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Does Cruise Control SAVE Gas? (and what to AVOID)

Following the increasing prices of gas, most people are adopting simple measures to save on fuel. For this reason, I’ve been asked more and more often: does cruise control save gas?

Yes, using cruise control can save gas, especially when commuting at a constant speed on a highway. However, this is not always true and in some situations, cruise control may actually increase gas consumption. This depends on a number of factors like traffic, type of journey, and more.

How true is the notion that cruise control helps to save gas? Does this simple practice really work or is it just another old wives’ tale? Read on to find out!

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Does Cruise Control Save Gas? And Why?

Yes, cruise control can actually help you save gas. But how can cruise control help to save gas?

The reason why cruise control can help to save gas is that when accelerating or decelerating by placing the foot over the pedals the engine uses more gas. However, using cruise control when driving eliminates the need to constantly use the accelerator, either when speeding up or slowing down.

Instead, the cruise control feature helps you maintain a continuous speed. And by avoiding pressing on the pedals, a practice that costs you more fuel, you get to save more on gasoline.

This is not just a myth, in fact, also an agency of the Canadian government is reporting that: cars that fluctuate their speeds between 75 to 85 kilometers per hour use up 20% more gas every 18 seconds. On the contrary, cars that maintained a constant speed of 80 kilometers per hour (thanks to cruise control) saved on fuel and did not deplete gas as easily. 

Similarly, the US government agrees that speeding, accelerating rapidly and braking immediately wastes a lot of gas. In fact, such aggressive driving at highway speeds can reduce your gas mileage by approximately 15%-30%.

These research findings clearly demonstrate that, by maintaining cars at a constant speed, cruise control helps to save gas.

As a matter of fact, cruise control can help you save by as much as 5% to 15% on gas!

After all, the cruise control of the vehicle uses the powertrain control module (PCM) to maintain constant designated speeds. Hence, when you activate cruise control, you eliminate the “human” aspect of maintaining speeds. This ensures that there are no speed fluctuations that could lead to the car consuming more fuel than what’s needed.

When Should You Use Cruise Control?

It is good news to know that cruise control can help you save on fuel. However, this does not mean that you use this car system everywhere and every time; use of cruise control is only limited to certain conditions.

For example, the feature is only fuel-efficient if used on flat roads or mostly level highways that do not have any traffic congestion. Besides the level roads, cruise control can also be used on steady uphills or downhill drives. 

When you should AVOID using cruise control

You are not recommended to use cruise control when driving up and down hills that incline sharply or change perpetually, such as highways that pass across rolling hills.

Instead of using the cruise control feature on such paths, target an average speed and then allow the vehicle to reduce speeds by 5-10 mph when going uphill. Also, when descending, rise by similar speeds, that is, 5-10 mph. Following this technique helps to save on gas when driving through mountainous terrains, as compared to using cruise control.

Furthermore, it is not advisable to use cruise control when driving on slippery roads, such as those caused by snow and rain.

Usually, such road conditions change instantly when driving, requiring you to be careful and drive in response to the current situation at hand. And since cruise control cannot master these changes immediately after they occur, it is advisable to turn it off when driving in such conditions.

Also, you should not use cruise control if you feel drowsy or are driving in stop-and-go traffic areas, such as roundabouts or at traffic lights.

Remember that cruise control reduces the actions you need to take by eliminating the need to constantly step on the pedal. This is a situation that may make you even more sleepy and less alert, increasing the risk of an accident. 

Similarly, stop-and-go traffic zones require a high level of concentration, as well as the need to monitor your speeds. In such areas, you might need to accelerate immediately or slow down instantly. Since cruise control only maintains constant speeds with no acceleration or deceleration, it is advisable that you turn off the feature when driving in these areas.

Advantages of Cruise Control

Here are the advantages of using cruise control on your car!

1. Saves fuel

The main benefit of cruise control is that it saves on gas by keeping the car moving at a constant speed.

However, this fuel-efficient system offers more advantages than just cutting down on your overall fuel bills. Consider four other advantages that cruise control provides:

2. Reduces Fatigue

Stepping on the pedals to accelerate or decelerate may sound like a simple activity; even so, this action wears you down and may even cause you to feel fatigued, especially when driving long distances.

However, cruise control eliminates the need to constantly step on the pedal, allowing you some time to rest, hence reducing fatigue.

3. Helps You Avoid Speeding Tickets

Most of us accelerate fast, even exceeding the speed limit without realizing it. And if the police would pull you over due to speeding, you might end up paying high penalty fees at the very least.

When you use cruise control, you can set constant speeds that do not exceed the legal speed limit. This protects you from the risk of being charged with overspeeding.

4. Improves Sustainability

Burning gasoline and diesel releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and climate change.

Since cruise control saves gas, it not only reduces the number of trips to the gas station but also helps you to reduce the environmental footprint of your commute, and improve your personal economic sustainability.

The less gas is used, the less pollution is released into the environment. In turn, reducing the carbon footprint promotes better environmental sustainability of your movements.

So, if you would like to help the environment, reduce waste, and have a more sustainable lifestyle but can’t afford an electric car or can’t use public transport, try at least to reduce your fuel consumption. This will help both the environment and your pocket, going a small step closer to sustainable development.

Conclusion

Most of us spend thousands of dollars every year on gasoline. Actually, according to Yardeni Research, households in the U.S spent approximately $5,000 per year on gas. And the worst part is that, with inflation, gas prices are going higher and higher with no relief in sight.

That’s why an increasing number of people in the US and all over the world are looking for ways to save on gas. For this reason, many people are asking: does cruise control save gas?

Absolutely! Cruise Control minimizes the number of times the vehicle accelerates or decelerates immediately, keeping it at constant speeds that significantly save on gas.

This simple practice is helping people to save hundreds of dollars a year and is especially common among drivers who make lengthy commutes on the highway.

Di you know that among the pros and cons of Drive Safe and Save insurance, there is also saving gas as well as having discounts on your insurance premium? Yes, also this insurance can help you to drive more cautiously and save even more gas!

So if you are looking to save on that fuel money, and even reduce your environmental impact on the planet, while at it, simply start using the cruise control feature of your car today!