Most modern vehicles have an electronic throttle actuator that controls the cruise control. Older model vehicles have a cruise control cable. These vehicles with a cruise control cable can be found all the way up to a 2005 Ford Taurus. The cable runs from the cruise control servo to the throttle body. The cable itself has multiple wires inside of a rubber-coated flexible metal sheath.
Once you decide to set the cruise control on your vehicle, the vacuum operated servo pulls the cruise control cable and maintains the desired speed. The cable is set in an arc pattern so it does not become kinked as this can cause problems with the cruise control system if it does. In addition, if the wires are allowed to move freely inside its sheath, the cruise control system will not work properly.
Over time, the cruise control cable can seize, in which case it needs to be lubricated. Once it is lubricated, the cable should operate like normal again. If it does not, there is likely something wrong with the cable. The cable should be inspected and lubricated on a regular basis, such as with oil changes, to ensure the system lasts longer. Other things that can go wrong with the cruise control cable include the cable does not return to its original position or the ball end of the cable breaks off. If either of these happens, it is a good idea to have a professional mechanic inspect your vehicle so your cruise control cable can be replaced. Furthermore, they will also inspect the entire cruise control system to ensure everything is working like it is supposed to.
Since your cruise control cable can wear, become kinked, or fail over time, it is a good idea to know the symptoms it gives off that indicates it needs to be replaced.
Signs your cruise control cable needs to be replaced include:
- The throttle in your vehicle is stuck because the cable became detached
- Engine races to about 4000 RPM
- The cruise control will not set at all
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, book a service with a professional mechanic. The cruise control cable is important to your cruise control system, so do not delay in getting it repaired.