How To Use Cruise Control | Learn to drive: Car knowledge


Cruise control was originally only found on
high-end luxury cars, but now even the smallest cars often have it fitted as standard. If
you have never used cruise control before then the controls might look confusing, but
once mastered it is a useful system that will allow us to stay relaxed when driving long
distances. In this video we will show how and when to use cruise control, so you can
take advantage of this useful system. Before we start, please subscribe to our channel
and click the bell so you are notified next time we release a new video. If you have any
questions for us, then please comment below and we will reply as soon as we can. Cruise control is an electronic system that
will allow us to set our car at a constant speed, letting us take our foot off the accelerator
pedal. The system will automatically increase or decrease the engine power to compensate
for gradients and wind. Our car has a manual gearbox so we still have to change gears ourselves
before engaging the cruise control, but on automatic cars it will even change gears when
needed. Possibly the biggest benefit of using cruise
control is that it is more relaxing for the driver, as there is one less thing to concentrate
on whilst driving. It also allows the driver to move their legs around to stay comfortable
if driving a longer journey. Cruise control can also reduce the chance of speeding, especially
in average speed camera zones where it is easy to accidentally speed up and creep over
the limit. It may even save a little fuel, as maintaining a set speed will always use
less fuel than constantly accelerating and braking to change our speed repeatedly. Depending on the car, the location of the
controls can vary – and on this car the buttons are on the left side of the steering wheel.
There will be a button to turn the system on, and others to set the cruising speed,
increase and decrease the cruising speed, cancel cruising, resume cruising, and turn
the system off again. For full details of how your car works, check the owners manual. Let’s see how this works on the road. The
grey icon in the car’s instruments confirms that the cruise control system is already
turned on. Once we have turned left, we accelerate the car up to speed, and then press the set
button to start cruising. The cruise control icon turns green and confirms the speed we
have set. We can now lift our foot from the accelerator and the car will maintain the
correct amount of engine power for us. We should always keep our feet near to the pedals
whilst cruising, just in case there is a hazard that requires us to take action. Once we are cruising we can adjust our speed
by using the + and – buttons. We can tap them to change our speed by 1mph at a time, or
hold them down to change speed faster. We can also press the accelerator pedal to manually
speed the car up and then press set once more to cruise at a higher speed. There are several ways to cancel cruising.
There is a cancel button we can press, we can press the brake pedal, and on most cars
the clutch pedal will also cancel the cruise control. On the display the cruise icon is
greyed out again to show the system is in standby. It’s ok to leave the system on
standby once used, and it will automatically turn off when the vehicle is switched off. If we then need to resume cruising at the
previous speed, we can press the resume button and the car will return to the speed we were
last cruising at. We can see the green icon has returned again. There are times that it is not safe to use
cruise control – such as when driving in heavy traffic, on winding roads or on steep hills.
This is because we need precise control over our car and maintaining a constant speed could
cause danger. Using cruise control is allowed on a driving test, but unless you are very
familiar with using the system it could be an unnecessary distraction and is probably
best avoided. A new improvement to the basic cruise control
system we have shown in this video is Adaptive Cruise Control. This system is usually found
on more expensive cars and will use radar sensors to read the traffic ahead and maintain
a safe distance from them – by automatically accelerating and braking to match the speed
of the traffic flow, up to the maximum speed that we have set. Some cars will even do this
from a standstill, which makes traffic jams a breeze! So, remember to:
Choose a safe place to use cruise control Use the controls to set your speed
Keep your feet ready to react for a hazard, and
Enjoy a more relaxing journey! If you found this video interesting and would
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