Cruise Control Switch Buyer's Guide
- Cruise control lets drivers stay within the preset speed that’s fully configurable using the cruise control switch.
- While some may think a faulty cruise control simply means they can’t use the feature until they get it fixed, it can spark other minor problems that can get bigger over time.
- The cruise control switch typically consists of On, Off, Set, Resume, +, -, and coast functions.
- There are times when a button in the switch may get stuck and make the function inoperable or stuck.
- Bad cruise control switches often get associated with unresponsive cruise control functions, which could be the entire system or individual functions.
- An open or short circuit can also cause unstable operation as it can erratically send signals even without the driver pressing a button.
- The cruise control switch serves as the remote control which the driver uses to adjust the throttle body control to their preferred cruising speed.
- OE cruise control switches are priced around $6 to $295.
Driving convenience is one of the selling points of modern vehicles. Gone are the days of flat, stiff bench rear passenger seats and manually operated car features. In comes advanced-molded, butt-friendly seats and electrically operated, super-convenient mechanisms. There are a lot to name when it comes to driver and passenger convenience, but if there is one convenient feature in a car that most drivers are thankful for, it’s got to be the cruise control.
Cruise control lets drivers stay within the preset speed that’s fully configurable using the cruise control switch. It’s one of those convenient features that require proper use as negligence may lead to fatal accidents. Almost every car on the road today comes with cruise control and through the years, it has evolved from its simple function to being a full-fledged adaptive cruising feature that takes over even the braking task.
But no matter how advanced the cruise control feature in your car is, you may still need to deal with faulty cruise control. However, cruise control problems aren’t just about faulty cruise control systems. Sometimes, it’s just a bad cruise control switch. A faulty cruise control switch is a safety concern and should get resolved immediately before it leads to a catastrophe.
While some may think a faulty cruise control simply means they can’t use the feature until they get it fixed, it can spark other minor problems that can get bigger. These include issues with the car’s acceleration and braking. Save yourself from this kind of misery by being fully aware of the causes and symptoms of a faulty cruise control switch.
What Causes the Cruise Control Switch to Fail?
Unresponsive cruise control because of a bad switch often stems from electrical wiring problems. Sometimes, a short circuit can interfere with the sending of electric current from the switch to the system. The cruise control switch typically consists of On, Off, Set, Resume, +, -, and coast functions. Sometimes, a button in the switch may get stuck and make the function inoperable or stuck. But aside from mechanical issues like this, it’s mostly electrical problems.
Symptoms of a Bad Cruise Control Switch
You don’t need a trained eye to spot the symptoms of a faulty cruise control switch, as they should reveal themselves in plain sight. Bad cruise control switches often get associated with unresponsive cruise control functions, which could be the entire system or individual functions. If the switch is in bad shape, it may sometimes cause the cruise control light to not turn on.
An open or short circuit, on the other hand, can also cause unstable operation as it can erratically send signals even without the driver pressing a button. This can cause the cruise control system to suddenly increase, decrease, or disengage the throttle control and that can be a safety concern.
What does the cruise control switch do?
With cruise control, you can select the desired speed limit that you like your vehicle to travel. It does this by adjusting the throttle position similar to when you’re applying force on the pedal. Thanks to the introduction of drive-by-wire systems, cruise control rapidly revolutionized throttle body control since it first appeared in the late ‘50s.
The cruise control switch serves as the remote control which the driver uses to adjust the throttle body control to their preferred cruising speed. Cruise control switch’s function remains the same across all brands and models, although operation may vary depending on the design.
Types of Cruise Control
Since there are different classifications of cruise control systems, we thought it would be best for you to know them before buying a replacement switch for your cruise control. Knowledge is everything so here are the different types of cruise control systems:
Electromechanical Cruise Control
This type of cruise control is the most common nowadays. Even base model vehicles come with an electromechanical cruise control switch. It consists of a vacuum actuator that’s connected to the throttle via a cable. The cable opens up the throttle when the vacuum actuator engages. Going down on a hill will cause the vacuum actuator to relax and close the throttle opening.
Electronic Cruise Control
This is the first cruise control classification to use the switches to control cruising speeds. The switch sends electrical signals from your inputs to the body control module (BCM). This signal passes through your engine’s computer, which, in turn, computes how much throttle it needs by looking at the actual vehicle speed and the driver’s request.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive Cruise Control or ACC is the most advanced of the three classifications. There’s more work going on in an ACC as compared to a regular electronic variant. That’s because it takes over more work aside from dust controlling the throttle opening.
For starters, an ACC system consists of laser sensors that enable the system to maintain cruising distance between the car and the one in front. It also takes over the braking task to automatically slow down the car if the driver in front engages the brakes.
How much do OE cruise control switches cost?
There’s a wide price range for OE cruise control switches as you can buy them individually, in sets, or as part of a kit. OE cruise control switches are priced around $6 to $295. Of course, brands and series, apart from quantity, come into play. But rest assured you’re getting the same quality as the OEM grade because we only offer products from reputable manufacturers.
Finding the right fit
Finding the right cruise control switch that perfectly fits your car is simple if you do it. Just plug in your vehicle’s basic information, such as its year, make, and model, into the filter bar. You may include its sub-model to further filter the result. Using this feature will shorten your search time and expand the room for decision making as we care about providing you the best parts for your vehicle.
Cruise Control Switch Installation
When your cruise control switch fails, so does the entire cruise control assembly. The first sign of a bad cruise control switch is when its dashboard light fails to light up or stay ?on' when you hold its button down. When this happens, you can no longer engage your cruise control. This is why it's highly advised that you replace a bad cruise control switch as soon as you can.
Difficulty level: Medium
Tools that you'll need:
- Flat head screwdriver
- Replacement cruise control switch
Step 1: Locate the cruise control switch. This switch is usually mounted onto the steering wheel or the steering wheel column.
Step 2: Once you've found the switch, take your paperclip, straighten it out, and insert it into the hole at the end of the switch. There should be some form of resistance. Keep pushing the paperclip in, because it will have to move the switch's release tab. If done correctly, the switch should ?pop out', allowing you to pull the switch out of your steering column. Now, in some vehicles, the use of a flat head screwdriver is necessary. If there is a plastic bezel under the switch, you need to avoid damaging the rubber unit under the switch. You can do this by inserting the screwdriver between the switch and the bezel, and popping the switch out.
Step 3: When the switch is out, make sure its electric terminals are all turned toward the steering column. This keeps the switch in the ?off' position. Then, simply line up the terminals on the switch and the terminals in the steering column.
Step 4: Slide your replacement cruise control switch into place and push until you hear a "click". Double check the component's connections before testing the switch.