Cruising of Your Choosing: A Guide to Ahopping for Steering Wheel Cruise Control Kits
Perhaps in the future you can simply get in your car, lie back, close your eyes, and say "Take me home"—and your car will do exactly that. The era of the autonomous, intelligent car may soon be upon us. But, in the meantime, we can have a bit of that futuristic luxury through the wonders of cruise control. If your vehicle doesn't already have cruise control, then installing that system to your car would be the best step towards having the easiest, most comfortable driving experience possible. Here are some fast facts on this state-of-the-art system.
Benefits of cruise control
By automatically taking control of your vehicle's speed, the cruise control system has the following advantages:
- Significantly reduces driver fatigue.
- Improves fuel efficiency
- Prevents over-speeding
Types of cruise control modules
Cruise control systems are usually mounted in three ways:
- Steering wheel mounted - This has the switches mounted on the steering wheel itself. Aftermarket cruise control kits can either provide you with the switches that you will bolt to your steering wheel or with a new steering wheel that already has built-in cruise control switches. After engaging cruise control, you can adjust the speed setting by pressing either an upper or lower switch (similar to adjusting the volume or changing the channel with your TV remote). Each press usually increases or reduces speed by 1 mph.
- Stalk mounted - This has the switches mounted on a stalk that you can install near your steering wheel. This is often used with older vehicles that have steering wheel designs that aren't compatible with cruise control switches. You have the option of choosing between either a left or right-handed stalk module. Engaging and disengaging cruise control usually involves pushing the stalk forward while pulling it towards you engages the "Coast" setting. Adjusting the speed setting usually involves tapping the stalk up or down, with each tap increasing or reducing speed by 1 mph.
- Dash mounted - Often used with older vehicles, this system has the switches mounted on the dashboard, either to the driver's left or right side.
- Some cruise control modules have memory settings that can remember a certain number of speeds. This is useful for daily driving through areas with different speed limits.
- Some steering-wheel-mounted modules have an in-built speed alert beeper for added safety.