6 Reasons Cruise Control Isn't Working - Subaru Service Questions in Salt Lake City, UT

If all of your driving consists of short trips with lots of stop lights and stop signs, you may never need cruise control. But if you take highways, it can be a useful tool. It's especially useful for longer highway trips, as it can reduce fatigue while you're driving. If your vehicle's cruise control isn't working, it may make your drive less convenient, and it could also signal other problems with your Subaru. Below, you'll find six possible reasons for faulty cruise control.

Person holding a blown fuse

6. Dirty or Malfunctioning Cameras (Adaptive Cruise Control)

This problem only applies to adaptive cruise control. This type of cruise control, part of the Subaru EyeSight® suite of driver assist features, uses two cameras to sense the location of other cars in front of you. If these cameras are dirty, blocked, or not functioning as they should, adaptive cruise control may not work as it should. Fortunately, this Subaru safety system is engineered to let you know if something is wrong with the cameras, but it's still a good idea to check them for obstruction. If everything seems fine, it may be time for a trip to the service center to get everything checked out.

Cruise control buttons on steering wheel

5. Blown Fuse

The fuses play a very important role in your vehicle's electrical system, since they protect the wiring and electrical components. If the system suddenly experiences a surge of energy that could damage something, the fuse blows, breaking the circuit to prevent further damage. To see if a blown fuse is the culprit, find the fuse box and locate the fuse that corresponds to the cruise control. Remove it and perform a visual inspection. If the filament on the inside is broken, the fuse is bad. An intact filament means it's most likely fine. If the fuse has been blown, you can replace it with a new fuse of the same amperage. However, we still recommend getting things checked out, since a blown fuse could be due to a deeper wiring or electrical problem.

4. Malfunctioning Brake Pedal Switch

When your cruise control is working as it should, stepping on the brake is an immediate way to turn it off. The same is true when you step on the clutch pedal, if you're driving a car with manual transmission. When the brake pedal switch or clutch sensor is malfunctioning, it could be sending a signal to your Subaru, telling it that you're constantly stepping on the brake or clutch pedal--even when you're not. This, in turn, will make it impossible to turn the cruise control on. However, that's not the only thing you need to worry about. A faulty brake pedal switch could lead your brake lights to work improperly, so it should be taken care of immediately for your safety.


3. Damaged Physical Components

Depending on how old your vehicle is, you may have one of a number of cruise control types. The oldest kinds of cruise control were purely mechanical, where a cable connected to the throttle on one end and a vacuum actuator on the other. After these mechanical systems came electro-mechanical cruise control, where a servo was in charge of adjusting the throttle. Newer systems use a TAC motor instead. No matter which variety your Subaru has, there's one constant: there are physical components that could become damaged. Damage to any of these components could cause the cruise control to stop working partly or entirely.

2. Computer Issues

Modern vehicles use computers to help them perform at their peak. These computers are also called control modules. The Engine Control Module is sometimes used to regulate the cruise control, though certain cruise control systems have their own control modules. If one of these computers is malfunctioning, the cruise control may be affected. Replacing the control module may be the best way to fix the problem, but it's a good idea to check with the dealership first to make sure that there are no technical service bulletins out for your vehicle's control module.

1. Speed Sensor Problems

Modern vehicles are equipped with two different types of speed sensor. The engine speed sensor monitors the crankshaft to see how quickly it's spinning. In some vehicles, this information is displayed on a tachometer. The transmission speed sensor measures how quickly your car is moving down the road; this is displayed on your speedometer. A problem with either of these sensors can lead to trouble with the cruise control. In addition, you may find that the speedometer, transmission, and other components may be behaving oddly.

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Nate Wade Subaru

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Directions Salt Lake City, UT 84111

  • Sales: (801) 658-9379
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