What is the Cruise Control Brake Release Switch all about?
When you do begin to decelerate your car, the cruise control will need to be disengaged or deactivated. Your vehicle is equipped with redundant switches to ensure it is possible to turn off your cruise control even if one switch fails to operate. There is a clutch release switch on vehicles equipped with a manual transmission that cancels the cruise control set speed when the clutch pedal is depressed. There is also an on/off or cancel button on the steering wheel or column that will deactivate the cruise set speed. A vacuum brake bleed switch is equipped on older vehicles which will also cut out the cruise control. All vehicles will be equipped with a cruise control brake release switch. When the brake pedal is pressed, a switch on or behind the pedal is hit that opens a circuit. The cruise control servo or module detects a loss of continuity and cancels the cruise control set speed. If the brake release switch isn’t working and does not ‘open’, the cruise control will not cancel via the brake switch. If the switch will not ‘close’ the circuit, the cruise control will not set in the first place.
Keep in mind:
- If the cruise control brake release switch fails, it is still possible to turn the cruise control off by pressing the steering wheel cancel or off button.
- A burned out brake light can "backfeed" power, which may cause the same error as a faulty brake release switch. Always have your brake lights checked first if your cruise control will not operate.
How it's done:
The cruise control brake release switch is verified that it needs to be replaced. Trim panels above the brake pedals are removed to access the switch.
The defective cruise control brake release switch is disconnected from vacuum line and removed.
The new cruise control brake release switch is installed, secured and reconnected to the vacuum line.
Trim panels are reinstalled. The cruise control brake release switch is tested for operation
The vehicle is road tested to ensure proper operation of the cruise control and the cruise control brake release switch.
It is common for a burned out brake light bulb to cause the cruise control to not set, so if the cruise control is inoperative, have the brake lights checked first. The brake release switch does not require any maintenance and will last the vehicle's lifetime in many instances; however, it can fail just like any other electrical component. Have the cruise control checked and repaired by one of our expert technicians if stops working.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Cruise Control Brake Release Switch?
- Cruise control will not set
- Cruise control cuts out when driving at times
- Difficult to disengage cruise control when pressing the brake pedal
How important is this service?
Cruise control is a convenience item and is not necessary for the safe operation of your vehicle. If the cruise control isn’t working, have it repaired at your convenience.