Land Rovers are beautiful luxury vehicles. They are also some of the toughest automobiles around. Designed so you can enjoy many adventures in style, Land Rovers are especially valued by those who frequently find themselves travelling off-road or in unpredictable weather conditions. The four wheel drive nature of the Land Rover has owners feeling secure no matter where they explore.
However, all owners of Land Rovers need to be aware of mechanical issues that could eventually impact their vehicles. In particular, owners should be aware of how their HDC system is holding up. Since the HDC plays a vital role in ensuring safety on steep terrain, you will want to know if your system is failing before you put your safety at risk.
What is the HDC System?
The Hill Descent Control System (HDC system for short) is a driver assistance program. The HDC system provides automatic navigation while descending down through rough terrain. When this system is engaged, the driver does not have to manually engage the brake during the descent. Your vehicle engages its anti-lock braking system to control the speed of each wheel. The system can engage acceleration itself, or respond to manual acceleration from the driver. Ideal for drives in mountainous topography, the HDC system can navigate rough terrain easily.
Common Easy Fixes for HDC System
The Land Rover’s HDC system can show several important messages about its condition. Not all of them mean that the system is failing. Several of these messages require that you adjust how you are operating your vehicle:
- The “HDC Not Available: Speed Too High” message means that you need to slow your vehicle down. HDC can only activate at speeds below 30 mph.
- HDC System will not activate if your brakes are too hot. If this is the case, you will see a system cooling message. Allow your brakes to cool down, then activate the HDC system.
- The “HDC Not Available in This Gear” message means that you need to lower the gear. The HDC only operates in lower range gears.
Again, all of these messages only require minor adjustments on the driver’s part, and do not indicate serious failure.
How Do I Know My HDC System Is Failing?
A message that says “HDC System Not Available” means that your HDC system is failing. Do not delay in getting your vehicle into a qualified Land Rover mechanic! Causes of HDC failure can usually be connected with other mechanical issues in your vehicle.
One issue could be a battery problem. The HDC system requires a well-charged vehicle battery to startup the system upon ignition. If the HDC system cannot get a sufficient amount of charge, it will indicate that it is unavailable. In addition to battery issues, other electronic issues could be affecting your HDC system. If you notice other accessories behaving erratically, such as flickering headlights and malfunctioning windshield wipers, the Land Rover’s alternator could be having issues. There could also be blown fuses, bad wiring, or malfunctioning software to blame. A certified Land Rover mechanic would be able to find the problem with the electronics.
Additionally, the HDC system is interconnected with the vehicle’s brake system. If you see the “HDC System Not Available” message along with a brake warning light or the anti-lock brake warning light, your HDC system and your brakes could be in trouble. The electronics between the HDC system and the brakes could cause both of these systems to behave erratically. This could be very dangerous, so you should take your car into a certified Land Rover mechanic as soon as possible.
HDC system issues could have several causes. Regular maintenance is key to prevent serious mechanical failures. It is important to get your Land Rover examined by trusted, certified Land Rover repair shop. The professionals at Cerrone’s European are highly qualified to service speciality European vehicles (including Land Rovers!).
Our mechanics can work on a wide range of Land Rover models, so if you have a HDC system failure, your vehicle would be in excellent hands. Serving the Redwood City, CA area, Cerrone’s European is a family business that has been in operation since 1976. You can take your Land Rover to Cerrone’s knowing you can trust the many years of experience and expertise our company possesses.
* Land Rover on Dirty Road image credit goes to: kurmyshov.