Cruise Control Components

Most of today’s cruise control systems are electronic controlled by a control module. It can be a standalone or integrated into the PCM or BCM. The module uses several inputs to control operation and vehicle speed. These are the components found on most cruise control systems.

Cruise control components.

Cruise Control Switch: The basic control switch has an on/off button, set/accelerate, and a resume option.

Vehicle Speed Sensor: The VSS informs the vehicle’s computer modules, including the cruise control module, of the vehicle's speed. It is this speed that the module attempts to maintain when the set button is pressed.

Throttle Sensor/Actuator: A TPS or throttle position sensor informs the PCM of the throttle plate angle. The greater the throttle angle, the greater the engines rpm. Many cruise control systems are throttle activated; controlled by engine vacuum applied to a spring loaded solenoid. They’re typically controlled by a module and considered an electromechanical system. Late model vehicles contain an electronic throttle actuator that’s controlled by the engine management system.

Brake Switch: The brake switch is used to inform the system of the drivers intent to slow down and take over acceleration. They can be reactivated to the set speed by using the resume function.