example, if the intended direction is forward up a hill and the vehicle is in DRIVE and the activation criteria are met, HSA will activate.

The system will work in REVERSE and all forward gears, and will not activate if the vehicle is placed in NEUTRAL.

Towing And Hauling With HSA

The HSA system does not know if your vehicle is loaded or towing a trailer unless the TOW/HAUL switch, located on the center stack, is selected. When activated, the "TOW/HAUL Indicator Light" will illuminate in the instrument cluster. Refer to "Automatic Transmission" in "Starting and Operating" for further information. In order to accommodate the extra weight entailed under towing and hauling conditions and to increase driver comfort while launching on a hill, the system recognizes when the TOW/HAUL switch is activated and compensates by releasing brake pressure at a slower rate while throttle is applied in order to prevent the vehicle from rolling down the hill.


  • If you use a trailer brake controller with your trailer, your trailer brakes may be activated and deactivated with the brake switch. If so, when the brake pedal is released, there may not be enough brake pressure to hold the vehicle and trailer on a hill and this could cause a collision with another vehicle or object behind you. In order to avoid rolling down the incline while resuming acceleration, manually activate the trailer brake or apply more vehicle brake pressure prior to releasing the brake pedal. Always remember the driver is responsible for braking the vehicle.
  • HSA is not a parking brake. If you stop the vehicle on a hill without putting the transmission in PARK or using the parking brake, it will roll down the incline and could collide with another vehicle, object or person, and cause serious or fatal injury.

    Always remember to use the parking brake while parking on a hill and that the driver is responsible for braking the vehicle.


Non-EVIC Equipped Vehicles

If you wish to turn off the HSA system, follow this procedure:

1. Start with the engine OFF, and the vehicle in PARK with the wheels straight.

2. Start the engine.

3. With the engine running and the brake applied, rotate the steering wheel 180º counterclockwise from center.

4. Press the "ESC Off" switch four times within 20 seconds. The "ESC Off Indicator Light" should appear and disappear four times.

5. Rotate the steering wheel 360º clockwise.

6. Cycle ignition switch OFF then ON.

7. If the sequence was completed properly, the "ESC Off Indicator Light" will blink several times to confirm HSA is off.

Steps 1 through 7 must be completed within 90 seconds to turn off HSA. Repeat steps 1 through 7 to re-enable HSA functionality.

EVIC Equipped Vehicles

HSA is a Customer Programmable Feature on an EVIC equipped vehicle. If you wish to turn off the HSA feature, refer to "Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC)/ Customer Programmable Features" in "Understanding Your Instrument Panel" for further information.


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