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cruise control question

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 02:58 pm
You know how you activate the cruise control funtion before you get to the speed you want, and set it?

Does it harm the engine in any way to leave the cruise control activated all the time, even when you're not using it?
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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 10,955 • Replies: 30
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 03:05 pm
@chai2,
I think with every car you differently activate the cruise control. With mine
you push a button next the steering wheel.

The minute you hit the brake pedal, it deactivates the cruise control.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 03:08 pm
@chai2,
To my knowledge -- and I'm not a mechanic -- the activation button has no impact on the motor. It only makes sure you know what you're doing, and that you really mean it when you push those other cruise control buttons.

I vaguely remember some lawsuits years ago where drivers had accidents while driving on cruise control, blamed it on the cruise control, sued their cars' manufacturers, and won in court. The activation button is a purely electronic device to prevent similar lawsuits in the future.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 03:16 pm
@Thomas,
thanks thomas.

cj, I don't mean the activation device that actually turn the cruise control on. I meant the button you push that allows you to turn the cruise control on.

you can also deactivate the cruise control (on my car for instance) by pulling the level back towards you. Then you just push the lever up to go back to your cruise control speed. That way you don't have to hit the brake, then reset the whole thing, just to slow down momentarily for the car in front of you pulling off or something.

thomas that's a good point re the lawsuits, but imo you'd have to really not be paying attention to accidently turn it on.

So, I wonder how that activation button works to keep you from turning your cruise control on? Puts up a barrier so the elves can't run down to your gas pedal and lean on it?
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 05:56 pm
@chai2,
the "on position" powers up the components that comprise cruise control.

set activates.

by leaving the system on all the time versus turning it on and off is a toss-up as to wear and tear.

(it's three pokemon with radios, btw)
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 03:54 pm
@chai2,
It cancels every time you use the brake, so you can't leave it on...as was said before.

It would be very unsafe and unhandy if your car was always trying to get to its cruise speed....an accident waiting to happen, to coin a phrase.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 04:00 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

Does it harm the engine in any way to leave the cruise control activated all the time, even when you're not using it?

I would imagine it has about the same chance of harming your engine as turning on the radio or the rear-window defroster.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 04:04 pm
I don't ususally turn off my cruise control by braking, as I said above.

If I'm driving and see I'm coming up on traffic, or going to pull off at my exit, I don't brake, I pull back on the cruise control lever, which deactivates it. The cruise control function stays on.

If I coming to some traffic and I pull the lever and slow, then drive manually with the flow until traffic opens up again, I just have to push the lever up and it resumes my original cruise control speed.

I'm not going to be going at highway speed and have to slow down just a little by hitting my brake.

That's annoying to the people behind you, and to yourself as the driver since you're going to have to set the whole speed up again in a couple of minutes.

Yeah, of course the cruise control turns off when you hit the brake, but I don't do that until I'm in regular street traffic, where I won't need CC anyway.

chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 04:08 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:
I would imagine it has about the same chance of harming your engine as turning on the radio or the rear-window defroster.


Radio?

Is this some new feature like they only put in high end/high tech cars?

What? You think I drive a Tesla or something?

rear-window defroster? Hell fire, you just think I'm made of money, don't you?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 04:09 pm
@chai2,
One way or another, your speed is going to be turned into heat.

Much better for the heat to go into your brakes (which are designed for it) than for it to go into your transmission (which isn't).

Edit: This assumes a traditional car, not an electric vehicle with regenerative braking.

chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 04:12 pm
@DrewDad,
So, if I disengage the cruise control while on the highway, it does something to the transmission?

Wouldn't it have the same effect like if I was driving along and just took my foot off the gas for a few moments to slow down?

What would taking your foot off the gas do to the transmission?

Really, I'm not educated in this, so this is good for me.



with an electric car, wouldn't you want to hit the brakes to recharge the battery?
Nick Ashley
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 04:17 pm
@McTag,
A picture for those confused. This is how the cruise works on many GM vehicles. Notice you can turn the cruise on or off with the slide lever. Turning it on doesn't appear to do anything though (to the driver, anyway). It just enables them to then push the 'set' button (can't see it, but its on the end of the lever) which actually engages the cruise. When the cruise is engaged and you hit the brakes, the cruise disables, but the switch is still in the 'on' position.

http://images.1aauto.com/ZCC/1AZCC00003A.jpg
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:02 pm
@chai2,

chai2 wrote:

You know how you activate the cruise control funtion before you get to the speed you want, and set it?

Does it harm the engine in any way to leave the cruise control activated all the time, even when you're not using it?


Your engine doesn't know the difference if the cruise control hits the gas or if you do. It couldn't possibly harm your engine. I seriously doubt leaving it on makes any difference either; it is designed to last as long as your car.

0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:19 pm
Whoa!

You know what?

My cruise control Doesn't turn off when I hit the brake!

I actually have to hit the disengage button.

I had CC on coming home, and braked for heavy traffic. For a bit I drove and braked like normal. Then I got to a open stretch of road and wondered what would happen if I hit resume. I had assumed nothing.

Nope, went right back up to speed.

I have a Toyota Corolla, so the cruise control is on a separate stalk from the wipers, windshield spary.

DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:20 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
Wouldn't it have the same effect like if I was driving along and just took my foot off the gas for a few moments to slow down?

Yes. Exactly the same effect.

chai2 wrote:
What would taking your foot off the gas do to the transmission?

It depends on whether you have a standard or an automatic, and what gear you're in.

With a standard, when you let off the gas, the transmission is still engaged and you immediately start to slow down. Your forward motion (kinetic energy) is being translated into heat in the transmission. If too much heat builds up (you use the transmission to slow yourself going down a long hill) then it will damage the transmission.

With an automatic, you typically coast when you let off the gas. The transmission is not engaged, and you slow slightly. As long as you're just in drive, versus first or second gear, this is fine. If you're in one of the lower gears, then the transmission is probably still engaged and you're in a similar situation as above. This is why putting an automatic in low gear and going down a hill is a bad idea.

chai2 wrote:
with an electric car, wouldn't you want to hit the brakes to recharge the battery?

Yes.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:22 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
I had CC on coming home, and braked for heavy traffic. For a bit I drove and braked like normal. Then I got to a open stretch of road and wondered what would happen if I hit resume. I had assumed nothing.

Nope, went right back up to speed.

That's normal operation.

Cruise control is "on" or "off". If cruise control is "off" then it cannot be engaged. If cruise control is "on" then it is either engaged (controlling how fast you go) or disengaged (manual control, but it remembers the last speed you had set, and you can resume once you're in a place to do so).
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:24 pm
@chai2,
Here's what mine looks like. You can slow down by braking or pulling the entire stalk towards you. If you do that the cruise light stays on, on the dashboard. The only way to turn off that light off is to push that little button on the right side of the stalk.

http://www.etaag.com/images/item189_1.jpg

0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:26 pm
@DrewDad,
Then why are so many people saying it turns off when you brake?
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 05:52 pm
@chai2,
'Cause it's hard to talk about something that is "on" but not active.

2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 06:08 pm
@DrewDad,
Standby...sleep mode....hibernate....not off, but not really on either.
 

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