Three Common Reasons For Cruise Control Failure

30 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Cruise control makes it a joy to drive on an open road with little or no traffic. Just like other car systems, however, it can fail. Common reasons for this failure include:

Blown Fuse

If you are lucky, then the problem may be as simple as a blown fuse. Just like other parts of the engine, the cruise control circuit is also protected by a fuse. This may happen, for example, if there is a power surge or short circuit in the system.

If you trust your electrical skills, then you can replace the fuse. It is located in the fuse panel normally located below the steering wheel. Just open the panel, take out the fuse, examine it for damage (if the metal strip inside is broken), and replace it with a fuse of the same current rating.

However, it is probably best to go to the mechanic and find out what blew the fuse in the first place. For example, it might be due to a short circuit, in which case the freshly installed fuse will also blow.

Speed Sensor Failure

The speed sensor detects the car engine's speed and feeds it to the onboard computer. The computer then makes the necessary adjustments to maintain the selected speed. Therefore, if the speed sensor is malfunctioning, then it may send the wrong signals (incorrect speed) to the computer and the correct adjustments won't be made. In most cases, the speedometer will also be erratic or even halt (especially if the speed sensor is dead). The speed sensor is attached (via several wires) to the transmission; damage to any of these wires may make it fail.

Malfunctioning Switch

The cruise control switch, which is located on the steering wheel or column, must function if the cruise control system is to work. If the switch, or its wiring that connects it to the computer, is damaged, then some of the cruise control buttons may not work. If all of the buttons aren't working, then you are dealing with a damaged wiring.

This problem requires professional repair because you must remove the steering wheel to access the work area. This means deactivating the airbag system (in most modern cars); otherwise you may trigger the airbag and damage your car or even injure yourself.

As you can see, most of these are electrical problems. It's not wise to tinker with your car's electrical systems unless you have the requisite knowledge. To learn more about auto repair, contact a company like Alaska Professional Auto.