Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Cruise Control Features Instead of Brake & Accelerator?

My boyfriend uses the decel and accel features of cruise control as a substitute for braking and using the gas petal. So, I hear a constant clicking as he slows down and speeds up using these features on cruise. I’m wondering if this is harmful to the car (my 1996 Honda Accord). He says it saves the brakes.

Well, he’s not harming anything but your relatioship. I think he’d drive anyone nuts. If he’s doing this because of traffic density, he shouldn’t be setting the cruise in the first place. Tapping the brake pedal lightly enough to disengage the cruise control won’t even engage the brakes, so that side of the argument falls to you.

Shifting techniques, the gas pedal should be used for all of that. The car has reached the age of cruise failure, so it should be used only when a constant speed can be maintained. It does not save the brakes any more than not using cruise control.

When using other than the brake to slow down, the brake lights do not energize and the person following you may not notice that you’re slowing…until too late. The brake pedal has the advantage of warning the other drivers.

It’s folly to assume that the other drivers out there are alert and paying attention. Too many of them are not. I recommend driving using this assumption.

Agree with others that the gas pedal is designed to ACCELERATE the car and brakes to slow it down and stop it. Your boyfriend is engaging in a dangerous practice, as well as needlessly wearing out the cruise control prematurely, which is usually expensive to repair or replace.

Unless your boyfriend is a licensed airplane pilot, tell him he lacks the manual sensitivity to accurately and safely control the car’s speed.

Before the First World War, cars usually had manual speed contriols, since speeds were very low, and roads not crowded.