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Redspudder

Ford Cruise Control Pointless?

33 posts in this topic

My wife has a 61plate Fiesta titanium i dont drive it much,we have had the car for a couple of months.She asked me about the cruise control yesterday saying she set it at 30MPH going down a local bank/hill that is quite steep and about 2 mile long which is notorius for speed traps.She said once set at 30 and going down the bank the car gathered speed until she got to around 40MPH and felt the need to brake.So today i drove the car in the same manor down the same bank and sure enough same thing happened i was baffled,when i checked the hand book it states the car will not brake under cruise cont on an hill,so infact the cruise control should be advertised as cruise control (but read the small print only works on he flat!) i just find this pointless.I have no previous experience of ford cruise control is this how they all work?

I own an Audi with cruise control and this if set at for example 30MPH will keep the car at this speed up hill (you can feel car accelerate) and when going downhill (you can feel car braking to maintain the set speed)the car only drops out of cruise control mode should i brake or cancel it via the selector.

I use cruise control in the Audi quite a lot mainly in 30MPH especially in known speed traps to keep me below or on the speed limit in these areas flat,downhill or uphill it is far supperior to the cruise cont on the Ford after what i have discovered today.

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yep, that's how it works - it's clearly written in the manual you should "help" cruise control by reducing the gear and push SET- button

PS. it's quite obvious Ford isn't an Audi or MB :)

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I have CC on my fiesta too. It does accelerate if you're going uphill but yes, as you found it doesn't brake for you.

Going down hill it won't accelerate at all if the car starts travelling above the set speed and the driver has to then take action to slow the car back to the desired speed.

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I never said a ford is an audi i was simply comparing the cruise control systems and in my eyes the Ford one is pointless its not controlling anything when going downhill?

In addition to this as you say it says in the manual (i agree as i read it today)press set button and change gear to keep below 30MPH would need to be a low gear probably revving the b@lls off the car surely being less economical (yes you wouldnt be driving like this allday)also if you help it along by braking or lower gear the pressing set the car would just speed back up once youve let go of the brake meaning the system is pointless on this scenario

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I noticed that on my Mondeo, thought it was just me, after the C5 and Laguna it seems daft

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I've had about 20 cars with cruise control over the years (Ford, BMW, Jag, Renault, Honda, etc) and they all behaved the same with cruise on going downhill. They let go of the throttle and then there is a tiny bit of engine braking but that's about it. My current Fiesta is also the same.

This is the way standard cruise control is supposed to work. Some makes and models do brake (or change down if autos) to hold the speed back but these are very much the exception.

To describe Ford standard cruise control as pointless for behaving like any other standard cruise control is a bit much!

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probably revving the b@lls off the car surely being less economical

on the contrary - braking with the engine is 100% economical - engine is powered by the wheels and you actually burn zero fuel (up to about 1,5k rpms when electronics kick in to prevent the engine from stopping)

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I would never use cruise control on a road thats 30mph to 40mph, to dangerous in my opinion. I only started using cruise control last Tuesday for the first time since purchase last year. I can say it works and stops my heavy foot from doing excessive speed. I noticed after my highway journey my MPG went up as well.

I'd only use cruise control for highway roads or at least 60MPH. Makes my journey so much more smooth.

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Cruise control is primarily for use on motorways, hence braking is not really necessary as motorways are generally flat.

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I use my cruise control every single day! We have a few hills around here... I never use it going down steep slopes or going up them really but have found on normal hills it doesn't let the car run away with speed! Seems fine in my car.

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I would never use cruise control on a road thats 30mph to 40mph, to dangerous in my opinion.

I'd only use cruise control for highway roads or at least 60MPH. Makes my journey so much more smooth.

Cruise control is primarily for use on motorways, hence braking is not really necessary

Completely agree, I never use CC on city streets, only motorways when its safe to do so (i.e when not too conjested and when traffic is moving at a constant speed)

Paul :)

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Pretty much like football is the debate on CC its all about opinions!I have been using CC around town for the last few years now in the Audi with no issues at all obviously i dont use it on side streets or at peak bumper to bumper times but use it quite often in 30MPH zones main roads to the keep speed down and works really well and keeps any speeding tickets off the door step!

Also if im on a motor way and hit a hill the Audi (dont want to keep mentioning the Audi but thats what im using as my comparison) will be kept at 70MPH,but if i was to do that in the Fiesta the car would build pace so i guess i would have to start faffing about at over 70MPH with the gears to "help" the engine maintain the 70MPH CC setting what a load of rubish i will just tell the wife to stop using it problem solved.

Stewie just out of interest why do you consider it to dangerous to use CC in lower speed limit areas?

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in the Fiesta the car would build pace so i guess i would have to start faffing about at over 70MPH with the gears to "help" the engine maintain the 70MPH CC setting what a load of rubish i will just tell the wife to stop using it problem solved

You have clearly been spoilt by your Audi! 99% of cars behave exactly like your Fiesta (including the Audi I used to own!).

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You have clearly been spoilt by your Audi! 99% of cars behave exactly like your Fiesta (including the Audi I used to own!).

This maybe true!I asked a couple of my mates yesterday one has a golf R32 and said the CC behaves the same as the Audi,my old man has a Jag XF which also behaves in this way.From what i understand of his reply above Pragmatix has had a C5 and Laguna that also behave in the same manor.

I have found this on Ford website even that is wrong as it states " Once you’ve chosen the speed you wish to drive at, the cruise control keeps your car moving at that speed until you press the brake or clutch pedals." (unless Descending should be mentioned)!

http://www.ford.co.uk/FordInnovation/Technology/FordPrecisionDrive/CruiseControl

Edited by Redspudder

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I have found this on Ford website even that is wrong as it states " Once you’ve chosen the speed you wish to drive at, the cruise control keeps your car moving at that speed until you press the brake or clutch pedals." (unless Descending should be mentioned)!

Ford's description is not wrong. They have described standard cruise control. Until recently CC never was able to control descending speed. You will find that the CC brochure description for the cars you mention (all of which are very modern, very high spec cars) will mention the ADDITIONAL feature that the CC on them slows down hills.

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Hill momentum is something that affects all cars (cc or not)

I only use cruise when not on city/rural roads.

In my consideration being in cruise in those environments is not practical as you'd be changing gear too many times for it to offer any benefit.

Long trips on A roads or Motorways is a different matter where you can set speed and let the car do the work.

Personally I like a hands on approach to driving as you feel more engaged with the vehicle and can actually enjoy a drive rather than just sitting in a box from a to b.

Cruise control is like !Removed!, it may get you to where you want to be but the trip there is detached.

;)

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I have never been a fan of CC , i have only used it a few times and never once felt relaxed using it , i'm either adjusting the speed to get pasted a slower moving vehicle or constantly checking on it. So i'm not a fan. I have only ever used it once on an A road and did not feel in control.

But i would not say it's pointless.

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.From what i understand of his reply above Pragmatix has had a C5 and Laguna that also behave in the same manor.

Correct, I also use it inlow speed areas when its safe to do so, especially in average speed camera area, like going in and out of Edinburgh, thats where I noticed the Mondeo picking up speed decending, the C5 will hold 40 up and down the Mondeo will vary between 35 and 45 it seems a very course system

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Stewie just out of interest why do you consider it to dangerous to use CC in lower speed limit areas?

I'm basing the 30mph limit CC on my roads here in Barnstaple. There isn't alot of time before you come to roundabouts or congestion. Being i live in a forever tourist place you find more vehicles slamming on the breaks. I'd be more worried of someone pulling out of a side road by not judging your speed as well.

Of course, cruise control can be turned off very easily but i'd rather be in control when those situations arise on those roads.

I still wouldn't use it unless it was highway roads. :)

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Totally agree.

There is very little Motorway in Devon, it's all twisty A and B roads which don't lend themselves very well to cruise control.

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I never used to really like Cruise Control, but a recent trip from Cambridge to Edinburgh straight up the A1M converted me... pretty much 6 hours continously on the CC :P

My dad used to have an early C Class Merc, with a very crude CC system. There was one time on a long up-hill motorway section doing 70 that the car decided to shift (it was an auto) from 5th to 4th to 3rd, followed by some swift action to deactivate it before it blew itself up! Apparently the software on the early models just kept the car at the set speed no matter what, even if it meant ambitious gear changing...

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I really dislike cruise control, my dad's C4 Piccasso has it on and it's so annoying, but I suppose it works well (and won him the case over a speeding ticket). All I can say is cruise control in a manual isn't going to be that great, in my dad's Citroen with it being an auto it can choose the best gear to be in, in a manual you have to do it for the car. But really unless you're on a motorway or dual carriageway, what is really the point in using cruise control anyway?

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When I got my fiesta it was my first auto, and it was weird not needing to take your hands off the wheel at all - then with CC not needing to use feet either was even weirder.

Theres a stretch of A1 I use when visiting family that has a steep incline and with CC set the auto box kicksdown (downshifts) half way up - 70mph in 3rd doesn't sound great so if the incline is steep I turn off the CC and drive manually, (or as much as I can without a clutch pedal and gear lever lol).

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I think this depends entirely on the car that the cruise control is fitted to and also if the car is a manual or auto gearbox.

Only cars which have adaptive cruise control have any automatic control of the brakes - a standard cruise control system only has control over the throttle.

Therefore, as it only has control over the engine, you need to consider if when going down hill if the car will accelerate with no throttle on. Standard cruise control will not be able to have any effect on this - and if you're accelerating while going down hill with no throttle on you are in too high a gear.

But - the car's engine and mass must be considered. A huge Audi will try and accelerate going down hill faster than a small Fiesta - but at the same time the Audi probably has a much bigger engine and different gearing (probably 6 to the Fiesta's 5) so the engine is in a much better position to be able to 'brake' the car in most gears.

This could be why your Audi maintained its speed while going down hill OR the car may have been fitted with adaptive cruise control.

Moving onto the specifics of this incident, I agree that using cc in a 30mph zone is not a good idea. 30mph zones are there (in the majority of cases) to say that there is a possibility of something untoward happening while driving. Therefore being even slightly detached from the driving experience is a bad idea in my personal opinion.

Cruise control is for motorways, other dual carriageways and the occasional higher speed stretch of single carriageway road as far as I'm concerned.

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I should also say - that if you select the right (lower) gear before the start of a descent, the car will be able to maintain the speed for you.

And finally - leaving cruise control on in most cars and particularly the Fiesta is a hugely uneconomical way of driving. The Fiesta's cc has two setting for the throttle...off and full. This means that as soon as you reach a hill, the car applies full throttle, then backs off, then full throttle, than backs off - you can almost hear the MPG evaporating.

Use cc on the flat sections, then anticipate the inclines and declines and switch it off - smoothly switching back using the throttle pedal and avoiding using the brakes to scrub off speed.

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