Car Cruise Control Not Working? These Are The Causes

Car Cruise Control Not Working - These Are The Causes
Car Cruise Control Not Working - These Are The Causes

If you drive long distances on a regular basis, don’t neglect cruise control if it fails, it might be a long haul. Long journeys are less stressful and exhausting with Cruise Control. However, problems with cruise control can be dangerous.

Table of Contents

We have put together possible causes of cruise control failure to help you identify them when your cruise control fails, but first, what is your cruise control doing? Let’s see how it works.

How Does Cruise Control Work?

Cruise control is a system used to maintain the speed of a vehicle without direct driver intervention. To use cruise control, turn on the system with a switch or button. However, this does not mean that cruise control will start.

First, you need to set the cruise speed so that the cruise control module can save the current speed to the cruise control. The control module then begins controlling the throttle body to maintain vehicle speed. So, as the speed increases or decreases (due to wind or hills), the cruise control module will also increase or decrease the opening of the throttle body.

The Cruise Control Module (CCM) can now maintain the desired cruising speed on highways when controlling engine speed. You can increase or decrease the movement speed by tapping the button. Again, it can be cancelled by stepping on the brake or pressing the “cancel or off” button.

Throttle body regulations have evolved over the years. Traditional systems were content with cables and vacuum motors, later changed to electric motors. Today, advances in electronic throttle control systems (ETCS) or drive-by-wire have incorporated cruise control into the ECM (Engine Control Module). and control the throttle valve. Cruise control systems initially require drivers to pay attention to road changes and traffic conditions.

Adaptive Cruise Control, also known as Smart Cruise, uses laser or radar detection to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead. Some adaptive cruise control systems simply reduce engine speed, while others maintain the following distance. However, modern brakes can also slow down or stop the car by applying the brakes. Regardless, drivers using adaptive cruise control are expected to keep their eyes on the road.

Possible Reasons for Cruise Control Not Working

Cruise control may have stopped working for some reason. And it depends on how it was designed. There’s not much you can do about the ETCS cruise control system, but you can check these parts. Aftermarket brake lights, such as LED brake light conversions, can trick the CCM into thinking the brake lights are out because LED bulbs draw less current than incandescent bulbs.

  • Brake Lights 

Since the cruise control automatically turns off when you apply the brakes, it may turn off on some vehicles if the brake light switch is missing. wheel. Defects in coiled cords tend to break. As a result, the switch cannot connect to his CCM.

  • Fuses and Relays

Some vehicles use fuses and relays to protect the cruise control actuator circuit. Also, if a fuse blows or a relay fails, the system will not work.

  • Control Switch

If the internal contacts are worn, the cruise control switch will lose contact with the CCM. This can completely disable cruise control. In addition, it may not respond even if you use the speedup or cancel function.

  • Vehicle Speed Sensor

Vehicles are equipped with various vehicle speed sensors (VSS). The cruise control module can also use the VSS feed supplied by the transmission, ECM, or instrument cluster. If the signal is lost, the vehicle speed cannot be recorded. And this disables cruise control.

  • Vacuum leak

A vacuum actuator was used on some older cars to adjust the throttle body when cruise control was engaged. A leak from a ruptured pipe or hose will stop the system from working. Also, if the vacuum is leaking, the engine will idle high.

  • Electrical Problems

Almost all cruise control systems use electrical components. If there is a diagnostic, it should include a thorough inspection of power voltages, connectors, and wiring harnesses. Broken or loose parts can permanently damage your system.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does Cruise Control Save Gas?

One of the best ways to maximize fuel economy while driving on the highway is to reach the speed limit and stick to it. The engine will burn some fuel to reach the speed and then burn very little to keep it there. Conversely, rapid accelerations and braking can hurt your fuel economy by 2 to 3 miles per gallon (mpg). Cruise control helps a driver stick to the posted speed limit.

What Is Adaptive Cruise Control?

Several new vehicle models now offer adaptive cruise control. This new version works like the traditional feature, but also adds traffic monitoring systems to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. In the event the vehicle in front stops abruptly, the system will either alert you or stop the vehicle itself.


Do not use a malfunctioning cruise control until it has been repaired. If it is a bug, there is a high possibility that it will not be cancelled even if you press the cancel button. And it becomes dangerous. After the cruise control is inspected, have it inspected by a mechanic to identify and repair any faults.

Written by Carmart Team

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