Cruise control in vail

On the 12/18/2010 show a question about using cruise control (on a standard transmission Subaru) in mountain country was talked about. On our 2004 Subaru Forester and my 2003 S10 pickup (both manual shift), when coasting downhill the ECU shuts the fuel supply down after I exceed the set speed limit. Still a bad idea to use CC in mountain country!

I’ve lived here in Colorado for 34+ years and done a lot of mountain driving. No problems using cruise control up or down mountain roads. That said, cruise control should not be used in winter conditions.

A 2003 S-10 stick-shift pick-up truck with cruise control…Now THERE is a rare vehicle…

Indeed! I-70 from Vail to Denver has Vail Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel. In my old beater ('93Saab 900S Automatic) I downshift a gear and set the cruise at 65 when I’m climbing. That way there’s plenty of power and the transmission isn’t busy shifting. Going down, the cruise certainly doesn’t apply the brakes, but the throttle closes and there is some degree of engine breaking - a function of the cruise setting, the gear, and the grade - and since the wind resistance increases due to the square of the velocity, everything reaches equilibrium and at a reasonable speed. This way my foot is ready to hit the break when you come up on the trucks going 25mph. Obviously, this all only applies to dry pavement.

I’ve owned 5 cars with cruise control and in the OWNER’S MANUAL of each one there is a warning NOT to use cruise control in traffic, when it rains or snows, on icy roads and IN MOUNTENOUS country.

We live in mountenous country and I believe it’s hard on the car to let the rather dumb cruise control decide what speed the car or the engine should run at.

Took me a while to find it, that’s for sure!!! I grew up in the days of all manual trans so I always look for one when getting new vehicles (to me that is.) I really like having the kind of control I get with them.

Well, you’re wrong. It isn’t hard on the car. The warning in the manual is there for the idiot who might decide to set cruise at the top of the mountain and then not ever monitor their speed, assuming cruise has it covered. If something goes wrong or the hill is too steep they’ll end up doing about mach 2 by the time they hit the bottom. There’s nothing wrong with using cruise in the mountains as long as you apply common sense. Don’t do it on the road down from Pike’s Peak, for instance.

It’s hard on the transmission to experience the rather violent shifts that the cruise makes the car do, as well as the cinstant shifting back and forth oon grades. Many “non-idiot” car users even try to use it while towing a trailer.

Your right foot is still the best judge of what gear you should be in.