I have a 2004 Saturn Ion and when the cruise control is engaged it makes a short ratcheting sound if I go up an incline. It sounds like it happens in front of the stick shift and it doesn’t affect the rpm’s or the power of the engine, it’s just a weird noise. It’s done that for years and hasn’t increased or changed, I’m just wondering what causes it, I’ve never heard a car make a sound like that before.
Don’t know. But the way a cruise control works is often there is a electrically operated stepper motor to control the accelerator, done to maintain the speed you set. When you come to an incline, the car would normally go slower right? So the stepper motor has to depress the accelerator slightly, to maintain the same speed as when you were on level ground. That may be what you are hearing.