Although the methods of implementation of cruise control have changed over the years, the overall idea is still the same. Choose a speed, and the engine will maintain that speed until you step on the brake. To let you know when the cruise control system is active, a light or set of lights are illuminated on the car’s dashboard. Every system is slightly different, so refer to the owner’s manual of your vehicle for any specific information for your model.
What the cruise control light means
Most cruise control lights use 2 different colors to let you know what state the system is in. Typically, the cruise control light will be orange when the system is on, but a speed hasn’t been chosen yet. Once a speed is selected, this light will turn green.
If the computer has detected an issue, this light will stay orange and likely won’t turn off until the problem has been remedied. The computer will also store a code in the memory to help you identify the cause of the issue. The cruise control will also be disabled for some time to prevent any complications from arising. Some common faults that cause this light to stay illuminated include a blown fuse, faulty brake switch, or malfunctioning speed sensor.
Is it safe to drive with the cruise control light on?
If everything is working as intended, then yes, it is safe to drive your car even when this light is illuminated. If a fault has been detected, most of the time only the cruise control will be affected. However, some of these faults can cause issues with other driving systems on the car. For example, a faulty brake switch won’t illuminate the brake lights when you step on the brake pedal. In this case, people driving behind you will not know that you are slowing down and the chances of a collision are much higher. It is always better to have the car checked out so that you can remedy any issues and avoid dangerous situations.
If you require any assistance in diagnosing cruise control issues, our certified technicians are always available to help identify any problems.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Does the Cruise Control Warning Light Mean? and was authored by Spencer Cates.