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Ford Cruise Control Pointless?


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#16 Stoney871

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:28 AM

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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#17 Preee

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:32 AM

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.

#18 pragmatix

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:44 AM

.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

#19 Stewie316

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:24 PM

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. :)

#20 Stoney871

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:32 PM

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.

#21 jimrex

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:50 PM

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...

#22 b1g_dav3

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:03 PM

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?

#23 2011fiesta

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:24 PM

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).

#24 DanGull

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:40 PM

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.

#25 DanGull

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:43 PM

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.

#26 rojariggs

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:11 PM

With CC on modern cars, the car's ECU works with the CC to provde far more precise throttle control than a driver can. It will also shut off the fuel supply completely on the overrun. There are little tricks you can use like knocking off the CC just before the brow of a hill and switching it back on once on the downhill. You should also not let CC accelerate you back up to speed when going uphill. Maintain the slower speed until you reach the level and then build the speed up. CC compared to a driver alone is more economical in most situations - the situations where it is not are those where you can see whats coming but the CC can't.

I used to drive for a living (60,000+ miles a year) and have done many fuel economy driving courses and the first thing you are told on these courses are to use CC when you can. Comparing the same journeys in the same vehicle with and without CC over the years and CC wins for economy every time.

On older cars, CC used to be very poor for economy but the advances in ECUs, throttles and fuel control mean that CC used correctly is now very good for economy.

#27 Redspudder

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:40 PM

Thanks for the replies,with regard to the Audi it doesnt have adaptive CC just the standard CC and i will continue to use it 30MPH limits i find it works well for me not as if i fall asleep at the wheel as soon as i engage cc i am still alert to what is going on,we have quite a lot of long stretches of main roads near us that are 30MPH but not many traffic lights or roundabouts in yes still side roads but like i say im still alert to brake just as i would if i was in manual,these stretches are notorious speed traps.
My Audi is a manual so no issues with auto changing gear for me.

I have to say other than this gripe i have with the cc i have to say that SO far the Fiesta has been a cracking buy nicely loaded for a small car and quite roomy and decent to drive,it comes up great when cleaned im using werkstat on it and the flake pop from the car is unreal (moonstone silver),i say SO far due to the fact that we bought a 55plate focus brand new as the previous car and for the first 6months was in and out of the garage due to water leaking into the boot it was finally resolved and after that served us well apart from it drank fuel (1.6 petrol).

#28 mikester

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:17 PM

You've confused cruise control with speed limiter, they're totally different. I've driven plenty of cars with CC and most had a different button/option you could choose indicating whether you cruised or limited at the desired speed. Some would allow you to do both, sound like this is what you thought the fiesta did.



#29 Redspudder

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:03 PM

You've confused cruise control with speed limiter, they're totally different. I've driven plenty of cars with CC and most had a different button/option you could choose indicating whether you cruised or limited at the desired speed. Some would allow you to do both, sound like this is what you thought the fiesta did.


No speedlimiter option or any mention of it in the Audi just CC also the same in the Jag and Golf which is what im comparing to.

#30 Stoney871

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:28 PM

You have to take into consideration the price of the vehicles.
Apart from the Golf the other cars are at least 3 times the price of a Ford.
You get what you pay for.

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