If you have been driving Jeep Wranglers for some time, you already know how reliable they are. Wranglers are some of the most durable off-roaders available. However, as they age, they can start to show some issues, and one such problem is that the Jeep Wrangler cruise control won’t turn on.
If the cruise control on your Jeep Wrangler fails, it can be due to many reasons like a broken fuse, malfunctioning brake pedal, damaged actuator, and a few other reasons. However, the good thing is all of these issues are solvable.
Hence, if the cruise control on your Jeep Wrangler is malfunctioning, our guide is here to take you out of this problem. Today we will discuss everything you need to know about this issue and how to fix it.
What causes the Jeep Wrangler cruise control not to work?
Even though a Jeep Wrangler is a very reliable car, it can still suffer from issues like malfunctioning cruise control. It can happen for a few reasons, which we will discuss below.
1. Broken Fuse
The number one reason that can fail cruise control on your Wrangler is a broken fuse. A fuse will blow when the maximum voltage of the current flowing through the car surpasses the limit. The cruise control includes a matching fuse like your automobile’s other electronic control components.
As a result, the fuse will explode if it detects a short circuit to safeguard the system. Therefore, cruise control stops operating when the fuse blows since it prevents any electricity from passing through.
2. Malfunctioning Brake Pedal Switch
When the brake pedal is pushed, the brake pedal switch detects it and activates the Wrangler’s brake lights. A faulty brake pedal switch might interfere with the brake lights and the cruise control. Because the brake pedal switch is linked to the cruise control, any malfunction might make it unusable.
The cruise control automatically shuts off when the brake pedal switch fails because the automobile thinks the brakes are on.
3. Damaged Vacuum actuator
This usually happens with old models of Jeep wranglers as they come with vacuum actuators. On earlier automobile models, the cruise control speed is often controlled via a vacuum actuator and wire attached to the throttle. Therefore, the cruise control may cease functioning if the vacuum actuator or vacuum hoses are broken.
4. Problematic Sensor
Every Jeep Wrangler comes with speed sensors that are associated with cruise control. You will see each differential or wheel has a speed sensor. These sensors’ job is to keep track of the wheel speed and determine whether grip control is necessary.
When the sensor malfunctions, the speedometer may also operate strangely, and the cruise control may stop functioning. Additionally, the cruise control might fail with incorrect pre-set data because of these faulty or broken sensors.
5. Faulty Batteries
If the Jeep’s batteries are not sufficiently charged, it will not be able to activate the cruise control. The Jeep will notify the driver and ask that the car is in park mode before the engine engages if the power levels are lower than a certain threshold.
Batteries frequently lose some of their initial capacity over time, and when this occurs, they are unable to supply enough power to turn on the cruise control.
What to Do When Jeep Wrangler Cruise Control Fails?
By now, you already know the reasons which can cause the cruise control on your Jeep Wrangler not to work correctly. But don’t worry; you can quickly fix these issues by following our guide below.
Solution 1: Replace the Blown Fuse
Replacing a blown fuse is relatively easy in your Jeep Wrangler. All you need to do is find the exact location of the fuse; generally, the cruise control fuse box is located on the driver’s side underneath the dash. You can refer to your car’s manual to find the exact location of the fuse.
Turn off your car’s engine, pull out the blown fuse from the box, and replace it with a new one with the same voltage ratings.
Solution 2: Replace the brake pedal switch
If the brake pedal switch breaks down, then you cannot fix it, and you will need to replace it asap. It is pretty easy to do it, and you can do it yourself. Remove the metal access plate and lower dash panel from behind the steering wheel to make things easier.
You can now quickly release the brake pedal switch from the mounting plate by turning the switch counterclockwise. After it is unlocked, you may attach the replacement switch to the wire harness.
The switch replacement is completed once you press the replacement into the mounting surface and turn it clockwise to secure it in position.
Solution 3: Install a new Vacuum actuator
Older models of Jeep Wranglers come with vacuum actuators, and this is directly connected to cruise control. So, the whole cruise system also becomes inactive when this goes bad.
It is pretty challenging to replace the vacuum actuator by yourself, and you will need to hire a professional mechanic to do the job for you.
Solution 4: Replace the sensors
Even though most speed sensors cause problems with the cruise system. But other sensors like oxygen, coolant, distance sensor, and others. So, you will need to clearly check which sensors have gone bad and are causing these issues.
Also, keep in mind that sensors require more work to repair than other parts. This is why you should see a skilled technician to fix the problem if you discover that they are not working.
Your cruise control may occasionally be able to function again with a little repair. However, if the issue is severe, replacement may be the only option, which will cost a specific amount of money depending on the model.
Solution 5: Check the battery
The last reason for cruise control issues in your Jeep Wrangler is a problematic battery. Before replacing the battery, you should check it properly, as sometimes little cleaning can solve the issue.
Connecting an ammeter allows you to verify the voltage and power output of the battery. If you notice a lower rating than usual, you might consider cleaning the battery’s terminals before charging it with another functional battery.
If the rating is still lower, then the battery has gone bad, and you have no option but to replace the battery.
When Should You Replace Jeep Wrangler Cruise Control?
The Cruise Control system itself doesn’t become bad easily, and you can go year after year without replacing them. But sometimes, the cruise control on your Jeep Wrangler can go bad due to poor maintenance and aging. Down below, we will talk about a few of these symptoms, and if you are noticing any of these in your Wrangler, then it is time to replace the system.
The cruise control light won’t turn on
One of the most common symptoms of a damaged cruise control system is that the light won’t turn on. The light should come on immediately to alert the driver that the cruise control system has been turned on.
Therefore, if the light doesn’t turn on even though all the other parts are functioning properly, you might need to replace the entire cruise control system.
The cruise control should always keep the speed you’ve specified after it’s been activated. The system might be broken if you find that your speed changes after you set it. Restart the entire system, and the Cruise Control system replacement time is near if the issue persists.
The cruise control system won’t turn on
If you are sure that all other components of your Jeep Wrangler are working and still when you try to engage the cruise control system, but it doesn’t start, then the system has gone bad. You will need to replace it with a new cruise control system.
How much is it to fix cruise control on a Jeep Wrangler?
The cost of fixing a cruise control on a Jeep Wrangler depends on many factors, including what problematic component is causing the problems. Also, are you going to repair the system yourself or hire a mechanic?
If you decide to do it yourself, you save money on the labor cost, but if you can’t, you have to spend some extra money. In our cost chart below, we will cover all the costs related to the fixing. This chart approximates the fixing cost, and the price can vary depending on your location and the parts availability.
|Reason||Parts Replacement Cost||Labour Cost|
|Whole cruise control system has gone bad||$90-$250||$90-$118|
|Damaged Vacuum actuator||$125-$160||$160-$170|
|Faulty Brake pad switch||$40-$90||$80|
Here we will discuss all the faqs that are related to faulty cruise control on a Jeep Wrangler. These answers will clear all your confusion even more.
How do I know if my Wrangler’s cruise control switch is bad?
While taking a test drive, press the brake pedal with the top of your left foot while turning on the cruise control. The brake switch will probably need to be changed if the cruise control attempts to adjust.
Does the battery affect the Jeep Wrangler cruise control?
Yes, a faulty battery is one of the key reasons for a malfunctioning cruise control on a Jeep Wrangler. As a battery powers the whole system, when the battery cannot provide sufficient voltage, the system won’t turn on.
What sensor controls Jeep Wrangler cruise control?
The cruise control on Jeep Wrangler is mostly controlled by speed and distance sensors. A speed sensor that dynamically accelerates and decelerates your automobile and a distance sensor that keeps track of the space in the car in front of you.
Can cruise control cause engine problems on Jeep Wrangler?
Since a car’s systems are all intricately linked, a seemingly minor problem might actually be a sign of something more serious. So it is possible for engine problems to occur due to a defective cruise control system.
The Jeep Wrangler cruise control system makes the driving experience more pleasurable. However, when this system goes bad, you can be annoyed, but we believe by now you already know that issues are easily solvable.
There is a slight difference in component placements between different models of the Wrangler. So, always make sure to properly understand the internals of your Jeep Wrangler before starting to replace or repair any components of it.
Additionally, if you still cannot turn on the cruise control even after trying all the fixes, as discussed today. You will need to visit a service center as the problem can be somewhere else.