6 Potential Causes Of Cruise Control Not Working

You’re almost certainly a car owner and you’ve, at some point, inevitably run into the problem of cruise control not working. Cruise control that doesn’t work is no good and it’s pretty frustrating when it’s something you assume will always just work. For instance, why does it stop working on a day when you really need it to work like clockwork?

Maybe your car steering wheel isn’t working, maybe the push starts aren’t working or maybe even the brake calipers aren’t working. Whatever the case may be, here we’ll go through the top 6 most common issues with cars that have broken cruise controls and what you can do about them.

What Is Cruise Control?

You may use cruise control to set the speed of a car. It works by pressing on the accelerator, which then holds the accelerator pedal in position. Cruise control keeps your vehicle from exceeding the pre-set speed until you release the accelerator pedal. You can use the cruise control to maintain a constant speed when driving down a highway or mountain road, for example.

What Is Cruise Control

Cruise control uses sensors, electronics, and hydraulics to sense how fast you are going, then adjust the throttle to maintain that speed. When set properly for your car, cruise control can help reduce fatigue on long trips by making it easier to maintain a constant speed without having to constantly use your foot on the gas pedal.

Causes Of Cruise Control Not Working

The cruise control system is a safety feature that allows you to set a preset speed and keep your foot on the brake while driving. It not only makes driving more enjoyable, but it also helps you stay out of trouble for speeding.

There are a number of probable reasons why your cruise control has stopped functioning. Some examples are as follows:

Blown Fuse Or Bad Fuse

Blown Fuse Or Bad Fuse

If your cruise control is not working, it could be caused by a blown fuse or a bad fuse. A blown fuse is easy to fix. You just need to locate the fuse panel under your dashboard and replace the damaged one with a new one.

Defective Brake Pedal Switch

Defective Brake Pedal Switch

Another common cause of cruise control not working is an electrical problem with the brake pedal switch or pedal position sensor (if equipped). When these components fail, it signals the cruise control systems that there is no pressure applied to the brake pedal and therefore no need for it to engage if there are no brakes applied. The fix for this issue is fairly simple — just replace any faulty parts in your brake pedal switch assembly or pedal position sensor (if equipped) and see if that solves your problem.

Malfunctioning Speed Sensor

Malfunctioning Speed Sensor

One of the most common reasons for cruise control not working is malfunctioning speed sensors. These sensors help keep track of how fast or slow your vehicle is going so that it can adjust its speed accordingly. If these sensors break down or get damaged, then they may not be able to recognize the speed at which your car is going at any given time. This means that even if you put on cruise control mode, the system will not work properly because it cannot tell how fast or slow your vehicle has been driving since the last time you used it.

Electrical Issues

Electrical Issues

If there are any electrical issues with your vehicle’s cruise control or with the cruise control system itself, then your cruise control may not be working correctly. This could include anything from damaged wiring to faulty switches or sensors. If something isn’t operating properly, you should get it checked out by a technician.

Brake Light Switch

Brake Light Switch

If you have an older vehicle with mechanical cruise control, check for problems with the brake light switch first. This switch detects when you’re pressing on the brake pedal so that the cruise control system can stop working when you apply the brakes. If this switch is faulty, it may prevent your cruise control from engaging at all or from stopping when you press on the brakes. A faulty brake light switch is also likely to cause issues with other electrical components like dimming headlights and fog lights not working properly.

Damaged Vacuum Actuator

The vacuum actuator is responsible for providing the necessary amount of vacuum to the throttle body. When you step on the gas pedal, the vacuum actuator opens a valve that allows more air into the engine. When you release the gas pedal, it closes off this valve and prevents air from entering the engine too quickly.

Damaged Vacuum Actuator

This is what allows cruise control to work on your vehicle by adjusting how much fuel enters the engine based on your speed setting. If this vacuum actuator becomes damaged or clogged with dust and debris, cruise control will not function properly at either high or low speeds.

Damaged Hoses, Or Cable (Older Cruise Control)

Damaged Hoses, Or Cable (Older Cruise Control)

The hose and cable used by older cruise controls can wear out over time, causing problems with the cruise control. The cable could also become damaged from being pinched against something in the engine bay. This may require the replacement of both parts in order to fix the problem.

Check Engine Light

Check Engine Light

It is possible that your cruise control system is malfunctioning if the check engine light turns on while driving. If you notice this happening consistently, check your owner’s manual to see if there are any suggested fixes in case this should occur again.

Cruise Control Repair Cost

Cruise control is a feature on many cars that allows the driver to set the desired speed and have the car maintain that speed. The cruise control system uses sensors to detect how fast the car is going and then adjusts engine RPMs to maintain the desired speed. If you are having problems with your cruise control, you may want to consider hiring a mechanic to repair it.

The cost of having a mechanic replace your cruise control varies depending on where you live and what kind of car you drive. Most mechanics will charge anywhere from $50 to $250 to replace your cruise control depending on what type of vehicle you drive and how complex the repair is.

Cruise control repairs can be quite expensive because they involve replacing parts such as fuel pumps, wiring harnesses, switches, or sensors which can add up quickly when combined with labor costs for installing these parts onto your vehicles.

How Important Is Cruise Control

Cruise control is one of the most important features of your car. If you’re not familiar with it, cruise control allows you to set a speed and then have your car maintain that speed automatically, rather than having to constantly press down on the gas pedal.

Cruise control is particularly useful when driving long distances or when you need to keep a consistent speed for safety reasons. For example, driving in heavy traffic can be stressful, so many drivers use cruise control when they are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway.

How Important Is Cruise Control

The advantages of cruise control include:

  • Aids in fuel economy by helping you achieve a constant speed more easily than if you were manually pressing down on the gas pedal every few seconds.
  • Reduces driver fatigue by allowing you to focus more on steering and less on accelerating or braking every few seconds.
  • Improves safety by keeping your vehicle at a consistent speed even when terrain changes demand sudden acceleration or braking.


How Do I Reset My Cruise Control?

The cruise control system on your vehicle is a handy feature that lets you set a speed and maintain it while driving. When you want to turn off the cruise control, you can press the brake pedal or tap on the brakes. The cruise control may also be disengaged by pressing the button on the steering wheel.

If you want to reset your cruise control, you need to do so by pressing down on both pedals. This will disengage them and allow them to work normally again.

If your cruise control suddenly stops working for no reason, then there may be an issue with your electronic throttle control (ECT) module or wiring harnesses. If this occurs, you should get your car checked out by a professional as soon as possible.

Is There A Fuse That Controls Cruise Control?

There are two main fuses that control the cruise control system. To begin with, there is a fuse panel beneath the front hood, which is placed on the driver’s side. It’s identified by a label that says “Cruise Control.” This fuse controls all of the components used by your cruise control system, including the brake light switch, speed sensor, and cruise control actuator.

If you have an aftermarket stereo in your car, there may be another fuse for this purpose located inside your stereo unit. If not, it’s likely that your aftermarket radio has its own fuse panel.

If you’ve replaced your stereo with a factory-installed one, then chances are good that it will have its own fuse for controlling the cruise control system.

How Do I Know If My Cruise Control Switch Is Bad?

Cruise controls are a great feature that we take for granted. If you’ve had one in your car for a while, it’s likely you don’t even think about using it. But if you’re looking to buy a used car, you may want to make sure the cruise control is working properly.

Here are some signs that your cruise control switch could be bad:

  • The cruise control doesn’t respond at all when you press the switch.
  • The cruise control button lights up but doesn’t engage when pressed.
  • The gas pedal stays on even after releasing it (this applies to older models).


If you’ve ever tried to fix your cruise control in the past and failed, here’s some good news: (1) you’re not alone, and (2) it doesn’t have to be that difficult. We’ve outlined 6 symptoms and the possible causes of each so that you can get on the road to fixing your cruise control before you can say “check engine.” When it comes to cruise control not working, ignorance is definitely not bliss.

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