This is the #1 item we field requests for during the summer driving months.
Cruise Control is really quite simple. The principal is rudimentary. By setting a button on your dash or steering wheel you activate the device and within a second it checks your speed, then holds your throttle in the right position to maintain that speed. By touching your brakes it turns off, and can be re-activated at any time.
Cruise control was invented in the mid 1700’s to keep steam ships moving at a constant speed. It was re-invented in 1945 by a man named Ralph Teetor who was blind. One day as he drove with his lawyer he noticed that the vehicle speed was continually increasing and decreasing while his driver got lost in conversation.
In 1958, the Chrysler Imperial was the first car produced using Teetor’s invention, and the rest is history.
Cruise Control works by monitoring vital information such as engine speed and more importantly the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS). Imagine that each time a tire spins one rotation, an electronic pulse is sent up a wire to the vehicle’s computer. By counting how many pulses appear within a short period of time, an average speed can be calculated. At this point all the Cruise Control needs to do is keep the right amount of throttle to maintain that VSS count. Sounds pretty easy doesn’t it?
A lot has changed since 1958. Back then cruise was powered by the vacuum generated by the engine. A dial was used to maintain the desired speed. Vacuum cruise controls are surprisingly still available, but the units we use are now electronic.
There are two types of Cruise Control available today depending on the design of your car. Some engines use a throttle cable to connect the gas pedal to the throttle. Some use a sensor to detect just how far you have squeezed the pedal, and a small electric servo or motor operates the throttle. This system is affectionately known as “drive by wire”.
Which system do you need? Don’t worry. We know the answer!
Send us an email. Make sure you include your vehicle year, make, model and transmission type. ex: 2007 Toyota Corolla 5-speed. We will get back to you just as fast as we can with your options.
Still feel like browsing? Below is the list of manufacturers of cruise control systems. Feel free to check them out and review their part numbers and user’s guides. That information will help you compare apples to apples when we return your call. Note that not all vehicles are listed on those sites, and an inquiry may be necessary.
Remember!!!! These systems connect to your vehicle’s throttle controls and can render that system useless if the cruise is not properly installed! Do not be fooled by flashy showrooms! A great technician is what you want to find under your hood, and we have them here for you!
Fortin (Fortin Electronics)
Rostra Precision Controls (OEM Manufacturer)
Bypasskit (Xpresskit, DEI Electronics)