I am really big on using the cruise control in every instance it is practical. does using my cruise control at lot increase or decrease my gas mileage
On a level road and constant speed, it usually helps a little. In hilly country, a skilled driver can usually do better by minimizing uphill losses and maximizing downhill gains…
One of the benefits of cruise control, other than convenience, is it that it is supposed to increase fuel economy. You shouldn’t use it in heavy rain, or other low traction conditions, and it can be unsafe to use it in neighborhoods, but go for it. Use it as much as you think practical and safe.
Caddyman makes a good point. You can often do better than the cruise control in hilly terrain by letting the vehicle slow down going uphill and accelerating as you go downhill. Maintaining your speed going uphill takes a lot of gas.
But if you want to maintain speed going uphill, the cruise control will be at least as good as your foot is.
On a round trip from Wash DC to Cleveland OH I did one way with cruise where ever possible and the return trip no cruise at all. I got 3 mpg more using cruise. I know this is 1 specific car on 1 specific trip but I do believe in using cruise when ever safe to do so.
I am sure driving habits have much to do with the answer to this question but I have usually found a 2 to 3 mpg loss in both 03 vehicles, 1 ford, 1 chevy using cruise. I did love the cruise in a chrysler 300 rental car in the mountains for maintaining speed by downshifting automatically!
I haven’t driven many cars with newfangled “intellegent” cruise control, but with the older cars I’ve driven, I’ve found in the mountains the cruise control will floor it to try to maintain speed going up a mountain where, had I not been using cruise control, I probably just would have slowed down. I’m sure in these situations, the cruise control results in much worse mileage.
On the boring flatlands, it prevents me from inadvertantly cruising along at 90, which is good for mileage! So it’s a mixed bag.
the “Cleveland–>Washington” leg was in an Easterly direction, where you most likely had a tailwind. The “Washington–>Cleveland” leg was in a Westerly direction, where you most likely had a headwind.
Do you remember the weather conditions over the course of that trip?