Does cruise control save gas? The question will be answered subsequently in this article.
The goal of every car owner or driver is to save some gas, it has become so needed that even manufacturers are devising new ways of manufacturing vehicles that would save gas as a market strategy to sell off more cars than their competition.
One of the ways that car manufacturers can achieve the goal of cutting down fuel consumption is by cruise control.
It was first introduced in the year 1958 by an American Automobile company called Chrysler.
You might have gotten curious and asked what cruise control is? How does Cruise control relate to fuel consumption? And what does cruise control do? You can get answers to these and more by continuing reading as we have covered all that in this article.
What Is The Purpose of Cruise Control in a Car?
The purpose of cruise control in a car is to help regulate the speed of your car and keep it moving at the set speed without the driver having to apply pressure.
The cruise control is an intelligent device that without the use of pressure allows a car to move at a specific speed.
The speed control is achievable as a result of controlling the linkage connecting the accelerator to the fuel injection control.
The drive control helps relieve driver’s leg fatigue that they might experience if driving for a long period.
It helps you in maintaining a set of speeds without requiring any outside intervention.
How Does Cruise Control Work?
Cruise control makes use of an actuator to maintain a speed set by a driver by making use of a throttle.
It is an enhanced system that maintains speeds electronically.
The cruise control system imitates the way humans drive but uses an actuator to control your car instead of using the accelerator pedal to keep your car going at the same speed.
In older cars, the cruise control is connected directly to the accelerator by using a cable.
The cable is used to maintain the gas pedal in a certain position to keep the pre-set speed that was set by the driver.
While in modern cars, the speed is managed electronically using a program and without the use of a cable.
A computer that is connected with various sensors and throttle response control operates it through wireless.
The speed can be automatically adjusted depending on how fast the vehicle ahead of your car is going and still maintains a safe distance behind it.
This is done to avoid collision with the other car in front.
This system will be useful to drivers particularly those plying the highway and roads congested with traffic.
It will help dramatically reduce the driver’s fatigue that he may have felt when driving for a long distance with his foot on the gas accelerator.
Automatic cruise control is far better than the cruise control on a manual car, as when In a manual, it will be difficult to slow the car down unlike it is in the automatic car.
Most cars’ cruise control has the ON and OFF switch, and the RES, CANCEL, and SET buttons as well.
You will need to understand your car’s cruise control before you can get to activate it.
The following steps listed below can be used to either engage or cancel the cruise control function of your car.
- Find the cruise control buttons of your car, you can either see them on your steering column or steering wheel.
- Start by switching it on and drive at a speed you want, the speed can either be 40mph, 80mph, etc.
- To have the system maintain the current speed you are cruising at, just simply press the SET button, when you do at, you can take your feet off the accelerator pedal
- You can increase and decrease the set speeds by pressing the + and – buttons respectively, with the + button standing for the increase and the – button standing for the decrease
- Step on either the brake pedal or clutch in the case of a manual transmission vehicle or simply press cancel in the case of an automatic car to disengage the cruise control function
- You can press the RES button if you decide to cruise on the cruise control function at the same speed you previously were engaged in.
- You can press the OFF button when you are fully through with driving with the Cruise Control function. Pressing the OFF button will have the system switch off.
To show you that the switch control system is either ON or OFF, it will show you a light indicator on your dashboard.
When the light is ON do have it in mind that your switch control function is ON, the same goes for when the light is turned off.
When Should I Not Use Switch Control?
With all the benefits that come with using the switch control functions with the top most being relieving drivers from the fatigue of using their legs on the gas accelerator pedal for a long time while going on a long journey or driving on the highway or in traffic, there are also instances where you are not meant to use your switch control functions and we will be looking at such instances right below:
- Slippery Roads: you should avoid using your cruise control function when you notice the road is slippery. Manual driving is needed for you to stay safe or maintain safety when you are driving on a slippery or an icy road and cruise control reduces manual driving, so it is safer to not engage cruise control when you are on a slippery road.
- Cruise control works better in clear weather, bad weather tends to mess with a car’s bodily sensors, and bad weather’s as windy or rainy environments should not see you using the cruise control functions
- Using cruise control is not ideal in heavy traffic as cruise control needs a steady and constant speed and being stuck in traffic or trying to navigate your way in heavy traffic won’t do well for cruise control, so it is more beneficial to not use it in heavy traffic situations
- On cruise control you are not going to be doing much Wich is also kind of dangerous for you as being inactive while on the wheel can cause you to sleep off. When on cruise control you should be vigilant and pay more attention to the road conditions or better still if you can’t achieve that, it will be far better to use manual control than cruise control for you to be safe and not sleep on the steering wheel. Safety first before pleasure.
Does Cruise Control Save Diesel?
Yes, cruise control saves diesel, it saves about 7%-14% of diesel just by simply maintaining a constant speed over a long distance.
Cruise control is one of the convenient ways of saving diesel if you will be driving for a long amount of time.
What increases the rate of fuel or diesel consumption is sudden acceleration or deceleration of your vehicle. Still, when you maintain a constant speed which is the forte of the cruise control, then it is possible to limit the amount of fuel or diesel consumed by your car.
A car engine will generate maximum torque when you shoot a car from a low speed to a maximum speed, more torque power equals higher diesel consumption as the more the torque power, the more the engine works harder and spin faster.
Maintaining a constant speed on the other hand means less torque which translates to minimum engine speed and therefore the minimum amount of diesel or gas used.
Cruise control eliminates the need for a sudden increase or decrease in speed which ultimately, eliminates the need to consume more diesel.
Note that using cruise control will reduce your diesel only when you are using it on motorways and not when you are attempting to climb up the hills with it.
When climbing the hills, there is no helping it there, it will use more gas.
Can Using Cruise Control Damage Your Car?
Cruise control features will not necessarily damage your car but over-relying on it can be destructive.
When you use cruise control when you should not, it can be destructive but when used in normal conditions and right situations then it can be beneficial.
Can Cruise Control Damage Your Transmission?
The answer is No. Cruise control will not in any way damage your transmission as it will reduce the wear and tear on the engine and the transmission.
The cruise control system makes use of some sensors that the transmission also makes use of, therefore, any issues you will have with your transmission control will also affect your cruise control system.
What are the Disadvantages of Using The Cruise Control System?
With everything in the world when there are advantages, there are also disadvantages and cruise control is no different.
Some disadvantages of using the cruise control system include:
- When the weather is bad, it is difficult to use the cruise control
- It can cause drivers that are distracted to lose control entirely
- Drivers that are tortured lose control of the vehicle when they sleep off on the steering wheel while making use of the Cruise Control feature
Is it more Beneficial to Drive with Cruise Control Feature?
Yes. It is better to drive with cruise control when all the situations and conditions allow for it.
Cruise Control will help maintain a certain set speed by the driver while at the same time reducing gas consumption as well as allowing drivers to rest during long-distance travels thereby making the driver’s journey more comfortable.
Does Cruise Control Make Use of Engine Breaks?
Yes. Cruise control makes use of engine breaks to reduce the speed of your car when it is approaching another vehicle in front of it.
The cruise control maintains a pre-set speed and then reduces the speed when it is approaching a vehicle ahead of it to avoid an accident.
Is It Okay to Use Cruise Control on Hills?
No. It is dangerous for you to engage in the cruise control feature when you are driving up a hill.
The cruise control maintains pre-set speed, it will however not accelerate your car and when going up the hill, you will need to accelerate your car and if that is not achievable, you will have a slow-moving problem on your hands
Driving up the hill will need you to accelerate your car manually by using the accelerator pedal and break to be able to do so efficiently.
On the other hand, your car will speed up when you are decelerating and it is normal, but cruise control will try to maintain your speed and this will cause the brake more than it normally should have.
To drive effectively up or down the hill it is preferable to not use the cruise control feature.
Either uphill or downhill the cruise control will use more gas, and more energy and reduce fuel efficiency which is not what we are looking for.
Does Cruise Control Drain Car Battery?
No. Using Cruise Control will not drain your car battery.
Cruise control seeks to maintain a constant speed and striving to maintain a constant speed will make you expend less energy than when it is continually changing speeds at sudden intervals.
Driving at constant intervals as we have stated earlier uses less energy and had, and using less energy simply means the lifespan of your battery will be increased, so it is quite safe to say that using the cruise control feature will not drain your car battery but helps in prolonging the lifespan.
Cruise control is important in your vehicle and if you have the right knowledge on how to use it in the right situations and conditions, it can help save you a lot of resources you might have spent on repairs or wear and tear.
Again it will help with your fuel economy as well as reduce drivers’ fatigue.