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Have you recently heard someone using the term Cruise main and wondered what it means? If yes, you are not alone. Not many drivers and car users know of this expression, but once you get the hang of this feature, there is no turning back.
A cruise main is a switch for the control system in your vehicle that maintains a steady set speed using an electric throttle. This speed also goes by the name cruising speed, hence the name cruise main.
Once you switch your car to the cruise main mode, this mode will automatically begin its operation and adjusts the speed of your vehicle to set a cruising speed. With the cruise main engaged in your car, you can maintain the set speed even without pushing the pedal.
We have compiled a comprehensive guide for you explaining the meaning of cruise speed, its working, when to use this mode, and what are the situations where this mode should be avoided, along with some additional information you would love to know about the cruise main system in your vehicle.
We will also take you through some advantages of using the cruise main system and some safety tips to help you along the way.
What Is the Meaning of Cruise Main?
The cruise main, as mentioned above, is a control system in the car that is concerned with adjusting the car’s speed and making it move at a set speed without having to press the pedal. Though this is what a beginner like you needs to know about the cruise main term, let us clarify one thing here.
Cruise Main is actually the button that’s used to turn on and off the cruise control system. The main system, however, cannot function completely just by pressing the cruise main button. You have to set the other settings of the system, decide on the speed, and perform multiple other operations before you can finally use this system.
You can use the cruise control system to adjust the vehicle’s speed, which enables you to maintain a steady speed that you can set without using the electronic throttle’s input.
In current times, you can find cruise control as a major part of standard car equipment, and it has only come with lots of positives. Thanks to this system, long hours of drives would no longer tire you as such, and you can relax a bit and stop caring about constantly looking at the tachometer for the speed limit adjustments.
A Little History of Cruise Control System
To explain the cruise control system better, let us take a peek into its history. The first ever cruise control system was invented back in the 1940s by Ralph Teetor. However, this was not the first time it was used in car production. In the year 1965, American Motors produced the first car featuring the cruise control system.
But it took over a decade for this system to gain popularity, especially when, in 1973, the fuel prices increased, and manufacturers started considering cruise control systems to save up on fuel costs.
Today, we can find the adaptive cruise control system in most vehicles that are used to maintain a constant car speed and can help you on long journeys. The best part about this system is the great efficiency it offers.
For instance, if a car at a slow speed gets in front of you while driving on the road, the cruise control system will automatically reduce your car’s speed. Similarly, it works to adjust the speed of your vehicle according to the speed limit.
Working of the Cruise Control System
The modern cruise control system comes on the engine control unit of the vehicles. As all the controls of this system feature electronic transmission, including brakes, steering, and throttle, there is no need for additional components. The only manual controls you need are buttons and the basic driver controls.
Though now this system is electronic, this wasn’t the case during the early days of the cruise control system. Earlier, this system featured drive-by-wire throttle bodies, and the entire system was cable-operated.
The cable network was such that one wire went from the pedal to the throttle body for the person in the driving seat to control the throttle. However, the leading cruise control cable reached the throttle body via the electric motor.
Later on, the cruise control motor goes to the tachometer and the control unit of the vehicle’s engine. This was followed by the electric body’s opening and closing of the throttle body while keeping an eye on the tachometer data once the speed was set.
How to Use Cruise Control?
Now that you know how the cruise control system works, let us take you through the entire process you need to know to use this system on your vehicle.
As mentioned earlier, the main button to turn on this system is Cruise Main, but this is not the only control you need to switch on for moving your car to the cruise control system. Here we have listed all the controls and buttons you need to know of to use the cruise control system effectively.
- As we have discussed before, the Cruise Main button is used to turn the cruise system on and off and has nothing to do with the cruise speed.
- As evident by its name, the Set button is concerned with setting the acceleration and the deceleration. This control is used for setting the speed for the cruise control system, the speed you want to travel with at any given instant.
- The Res button isn’t found in all cars, making it evident that it doesn’t have a crucial role in the cruise control system. This button is used to reset the previous speed of your cruise control system. On pressing this button, your system will become a plain canvas for you to set the new speed you want.
- The last two buttons of the cruise control system are named either “accel” and “decel” or “+” and “-.” in addition to the Set button, these also deal with controlling the acceleration and deceleration. However, both these buttons are used once you have set the speed using the Set button.
- By pressing any of these two buttons, you will increase or decrease the cruise speed by 3 to 4 mph.
- In the end, you can push the Cruise Main button once again to stop the working of the whole cruise control system.
Why Use the Cruise Control System?
Though the cruise control system doesn’t have any apparent harm, and all you can notice when first hearing about this system are the positives it brings to the table, some people still contemplate using this speed control system on their vehicles.
If you are also one of them, we have listed some major benefits of using this system. These benefits might help you make the final decision.
Maintain Constant Speed
One significant benefit you will get while using the cruise control system. No one loves to drive for long hours on straight and boring roads. The worst part is that you can’t even fall asleep during this long journey if you have gotten hold of the driver’s seat.
But don’t worry, using the cruise control system; you can now leave the car to move on the road on its own as this system will adjust the speed depending on the road conditions and the surroundings, allowing you to relax.
One of the main reasons you should consider using the cruise control system is its fuel efficiency. As we have mentioned in the history part, one of the things that got the cruise system all the fame and popularity it has now is the time when the fuel prices were increased, and manufacturers moved towards this for its fuel efficiency.
Your engine will use the same fuel level when you drive at a constant and steady speed. Using the cruise control system, the speed can be adjusted, changing the fuel level being used, thus causing a significant reduction in fuel costs.
No Speeding Tickets
If you don’t want to get speeding tickets just because you have lost sight of the tachometer, the cruise control system is something you need to consider. As for this system, the speed is controlled by the machine itself with the help of different sensors; there are very few chances for you to get a speeding ticket. Isn’t it great?
Turning Off the Cruise Control
If this is your first time using the cruise control system, and you have no idea how to turn it off, here are the steps you can follow.
- Press the brake pedal, and the cruise control system will stop working.
- You can also press the Cruise Main to turn off the cruise control system.
Increasing the Cruising Speed
Following are the steps you need to go through to increase the cruising speed of your vehicle.
- Hit the “SET” button and hold it for a few seconds.
- Your vehicle’s speed will begin accelerating. Once it reaches the desired speed, let go of the “SET” switch.
- Now, press the “SET” button and let go of it immediately to adjust the preset speed.
You can also increase the cruising speed using the accelerator pedal. Here is what you need to do for this:
- Press the accelerator pedal and wait till your vehicle reaches the desired speed.
- Once the desired acceleration is reached, let go of the accelerator pedal.
You have successfully increased the cruising speed of your vehicle.
Decreasing the Cruising Speed
Here is what you need to follow to reduce the cruising speed:
- Once you have set the cruising speed for your vehicle and your vehicle is moving at that speed, press “SET” and hold it.
- Wait till your car decelerates to the desired speed and release the “SET” button.
- Hit the “SET” switch and let go of it immediately to adjust the preset speed.
How To Cancel the Cruise Control System Temporarily?
If, during your long driving journey, you want to turn off the cruise system temporarily, here is how you can do this:
- Press the brake pedal slightly and wait for a few seconds till the system turns off.
- You can also press the “CANCEL” switch to turn off the cruise control system.
- When you want to turn it on again, simply hit the “RESUME” button.
Cruise Control Safety Precautions
Though the cruise control system is harmless for the most part, there are still some precautions and safety tips you need to pay heed to avoid any mishaps. Here are some of the cruise control system safety precautions for you to save yourself from any unfortunate events:
One of the first things you need to keep in mind while using the cruise control system is the cruising speed. Though this system is efficient and packed with highly responsive sensors, setting the vehicle at a steady speed is still recommended. Ensure that you are not accelerating the car too much, as this can lead to accidents.
Not In Corners
If you are moving your car mainly in the corners of the road, no matter how much you are sure of it, it’s hard to control the vehicle’s speed. In this case, you might as well have to make a lot of adjustments in the cruising speed, which is why it’s best not to use the cruise control system when in corners.
Don’t Drive On Slippery Roads
Avoid using the cruise control system if the road you are driving on is too slippery. It’s because, to work effectively, this control system needs to determine the available friction on the road, which is nearly impossible if the road is slippery.
As we have mentioned in the benefits part, you can relax using the cruise control system while in the driver’s seat, but this doesn’t mean you can take a nap. Though most drivers are tempted to take a short nap, considering the risk trackers on the cars and the high efficiency of the cruise control system, it’s still not something experts recommend.
Conclusion – What Does Cruise Main Mean in a Car?
In this guide, we have explored the meaning of the cruise main and the cruise control system in detail. We have also taken you through all the steps you need to go through for setting up or using the cruise control system, along with some simple steps for increasing and decreasing the cruising speed.
We have also listed some of the main advantages of using the cruise control system and some precautions to pay heed to while doing that. Hopefully, this guide has answered all your questions regarding the cruise control system, and you are now fully prepared to tune your car into this mode.