Land Rover originally developed the Hill Descent Control (HDC) system for their Freelander models, which was created over two decades. Unlike other four-wheel drive vehicles, the Freelander did not have lower range gears to aid in a safe, comfortable descent down steeper inclines. One concern many owners mentioned was the Freelander’s HDC system had a set speed that was too fast for dangerous conditions.
Land Rover responded by later introducing the HDC technology in their Range Rover and Discovery models using both low-range gears and traction control to accommodate the owner’s desire for an ability to set the speed.
When your Land Rover has issues with its HDC system it can lead to problems with maintaining a safe speed while making a descent down a hill, or it can indicate other issues within your vehicle.
The HDC system is a driver-assistance system that allows a Land Rover to make a descent down a hill or other significant incline in difficult terrain without requiring the driver to brake. While descending a hill, the HDC accomplishes this by engaging the anti-lock braking system. By using the anti-lock braking system, it is able to control the speed of each individual wheel of the vehicle without the driver engaging the vehicle’s brakes to control the speed of the vehicle.
If the driver chooses, they can utilize the Land Rover’s cruise control to choose a speed they are comfortable with without using the vehicle’s brakes. It can provide a much more comfortable ride for both the driver and their passengers.
One of the clearest indications of an HDC system issue is a message that displays “HDC System Not Available.” This message indicates that the HDC has failed to initialize, indicating a serious issue has occurred.
While this message does not always mean that the HDC system is failing, it is important to give the message proper notice to prevent further damage to your Land Rover or create an unsafe or dangerous situation in your vehicle. Once this message appears, it is important to get your Land Rover to our mechanics at Rowlett Motorwerks.
This message can be the result of many different issues with your Land Rover’s HDC system. A problem with your Land Rover’s battery can cause the same message to appear. This is because your HDC system requires a well-charged battery to allow it to start up when you begin the vehicle’s ignition. If there is not an appropriate amount of charge in your vehicle’s battery, the HDC will indicate “HDC System Not Available.”
An issue with your Land Rover’s alternator could be causing erratic issues with your vehicle’s electronics, like flickering headlights or malfunctioning windshield wipers. The alternator in your Land Rover is an electric generator in a vehicle that is responsible for powering the electrical system when the vehicle’s engine is running. When the voltage from the alternator is insufficient it can trigger the “HDC System Not Available” message, as the HDC system is sensitive to voltage differences in your vehicle.
The HDC is also interconnected with your Land Rover’s brake system. The “HDC System Not Available” message accompanied with a brake warning light or an anti-lock brake warning light could indicate that there are significant issues with your Land Rover’s brakes. Because the HDC system operates in connection with both the anti-lock brake system, the alternator, and your vehicle’s electrical system problems with your brakes could indicate other significant problems in your vehicle.
Regular maintenance is always an important part of not only avoiding HDC system issues but other costly or unsafe problems in your Land Rover. Heeding your vehicle’s factory-scheduled maintenance routines, inspections, and preventative maintenance can prevent costly repairs in the future.
If you suspect your Land Rover may have issues with its HDC system, it is imperative you bring it into a qualified car repair shop like Rowlett Motorwerks serving Garland, Rockwall, Sachse, Wylie, and Rowlette, TX. Rowlett Motorwerks will provide you the expert, quality maintenance your Land Rover requires to prevent or identify possible causes of HDC system failure.
* Land Rover Discovery Sport image credit goes to: bortnikau.