The Auto-Hold is similar to the parking brake system. Technically speaking, you don’t need it. However, it will make your life on the road more convenient. Think about it. Remember the last time you found traffic while driving up a steep incline? What happened next?
You had to step on the brake pedal like your life depended on it to keep the car from rolling back. Or maybe you pulled the parking brake. But even then, the prospect of driving forward probably scared you a little bit because you expected the car to reverse momentarily in a fraction of a second between releasing the parking brake and accelerating.
If the car behind you was a little too close, you probably wondered whether you could accelerate fast enough to keep from hitting it. The Auto-Hold mechanism prevents such scenarios. Once you engage it, you don’t have to pull the parking brake or keep your foot on the brake pedal to keep the car from rolling forward or backward.
When you step on the brake, the Auto-Hold mechanism will remember the pressure you applied and then maintain it. In other words, the car won’t move even if you take your foot off the brake. But what if the pressure you applied last was insufficient? What if the vehicle starts rolling back?
According to Volkswagen UK, the car has ABS wheel speed sensors that detect the rolling motion and gradually increase the braking pressure until the vehicle stops. If you rarely encounter steep inclines, don’t dismiss Auto-Hold as an irrelevant accessory. The mechanism will keep your car still in traffic on a flat road. How often has your leg gone numb during heavy traffic because you had to keep your foot on the brake pedal?
Auto-Hold solves that problem as well, which is why people panic when it stops working. Some of them have grown dependent on it. Auto-Hold can fail because of the following factors:
1). You Don’t Know How To Use Auto-Hold
Some people complain because Auto-Hold will activate automatically when they step on the brake. The green light will come on to tell the driver that Auto-Hold is working. However, it won’t disengage when it’s time to drive away.
They don’t know how to use this function. Autobytel has explained that stepping on the acceleration will automatically release the Auto-Hold mechanism. You don’t have to deactivate it manually.
But if this is news to you, you may assume that a perfectly healthy Auto-Hold feature is defective.
2). The Battery Is Defective
Auto-Hold works with the electrical system to keep your car from rolling away. Therefore, it depends on the battery. A malfunction in the battery can disrupt the electrical system, interfering with mechanisms such as Auto-Hold in the process.
This is why experts warn consumers to remain vigilant. You can’t abandon a car with a running engine without pulling the parking brake simply because Auto-Hold is active. The authorities will hold you responsible if the vehicle rolls forward (or back) and kills someone even though you activated Auto-Hold. Like every other feature in the car, Auto-Hold can fail.
3). The VW Has A Defective Braking System.
Auto-Hold is not magic. It uses your braking system to stop the car. What happens when your braking system deteriorates? Auto-Hold will not work. Even if it activates, Auto-Hold won’t succeed in stopping the vehicle.
4). You’re Not Applying Sufficient Brake Pressure
You’re not applying enough pressure on the brake pedal. Therefore, Auto-Hold cannot engage.
5). You’re Not Buckled In
You need to put your seatbelt on for Auto-Hold to work. If you forgot to do this before starting the car and driving, Auto-Hold won’t activate.
6). The Door Is Open
Like the seatbelt, an open door may interfere with Auto-Hold. Naturally, you can’t drive with an open door. In this case, ‘Open Door’ means a door you did not shut firmly. If the doors are closed securely, check the handle.
7). The Button Is Broken
If Auto-Hold won’t function, the button that activates the feature is potentially broken. Nothing will happen when you press it.
8). The VW Vehicle Has Faulty Wiring
Loose connections can wreak havoc on a car’s functions. Damaged wires are even worse because they cause arcing. You need an expert to scrutinize the electrical system to find the problem.
Sometimes, the electrical system fails because an inexperienced mechanic or layperson makes mistakes while performing repairs and installations. You need an expert to fix those mistakes.
How To Fix VW Auto Hold That Is Not Working?
Your best option is to take the car back to the dealership. They have experts that understand VW’s Auto-Hold systems. They will deploy one or more of the following solutions:
1). Sometimes, Auto-Hold stops working because the computer deactivated the mechanism in response to a fault it detected. Get a compatible scan tool. Connect the device to the data port to read the fault codes the computer has generated.
Use those codes to diagnose the car. The manual will tell you what they mean.
2). Try to apply sufficient pressure. Push as hard as you can on the brake pedal where necessary. You won’t break it.
3). Test the battery’s health. You should also test the grounding. Remove the corrosion if this is the only fault you can see. Get a new battery if the old one becomes unreliable.
4). Shut all the doors. If you already did this, but Auto-Hold is still not working, troubleshoot the door. This means checking the door latch, handle, module, and wiring. These four components are unlikely to fail at the same time. But if they do, replace them.
5). Troubleshoot the braking system and fix every problem you encounter. That includes replenishing the brake fluid, replacing the brake pads, getting new brake liners, etc. If the braking system is worn out, a defective Auto-Hold is the least of your worries.
6). It isn’t enough to wear your seatbelt. You must fasten the seatbelt before the vehicle starts moving. If you wear the seatbelt when the car is already in motion, Auto-Hold won’t work.
7). Ask an expert to troubleshoot the wiring system. They can tighten loose connections and replace damaged wires. They can also check the Auto-Hold button and replace it if the need arises.
Cost Of Repairing VW Auto Hold System
It depends on what the mechanic has to fix. For instance, you can get a new door handle for a few dollars. But a wheel speed sensor could cost you $400. What if your braking system requires a complete overhaul?
You will spend thousands of dollars on repairs and replacements. Car Advise puts the average cost of replacing a parking brake shoe at $45 – $507. If the mechanic doesn’t know what’s wrong, the labor fees will spike dramatically because of the many hours spent troubleshooting and diagnosing.
VW Auto Hold System Warranty
According to DARCARS Volkswagen, the company’s warranty (for 2020 models onward) includes powertrain and bumper-to-bumper coverage. They will cover repairs associated with correcting workmanship and factory defects.
Additionally, they cover corrosion perforation, batteries, paint, bulbs, key fobs, brakes, mechanical adjustments, and more. You should talk to your dealership to determine which coverage includes your particular model’s Auto-Hold system.