For the first time ever, I’ve got a vehicle with cruise control. Does anyone know if “cruise control” actually saves gas or gives you better gas mileage over long trips, as opposed to just leaving your foot on the pedal and driving “normally”?
My fate keeps getting in the way of my destiny.
Cruise control will definitely provide better gas mileage. How much better is determined by how good a throttle-jockey you are to begin with. If you’re one of those folks whose spedometer is wandering all over the map, the control will smooth out your slow down/speed up oscillations and eliminate (or at least ameliorate) the inefficiency that results from you feeding too much gas to the engine on one of your accelerating cycles. I don’t think it’s going to give you more than a couple extra mpg, but over the course of a long trip, at today’s prices, the savings can be commendable. (Your environment will thank you, too).
I find it best to set the cruise either 1 or 2 miles an hour faster or slower than the surrounding traffic - that way you’ll be able to avoid the heinous practice of driving along next to the car in the right lane for 300 miles. If you find yourself very closely matched, speed-wise with the car next to you and someone is behind you trying to get around, by all means give it some gas and get the heck out of the way.
Also, be careful using the cruise under “icing conditions.” When the roads are dry but there is the danger of “black” (or even regular) ice on the bridges, DON’T use it - you could find yourself with a puckered sphincter and a madly careening ride when the sucker decides to kick in while you have no traction. Enjoy!
Cruise control is wonderful on relatively flat highways, but it often gets confused on hillier stretches and ends up decreasing gas mileage. The computer can’t anticipate the need for more power right before an incline the way a driver can, and so it has to play “catch up”, using a lot more gas.
Been driving with cruise control for more years than I can recall
On pikes and interstates the answer is yes
Around town and on low speed short hauls the answer is no