Help with unsolvable cruise control problem

I have a 2008 Infiniti g37s coupe with a cruise control problem that appears to be unsolvable! The car is well outside of the factory warranty.


  • The “CRUISE” light is illuminated and the “SET” light flashes on/off approximately 1 time per second. The steering wheel controls are unresponsive when this occurs and the cruise control feature is not useable.
  • Problem is sporadic. Sometimes occurs as soon as I start the car and sometimes occurs randomly when driving. Once it occurs it does not go away. Shutting the car down and restarting sometimes fixes it but other times does not.

Actions taken:

  • Dealer has looked at it multiple times and says they can’t find anything wrong with it. They have recommended that I replace the ECU but this will be extremely expensive and the research I’ve done online suggests others have gone this route and it did not fix the problem.
  • I found a few folks mention similar problems online but all of the forum discussions end with users saying they were unable to fix the problem even after expensive hardware swaps.

I’m wondering if someone here help me identify where the problem may be and what troubleshooting I can do (or what I can ask the dealer to do) to isolate the issue to a specific component. Blindly swapping the ECU is not something I want to do, especially when others have said this did not fix the problem.

Thank you!!!

“The steering wheel controls are unresponsive” ?

what exactly does this mean? you can’t steer?

Here’s Something To Try. I’d Locate The Cruise Control Relay (With The Help Of The Owner’s Manual, If Needed).

Next, I’d note the Part Number on the relay and find another relay on the vehicle with the same part number (Caution - Be sure that relay is non-essential to safe vehicle operation). Unplug and swap the two relays and see if that fixes it. If it does, you’ll need a new relay to replace the intermittently defective one.


If the SET button is sticking on, it will do that. Do you use cruise often where the button may be worn out or sticking due to foreign matter? Try pressing it and see if it feels like the detent is still there or is it stuck or mushy…

Try changeing the steering wheel tilt and see if it makes any difference, longshot but worth a try.

Barky’s method will help prove if it’s a loose connection at the column harness plugs.
Plus…I’d also wonder about the ‘‘clock spring’’…the spinning contact that transfers all those electrical commands even as the steering wheel turns.

I had a similar problem with my Ford Exploder. On that truck, the CC button module on the steering wheel was actually a sophisticated control or communications module. Ford wanted over $400 for that. I changed it out with a used module I got cheap at a pick-a-part. For the last 3 years, it’s worked great.

You might consider an errant cruise or brake light switch on the brake pedal, etc. While I can’t speak with certainty on your particular model of Infinity a lot of Asian branded cars often have a rubber tab on the pedal that makes contact with the switch.
Over time the constant pressure of the switch dimples the rubber which does not return to form due to age. That creates wiggle room so to speak on the switch adjustment and cause cause no or erratic cruise operation.

You might also check all of the brake lights and consider an iffy speed sensor.

I believe on Subaru it would drop cruise control with a poor ground contact. That is what fixed my car cheaply but mechanic found it right away.

On the control question - unresponsive means the cruise controls are unresponsive.

I can’t say the issue isn’t somewhere in the steering wheel cruise controls but I do know the buttons aren’t sticky.

The only thing I was able to find online that seems promising is folks talking about a disengagement switch behind the brake and clutch pedals. I think this is along the lines of what ok44550 posted - a misaligned or faulty switch might explain this behavior. I’ve been trying to pay attention to when the issue seems to randomly occur to see if I can coorelate it to hitting the pedals but as you can imagine, driving a 6 speed in a city requires frequent use of the brake and clutch…

It sounds like I should look at these infamous switches behind the brake and clutch pedals to see if there may be something obvious with the sensors. Even if I don’t see anything swapping the sensor out might be something worth trying that shouldn’t be astronomically expensive.

Thanks for the help so far - keep the suggestions coming!

I’ve seen the iffy switches (cruise, brake, clutch pedal, etc, etc) cause problems on various makes of vehicles when it comes to cruise control functions, starter interlock functions, etc so the obvious simple stuff should be eliminated first.

It’s also very easy when an electrical problem surfaces to think too far ahead and ponder failed ECMs, faulty wire looms, and possibly even poltergeists as being the cause.
In the vast majority of cases the cause is something very minor. Knock on wood, maybe that’s the case here.

I remember a VW Golf once that had an intermittent cruise problem and it was discovered that the switch on the brake pedal had a little up and down movement in it. Depending upon the bump in the road that the car hit the switch would change its stance a degree and which would then cause the cruise to either fail to operate or kick itself off after being set.

I would suspect the clock spring, really

I Suppose It Could Be The Clock Spring…
…However, Usually The Driver’s Air-Bag Warning Would Illuminate, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, And The Horn Would Become Inoperative With A Defective Clock Spring.