Fast Facts on Cruise Control

August 16, 2021

person driving in left lane of two lane highway

Are you on autopilot about cruise control? Many drivers regularly use this standard convenience feature but never venture to understand how it works or affects their vehicle. Fortunately, Matthews Tire Waupaca Manager Nathan Ernst confirms, there are more pros than cons when it comes to using cruise. “It is definitely good for your vehicle and is highly advised especially for long trips,” he shared.

Not only does cruise control help to moderate the temperature of your engine, it helps with fuel economy. Some studies have found that you can save up to 10% on your gas budget every year simply by using cruise control. If you drive frequently and for long distances, the cost savings continue to stack up. “Certain regular maintenance—such as a fuel system cleaning—are needed less frequently,” explained Ernst. “Also, cruise control use results in less wear and tear on your brakes.”

Aside from the many cost and convenience benefits, there are some drawbacks to driving with cruise control. “As I regularly remind my teen daughter, you shouldn’t rely too heavily on cruise,” Ernst warned. “People get distracted while using it. They think they’re in control, but something suddenly happens—such as a car cutting in front of them—and they soon realize … they’re not.”

Almost every vehicle on the road today comes equipped with cruise control, but the capabilities are accelerating with the latest technology. A more sophisticated version, included in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), uses sensors to automate speed changes based on proximity to other vehicles on the road. “Matthews Tire’s Appleton West location offers ADAS-compliant services if there’s ever any need for mechanical repair or sensor failure,” Ernst offers.

Severe and unpredictable weather occurs often in Wisconsin, so be mindful of the weather when it comes to cruise control, Ernst advises. “Refrain from using cruise control in rain or snow. Cruise control on low-traction surfaces covered in snow or ice can cause the vehicle to accelerate unexpectedly.”

Overall, the benefits of using cruise control outweigh the drawbacks. However, as with any automated service, use it with caution and remain engaged and in control behind the wheel.

For regular maintenance—including comprehensive ADAS service—visit the ASE-certified experts at your neighborhood Matthews Tire today!

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