When it comes to extras in a vehicle, cruise control is something that definitely divides the crowd. Some swear by it, some aren’t ready to relinquish control to the vehicle, and some have simply never thought to try it. Regardless of which camp you sit in, it might help you to find out a little bit more about the system; you never know, you might just change your mind. Let’s start with the basics.
What is cruise control and how does it work?
In case you are not quite sure, cruise control allows you to set your car at a specific speed that it will stick to, without you needing to touch the accelerator pedal. For many road users, it is a handy option for journeys on long, straight roads that will require minimal slowing and accelerating.
Cruise control has to be activated by the driver. All vehicles are different, but usually, you can set your cruise control by touching two buttons: an on switch that effectively wakes the cruise control up, and another that sets the speed. Once your cruise control is set, it will adjust your power to maintain a steady speed uphill. Some, but not all, cruise controls will also allow your car to slow down when you go downhill.
Is cruise control the same as speed limiters?
Although speed limiters and cruise control are both handy ways of preventing yourself from going over the speed limit, they are not the same thing. With a speed limiter, you are in control of your speed; you still need to use the accelerator to go faster, and maintain a speed, but you are unable to go over a certain speed. With cruise control, you don’t need to have your foot on the accelerator at all, and the vehicle will maintain a steady speed regardless.
How do I operate cruise control
All cars vary, but generally speaking, once you have switched your cruise control on, you just need to press your set speed button once you reach the speed you want to go at, or the speed limit (whichever is the lowest). While you can accelerate and decelerate using the accelerator and brake, you will need to reset your speed if you do it this way. Alternatively, you can slow down or speed up slightly using cruise control + and – buttons. You can cancel your cruise control at any time. Some vehicles will reinstate cruise control if you accelerate, for example to overtake a vehicle, then take your foot off the pedal.
Getting to know your cruise control
If you are new to cruise control, it is a good idea to find a quiet, straight road, where you can get to grips with it. Waiting until you are on a busy road could be risky as you may become distracted.
There are plenty of advantages of using cruise control, including saving wear and tear on your vehicle. For more on the pros and cons, follow Trust A Garage on Facebook or Twitter.