The Cruise Control Isn't Working - What Does That Mean?

Cruise control is a popular feature on most North American cars and it is a very useful feature for those longer road trips. But what if the cruise control isn't working? What does that mean? Is it dangerous to drive without it? We'll take a look at the possible causes and potential effects of a defective cruise control. How long does a cruise control last? It depends on each individual situation but most will last the life of the vehicle. Contact us at Hansma Automotive if you are concerned about a malfunctioning cruise control.

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What Is Cruise Control?

Cruise control is a feature present on many modern vehicles that allows the vehicle to be driven at a constant speed without any force having to be applied to the accelerator pedal. Cruise controls have gone through many configurations over the years, with the most recent ones being purely electronically operated. Previous incarnations have been purely mechanical, vacuum operated, and electro-mechanical. The latest innovation is adaptive cruise control which allows the vehicle to maintain a safe distance between you and the car ahead. All of the cruise control incarnations are designed not to interfere with the throttle control when they are not in use, or not functioning correctly. Bring your vehicle to our technicians at Hansma if you are unsure which type of cruise control you have.

How Does Cruise Control Work?

Essentially cruise control works by adjusting the throttle control position - which is what we do when we apply pressure to the accelerator pedal. The difference is that cruise control works by operating an "actuator" rather than by pressure to the accelerator pedal.

Why Might a Throttle Control Malfunction?

Below is a list of the most common problems encountered by cruise controls. If you are unable to determine the cause or lack time to diagnose the vehicle, don't hesitate to contact us at Hansma Automotive. We are a full service automotive repair facility.

Faulty Fuse 

Modern vehicles operate by electrical or electro-mechanical means. A faulty fuse means that the electrical circuit is not working properly. Your vehicle may simply need a new fuse. 

Defective VSS

The Vehicle Speed Sensor reads the speedometer and inputs the data into the computer. If this component is faulty, the cruise control will malfunction. If your speedometer does not seem to be providing the correct information, the VSS is the likely cause of the cruise control problem, not the cruise control itself. At Hansma, we provide general repairs to all makes of vehicles, including cruise control repairs.

Faulty Switch

If the brake pedal switch is not working correctly it may adversely affect the cruise control. If your vehicles brakes operate on the same switch as the cruise control, and your brake lights are not working correctly, the fault may lie in the switch. 

Defective Cruise Control Module

Your first clue to a defective cruise control may be an illuminated check engine light. Have a qualified professional run a diagnostic to determine if that is the problem.

 Faulty Vacuum Actuator

Older electro-mechanical systems have a vacuum actuator which can fail. This is usually due to a faulty diaphragm. If this is the case, the unit will require replacement. 

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What We Do At Hansma Automotive

If you notice any of these signs with your vehicle, then it is time to get your cruise control checked out by a professional. Come and see the experts at Hansma Automotive at 88 Shoemaker Street in Kitchener, Ontario. We will take a look at your vehicle and repair only what needs fixing. We have a reputation for honesty and quality service.

Sources:

How Cruise Control Systems Work

Cruise Control Is Not Working

Diagnose Cruise Control

Posted on November 6, 2016 .