Cruise control at 35, breaking downhill shuts off engine

Hi all,

I drive a 2005 Ford Explorer (automatic) with 84k miles on it. Recently when I was driving on cruise control at 35 mp/h down a hill and applied the breaks to make a turn, the engine completely shut off. The lights came on, the power steering went off, the engine had shut off. I pulled over, turned the key off, turned it back on and it started no problem. I drove it for 3 days without problems (and without using cruise control of course), then I took the car to a shop. They ran diagnostics on it, test drove it, but couldn’t find anything wrong with the cruise control or the transmission. I don’t think they tested this driving downhill as the shop is not in a hilly area. Tonight, I went down the same road again, 35 mp/h in cruise control, slowed down for the same turn, and the engine shut off again exactly the same way it did before.

Does anyone here know what this could be?

Thanks for any advice,


That sounds like it could be a battery cable or a grounding problem to me.  Make sure all ends of all battery cables have been cleaned and re-attached properly.

i would want to connect a scanner to the OBD system and monitor the system while this happens and see what gives. maybe a TP sensor?, vacuum leak?
let us know

I agree with the others. I think the cruise control is a red herring. Engine shut downs like yours are generally due to drop in spark or a loss of vacuum.

One more thing: I’ve had cars that the manufacturer recommended against driving under 45 MPH with the cruise control engaged. Check your owner’s manual to see if Ford has a similar recommendation, if you haven’t already.

Thanks for your reply, Joseph! I will check the battery cables and the vacuum stuff the other guys talk about. I’ll post what was wrong when it’s been fixed.
Have a great weekend,

Thanks Jim, I will check into this and let you know once it’s fixed. I see these posts are posted publicly, so I’ll save myself two more replies by thanking everyone who replied.

:slight_smile: Christina

The very first thing that came to mind was the battery…is it strapped down or is she sloshing around under the hood?