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Discussion Starter #1
My Focus doesn't have the SelectShift option (to pick and choose my gear options) but instead has an "L" gear and the ability to push a button on the shifter which I believe is hill assist.

My daily commute has me climbing a 5-6% incline and descending a 6-7% incline. This usually slows down traffic, but I can power through if I gun the accelerator (on the way up).

I'd like to maximize the life of the DCT, but I'm unsure how to properly use the L gear (vs. D) and the hill assist.

When do I use L? Is hill assist only when going downhill (the picture shows the car going down)? When is it better to leave the car in D? Is it L+Hill Assist or D+Hill Assist or just L?
 

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My Focus doesn't have the SelectShift option (to pick and choose my gear options) but instead has an "L" gear and the ability to push a button on the shifter which I believe is hill assist.

My daily commute has me climbing a 5-6% incline and descending a 6-7% incline. This usually slows down traffic, but I can power through if I gun the accelerator (on the way up).

I'd like to maximize the life of the DCT, but I'm unsure how to properly use the L gear (vs. D) and the hill assist.

When do I use L? Is hill assist only when going downhill (the picture shows the car going down)? When is it better to leave the car in D? Is it L+Hill Assist or D+Hill Assist or just L?
I just converted mine to Selectshift haha
 

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Hill assist uses the brakes. You don't need to shift to L for it to work If you stop on a hill let off the brake slowly. If it senses it right away you will feel sort of a "pop" on the brake pedal as the brakes grab again to keep you from rolling backward. If it starts to roll when you let off push down on the brake and it will work that time. If you take your foot completely of the brake you will not roll backward.
 

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My Focus doesn't have the SelectShift option (to pick and choose my gear options) but instead has an "L" gear and the ability to push a button on the shifter which I believe is hill assist.

My daily commute has me climbing a 5-6% incline and descending a 6-7% incline. This usually slows down traffic, but I can power through if I gun the accelerator (on the way up).

I'd like to maximize the life of the DCT, but I'm unsure how to properly use the L gear (vs. D) and the hill assist.

When do I use L? Is hill assist only when going downhill (the picture shows the car going down)? When is it better to leave the car in D? Is it L+Hill Assist or D+Hill Assist or just L?
The little rocker switch is not for the hill start assist on non select shift cars but the hill grade assist that acts as an overdrive lock out switch to prevent the car from running away down hill by keeping the car in lower gears and using compression as well to slow the car down.

Overdrive cancel and grade assist(if equipped):Illuminates when the overdrive function of the transmission has been turned off and the grade assist function has been turned on,refer to the driving chapter.
Overdrive cancel/grade assist
•Overdrive is deactivated.
•The transmission operates in gears one through five.
•The grade assist lamp in the instrument cluster is illuminated.
•Improves driving experience in hilly terrain or mountainous areas by providing additional grade(engine)braking and extends lower gear operation on uphill climbs.
•Provides additional engine braking through the automatic transmission shift strategy which reacts to vehicle inputs (vehicle acceleration, accelerator pedal,brake pedal and vehicle speed).
•Allows the transmission to select gears that will provide the desired engine braking based on the vehicle inputs mentioned above.
This will increase engine rpm during engine braking.
Overdrive cancel with grade assist is designed to provide optimal gear selection in hilly terrain or mountainous areas.

It is recommended that you return to D(Drive) on flat terrain to provide the best fuel economy andtransmissionfunction.

To return to D(Drive), press the transmission control switch again.

•The grade assist lamp in the instrument cluster will not be illuminated.
•The transmission will operate in gears one through six.
From version 5 of the owners guide for 2012
 

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Sounds like racecar mode at the track ^ ...lol. That's good to know. I use it sometimes on hills. Serious question though, does using this have any kind of real difference on wear? I feel like the conditions they describe are for jeeps or land rovers... not flat roads that happen to go over hills in suburbs. Maybe there is a benefit to using this in stop and go?
 

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Not many roads around here where it would really help, 20A east out of East Aurora past Warsaw would test it some. Pittsburgh would give it a workout.

It would be a sportier mode, most traffic doesn't give room to take advantage.
 

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Not many roads around here where it would really help, 20A east out of East Aurora past Warsaw would test it some. Pittsburgh would give it a workout.

It would be a sportier mode, most traffic doesn't give room to take advantage.
If I end up going to Empire Dragway tomorrow I'll take 20A and see how it drives. I might do a run down the track with it on to see if there's a difference.

I'll also try it in traffic too since I sit in the morning for quite sometime on the 90s.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The little rocker switch is not for the hill start assist on non select shift cars but the hill grade assist that acts as an overdrive lock out switch to prevent the car from running away down hill by keeping the car in lower gears and using compression as well to slow the car down.



From version 5 of the owners guide for 2012
Thank you! Perfect info!

Is there any way to get a "boost" when going uphill or do we just use D? (since the manual was a bit confusing of when to use "L"; it seems "D+hill assist" is what the manual was recommending)
 

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suss' quote covers that as well,

"extends lower gear operation on uphill climbs"

The "boost" is from using a lower gear than normal for more power, it won't be shifting up for economy on a hill & loosing power as a result.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
suss' quote covers that as well,

"extends lower gear operation on uphill climbs"

The "boost" is from using a lower gear than normal for more power, it won't be shifting up for economy on a hill & loosing power as a result.
Sorry, still confused here after rereading the post.

When does the L gear come into play? The focus also let's me use Hill assist when in the L gear as well, so I'm unsure which combination to use.
 

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The focus also let's me use Hill assist when in the L gear as well, so I'm unsure which combination to use.
"L" will put the car in the lowest possible gear (without over-revving the engine), while grade assist will judge the hill you're on (probably using the sensors in the stability control, your use of brakes, etc.) and decide if it should downshift a gear or two. Unless you really want full engine braking (or maximum torque going up a hill), you likely don't want to put it in "L". Also, I think it overrides any grade assist functionality.
 

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Far as I can see, the 'L" mode is sportier than the hill assist, and doesn't lock out 6th.

Which combination would depend on the situation & your preferences. When you want more acceleration, or holding in a gear longer, "L" is the choice. Hill assist is prob. best for just that - up & down hills with extra engine braking & no shifting into 6th.

One comment I saw that would answer a common gripe, when starting & turning you can use 'L" so it doesn't shift up in the turn then go to "D" for cruising. See a lot who aren't happy with the shift to second while turning from a stop, it's too high a gear for the situation and/or the shift isn't smooth then.

"L" & hill assist would be the most extreme combo for special cases.
 

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Far as I can see, the 'L" mode is sportier than the hill assist, and doesn't lock out 6th..
It's not a "sport" mode like "S" in the SelectShift models. From my 2013 Focus manual (p.181)

L (Low)
This position:
• Provides maximum engine braking.
Will downshift to the lowest available gear for the current vehicle
speed; allows for first gear when vehicle reaches slower speeds.

• Is not intended for use under extended or normal driving conditions
and results in lower fuel economy.
 

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Far as I can see, the 'L" mode is sportier than the hill assist, and doesn't lock out 6th.

Which combination would depend on the situation & your preferences. When you want more acceleration, or holding in a gear longer, "L" is the choice. Hill assist is prob. best for just that - up & down hills with extra engine braking & no shifting into 6th.

One comment I saw that would answer a common gripe, when starting & turning you can use 'L" so it doesn't shift up in the turn then go to "D" for cruising. See a lot who aren't happy with the shift to second while turning from a stop, it's too high a gear for the situation and/or the shift isn't smooth then.

"L" & hill assist would be the most extreme combo for special cases.
L is not at all like S automatic mode. S automatic mode is closer to hill grade assist and doesn't use 6th gear.

L holds the absolute lowest gear possible at all times and therefore is not recommend that you drive continuously in this mode due to the poor fuel economy and extremely high wear rates on the components of high rpm operation. Only if you absolutely need to lock the car into 1-3 rd should you even use it.
 

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"L" sounds downright useful, but only for special cases & occasional use.

Correct me if I'm wrong, the one handy function I don't see avail. with any of the options is a "hold in gear" capability. That's not so common, but sure handy at odd times when it is.
 

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"L" sounds downright useful, but only for special cases & occasional use.

Correct me if I'm wrong, the one handy function I don't see avail. with any of the options is a "hold in gear" capability. That's not so common, but sure handy at odd times when it is.
Cars with SelectShift (S mode), allow you to manually select gears and as long as you don't over or under rev the car it will hold the selected gear until close to redline. The only exception is the occasional 2-3 gear downshift if you give it too much throttle from lower engine speeds in 5th or 6th.
 

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That's not bad, the times I like the feature are closer to under rev than over. Keeping the revs down & avoiding unexpected shifts is helpful in low traction situations (snow/ice). Limiting power avail. to help with control when it's REALLY slippery. Occasional use for extreme conditions.
 

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My 06/2016 SE has the L position with a switch on shifter
But Nothing in the Owners manual about operation
Have to call Ford tomorrow and get the correct Owners Manual
 

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Owner's manual is pretty thick to read - but nothing changed for '16 as far as trans operation.

This thread is from 2014, but still applicable.

Firm brake application would still be necessary for hill assist, the original question here.
 

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For my MANUAL transmission car, The hill assist only 'works' if I have the transmission lever IN GEAR.
If I leave the transmission lever in neutral, the car will roll freely on any hill.

Once in gear with the clutch in, on a hill, I can take my foot off the brake for about eight to ten seconds... The car stay still, being held by the brakes
If I do not do anything, the hill assist WILL RELEASE (and the car will start rolling free)
If I begin to apply the clutch ,the brake assist releases as the car begins to move under engine power. [woot]

I find it to be OK. I have no love or hate for hill assist. It DOES allow for less stress with steep inclines.
 
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