BMW Auto Hold: Your Personal Driving Assistant for Seamless Stops and Starts

Alright, let’s talk BMW Auto Hold. If you’re a BMW driver, you’ve probably heard of this feature before. And if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat. In short, the BMW Auto Hold function is like having a personal valet who knows just when to apply the brakes.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Why do I need a car to hold its brakes for me?” But let me tell you, this feature is a game-changer, especially in stop-and-go traffic. It’s like having an extra set of eyes and legs, except these ones don’t get tired or distracted.

So, what exactly does the BMW Auto Hold function do? In a nutshell, it holds the car in place once you come to a complete stop, without you having to keep your foot on the brake pedal. This may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is.

BMW Group

Think about it: how many times have you been stuck in traffic, inching forward little by little, only to have to slam on the brakes when the car in front of you suddenly comes to a halt? With Auto Hold, you can take your foot off the brake pedal and relax. The car will stay put until you’re ready to go again, without any unwanted rolling or creeping forward.

But the real beauty of this feature is in its seamless integration with other BMW technologies. The Auto Hold function is linked to the car’s hill-start assist and dynamic stability control systems, which means that it can automatically engage the brakes to prevent rollback on a slope, or adjust the braking pressure to keep you in control in slippery conditions.

Martin Kaymer, german winner of a Major tournament and BMW Golfsport ambassador, at BMW Offroad-Training with the BMW X6 in the desert of Dubai. BMW Group.

So, there you have it. The BMW Auto Hold function may seem like a small detail, but it’s one of those little things that make a big difference. It’s like having your own personal assistant, but for driving. And hey, who wouldn’t want that?

How to Use Auto Hold Function in BMW

How Auto H Function Works

The Automatic Hold is a subfunction of Dynamic Stability Control and Electromechanical Parking Brake, or Integrated Braking System in the latest G Series. The Auto H feature is functionally identical to the Brake-by-wire system. 

When you press down on the brake pedal to come to a complete stop, the Auto Hold system engages and maintains the brake pressure at the point of the stop by applying the hydraulic pressure via the DCS unit. Once you release the brake pedal, the DSC keeps the brake pressure applied, effectively holding the car in place until you press down on the accelerator pedal to move again.

The system uses a hydraulic pump to maintain the brake pressure, which is regulated by a DSC control unit. DSC is responsible for interpreting the signals from various sensors on the car, such as the wheel speed sensors, to determine when the Auto Hold function should engage.

Once you turn off the engine, the system switches from hydraulic braking to using an electromechanical parking brake. 

1Parking brake button2Function indicator light
3Automatic Hold button with function indicator light4Twelve-pin plug connection

Most Common Problems 

The Auto Hold function in BMW is generally very reliable. Still, like any system, it can experience faults or failures from time to time. The most common problem we see with the auto hold function is the Auto H button is sticky or not working at all. If the button for the Auto Hold function fails, you can expect to see a fault code entry in the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) control unit, as well as a Check Control message in the instrument panel. 

This means that the system is not working correctly and should be addressed as soon as possible to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle.

Similarly, if the parking brake button fails, you can expect to see a fault code memory entry in the EMF (Parking Brake Module) control unit and a Check Control message in the instrument panel. This means that the parking brake is not working as intended and may require immediate attention to avoid safety issues.

In both cases, it’s important to have the system inspected and repaired by a qualified BMW technician as soon as possible to ensure proper operation and to prevent any safety hazards that could result from the system malfunctioning.

However, faults in other control modules can result in an inoperative Auto H function. Because the Auto Hold operates as a subfunction of other modules, the fault in either DSC or EMF system can also deactivate the Auto H function. The most common problem is failed parking brake actuator. In some cases, there is no warning check control message even though the actuator is faulty. 

Overall, the BMW Auto Hold function is a sophisticated piece of engineering that utilizes advanced technology to provide a seamless and convenient driving experience.

Georg Meier

BMW technician since 1996. I began my automotive journey in 1993 as an apprentice mechanic at Automag, the world's oldest BMW dealership in Munich. With years of experience and dedication, I garnered a wealth of knowledge about the intricacies of BMW and MINI vehicles. The love/hate relationship with the brand led me to found BIMMERIST where I share expertise and insights with fellow enthusiasts.

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