Kia Sportage: Downhill Brake Control (DBC)

Kia Sportage - Fifth generation (NQ5) - (2022-2024) - Owner's Manual / Driving your vehicle / Brake system / Downhill Brake Control (DBC)

Downhill Brake Control (DBC)

The Downhill Brake Control (DBC) feature assists the driver to descend down a steep hill without having to depress the brake pedal.

The system automatically applies the brakes to maintain the vehicle speed 2.5 mph (4 km/h) ~ 25 mph (40 km/h) and allows the driver to concentrate on steering the vehicle down hill.

Always turn off the DBC on normal roads. The DBC might activate inadvertently from the stand by mode when driving through speed bumps or making sharp curves.


The DBC defaults to the OFF position whenever the ignition switch or ENGINE START/STOP button is placed in the ON position.

Noise or vibration may occur from the brakes when the DBC is activated. The rear stop light comes on when DBC is activated.

DBC operation

Mode/ Indicator light/ Description


Press the DBC button when vehicle speed is under 38 mph (60 km/h). The DBC system will turn ON and enter the standby mode.

The system does not turn ON if vehicle speed is over 38 mph (60 km/h).

Activated -

In the standby mode, It enters the operating mode when the following conditions are met.

  • The road surface should be more than a certain angle of inclination
  • The accelerator pedal must not be depressed.
  • The vehicle speed should be within 2.5 mph (4 km/h) ~ 25 mph (40 km/h)

Within operating vehicle speed 2.5 mph (4 km/h) ~ 25 mph (40 km/h), the driver can lower or raise the vehicle speed by stepping on the brake pedal or accelerator pedal.

Temporarily deactivated-

In the activated mode, the DBC will temporarily deactivate under the following conditions:

  • The hill is not steep enough.
  • The accelerator pedal is depressed.
  • When the vehicle speed is in the range of 25 mph (40 km/h) ~ 38 mph (60 km/h)

If the above conditions are not met, the DBC will automatically activate again.


The DBC will turn OFF under the following conditions:

  • The DBC button is pressed again.
  • When the accelerator pedal is depressed and the vehicle speed exceeds 38 mph (60 km/h)

DBC operation


If the DBC yellow indicator light appears, the system may have overheated or have malfunctioned. When the warning light appears even though the DBC system has cooled off, have your vehicle checked by an authorized Kia dealer as soon as possible.


  • The DBC may not deactivate on steep inclines even though the brake or accelerator pedal is depressed.
  • The DBC does not operate when:
  • The gear is in P (Park).
  • The ESC is activated.

Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)

A vehicle has the tendency to roll back on a steep hill when it starts to go after stopping. The Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) prevents the vehicle from rolling back by applying the brakes automatically for about 2 seconds.

The brakes are released when the accelerator pedal is engaged or after about 2 seconds.

The HAC is activated only for about 2 seconds, so when the vehicle is starting off always engaged the accelerator pedal.


Maintaining brake pressure on incline

HAC does not replace the need to apply brakes while stopped on an incline.

While stopped, make sure you maintain brake pressure sufficient to prevent your vehicle from rolling backward and causing an accident. Don't release the brake pedal until you are ready to accelerate forward.


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