Cruise control won't turn on

I have an '01 ford expedition. the cruise control was working fine up til a week ago. now it will not turn on. I checked the fuse, no help.
I have a mechanical aptitude, and no money to put it in the shop.

Any tips on how to trouble shoot?


I suggest you pull the fuse for the cruise control. Ford has had fires start in some of its models even when the car is turned off and parked because of some problem in the cruise control. My son’s father-in-law had his Lincoln parked outside his garage. In the middle of the night, the car caught fire. Not only was the car a total loss, but the flames jumped from the car into the eaves of the house and did considerable damage to the house–they were out of the house for the better part of a year. About a week before the fire, the cruise control had stopped working. The insurance company believed the most likely cause to be in the cruise control and made Ford pay for the damages. I recommend that you immediately pull the fuse.

Wow. I can’t top Triedaq’s answer and suggest you follow the advice while you inquire about this with a Ford dealer - and then Ford corporate if necessary.

I was just going to mention that a couple of important inputs to the cruise are speed sensors and the brake light switch. If you have no indication of speed sensor issues (like a funky speedometer, weird shifting and/or a check engine light) then check to make sure that your brake lights aren’t coming on while you’re driving. I had this happen once with a switch that had worn out. The brake lights usually went out when the car was stopped and off - but were often on while driving. That’s bad for more reasons than just a lack of cruise control.

Here’s a link. I thought they had fixted that problem years ago but maybe yours didn’t get fixed. You can just google ford cruise control fires and get all kinds of info and youtube.

Yeah DON’T mess around. Took my wife’s '99 Expedition in and Ford updated it with a wiring harness installed on the cruise control wiring loop. Otherwise, I can’t top Triedaq’s response.

Remedy ASAP.


Well in years gone by, a faulty brake light switch could cause the cruise to not work.

Cruise cntrl is GREATLY influenced by a presence of vacuum…make certain that the vac lines that run to the cruise module are not cracked or compromised in any way. If they are the cruise cannot work. They did away with this in later models however so…in the later mods look for a brake light cancellation as a suspect.

Also if your speedo doesn’t work neither does your cruise…as you need to be going over WHAT…35 mph? these days in order to activate cruise?

The other thing to not is that your Brake light… is not constantly ON…if it is…it will cancel your cruise control commands by default any brake light activity suggests that you are not ready to actually “cruise”, so check it…


I checked the brake lites at the timee, and they work properly.

Vacumm and sensors would cause the cc to not work right or turn itself off. (as I see it) in this case the indicater lite (“cruise”) does not come on.

It’s as if there is no voltage getting to or from the switch.

Check with your local Ford dealer. Your vehicle may have been under a recall for this problem. The dealer will know and have access to a data base to see if your vehicle was subject to this recall and whether or not it was repaired under the recall. If it was under recall and not repaired, Ford should do the repair at no cost to you.

triedag, I’ll try that, but the previous owner was one of those guys who had every scheduled service done at the dealer. (one reason I bought it) so I have to believe it was taken care of but I’ll check.