What Does Auto Hold Mean? Comprehensive Guide to Safe Driving

July 9, 2024

The Auto Hold feature in vehicles is an extension of the electric parking brake designed to offer convenience and added safety to drivers. But what does auto hold mean? Essentially, Auto Hold prevents the car from rolling away accidentally when it is stationary or setting off. This functionality is particularly advantageous in stop-and-go traffic conditions or when waiting at long traffic lights.

How Auto Hold Works

Auto Hold operates through the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) hydraulic units. When the car is braked to a standstill position, Auto Hold retains the last-applied braking pressure. This allows drivers to take their foot off the brake pedal while keeping the vehicle stationary, as all four-wheel brakes remain engaged.

Key Benefits

One of the major benefits of Auto Hold is that it automatically increases braking force if the ABS wheel speed sensors detect any rolling. This ensures that the vehicle stays at a standstill, providing drivers with an added layer of safety. Auto Hold is especially beneficial in hilly areas, as it prevents the car from rolling backward when coming to a stop.

Activation and Deactivation

To activate the Auto Hold feature, the driver must press the Auto Hold button located near the gear selector. The system will engage and maintain the brake pressure without requiring the driver to keep their foot on the brake pedal. Once the accelerator is pressed, or in the case of manual transmissions, the clutch is released; the braking pressure reduces, allowing the vehicle to move smoothly.

![Auto Hold feature button near the gear selector](image1.jpg)

Practical Use Cases

The utility of Auto Hold extends beyond just navigating hill stops. It shines in heavy traffic scenarios, providing a more comfortable driving experience. Understanding what does auto hold mean includes recognizing its effectiveness in maintaining the vehicle's position on inclines without the constant need for manual braking.

Auto Hold in Different Vehicles

Different manufacturers may have slight variations in how the Auto Hold system is implemented. For example, in Lincoln vehicles, the rear brake lights remain illuminated while Auto Hold is engaged, which is a useful feature for notifying drivers behind you. Similarly, Hyundai vehicles provide specific instructions on when to deactivate Auto Hold, such as when driving downhill, in reverse, or when the vehicle is parked.

![Rear brake lights illuminated on a Lincoln vehicle](image2.jpg)

Potential Drawbacks

One potential drawback is that Auto Hold must be activated each time the vehicle is started, and it doesn't function while in reverse or park. If the vehicle is stationary for over three minutes, the Emergency Parking Brake will engage automatically for added safety.


Auto Hold is a feature that enhances driving safety and convenience, particularly in stop-and-go traffic and on inclines. Understanding what does auto hold mean and how it operates can help drivers make the most of this advanced braking feature.

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![A driver comfortably driving with Auto Hold engaged](image3.jpg)

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