How To Use Cruise Control

Cruise control comes as standard on many new cars.

As the year’s progress, technology which was first considered revolutionary, is now standard on many new cars. Features such as traction control, lane keeping assist and cruise control.

Can cruise control save you money and when is it best to use? Here at CarCliq, we discuss how to use cruise control.
When was cruise control invented?
This goes back to the 1940’s with a blind American mechanical engineer Ralph Teetor, however, speed control originates from the 18th century to regulate steam engines.
How does cruise control work?
This electronic system enables you to set the car’s accelerator to a chosen speed, therefore you can take your foot off the pedal. It can be activated through pressing buttons whilst driving, these being “on/off”, “set”, “cancel” or “resume”.

Its main purpose is to be used on motorways or A-roads, which doesn't involve you having to perform frequent stops or turns. Also, with the many roadworks with speed regulations we now have, cruise control is great for avoiding those dreaded cameras.
How to use cruise control
  1. Build up your speed, as cruise control works most effectively from at least 30mph.
  2. Switch on cruise control – this should be done once you reach your desired speed and the buttons should be found on or behind the steering wheel. A light will appear on the dashboard once it is actioned.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: You can find the location of your cruise control buttons in the car handbook, so do this before you begin to use cruise control.
  3. Set the cruise control. Once the system has been switched on, you need to press the set button to allow you to travel at the current speed you’re out. This will allow you to remove your foot from the accelerator.
  4. Accelerating and decelerating: to accelerate you can either press the “+” button or apply the accelerator pedal and to decelerate, you press the “-” button or the brake.
  5. Cancelling/resuming cruise control. When you want to retain full control of the car, you can switch off the system off and if you want to return to the programmed speed you were at, just press “resume”.
Does cruise control save you money?
By heavily accelerating or braking it can cause us to use significantly more fuel than maintaining a set speed. Therefore, cruise control can save you money, as according to the Department for Transport, driving at a steady speed of 50mph instead of 70mph can improve fuel economy by 25%.
So, when should I avoid using cruise control?
Although cruise control can deliver many great benefits such as better fuel efficiency and you’re at less risk of speeding, there are some occasions where it can prove not to be practical. These including things like heavy traffic, winding roads, going downhill and when approaching a bridge.

In addition to this, weather conditions such as snow, ice, heavy rain and hailstones can affect your grip on the road, therefore it’s best to have full control of the car.
To conclude, it can deliver the greatest of benefits to improve your overall driving experience, however, you need to make sure you know where and how to use cruise control safely.

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