Cruise Control: A comprehensive guide; meaning, pros & cons, usage, troubleshooting

Cruise Control: A comprehensive guide; meaning, pros & cons, usage, troubleshooting

Driving long distances can be tiring and monotonous, especially on highways with long stretches of road. This is where cruise control comes in, making the driving experience more comfortable and convenient. In this article, we will explore the benefits of cruise control and how it can enhance your driving experience.


  • What does the cruise control system do?

    The cruise control system in a car runs at a constant speed set by the driver and doesn’t require the driver to press the accelerator pedal at all.
  • When should the driver use the cruise control system?

    The cruise control system must be used only when the driver can see the road clearly and as far as possible. Driver should avoid using it in rainy conditions.
  • Is using a cruise control system good for a car?

    The Cruise control system has its own pros and cons. While it reduces the driver’s effort considerably as it frees his/her foot from the accelerator, at the same time, one needs to remain alert at all times.
  • Can cruise control system be installed in my car?

    Yes, an aftermarket cruise control kit can be installed in a car, however, it is not recommended due to safety reasons.
  • What is Cruise Control?

    Cruise control is a feature in modern cars that allows the driver to set a constant speed without having to constantly press the accelerator pedal. This feature is especially useful on long drives, as it reduces fatigue and allows the driver to relax their foot. It also helps maintain a consistent speed, which can improve fuel efficiency.

    Cruise Control System

    How to use Cruise Control?

    Before activating the cruise control system in an automobile, it is advised to check the climatic conditions. Refrain from using cruise control at excessive speeds during rain as low visibility and unpredictable street situations make riding unsafe.

    Nevertheless, the subsequent steps will assist you to use the cruise control system in your car:

    Step 1 – Accelerate the automobile to the rate you want to set. Be mindful, do not exceed the speed limit

    Step 2 – Once the automobile reaches the preferred speed, switch on the cruise control via the control present on or near the steering wheel. Do not forget to discover the button beforehand.

    Step 3 – Take your foot off the accelerator pedal as the system no longer needs input of speed

    Step 4 – While on the go, be attentive to all the obstacles. Always be equipped to push the brake in case needed.

    Step 5 – If you need to accelerate, you may press the `+` (plus) button.

    Step 6 – If you need to slow down, you may press the `-` (minus) button.

    Step 7 – If you even barely press the brake pedal, the system will deactivate the cruise control

    The buttons supporting cruise control, accelerate, and slow down vary from automobile to automobile. So, don't forget to know it all beforehand.

    Cruise Control System

    Advantages of cruise control

    Convenience and Comfort

    One of the main benefits of cruise control is the convenience and comfort it provides. Instead of constantly adjusting your speed, you can simply set the cruise control and relax. This is especially useful on long drives, where your foot can become tired from pressing on the accelerator pedal for extended periods. With cruise control, you can give your foot a break and still maintain a steady speed.

    Improved Fuel Efficiency

    Maintaining a consistent speed is key to improving fuel efficiency. With cruise control, you can set a speed and the car will maintain it, without any sudden acceleration or deceleration. This can result in significant fuel savings, especially on long drives. In fact, studies have shown that using cruise control can improve fuel efficiency by up to 7%.

    Enhanced safely

    More often than not drivers surpass the speed limit, especially on long, clear stretches of highways. With cruise control by your side, you can fix the car’s speed with that of the highway speed limit.

    Disadvantages of cruise

    Limitations of Malaysian roads

    The cruise control function is best suited for wide, long, smooth, and (most importantly) clear stretches of highways. While our local roads and highways are well-led and planned, one might face limitations along the way. Moreover, many drivers dismiss the guidelines and the given speed limit, thus jeopardizing the journey.

    Increases response time whilst you want to be quick

    The uncertainty factor of our roads is pretty high. And therefore one never knows when he/she might want to press the brake pedal all of a sudden. If you stumble upon an emergency when cruise control is activated, it will take you a little longer to apply the brakes. This in turn increases the risk of accidents.

    It can result in drowsiness

    With activated cruise control, the car can move at a fixed pace for as long as you want. As the system reduces current time involvement in driving, there might be a drop in the alertness degree, ultimately leading to drowsiness. Experts suggest disengaging cruise control every 10 to 15 minutes.

    Adaptive/Radar Cruise Control

    Type of Cruise Control

    Adaptive/Radar Cruise Control

    Adaptive/Radar cruise control is an advanced version of traditional cruise control that uses radar technology to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you. This feature is especially useful in heavy traffic, as it can automatically adjust the car speed to maintain a safe following distance. However, it is important to note that this feature may not be available on all cars and may come at an additional cost.

    It is part of the level 1 autonomous driving technology and uses adaptive radar sensors to assess the speed and distance of the auto ahead. For instance, if the automobile ahead slows down or speeds up, with adaptive cruise control your automobile will lessen or boost up its speed, thus keeping a set distance from the car ahead.

    Adaptive cruise control is normally installed in range-topping models. However, it has now trickled right down to a few passenger cars.

    Difference between adaptive cruise control & cruise control

    Cruise Control

    Adaptive Cruise Control

    Maintains a constant speed and does not require driver's input

    Smarty fluctuates the car’s speed while keeping a safe distance from the car ahead

    Several sensors are used to configure the throttle

    Radar sensor is used to evaluate the relative speed and distance

    Ideal for high-speed driving on highways

    Immensely handy to use during heavy highway traffic conditions. It automatically decelerates and accelerates the car, thus keeping a safe distance from cars  a

    Available in most of the cars

    Available mostly in high-end, premium cars

    Troubleshooting cruise control issues

    If you have a newer car, chances are it comes equipped with cruise control. However, if you have an older car, you may experience issues with your cruise control not working. In some cases, this may be due to a blown fuse or a faulty switch. If you have a 2007 Honda Odyssey and your cruise control is not working, it may be due to a known issue with the brake light switch. In this case, it is best to consult a mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair.

    Adaptive/Radar Cruise Control


    Cruise control is a convenient and useful feature that can greatly enhance your driving experience. It provides comfort, improves fuel efficiency, and can even help with safety on the road. If you are experiencing issues with your cruise control, it is best to consult a professional for proper diagnosis and repair. With cruise control, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

    Also Read: Car dashboard warning lights: Know them before its late

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