7 Reasons Cruise Control Doesn't Work: ❤️ Everything you need to know (2023)

The 7 causes of cruise control not working include:

Auto repairs are EXPENSIVE

  1. Issues with the cruise control switch
  2. Brake light switch problems
  3. Problems with fuses
  4. A check engine light that comes on
  5. Problems with the vehicle speed sensor
  6. Problems with the electrical system
  7. Problems with the cruise control cable

Over the years, experts and car manufacturersadded many features to giveyou have the most luxurious ride. Some of these features are more about improving your driving experience, while others are more about improving your safety.

Cruise control was added to vehicles starting in the 1950s. Now, almost every vehicle has cruise control that allows you to maintain your speed, especially if you're driving on interstates or highways where you want to maintain the same speed without disturbing your foot you to press the gas.

Since cruise control isn't designed to last forever, you will get to the point where it can fail for any number of reasons. This article provides all the details you need to know about the main causes of cruise control not working. It also highlights some information about minor repair options and repair costs.

7 Reasons Cruise Control Doesn't Work: ❤️ Everything you need to know (2)

7 Reasons Cruise Control Doesn't Work: ❤️ Everything you need to know (3)

What is cruise control and what does it do?

Before we dive into the details of the main causes of cruise control not working, we need to have a general understanding of what cruise control is in the first place?

Not every driver knowsof this feature, and it might be a bit complicated at first, but the whole idea is very simple.

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Cruise Control is a feature added to your vehicle that allows you to maintain a constant speed without constantly pushing guests. You can activate this cruise control and rest your leg during your journey.

Although different cruise controls depend on the type of vehicle, all vehicles and all cruise controls have the same main components. Typically, you will find a speed sensor that is responsible for measuring the speed of your vehicle, a throttle position sensor and other things to control the throttle plate and allow your car to supply the amount of gas to your vehicle.

Cruise control communicates with your vehicle's computer and tells it how much to open the throttle to reach the required speed that is needed and set by the user. The same system communicates with the transmission to allow it to change gears depending on what you're looking for in terms of gears and where you're driving, especially if you're driving uphill or downhill.

What is adaptive cruise control?

To make things even more fun, the experts have created a new type of cruise control that is more complex and uses more advanced technology. However, this adaptive cruise control does not ensure equal to constant speed. it determines the speed of your vehicle according to the traffic and can change depending on the number of vehicles around you on the road and adjust according to your purposes.

Adaptive cruise control works through cameras and sensors connected to the radar. These sensors look at the road around you and communicate to determine the distance between you and the nearest vehicle. As a result, your car's computer adjusts to achieve the safest driving distance and speed.

7 makes the cruise control not work

Unfortunately,although this cruise control systemit's a great addition to your vehicle, you can't enjoy it all the time, especially when it's having problems. In other words, this system is like any other system in your vehicle where it will experience some problems and malfunction at some point.

A word or two of warning about possible causes of cruise control not working is in order. It helps you keep an eye out for what could go wrong and prevent any bad driving habits that could shorten the life of your vehicle's cruise control.

Fortunately, automotive experts were able to narrow down the list and identify the seven most common causes of cruise control not working. Let's take a closer look at these causes below:

1.Issues with the cruise control switch

The cruise control switch is the first and most common reason that could result in your cruise control not working. This is the button you turn on or off to activate the cruise control system.

The cruise control switch can fail for a variety of reasons and when it fails, you won't be able to communicate with the system and turn it on and need it. As a result, you'll think the entire cruise control system is malfunctioning when it's just that switch you need to fix.

2.Brake light switch problems

If you want to turn the cruise control system on and off, you will usually have to press the brake pedal to turn the system off. If there is any simple problem with the brake pedal lights, the system will not detect that brake light and will not know if you are trying to turn it off or not. As a result, you could easily face situations where your cruise control is not working.

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If the cruise control system does not detect the brake light, it will assume that something is wrong with your vehicle and so it will automatically turn off.

3.Problems with fuses

Did you know that your vehicle contains a bunch of fuses that work together to support circuit breakers? These fuses are small and usually don't cost much, but they can cause big problems or make important systems inoperable.

A simple blown fuse can easily prevent your cruise control from working, so before you worry too much and incur complicated high repair costs, look in your fuse box and see if one has blown.

If you confirm a blown fuse, you should replace it immediately to get your system working again. However, replacing a blown fuse is not complicated and does not cost a lot of money. In fact, it's something you can do yourself without even needing a professional.

However, if you drive a luxury car and don't feel comfortable touching the fuse box, you can always go to the mechanics and get it replaced easily without costing you a lot of money.

7 Reasons Cruise Control Doesn't Work: ❤️ Everything you need to know (4)

4.A check engine light that comes on

Your vehicle is communicatingwith you via dashboard warning lights to draw your attention to internal problems. You will have the very common warning lights you will encounter is the check engine light.

This light is a long way for your car to say something is wrong internally, but it doesn't tell you specifically what exactly is going on until you scan the computer and translate the fault code.

Interestingly, your vehicle's cruise control is quite intelligent. When he realizes that your car has a check engine light, he will assume the worst case scenario and we think there is a major problem with the engine or transmission. So, as a result, the entire pressure control system will be immediately disabled.

You don't need cruise control to disable to fix check engine light problems. However, we always recommend that you take these warning lights seriously because they could indicate a major internal problem.

5.Problems with the vehicle speed sensor

The cruise control system needs to know that your vehicle is at the correct speed. So it has to communicate with the vehicle's speed sensor, and if the sensor isn't providing the correct information, how is that cruise control system going to work?!

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Therefore, it is not surprising that the cruise control system will not work properly if you have a problem with the vehicle's speed sensor. So you need to fix the speed sensor first for this system to work properly and activate the way you want it to.

7 Reasons Cruise Control Doesn't Work: ❤️ Everything you need to know (5)

6.Problems with the electrical system

The cruise control system involves many wires and its main power source is the electrical system. So if there is a problem with the connections or cables, this speed control system will have a hard time communicating and doing its job.

So if you are having trouble with your cruise control system, contact your mechanic and have him look at all possible voltage across the entire electrical system to ensure everything is working properly. Therefore, it does not disturb the operation of the cruise control system.

7.Problems with the cruise control cable

Finally, the cruise control system is associated with a cable that must be securely connected. If this table is broken or loose, the system will not work properly and you will be looking for the main causes of the cruise control not working.

Take a look at this cable and do a quick visual inspection. If you notice signs of broken or loose connections, try tightening them. However, if things are broken, or there is some damage, it is better to leave it to professionals because there is a possibility of getting an electric shock, something very dangerous.

How much does it cost to fix cruise control that doesn't work?

It depends on the root cause of the problem. As we mentioned earlier, many components can go wrong and affect the operation of the cruise control system.

To fix general problems with this system, expect to pay somewhere between $125 and $400. But, if you wait for another problem for a long time, things get more complicated, where repair costs can pile up and prevent you from getting your vehicle repaired.

Before you spend a penny trying to fix the cruise control, it is necessary to carefully evaluate the situation. Then, as we always say, you need to calculate and determine the whole number for the repair cost that includes everything that goes wrong with your car.

Once you have this total number, the next step is to compare it to the value of your vehicle. If you find that the value of the vehicle is approaching the cost of its hair, then it may not be worth repairing the car and instead you should sell it and buy another one.

7 Reasons Cruise Control Doesn't Work: ❤️ Everything you need to know (6)

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Can I fix cruise control not working myself?

As you mentioned earlier, some of the problems with your cruise control may just be related to a simple problem like a blown fuse. If this is the case, you can easily replace this fuse and get the cruise control system working again.

However, there are some cases where you might be dealing with sensitive sensors like the speed sensor and other complicated components that you want to mess with unless you have the right engineering skill sets.

That's why we usually recommend contacting your mechanic and seeing what's going on first before deciding whether or not you can do it yourself. There are tons of YouTube videos that could walk you through some recommendations on how to replace things, but keep in mind that you might be introducing mistakes that will cost you a lot of money. So let's leave it to the professionals unless you have the right skills.

7 Reasons Cruise Control Doesn't Work: ❤️ Everything you need to know (7)

Final thoughts

The cruise control system is very effective and useful in many cases. It allows you to maintain certain speeds so that you don't put too much pressure on your foot on the gas pedal when driving long distances.

Over time, this system may fail due to problems with many of the internal components. This article has guided you through the 7 most common causes of cruise control not working.

Your mechanic needs to determine the root cause of the problem and once identified, the next step is to replace the faulty part.

If the repair costs are going to be extremely high and approaching the value of the vehicle, then you may want to consider selling your car instead of wasting time and money.

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What causes cruise control to not work? ›

A Blown Fuse

If your cruise control system is electronically controlled, it will have an associated fuse. If there's an electrical problem, the fuse will fail in order to keep other wiring from getting damaged. Try replacing the fuse. If it solves the problem and the cruise control keeps working, that's great!

Will check engine light cause cruise control not to work? ›

Vehicles equipped with ETCS will automatically disable cruise control if there's a problem with the engine or transmission, so if a check engine light lights up after starting the engine, get the vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible.

How do I know if my cruise control module is bad? ›

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Cruise Control Vacuum Reservoir
  1. Speed surges while cruise control is engaged.
  2. Cruise control will not maintain speed.
  3. Engine performance issues.
Jan 7, 2016

Where is the fuse of cruise control? ›

You can easily find out where your cruise control fuse is and what it's called in your owner's manual. But most often, you'll find the cruise control fuse box under the dashboard on the driver's side.

Will ABS sensor cause cruise control not work? ›

ABS sensor faults

If any of the ABS sensors are faulty (there is normally one on each wheel), the cruise control system will not activate.

What sensor controls cruise control? ›

Cruise Control Distance (CCD) Sensors measure the distance to the leading vehicle. This information drives the adaptive cruise control system and emergency braking system. A key component of a vehicle's Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), the sensors are located behind a vehicle's front grille opening area.

What are the symptoms of a bad or failing ignition control module? ›

One of the first symptoms of a problem with the ignition module are engine performance issues. If the ignition module fails or has any problems it can lead to performance issues with the vehicle, such as misfires, hesitation, loss of power, and even reduced fuel economy.

What is an example of a failure in a car cruise control system? ›

There are several factors that cause car cruise control failure. These factors include faulty brake lights, blown fuse, damaged speed sensor, blinking check engine light, bad vacuum actuator, various electrical issues, and bad mechanical components.

How do I check my engine control module? ›

The least invasive way to diagnose your ECM is to connect an onboard diagnostic (OBD or OBD II) tool to the diagnostic port. From there, you can scan to see if your engine computers have produced any error codes. There are many of these codes, and your diagnostic tool's manual should have information on what they mean.

What to do if cruise control fails? ›

For modern models, motorists should keep pushing the start button for long time until the engine turns off. If that fails, motorists should put the gear on(N) and push on the brakes firmly and steadily until the car eventually stops.

What is the reset on cruise control? ›

The cruise control system will be reset to the speed you are travelling when you release the knob. For a quick reset, accelerate with the accelerator pedal to the desired speed, then press and release the "SET/COAST" button.

Does the ECM control the cruise control? ›

Cruise Control in Newer Cars with Drive-By-Wire Throttle

The ECM is responsible for controlling the throttle body to accelerate or decelerate. Once you set your preferred speed, the ECU grabs that and sorts it out with the ECM and just like that, your car drives at your preferred speed.

Can a vacuum leak affect cruise control? ›

Such systems are made up of a cable connecting the throttle to a part called the vacuum actuator, which adjusts the cable based on the cruise control setting. A vacuum leak is a common problem on such systems, but damage to either of these components can cause the cruise control to stop working.

How much does it cost if cruise control is not working? ›

The average cost for a Cruise Control Switch Replacement is between $199 and $213. Labor costs are estimated between $56 and $70 while parts are priced between $143 and $143.

What happens if I unplug my ABS sensor? ›

Removing a wheel speed sensor will disable ABS—and sometimes, stability control. If your car has a yaw sensor, you can unplug that for results. You can also try simply unplugging the ABS module, though that could adversely affect your car's braking performance.

What triggers ABS sensor? ›

The four common reasons that typically cause this light to turn on include a malfunctioning ABS module, low levels in the fluid reservoir, broken wheel speed sensors, or the system is turned off.

Do ABS sensors have a fuse? ›

In order to operate, your ABS system needs electricity. This is controlled by the anti-lock fuses and relay. The first fuse (a 10 amp fuse) must be good in order for electricity to flow to the relay, and the relay must function to provide power to the second fuse (a 30 amp fuse).

How do you diagnose cruise control? ›

A quick way to diagnose this is to try holding the brake pedal up with the top of your left foot at the same time as you are engaging the cruise control while on a test drive. If the cruise control tries to set, then the brake switch will most likely need to be adjusted. Adjustment of the brake switch is very common.

What is the OBD code for cruise control? ›

P0578 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for "Cruise Control Multi-Function Input "A" Circuit Stuck". This can happen for multiple reasons and a mechanic needs to diagnose the specific cause for this code to be triggered in your situation.

How many sensors are used in cruise control? ›

Speed and distance sensors.

ACC uses information from two sensors: a distance sensor that monitors the gap to the car ahead and a speed sensor that automatically accelerates and decelerates your car.

What are signs of bad ignition coils? ›

5 Symptoms of a Faulty Ignition Coil
  • Misfiring Engine. An engine misfire makes the car feel shuddery and as though it's out of rhythm. ...
  • Engine Backfires. An engine backfire sounds like a bang or sharp cough, and it happens when unburnt fuel ignites in the exhaust system. ...
  • Less Fuel Efficiency. ...
  • Check Engine Light. ...
  • Hard Starts.
Nov 11, 2022

What are the symptoms of a bad ignition sensor? ›

Common signs include engine misfires, the Check Engine Light coming on, car not starting, and a decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency.

What kills an ignition module? ›

What kills ignition coils is location; being mounted in one of the hottest, most vibration prone and dirtiest parts of the engine. Modern ignition coils are typically located between two camshafts on the valve cover and exposed to dirt and oil.

Can I fix cruise control to my car? ›

Can you install cruise control in a car? Well, the answer is yes as well as no. There are aftermarket cruise control kits available for old cars that don't rely on an ECU to control the engine. However, the system doesn't work as smoothly as it does on modern cars that come factory-fitted with it.

What happens when engine control module goes bad? ›

A faulty ECM can send poor data to your vehicle's transmission control module (TCM). As a result, the vehicle cannot properly shift gears or apply power, causing the shift to feel awkward, delayed, or even jarring. When this occurs, the engine may sporadically become more active or stall out.

How much does it cost to fix cruise control? ›

The average cost for a Cruise Control Switch Replacement is between $199 and $213. Labor costs are estimated between $56 and $70 while parts are priced between $143 and $143.

What happens when cruise control goes bad? ›

If the cruise control switch fails, it will not be able to deactivate the cruise control system when the brake pedal is depressed. This will cause the vehicle to continue to accelerate as the brakes are being applied, which can cause them to overheat and damage the components.

What makes cruise control work? ›

The system imitates the way human drivers drive. But instead of pressing the accelerator pedal, it uses an actuator to control the throttle and helps your car continue cruising at the same speed.

How do you diagnose a cruise control device? ›

A quick way to diagnose this is to try holding the brake pedal up with the top of your left foot at the same time as you are engaging the cruise control while on a test drive. If the cruise control tries to set, then the brake switch will most likely need to be adjusted. Adjustment of the brake switch is very common.

Is cruise control hard on your engine? ›

Luckily, cruise control does not damage your car. In fact, quite the opposite—cruise control is often better for your can than constant acceleration and deceleration. Accelerating manually causes wear and tear on the driveline. It also uses more fuel.

What are disadvantages of cruise control in a car? ›

What are the disadvantages of cruise control?
  • Bad for Tired Drivers.
  • Harder to Slow Down Quickly.
  • Harder to Drive in Bad Weather.
  • Easier to Get Distracted.
Jun 14, 2021

Can cruise control get stuck? ›

If the cruise control cable gets stuck or binds it may cause the throttle to stick open, which will cause the accelerator pedal to get stuck or require considerable effort to apply. This may cause the vehicle to jerk during acceleration or when the cruise control is activated.

How long should you use cruise control? ›

You don't want to use it if you're in heavy traffic, if conditions aren't steadily moving along, or if you're in a group of cars with a lot of other vehicles around you. Only use it when you can hit the open road and continue to move at a constant speed without interruption.


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