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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been suggested I post my question here, so here it is.
Has anyone used the DBC button? Downhill Brake Control. I read that it doesn't kick in until you are running at a certain angle down hill and at speeds under 25 MPH/40 km/h. Don't have any real hills or mountains here in the S. Carolina Lowcountry. We are heading to Gatlinburg TN in Oct and I thought I'd try it there. Just wanted some feed back on it.
 

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It has been suggested I post my question here, so here it is.
Has anyone used the DBC button? Downhill Brake Control. I read that it doesn't kick in until you are running at a certain angle down hill and at speeds under 25 MPH/40 km/h. Don't have any real hills or mountains here in the S. Carolina Lowcountry. We are heading to Gatlinburg TN in Oct and I thought I'd try it there. Just wanted some feed back on it.
I haven't yet but I think I will get the chance on my trip to Phoenix next weekend. There are some steep stretches near Tucson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't yet but I think I will get the chance on my trip to Phoenix next weekend. There are some steep stretches near Tucson.

Please let us know how you like it. I'll get to try it in Oct. around the Blue Ridge in TN. Would like to know what to expect.
 

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On my 2010 Tucson GLS AWD, and 2011 Sportage EX AWD, I tried it. IMO, don't bother! :rolleyes:

Be careful!, On a fairly steep downhill in my hilly PA. community, I put it on before the hillcrest, and it kicked in violently about 1/2 way down the hill?
a delayed reaction?! :eek: glad I had my seatbelt on!
Then made a horrible metal grinding noise at the same time to the bottom of the hill. :(

It actually felt like I put the vehicle in Park by mistake!

You can do the same thing without it, just by using the brakes, without all the drama.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
On my 2010 Tucson GLS AWD, and 2011 Sportage EX AWD, I tried it. IMO, don't bother! :rolleyes:

Be careful!, On a fairly steep downhill in my hilly PA. community, I put it on before the hillcrest, and it kicked in violently about 1/2 way down the hill?
a delayed reaction?! :eek: glad I had my seatbelt on!
Then made a horrible metal grinding noise at the same time to the bottom of the hill. :(

It actually felt like I put the vehicle in Park by mistake!

You can do the same thing without it, just by using the brakes, without all the drama.
Whooa Nelly!!! THAT don't sound too cool!!! Could you have switched it on too soon, too fast? I'd like to read how the system is suppose to work. I thought it might gear down and brake for you or something like that. Has the SF worked OK after that?
 

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On my 2010 Tucson GLS AWD, and 2011 Sportage EX AWD, I tried it. IMO, don't bother! :rolleyes:

Be careful!, On a fairly steep downhill in my hilly PA. community, I put it on before the hillcrest, and it kicked in violently about 1/2 way down the hill?
a delayed reaction?! :eek: glad I had my seatbelt on!
Then made a horrible metal grinding noise at the same time to the bottom of the hill. :(

It actually felt like I put the vehicle in Park by mistake!

You can do the same thing without it, just by using the brakes, without all the drama.
Yes, that's normal. It makes a lot of noise and the manual does reference that. I used it going down a steep narrow mountain road. It keeps you at a slow speed without riding the brakes

I'm not sure exactly how it works or what it does, I'd like to do some research on that. I don't know if I will use it that much especially since I live smack in the middle of the Midwest prairie!
 

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Just throwing this out there...

If the downgrade is that severe, wouldn`t switching to manual shifting, and using 2nd or 1st gear work even better?...:confused:...That method always did the job with the 'manual' tranny..
 

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Just throwing this out there...

If the downgrade is that severe, wouldn`t switching to manual shifting, and using 2nd or 1st gear work even better?...:confused:...That method always did the job with the 'manual' tranny..
Yeah, that's pretty much what I thought too but however this works it doesn't put the strain on the engine. It feels like it's in the transaxle. It vibrates the whole car when it makes the noise and makes you wonder if it's working correctly.
 

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Just throwing this out there...

If the downgrade is that severe, wouldn`t switching to manual shifting, and using 2nd or 1st gear work even better?...:confused:...That method always did the job with the 'manual' tranny..
That's the recommendation for Whiteface in upstate New York - we went up there a few years ago (long before I had the SFS) and there are signs saying to keep the vehicle in 1st - the owner of the motel at the base (for those who know the area, he is just after the stop sign on Hwy 86 in Wilmington) was saying he has seen people some down with their calipers glowing RED from rising the brakes! Staying in 1st (or 2nd on less steep portions) worked for me!
 

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using a lower gear, will increase trans-temps.

riding the brakes will cause your fluid to boil, or brake pad surface to go past its tolerance = causing complete brake failure.

deliberately causing cylinders to not-misfire (fuel delivery & spark is arrested) wont increase any temps, while still delivering the reduction in power = forceful slowing down. [this is technically called "jake-brake"]

some systems will only apply the rear brakes intermittently. leaving the front brakes for the emergency situation - since front brakes do 60%-70% of the work in a car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is an eye opener. Like Cheers, I have always used a lower gear and used the brakes on and off. Letting them cool in between uses. I did this in the Blue Ridge last year in my V6 SF SE. Even in a lower gear it would still pick up speed pretty quickly. It was a long down hill road.
 

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using a lower gear to low down is fine, until you reach a point in the RPM spectrum when it actually stops working for you. (depending on the vehicle weight and the grade of descent). the mph & rpm will eventually reach their sweet spot, and the vehicle's weight will begin to cause acceleration (or at the very least constant speed). [just think of putting a car on a hill, in 1st gear, at 0mph and letting the brakes go - the vehicles weight will begin to cause the car to gain speed]

the folks living in hilly area's can benefit from yearly brake fluid drains, and frequent brake pad inspections (i don't live near hills, but still inspect my pads & calipers every 6 months- because brake failure isn't forgiving at 65mph!) [DIY video coming soon]. the same people can also benefit from installing higher performance pads(which increase heat tolerances), and using DOT4 brake fluid(which also has increased heat tolerances) versus the DOT3 thats in their now.

 

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If the downgrade is that severe, wouldn`t switching to manual shifting, and using 2nd or 1st gear work even better?...:confused:...That method always did the job with the 'manual' tranny..
Dont compare a true Manual transmission with an automatic transmission designed to 'emulate' a manual.

in a manual you have a dry clutch. a large clutch that can take a beating and not over-heat. you also have oil in the gearbox that is designed to lube the gears.

in a automatic transmission you have multiple wet (submersed in tranny fluid) clutch packs that are multiple fiber disks & steel plates that generate a lot of heat. you also have more complex planetary gear sets. things get so hot, that you need a tranny cooler just to keep things under control. (most tranny coolers are part of the radiator, just all the way on the bottom - or a stand alone unit)

so going into manual mode, on an automatic transmission just to to control a car, is fine once in a while, but if this is your daily commute, and thats your daily technique - you might end up using your transmission warranty faster than expected.
 

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You really need to give it a try to get familiar with it. What I posted was just to prepare you ;)

I don't know how it works, hopefully not wearing on the brakes?
But, just know there might be a delayed reaction, now you'll be ready for it. If you let the car go downhill, & pick up speed before it kicks in, then it's abrupt!,,, that's what I think may have happened to me the 1st time I used it, I was coasting maybe 25-30mph. Maybe riding your brakes a bit before it kicks in may help?

ImStricken made some good points.

Good Luck, Mike D.
 

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At this point, I haven`t found it necessary to use either method to control my down-hill speed..

Delaware is extremely flat..

However, on our recent trip, (posted in the MPG thread),...going through the mountains of western Md...W.VA.,..and eastern Ky.,...there were dozens of down-grades lasting anywhere from 3 miles, to as much as 8 miles at a stretch...(these were the ones with the run-a-way truck ramps)....Speed limit was 70, so we let her rip...

The truck speed limit on these slopes was 50...We passed many a truck with smoking, smelly brakes...and as I said, some of the run-a-way truck ramps were recently used...:eek:
 

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some of the run-a-way truck ramps were recently used...:eek:
brakes are the most important thing in a car, but yet they are the most neglected. people drive on them and rarely ever have them inspected (unless they are making noise). people rarely drain the fluid as they should (yearly would be great, bi-yearly at most). people rarely have the pins lubes, pad air channel cleaned, and the caliper piston boot inspected for tear/leaks. unfortunately brakes are a system where when they go- THEY GO. brakes are a simple system, yet very intricate with the possibilities of failure. by intricate i mean:
mechanical:

  • smooth piston
  • working seals
  • lubed slide pins
  • moving / smooth rotor
  • operational brake pedal
  • the calipers have to apply equal pressure on both sides of the car, or you get pulling
chemical:

  • the brake pad residue left on the rotor helps the braking power.
  • oil/water on the rotor or pad can reduce its ability to effectively brake
hydraulic:

  • brake fluid pressure needs a "closed" system with no leaks, no air in the lines, and no moisture(water).

electronic
:

  • the abs sensors need to be working
  • the brake booster needs to be operating correctly.

hardware:

  • lines that can hold the extreme pressure of the fluid, and not expand
  • crimps in the lines that wont give out under pressure
  • banjo bolts that wont leak
  • copper/aluminum crush washers that wont leak
  • drain valves that wont leak

lots can go wrong. and yet - people dont have their brakes inspected/cleaned until they make noise. :confused:
 

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Isn't this supposed to work like hill descent control for severe inclines like you would in a 4x4 when off road requiring the car to be stationary?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Isn't this supposed to work like hill descent control for severe inclines like you would in a 4x4 when off road requiring the car to be stationary?

Not from what I read in the manual. In standby mode it says "Press the DBC button when vehicle speed is under 25 mph( 40 km/h). Etc., etc. That tells me that you switch it on while moving. Also, "The DBC does not turn ON in the P (Park) position".
Your question was a good one but all I read says you engage while moving. I still have not tried it. No steep hills around here. Maybe in Oct. when in and around Gatlinburg TN.
It also warns that "Noise or vibration may occur from the brakes when the DBC is activated".
 
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