Dodge Avenger: Electronic brake control system - Starting and operating - Dodge Avenger Owners ManualDodge Avenger: Electronic brake control system

Your vehicle may be equipped with an optional advancedelectronic brake control system that includesAnti-Lock Brake System (ABS), Traction Control System(TCS), Brake Assist System (BAS), Hill Start Assist (HSA),and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). All systems worktogether to enhance vehicle stability and control in variousdriving conditions and are commonly referred to asESC.

Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)

This system aids the driver in maintaining vehicle controlunder adverse braking conditions. The system controlshydraulic brake pressure to prevent wheel lock-up andhelp avoid skidding on slippery surfaces during braking.

Refer to “Anti-Lock Brake System” in “Starting andOperating” for further information.

Traction Control System (TCS)

This system monitors the amount of wheel spin of each ofthe driven wheels. If wheel spin is detected, brakepressure is applied to the slipping wheel(s) and enginepower is reduced to provide enhanced acceleration andstability. A feature of the TCS system functions similar toa limited slip differential and controls the wheel spinacross a driven axle. If one wheel on a driven axle isspinning faster than the other, the system will apply thebrake of the spinning wheel. This will allow more enginetorque to be applied to the wheel that is not spinning.

This feature remains active even if TCS and ESC are inthe “Partial Off” mode. Refer to “Electronic StabilityControl (ESC)” in this section of this manual.

Brake Assist System (BAS)

The BAS is designed to optimize the vehicle’s brakingcapability during emergency braking maneuvers. Thesystem detects an emergency braking situation by sensingthe rate and amount of brake application and thenapplies optimum pressure to the brakes. This can helpreduce braking distances. The BAS complements theAnti-Lock Brake System (ABS). Applying the brakes veryquickly results in the best BAS assistance. To receive thebenefit of the system, you must apply continuous brakingpressure during the stopping sequence. Do notreduce brake pedal pressure unless braking is no longerdesired. Once the brake pedal is released, the BAS isdeactivated.


• The BAS cannot prevent the natural laws of physicsfrom acting on the vehicle, nor can it increasebraking efficiency beyond that afforded by thecondition of the vehicle brakes and tires or thetraction afforded.

• The BAS cannot prevent accidents, includingthose resulting from excessive speed in turns,following another vehicle too closely, or hydroplaning.

Only a safe, attentive, and skillful drivercan prevent accidents.

• The capabilities of a BAS-equipped vehicle mustnever be exploited in a reckless or dangerousmanner, which could jeopardize the user’s safetyor the safety of others.

Hill Start Assist (HSA) – If Equipped

The HSA system is designed to assist the driver inlaunching a vehicle on an incline. HSA will maintain thelevel of brake pressure the driver inputs for a shortduration once the driver takes his foot off of the brakepedal. If the driver does not apply the throttle during thisshort duration, the system will release brake pressureand the vehicle will roll down the incline. The system willrelease brake pressure in proportion to the amount ofthrottle applied.

During operation, HSA will activate the brake controlsystem and a clicking noise may occur. If your foot is onthe brake pedal during operation you may feel a slightpedal movement. The clicking and pedal movement isnormal and both will stop when HSA becomes inactive.

HSA Activation Criteria

The following criteria must be met in order for HSA toactivate:

• Vehicle must be stopped.

• Vehicle must be on a 7% or greater incline.

• Gear selection matches vehicle uphill direction (i.e.,vehicle facing uphill is in forward gear; vehicle backinguphill is in REVERSE gear).


There may be situations on minor hills (i.e., less than7%), with a loaded vehicle or while pulling a trailerwhere the system will not activate and slight rollingmay occur, which could cause a collision with anothervehicle or object. Always remember the driveris responsible for braking the vehicle.

The system will only work if the intended direction of thevehicle and vehicle gear match. For example, if theintended direction is forward up a hill and the vehicle isin DRIVE and the activation criteria are met, HSA willactivate.

The system will work in REVERSE and all forward gears,and will not activate if the vehicle is placed inNEUTRAL.


Non-EVIC Equipped Vehicles

If you wish to turn off the HSA system, follow thisprocedure:

NOTE: You must complete Steps 1 through 8 within90 seconds.

1. Center the steering wheel (front wheels pointingstraight forward).

2. Shift the transmission into NEUTRAL.

3. Apply the parking brake.

4. Start the engine.

5. Release the clutch pedal.

6. Rotate the steering wheel one-half turn to the left.

7. Press the “ESC Off” switch four times within 20 seconds.

The “ESC Off Indicator Light” should turn on andturn off two times.

8. Rotate the steering wheel back to center and then anadditional half-turn to the right.

9. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position and thenback to the ON position. If the sequence was completedproperly, the “ESC Off Indicator Light” will blink severaltimes to confirm HSA is disabled.

10. Repeat these steps if you want to return this featureto it’s previous setting.

EVIC Equipped Vehicles

HSA is a Customer Programmable Feature on a EVICequipped vehicle. If you wish to turn off the HSA feature,refer to “Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC)/Customer Programmable Features” in “UnderstandingYour Instrument Panel” for further information.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

This system enhances directional control and stability ofthe vehicle under various driving conditions. ESC correctsfor over/under steering of the vehicle by applyingthe brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteractingthe over/under steer condition. Engine powermay also be reduced to help the vehicle maintain thedesired path. ESC uses sensors in the vehicle to determinethe vehicle path intended by the driver and comparesit to the actual path of the vehicle. When the actualpath does not match the intended path, ESC applies thebrake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteractingthe oversteer or understeer condition• Over-steer - when the vehicle is turning more thanappropriate for the steering wheel position.

• Under-steer - when the vehicle is turning less thanappropriate for the steering wheel position.

ESC Off Indicator Light

in theinstrument cluster) starts to flash as soon as thetires lose traction andThe “ESC Off Indicator Light” (located in theinstrument cluster) starts to flash as soon as thetires lose traction and the ESC system becomesactive. The “ESC Off Indicator Light” alsoflashes when TCS is active. If the “ESC Off IndicatorLight” begins to flash during acceleration, ease up on theaccelerator and apply as little throttle as possible. Be sureto adapt your speed and driving to the prevailing roadconditions.


• The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) cannot preventthe natural laws of physics from acting on thevehicle, nor can it increase the traction afforded byprevailing road conditions.

• ESC cannot prevent accidents, including thoseresulting from excessive speed in turns, driving onvery slippery surfaces, or hydroplaning. Only asafe, attentive, and skillful driver can preventaccidents.

• The capabilities of an ESC-equipped vehicle mustnever be exploited in a reckless or dangerousmanner, which could jeopardize the user’s safetyor the safety of others.

ESC Malfunction Indicator Light

in theinstrument cluster will come on when theignition switch is turned to the ONThe “ESC Malfunction Indicator Light” in theinstrument cluster will come on when theignition switch is turned to the ON position. Itshould go out with the engine running. If the“ESC Malfunction Indicator Light” comes on continuouslywith the engine running, a malfunction has beendetected in the ESC system. If this light remains on afterseveral ignition cycles, and the vehicle has been drivenseveral miles (kilometers) at speeds greater than 30 mph(48 km/h), see your authorized dealer as soon as possibleto have the problem diagnosed and corrected.


• The “ESC Off Indicator Light” and the “ESC MalfunctionIndicator Light” come on momentarily each timethe ignition switch is turned ON.

• Each time the ignition is turned ON, the ESC systemwill be ON even if it was turned off previously.

• The ESC system will make buzzing or clicking soundswhen it is active. This is normal; the sounds will stopwhen ESC becomes inactive following the maneuverthat caused the ESC activation.

ESC Operating Modes

All ESC equipped vehicles can choose the following ESCoperating modes:


This is the normal operating mode for ESC. Wheneverthe vehicle is started the ESC system will be in this mode.

This mode should be used for almost all driving situations.

ESC should only be turned to “Partial Off” forspecific reasons as noted below.

Partial ESC Mode

This mode is entered by momentarily pressing the “ESCOff” switch (located in the lower switch bank below theheater/air conditioning controls). When in “Partial Off”mode, the TCS portion of ESC, except for the limited slipfeature described in the TCS section, has been disabledand the “ESC Off Indicator Light” will be illuminated. Allother stability features of ESC function normally, with theexception of engine power reduction. This mode isintended to be used if the vehicle is in deep snow, sand,or gravel conditions and more wheel spin than ESCwould normally allow is required to gain traction.

To turn ESC on again, momentarily press the “ESC Off”switch. This will restore the normal “ESC On” mode ofoperation.


In the Partial ESC mode, the engine torque reductionand stability features are desensitized. Therefore, theenhanced vehicle stability offered by ESC is unavailable.

NOTE: To improve the vehicle’s traction when drivingwith snow chains, or starting off in deep snow, sand orgravel, it may be desirable to switch to the “Partial Off”mode by pressing the “ESC Off” switch. Once the situationrequiring ESC to be switched to the “Partial Off”mode is overcome, turn ESC on again by momentarilypressing the “ESC Off” switch. This may be done whilethe vehicle is in motion.

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