A motor vehicle’s cruise control function can help to make longer drives more comfortable and can even reduce fuel consumption and costs. It also enables the driver to maintain legal speeds and avoid an expensive fine – or worse. Cruise control is most suitable for those who are going to be driving at a steady cruising speed without constantly stopping and starting. It is therefore ideal for motorway driving.
Different cars have a different layout for their cruise control system but the part of the system that activates it, the cruise control switch, is normally found either on the steering wheel or one of the steering column control stalks.
There are several functions that the cruise control switch operates. The principal controls are to set the cruise control, cancel it, resume it and switch it on or off.
To start the cruise control involves accelerating to the chosen speed and, when it is reached, pressing the “set” button on the cruise control switch. The car will then keep to the speed that the driver has chosen without having to touch the accelerator.
To turn off the cruise control requires either the application of the brake or pressing the “Cancel” or “On/Off” buttons on the cruise control switch. In most vehicles, there is a “Resume” button on the cruise control switch, which will allow the driver to return to the previously set speed without re-programming the system.