Without question, Land Rover is one of the finest sport utility vehicles on the market. Their performance and overall capabilities are unparalleled, earning them a dedicated following of enthusiasts.
Like all luxury vehicles, the Land Rover is not immune to issues that are specific to this make. One such issue is a failure with the vehicles Hill Descent Control, or HDC.
It was Land Rover’s Freelander model that was the first to feature HDC. The reason behind this innovation is that the Freelander does not have common low gears utilized by more 4×4 vehicles. The HDC capability catapulted the Freelander to legendary status as a premier off-road vehicle and the technology was later featured in both the Range Rover and the Discovery models, as well.
Working in tandem with your Land Rover’s Traction Control system, HDC provides superior control when the vehicle is descending. In many ways it is a similar innovation as Cruise Control. When HDC is activated, your Land Rover uses its Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) to control the speed of each wheel, automatically engaging the brakes when the vehicle accelerates due to gravity. Like Cruise Control, the driver can override the HDC system by applying either the brakes or the accelerator.
HDC technology is extremely important for maximum control and safety in an off-road setting on steep declines. When it fails, you have significantly less control over the vehicle. An error will appear on the dashboard of your Land Rover to notify you that the HDC is not functioning.
There are actually several messages that may appear to indicate issues with your HDC, but not all of them mean your Land Rover is in need of repair.
The HDC system cannot engage if you are already at speeds of over 30 mph, at which point your vehicle will notify you specifically with HDC Not Available, Speed too High. Reducing your speed will allow you to activate HDC.
Should your brake system be especially taxed and overheating, HDC will not be available and your vehicle will indicate System Cooling. Do not attempt to use HDC until your brake system’s temperature has regained normal range.
HDC requires low range gears to operate. It can also be used in 1, D, and R in high range, so if you see a message that indicates HDC Not Available in this Gear, make the appropriate gear selection and re-try.
The error that requires professional attention is HDC Fault System Not Available. If you see this message, you are experiencing HDC failure and should take your Land Rover to a certified mechanic as soon as possible. Do not attempt to descend any steep gradients with an HDC failure as it could lead to lack of control and a dangerous descent.
The good news about HDC failure is that very often it is an incredibly easy problem to solve.Your HDC system is extremely sensitive to incorrect battery voltage, so in many cases, just changing the battery in your Land Rover is the solution. However, if the battery is not the issue there could be a wide range of potential problems from other power-related components like the alternator to issues with the transmission and braking system.
The most important thing you can to do to prevent HDC failure is to have regular preventative maintenance by a qualified Land Rover mechanic. Should you have any issues with the HDC system, it is critical to make an appointment right away to ensure that your vehicle is thoroughly inspected for any other related mechanical issues.
* Land Rover Discovery 4 image credit goes to: Snap2Art_RF.
* Land Rover Cars image credit goes to: tomeng.