7 Reasons Why Cruise Control Not Turning ON (And How to Fix Them)

Facing the frustration of “Cruise Control Not Turning ON” led me down an unexpected path of discovery. I researched far and wide, diving into manuals and forums alike. It turns out, the solution often lies in the simplest of fixes. Checking the fuse was my first step, a small but … Read more

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Written by: Mohammad Sameer

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Facing the frustration of “Cruise Control Not Turning ON” led me down an unexpected path of discovery. I researched far and wide, diving into manuals and forums alike.

It turns out, the solution often lies in the simplest of fixes. Checking the fuse was my first step, a small but mighty component.

I also learned the importance of ensuring the brake lights function properly; they’re interconnected. Adjusting the brake pedal switch was another revelation, a tweak that can make all the difference.

Now, sharing these insights feels like handing out keys to a secret kingdom, where every drive could be smooth sailing.

Key Takeaways

  1. Blown Fuse: A blown fuse in the electrical system can cause the cruise control to stop working
  2. Speed Sensor Issues: Problems with the speed sensor can lead to cruise control malfunctions, affecting the system’s ability to regulate speed
  3. Brake Light or Brake Pedal Switch: A faulty brake light or brake pedal switch can prevent the cruise control from engaging properly
  4. Electrical System Problems: Issues within the vehicle’s electrical system, such as loose wires or damaged components, can impact the cruise control functionality
  5. Worn Cruise Control Switch: Over time, the cruise control switch can wear out, affecting its ability to communicate with the system
  6. Wiring Problems: Wiring issues in modern vehicles can also lead to cruise control failures, caused by factors like rodent damage or loose connections
  7. Vacuum System Faults: In older models using a vacuum actuator for cruise control, leaks in the vacuum system can cause the cruise control to stop working

Will a fuse cause cruise control to stop working?

Yes, a fuse can cause the cruise control to stop working. The cruise control system is part of the electrical system in a vehicle, and if a fuse related to the cruise control blows, it can lead to the system malfunctioning. When a fuse blows, it disrupts the electrical flow necessary for the cruise control to function correctly. Replacing a blown fuse is a relatively simple and inexpensive repair that can restore the cruise control’s operation.

7 Reasons Why Your Cruise Control Not Turning ON (And How to Fix Them)

7 Reasons Why Your Cruise Control Not Turning ON (And How to Fix Them)

1. Improper Operating Conditions

Ever found yourself puzzled because your cruise control just won’t engage? Well, before you start worrying, let’s make sure you’re using it right.

Cruise control systems have their quirks, such as not activating below certain speeds—typically around 25 to 30 mph.

And if you’re zipping above the system’s upper limit, it won’t turn on either. It’s always a good idea to peek at your owner’s manual for the nitty-gritty of how your car’s cruise control should be operated.

Remember, cruise control is a bit like a finicky house cat—it needs conditions to be just right. Too slow, too fast, or the wrong gear, and it’ll just ignore you.

Now, if you’re sure you’ve got all that down and it’s still being stubborn, consider other factors. Adverse weather, for instance, is a no-go zone for cruise control.

Slippery conditions from rain, snow, or ice can throw off the system’s sensors, leading to less traction and potentially more danger.

And let’s not forget hilly terrain, where the constant up and down can confuse even the smartest cruise control.

  • Check your speed – are you within the operating range?
  • Avoid using cruise control in bad weather.
  • Be mindful of hilly areas that can disrupt the system.

If you’ve ticked all these boxes and your cruise control is still giving you the cold shoulder, it might be time to delve deeper into potential issues like a blown fuse, a broken speed sensor, or a failing brake pedal switch.

These are just a few culprits that could be messing with your ride’s ability to maintain a steady cruise.

2. Sensor and Switch Issues

image of Sensor and Switch Issues

I’ve noticed that sometimes my cruise control acts up, and it turns out sensor and switch issues are pretty common culprits. For instance, a faulty brake or clutch switch can prevent the system from engaging.

Even more advanced systems with additional sensors, like the APP sensors, can malfunction, leading to unpredictable cruise control behaviour.

Here’s a quick checklist I go through when I suspect sensor or switch problems:

  • Reset power to clear temporary glitches
  • Clean contacts to ensure good signal transmission
  • Lubricate latches to prevent sticking
  • Inspect wires for damage or corrosion
  • Update software to fix bugs
  • Replace faulty components if necessary

If these steps don’t solve the issue, it’s time to visit a mechanic. Remember, driving with a malfunctioning cruise control can be risky, as it might lead to degraded stability control and potentially longer stopping distances.

It’s frustrating when the cruise control suddenly stops without any input from me. It’s not just inconvenient; it’s a safety hazard that needs immediate attention.

3. Control Module Issues

image of Control Module Issues

When I’m troubleshooting my car’s cruise control, I always keep in mind that the control module is the brain of the operation. If there’s a hiccup here, the whole system can go haywire.

It’s like when you’re dealing with car starting issues; you check the spark plugs, fuel system, and electrical components, but sometimes you need professional help for those complex problems.

The symptoms of a failing control module can be subtle. You might notice the cruise control not engaging or disengaging unexpectedly.

It’s similar to handling OBD-II codes where you scan, assess, and inspect components like the oxygen sensor wiring to avoid grounding issues.

Here’s a quick checklist to diagnose control module issues:

  • Verify communication with the module using a scan tool.
  • Check for any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs).
  • Inspect the module’s wiring and connections for damage or corrosion.
  • Consider the module’s software – it may need an update.

Remember, a malfunctioning control module can mimic other issues, like a bad cruise control switch or a blown fuse. It’s crucial to diagnose accurately to avoid unnecessary repairs.

4. Wiring and Circuit Problems

image of Wiring and Circuit Problems

Ever had that frustrating moment when you’re cruising down the highway, you set your cruise control, and… nothing happens? Well, it might be due to wiring and circuit problems.

Circuit issues, such as damaged wiring or a blown cruise control fuse, can wreak havoc on your system’s ability to maintain a steady speed.

Here’s a quick checklist to help you identify potential wiring and circuit problems:

  • Inspect the wiring for any visible damage or wear.
  • Check for any signs of corrosion, which can lead to poor electrical connections.
  • Use a multimeter to test the continuity of the cruise control circuit.
  • Look for any error codes, like P0577, which indicates a Cruise Control Input Circuit High.

Remember, safety first! Always disconnect the battery before working on your vehicle’s electrical system to prevent any accidents or further damage.

If you’re comfortable with a bit of DIY, you might try to troubleshoot the issue yourself. But if you’re not confident in what you’re doing, it’s always best to consult a professional. After all, dealing with electrical systems can be tricky, and you don’t want to cause more problems than you solve.

5. Faulty Throttle Actuator

image of Faulty Throttle Actuator

I’ve noticed that when my cruise control starts acting up, one culprit could be the throttle actuator. This little gadget is responsible for managing the throttle’s position to keep my ride cruising smoothly at the speed I set.

On older cars, it’s usually an electric actuator working the throttle linkage, but newer models have an actuator motor built right into the throttle body.

If the actuator goes haywire, my cruise control is toast. It’s a bit like trying to maintain a steady pace in a foot race with a sprained ankle – not happening! So, what do I do when I suspect a faulty actuator? Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Check for any error codes related to the throttle system.
  • Inspect the actuator for signs of damage or wear.
  • Clean any carbon buildup that might be messing with the airflow.
  • If necessary, replace the actuator with a new one.

Remember, if you’re not comfortable poking around under the hood, it’s always best to seek expert advice. A professional can diagnose the issue accurately and suggest the right fix.

And let’s not forget, a well-maintained vehicle is less likely to give you grief with things like cruise control. So keep up with those regular check-ups!

6. Blown Fuse

image of Blown Fuse

Ever been cruising along when suddenly your cruise control gives up on you? It might be something as simple as a blown fuse.

Fuses are designed to protect your car’s electrical circuits, and when they blow, it’s often a sign that there’s an underlying issue that needs attention.

Changing the fuse might get you back on track, but remember, it’s like putting a band-aid on a deeper wound.

While changing the fuse can sometimes resolve the problem, it’s important to note that a blown fuse could be an indicator of an underlying issue.

Here’s a quick checklist to diagnose a blown fuse situation:

  • Locate your vehicle’s fuse panel, often found under the dashboard or in the engine compartment.
  • Identify the fuse responsible for the cruise control. Your owner’s manual can be a lifesaver here.
  • Check if the metal wire inside the fuse is intact. If it’s broken, you’ve found your culprit.
  • Replace the blown fuse with one of the same amperage. Keep spares in your glove box for such emergencies.
  • After replacement, test your cruise control. If it’s still not working, it might be time to delve deeper or consult a professional.

Remember, a fuse doesn’t just blow for no reason. It could be a warning sign of a more serious problem, like a faulty brake pedal switch or even a bad alternator affecting your vehicle’s energy efficiency.

Don’t ignore these signs; they’re like a blinking check engine light, urging you to take immediate action to prevent future problems.

7. Bad Cruise Control Switch

image of Bad Cruise Control Switch

Ever wondered, “What is the most common failure of a cruise control system?” Well, a bad cruise control switch is often the culprit. It’s like the conductor of an orchestra, but when it’s off-key, the whole system falls apart.

Cruise control turns on but will not set because of it, leaving you puzzled and frustrated.

If you’re asking yourself, “How do I reset my cruise control?” or “Can I fix cruise control to my car?” the answer might lie in addressing a faulty switch. It’s not always a straightforward fix, but it’s not necessarily the end of the world either.

Here’s a quick checklist to troubleshoot:

  • Check the brake pedal switch as it might signal the cruise control to disengage.
  • Inspect the switch itself for any signs of damage or wear.
  • Look for any related cruise control malfunction Toyota or Why your cruise control isn’t working Mercedes issues specific to your vehicle make.

Is it expensive to fix cruise control? Not always. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of replacing a blown fuse or resetting the system. However, if you’re dealing with a cruise control not working and check engine light, it could indicate a more serious issue.

Remember, intermittent issues like “why does my cruise control not work sometimes” or “Why your cruise control not working Nissan” can be tricky.

They might require a professional diagnosis to get to the bottom of the problem. But don’t worry, with a bit of patience and troubleshooting, you’ll figure out how to get cruise control to work again.

How does a faulty brake switch affect cruise control?

A faulty brake switch can affect cruise control in several ways:

  • Cruise Control Cuts Off Unexpectedly: One common symptom of a bad cruise control brake release switch is the cruise control system cutting off unexpectedly.
  • Cruise Control Won’t Activate: When the cruise control brake pedal switch is faulty, the cruise control will not activate as the brake pedal and cruise control share the same system.
  • Deactivation of Cruise Control: A misaligned or bad brake light switch can deactivate the cruise control system, as they often share the same switch in many vehicles.


Researching “Cruise Control Not Turning ON” led me down an enlightening path. I discovered it could be as simple as a blown fuse or a malfunctioning brake pedal switch.

Tinkering with the wiring harness made a huge difference, revealing loose connections. Delving into the vehicle’s computer system, I reset error codes, which sometimes did the trick.

Adjusting the speed sensor also proved crucial; its accuracy is key for cruise control functionality. I’m eager to share these nuggets of wisdom, feeling like a detective unravelling a car’s secrets.

Now, fixing cruise control feels less like a chore and more like cracking a code, each solution a step towards smooth sailing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are common reasons for cruise control failure?

Common reasons include improper operating conditions, sensor and switch issues, control module problems, wiring and circuit issues, a faulty throttle actuator, a blown fuse, and a bad cruise control switch.

Can I fix cruise control issues myself?

Some cruise control problems can be addressed by car owners with the right knowledge and tools, but others may require professional diagnosis and repair. Always consult a vehicle-specific repair manual before attempting any fixes.

How does cruise control maintain vehicle speed?

Cruise control maintains speed by taking control of the vehicle’s throttle system, either through mechanical linkage or electronic control, to keep a constant speed as set by the driver.

Is it safe to use cruise control in adverse weather conditions?

It is generally not recommended to use cruise control in rain, snow, or other adverse conditions as it can reduce the driver’s control over the vehicle and increase the risk of an accident.

What should I do if my cruise control stops working during a trip?

If your cruise control fails while driving, you should switch it off and continue driving manually. Once it’s safe to do so, check for any obvious issues like a blown fuse or warning lights on the dashboard, and consult a mechanic if necessary.

How much does it cost to repair a faulty cruise control system?

The cost to repair a cruise control system varies based on the cause of the failure and the vehicle’s make and model. It can range from a simple fuse replacement to more expensive repairs like replacing a control module or switch.

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About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer and I have over 3 years of hands-on experience repairing cars, motorcycles, and trucks. Ever since I operated on my first engine in 2018, I’ve been passionate about all things automotive. In 2021, I launched my blog “Motoring Mastery” to share my knowledge with car enthusiasts and DIY mechanics.