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4 reasons why your cruise control stopped working

Cruise control is part of the electrical system of your vehicle that automatically controls your car’s speed. It does this by taking over the car throttle to maintain a steady speed set by the driver. Cruise control is advantageous to help drivers avoid the temptation to exceed the speed limit, and it can prevent driver fatigue when travelling long distances. More modern “adaptive” cruise control systems even allow you to maintain a certain distance behind the vehicle in front of you. But you might have noticed one day, this speed regulation system in your car suddenly stopped working altogether. Here are 4 reasons why your cruise control may have stopped working:

  1. Your car has blown a fuse. Since your car’s cruise control is part of an electrical system, it needs a fuse to function properly. A short circuit in this system can cause a fuse to blow, which means that the cruise control will suddenly stop working. Fortunately, replacing a blown fuse is a cheap and easy repair for any auto mechanic.
  2. The speed sensor is broken. Your car’s speed sensing mechanisms have a variety of purposes. These include regulating the fuel flow and ignition timing, indicating the speed that your car is travelling, and operating the cruise control system. If the speed sensor stops functioning properly, the cruise control will stop working. You might also notice some other common symptoms with your vehicle. These include speedometer malfunction, a transmission that is rough when changing gears, and the check engine icon periodically lighting up.
  3. A failing brake light or brake pedal switch. The brake pedal switch is responsible for turning on your car’s brake lights when the brake pedal is being pressed. When the brake pedal switch activates, your car’s cruise control automatically disengages. If the brake pedal or brake light are not working properly, your car might detect that the brakes are being applied and prevent the cruise control system from working.
  4. Problems in the electrical system. Any issues with your car’s electrical components can cause the cruise control to stop working. These issues could be something as simple as a loose wire or connector, or something more complicated like a damaged alternator, starter, or electrical short circuit. Problems with your vehicle’s electrical system can be detected through a variety of warning signs. These include problems starting your car, a dead battery or alternator, dim headlights or brake lights, and blown fuses.

There are also some other, less likely potential problems that would cause the cruise control to stop working.A lot of vehicles have the cruise control switch mounted on the steering wheel. The steering wheel can rotate with the use of a spiral cable, while maintaining electrical connections to other vehicle systems. On some older vehicles, the cruise control system works with the use of a vacuum actuator. If either the spiral cable, vacuum actuator, or vacuum hoses are faulty, the cruise control may stop working.

If your car’s cruise control has suddenly stopped working, you should avoid using it until the problem can be diagnosed and repaired. You should bring your vehicle to a certified auto mechanic. If you are in the Tucson, AZ area, you can trust the experts at Accurate Service full-service auto repair shop. We work on all makes and models of vehicles and have received some stellar reviews from our previous customers. We are also diesel service experts, specializing in diesel cars, pickups and light and medium duty diesel trucks. Just schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (520) 620-9129.