Cruise Controls

Submitted: Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 18:13
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A question on the safety of cruise controls, has anbody had any accidents using cruise controls? I have it on my cruiser and wondering how safe they are, having not used one before.

Thanks in advance

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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 18:28

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 18:28
As long as you read the book and understand how it works you will have no trouble.

I use it on rare occasions but find it a bit disconcerting when it starts to roar up hills to keep up to the desired speed.

Thats on a 100ser

Your profile shows a Patrol which may operate differently.

I dont use it towing except on dead flat roads as it will use more fuel than just using your foot and easing over hills rather than blasting over them in cruise.

I also only tow in 4th but my van will be a fair bit heavier than yours.

AnswerID: 424508

Reply By: Roughasguts - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 18:30

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 18:30
I beleive There not safe on wet roads turn them off.
For that matter they might not be safe on gravel roads either where theres any chance of wheel slip.

Cruise control may wan't to increase power on a slippery road and that may not be ideal.

AnswerID: 424510

Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 18:34

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 18:34
There can be issues other than the internet myth stuff Warren (breaking traction on icy roads).

Like anything you need to use them wisely but they do have positve benefits.

They can accelerate you around a corner and can overspeed your car if the corner rises then slopes off, quite frighthening at first , check this aspect out so you don't get caught by surprise.

A model specific isues exists with the one fitted to my manual 4800 GU patrol.

If you disengage it , drop into neutral , then hit resume , it redlines the engine in an instant as they forgot to include the logic that says the car is still in neutral.

I should not say this but when your drinking coffee in the car on a long stretch its safter to have the car on cruise to free up a hand.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 424511

Follow Up By: landseka - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 07:08

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 07:08
I think you must be on a motorbike (or a car with Hand Controls) to "free up a hand" on cruise.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 08:46

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 08:46
Yes that wasn't worded very well Landseka
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 12:54

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 12:54
Toyota do it to Robin, manual or auto. I can whack the prado in neutral (not that I do it normally did it just to show my mate that the cruise will activate again if I hit resume even in neutral) The patrol does cut out but doesnt it if you use the clutch ?? and obviously the brake. Regards steve M
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Reply By: CJ - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 18:48

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 18:48
All of the above items are valid.

Good thing tho is that an instinctive thing any driver will do in those situations where he/she may not feel conmfortable is to tap the brakes - and that will instantly turn the system off

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Reply By: Joe n Mel - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 19:15

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 19:15
The biggest mis-conception is that it will save fuel, it INCREASES fuel consumption as it maintains the exact speed you set it to regardless of what terrain you are on or so the more power you have the more it will "push" it to maintain the exact speed you set it at, hence the comments about "wheel-spin" as it simply looks at the desired speed you set it to maintain and the "actual" speed you are doing and opens the throttle accordingally ...... it does not do what we have the ability to do and look and plan ahead.
Long flat straights it is awesome and you will be fine, gravel roads, ice/snow and any hilly terrain you run a risk more so with the power of new cars these days .......
They are as safe as the users ability to understand them .....
AnswerID: 424519

Follow Up By: Member - Wayne B (NSW) - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 22:26

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 22:26
Cant agree about the fuel. Just about every vehicle I have driven with CC gets better economy then I can get driving it normally. Could be just that I am not an economical driver.

I agree with the Gravel and slippery conditions and the fact that they can have a mind of their own sometimes and apply power just when you dont need it, Eg Topping a crest with a curve and the auto kicks back a gear and the CC accelerates just at the time you would be normally lifting your foot off the accelerator. In something with a bit of power it can be unsettling when it occurs.
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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 23:41

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 23:41
I'll back up Joe on the the fuel economy. A constant speed... chosen well = economy.
FollowupID: 695019

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 07:32

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 07:32
I disagree with you both on the economy side of Cruise control.

When towing and going up a hill the natural thing is just keep it going without too much more throttle and ease it over the hill and take your foot off to let it run down.

Cruise however doesnt know its a hill. It only knows it has more resistance so feeds more fuel to keep the speed at what its been set at It therefore will change down and rev it up to try to stay at the speed.

How is this more economical.

I have found it disconcerting when cruising along and suddenly the car will "take off" or even change down on a slight slope to maintain speed.

Prefer to drive it my way rather than "its way"

Agree with the reply on reliability and smartness of some electronics.

With an all up weight of 6100kg "I" prefer to be in charge Not the car.

Too late when its taken you into a corner 30k too fast cos you werent really paying attention.

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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 08:09

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 08:09
You must drive a powerful car. My vehicles have needed full throttle to climb most hills of any significance so it makes no difference if the cc or my foot does the job.

It comes back to using the tool correctly. If you are in hills, or winding roads then you turn off the cc....... easy.
FollowupID: 695035

Follow Up By: bobsabobsa - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 09:54

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 09:54
Yes I agree with Joe, My 100 series diesel auto increases fuel usage. I find the cruise control is very aggressive .
On the flat it is beautiful, but hilly terain it is too agressive.
The patrol I had, was much better, but was still aggressive in hilly country
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:14

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:14
Any increase in fuel costs is swamped by the saving in speeding fines.

I use my cruise control everywhere - even in 40k zones.
FollowupID: 695159

Reply By: Rangiephil - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 20:06

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 20:06
My cruise taught me to drive more efficiently.
The fact that they do not ease off around gentle curves was very disconcerting at first but I soon realised that backing off was just a learned reaction. I now drive like on cruise and tend to overtake a lot of people on the expressway when they back off unnecessarily on curves.
This RUBBISH about wheelspin is totally counter factual!!! Think about it.
If the wheels speed up, the cruise tries to reduce to the speed set by slowing down.
The only real danger is if like a yank, you decide to go and make a cup of coffee in the back of the camper with the cruise on, leaving the steering to it.

I have now had my cruise on my Range Rover for 10 years with never a hint of any loss of control, whether in hills , in the wet etc . I Don't use it on dirt as you are always varying speed.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 424532

Follow Up By: D200Dug- Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 21:14

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 21:14
I love my cruise control !!!!

It allows me to concentrate on the road ahead and not about what speed I am doing I think, used properly, they make for safer driving.

Wheel spin is a furphy, the main problem is going into a corner too fast and losing control. You need to remember to slow down before a tight corner and accelerate out rather than hitting the brakes half way through and losing it.

As with everything practice, practice, practice get used to using it and get to know what it can and cannot do.

The cruise in my rodeo is very gentle it does not like to go above 2,000 rpm so just accelerates slowly, some are set more aggressively and will gun it to get back to speed, again it is just a matter of practice and finding what works and what doesn't.
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Follow Up By: Joe n Mel - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 23:02

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 23:02
well ya havta have POWER to get wheel spin i guess :-)
You are very correct, learn how to use it and you cant beat them
FollowupID: 695015

Follow Up By: StormyKnight - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 13:23

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 13:23
The wheel spin issue IS VALID!

I drive a Mitsubishi Lancer with after market cruise. It of course is a front wheel drive which will cause this issue to be much more evident.

As one wheel aquaplanes, all the drive goes to that wheel - the cruise is still happy as there is a delay in it responding which is a lot slower than a driver in this situation. Also the speed that the cruise sees is the average of the two front wheels via the front differential not just the single high speed wheel.

This effect is evident using brand new tyres, but much much worse on worn tyres.

The wheel that has lost traction is now spinning a lot faster than normal, so depending on how much traction is acquired after the water will depend on whether the car may pull excessively to one side resulting in a serve & then possible an over corrected spin.

I have also heard of high powered vehicles loosing traction on the rear when towing a heavy load, as the auto gear box drops a couple of gears on a climb & the cruise applies full power to compensate in the loss of speed.

The cruise in the VY commodore was very good. Smooth & not at all throttle hungry, but then again it has a lot better power to weight than my Prado which is really aggressive.

Often it will reach 106km/h over a climb when set to 100.... probably the worst time you want extra speed over a blind crest...its just too slow to respond & being a 4 speed, overdrive is very tall, it loses speed, changes back to 3rd & guns it. If the hill is moderately steep it will not reach 100 again so it will be full throttle in 3rd all the way up. If the crest is sharp, it will be a full throttle for a full second before it backs off. This allows the speed to increase so much over the speed limit set.

Cruise is a different way to drive a car & you need to be aware of its need to watch ahead for corners etc that you know you won't be able to navigate safely at the set speed.......often you might move your foot to 'cover' the brakes, you can do the same with the cruise on....

I find the cruise excellent at allowing you to watch the road without having to watch your speedo & thus taking your eye of the road. I find that without cruise if I see a white commodore approaching, the first thing I do is look at my speed, with the cruise on I just need to continue watching the road.


FollowupID: 695071

Reply By: Madfisher - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 20:53

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 20:53
One positive of cruise is it can save you getting booked. This is more of a problem in todays fast cars which will crept up on you. I reckon I save fuel on criuse for this exact reason, but then I have a dohc v6 not a diesel lol.
We have an Isuzu 600 truck at work and I wish it had cruise as it is very hard to keep on 100 once in 6th. It would also save one eye being glued to the speedo all the time.
Cheers Pete
AnswerID: 424543

Reply By: Member - Royce- Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 23:44

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 23:44
Cruise control is a driving tool. The biggest benifit is in preventing fatigue, in my experience.

The only time I have found it to be a bit of a worry is if I happen to rest my right foot a little out of place so that it takes a moment more to find the brake than it should.

On balance it has made my long trips way safer and more economic... and less chance of speeding fines.
AnswerID: 424565

Reply By: OzTroopy - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 23:59

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 23:59
Very pleasnt to kick back, steer with ya knee and roll a smoke .... (insert great big rolling eyes emoticon here)

Untill you read stuff like faulty toyota computer accelerators, discover things like broken switch contacts in a brake pedal switch that may prevent over-riding the cruise control ......

And as for being happy about going around corners - without backing off and accelerating out of the corner ...... well I guess that would depend on more electronic bling nonsence, controlling the suspension system to offset the bodyroll.

Just remember next time your surfing the net and your computer locks up / crashes / whatever ..... what a reliable piece of electronic trickery its been .... up to that point.
AnswerID: 424567

Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 08:51

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 08:51
Funny both I and SWMBO thought that driving involvement would be reduced before using the cruise. BUT both of us agree it is the best thing.

Our votes for greatest auto innovations, cruise control and central locking.

My cruise has failed a couple of times. first was inability to hold speed accurately,caused by a solonoid dying in the "motor",second ditto and it is very obvious. I find most electronic things fail at the mechanical interface eg a relay, solonoid etc.
So usually the electronic bit does not fail, it is the MECHANICAL bit that connects it to accelerator "motors" on drive by wire cars.
Regard sPhilip A
AnswerID: 424582

Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 09:03

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 09:03
Nothing wrong with Cruise Control. Just don't use it in traffic, on dirt or mud etc, on hilly areas or wherever the car may change down automatically or on windy roads.

We often use it and find that it gives a better fuel consumption (10.6 lt/100 in 3500Kg 4.2TD 100 series) and a bit more relaxing trip. But because it can be boring it can also make you feel tired and need for the two hour stop regime enforced.

Tip: When disengaging and engaging cruise control, synchronise the changeover so that you don't get any surges. Try and get the "foot" pressure the same as the "cruise" accelerator setting. This can save heaps of fuel. Besides it gives you something to do.

I wonder how long it will take for the remote controls in the back seats to be finalised. I can then sleep properly when driving. May even be able to indulge in a glass of the bubbly. I think not!!! But I wonder.

AnswerID: 424584

Reply By: Honky - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 10:08

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 10:08
I do a lot of driving for work and the main reason I use cruise control is as follows:-
complying with speed limits
better driving awareness.

Fuel has never been an issue.

My cars have always been manual Pajeros and if the going gets tough with the cruise control on it automatically turns off.

To keep myself amused on longs trips I play around with the cruise control and if comming up to a corner, turn the crusie off and when hitting the apex hit resume.
its interesting when you use cruise and do not turn it off when you go around corners it does not seem right but if you drop only one k an hour than resume it seems ok.

AnswerID: 424593

Follow Up By: Member - warren h (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 10:26

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 10:26
Thanks for all the great replys,

It seems to me commonsense should prevail when using any of these aids , does the cruise know the road is wet or if your feeling sleepy or the corner ahead is sharper than what it looks.

I will now start using mine with a lot more.confidence.

FollowupID: 695048

Follow Up By: StormyKnight - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 13:30

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 13:30
No it doesn't know.....

Currently it also doesn't know if you've left the road either......

You can be assured it will try its darnedest to hit that tree at your selected speed....if you fall asleep....

If your tired, pull over!
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Follow Up By: Member - warren h (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 14:44

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 14:44
I never drive when tired I am towing a caravan with a beautifull comfy double bed, and use it whenever I start to feel drowsy. What I posted was more an example of what a cruise control can not do.

FollowupID: 695085

Follow Up By: Honky - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 15:23

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 15:23
It interesting the comment about cruise control does not know if you have left the road.
I was a passenger in a car at the time the driver fell asleep with cruise set at 115 in a 110 k zone ( correct GPS speed ).
It definitely does not know you are going through a paddock or going sideways and will not turn off unless you hit the brakes or switch off.
Lucky we did not hit anything as we were out the far west of NSW and not many trees.

Its funny know.

FollowupID: 695094

Reply By: Member - Trevor H (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 22:59

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010 at 22:59
I once drove from outer Syd to outer Melb without touching the brakes using the CC as a hand throttle disengaging well before I need to and accelerating out of towns to the speed limit.

but that was in a falcon.

In the prado hills bends etc not good as it powers in to bends on a hill and hunts going up the hill. But on the flat driving to destinations it is fantastic a great tool saving fuel, fatigue and speeding fines.

You will grow to love it.
AnswerID: 424684

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 03:47

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 03:47

I reckon they're totally safe so long as you use them wisely like some here have already said. I like mine because it improves my average speed. I and others seem to develop a lazy accelerator foot and this seems to make the car slow down on gradients etc. Been driving with a cc for over ten years and in traffic I find it interesting that it is easy to pick who else is using cc - all the others seem to slow at hills and curves, Enjoy the cc you'll never look back.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 424688

Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:28

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:28
I find it easy to identify those without cruise controls on the freeway.

While you're travelling at the speed limit they'll overtake you - than a couple of kilometres further on they'll be at 5k below the limit so you overtake them - then a few kilometres further on they roar past you - then . . .
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Reply By: Mike DiD - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:23

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 08:23
Cruise Controls can make driving safer by reducing braking time - you can drive with your foot already on the brake pedal, in case a roo appears.

Instead of having to lift your foot off the accelerator, move it over to the brake pedal and step on it, you just step on the brake.
AnswerID: 424702

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 10:41

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 10:41
Hopefully you arent one of the many that drive with their foot on the brake pedal and the brakelights on so the following traffic has no idea if you are stopping or what.

Far to many do that and it is most annoying

Have you ever looked to see if this is so.

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Reply By: ross - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 11:21

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 11:21
They are well and truly tested for safety. Car companies would be opening themselves up to multi billion dollar lawsuits if they were'nt.

Of course ,you cant stop idiots using them
AnswerID: 424729

Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 14:01

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 14:01
Like any car component ....

- "It was working when it left the factory" -

And we all know how carmakers react when we go back with faulty items that they dont want to accept responsibility for .......
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