Ford F350 Cruise Control Not Working: Causes & Fixes

If your Ford F350 Cruise Control isn’t working, you’d probably be having issues with maintaining speed at a certain distance behind the car in front of you. In some cases, the cruise control failure is a simple problem with an easy fix. In other cases, it could be a more serious issue that could cost top dollars to fix.

Depending on the year of your Ford F350, it probably makes use of a fully electronic setup to maintain constant speed and distance behind the vehicle in front of you. It could be controlled through the vehicle ECU (electronic control unit). If you’re using an older model, then your vehicle probably uses an electromechanical cruise control.

This setup features a vacuum actuator that is physically connected to the throttle by a chain or cable. The cable works based on the actions of the actuator which could be adjusted to increase or decreasing throttle position.

ford f350 cruise control not working

Ford F350 Cruise Control Not Working: Likely Causes

  • Blown Fuse
  • Faulty Brake Pedal Switch
  • Damaged Speed Sensor
  • Damaged Mechanical Components

Ford F350 Cruise Control Not Working: Causes & Fixes

Check for a blown fuse

Fuses are very important components attached to most electronically controlled systems in your car. They help to prevent issues like over-current damaging the actual car component.

The cruise control system has a corresponding fuse that could be blown if it senses a short circuit. This will stop the cruise control system from working but won’t damage it. To get the system working again, you would have to replace the blown fuse.

While this fix sounds simple, you might want to leave it to your mechanic. You would have to confirm that the fuse is blown before making any changes and if you can’t, you might as well be spending on a new fuse for no just reason.

Your mechanic would connect to the truck’s ECU through a code reader. This allows the mechanic to read the trouble codes and better determine what component is at fault. If the mechanic is able to confirm that there is a bad fuse, then the fuse can be checked to see if it has blown and will then be replaced with a new one rated for the correct amperage. This should fix the problem easily.

Replace the brake pedal switch

The brake pedal switch is designed to turn on the vehicle’s brake light when you press the brake pedal. During this time, the cruise control system will disengage.

The cruise control system is wired to the brake pedal switch so if the brake pedal switch fails, you could have a problem with the cruise control system. What happens is that the car will assume that the brakes are engaged and the cruise control system will remain disengaged.

To confirm that the fault is due to the brake pedal switch, your mechanic would have to examine the component for any signs of damage. A visual inspection would be performed to check if the fault is from the surrounding wiring.

If the mechanic finds any damage in the wires connecting to the switch, they would have them changed. The switch would also be replaced and then the mechanic would confirm that the cruise control system and the brake lights are working properly.

Once the fix is done and the system is confirmed to be working properly, the mechanic will ask you to test drive the vehicle to ensure that everything is fixed.

Replace the speed sensor

The speed sensor performs a lot of which go beyond indicating the speed of the car. It will also regulate the flow of fuel and ignition timing. In addition to these, it will operate the cruise control. A failing speed sensor will pose a bigger problem that is more serious than a non-working cruise control system.

If the speed sensor fails, you would notice that your speedometer which tells you how fast you’re going would stop working and your engine would have more difficulty when idling. This fault would have to be fixed as soon as possible to prevent any further problems from developing.

Your mechanic would have to go underneath the vehicle to check the speed sensor. While there, he will examine the surrounding wires for damage and check the wires going from the speed sensor up to the speedometer and the cruise control switches if they’re frayed. He would change the speed sensor and check if this solves the problem.

This problem might be the easiest to notice, it shouldn’t be hard for you to notice that your speedometer isn’t accurate or your engine is having difficulty when idling. Replacing the speed sensor might be sassy for you but you would also have to check the wires for damage. Fixing or changing wires might not be within your skill-set so it is best to leave this to your mechanic.

Replace the vacuum actuator if damaged

If you’re driving an older model of the Ford F350, your cruise control speed system could be maintained using a vacuum actuator with a cable connected to the throttle. If the vacuum actuator fails or the vacuum hoses are damaged, the cruise control may stop working.  This could also happen if the cable connecting the actuator to the throttle is broken.

The mechanic will check the actuator, its hoses, and the cable for any signs of damage to confirm which of them is faulty. To do this, the hood has to be opened. Once the actuator is located, its parts can be inspected. In some cases, the actuator would have to be replaced.

Final Thoughts

You’d be better off allowing your mechanic to inspect the system and perform the fixes rather than doing them on your own. However, you can try to make some fixes if you have a code reader. This should help you isolate the problem even faster. If you don’t have one, you can also check all the parts talked about above for signs of damage before going ahead to replace or fix anything.

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