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Old 11-30-2012, 12:51 PM   #1
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Using Your Cruise Control.

We got into an interesting discussion last evening and I would like your reaction to what my friend claims. He is against using Cruise Control as he says it causes one to burn more gas as the transmission and engine try to get in sync. He claims that when the engine revs up and the tranny starts hunting you are wasting gas.

I know my unit will climb the 1500 foot passes going out of town easily when I control the gas pedal but it is constantly changing gears and reving the engine if I try the Cruise Control.

Your thoughts please.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:07 PM   #2
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My experience is using cruise on relatively flat roads wastes no fuel. When you reach hilly territory it begins to waste fuel. Mainly by dropping out of OD on inclines and cresting hills. By feathering the throttle a bit and allowing speed to drop a bit, you keep the revs down saving fuel.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:18 PM   #3
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I don't know about wasted fuel, but we hardly ever use the cruise because we hate the high-rev thing with our gasser. I tend to believe that revving must cause some increased fuel usage, though.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possum View Post
I know my unit will climb the 1500 foot passes going out of town easily when I control the gas pedal but it is constantly changing gears and reving the engine if I try the Cruise Control.

Your thoughts please.

"Dumb" PCM (Powertrain Control Module) programming causes gear "hunting" as you describe, and manual control of the gears and throttle will usually give better results. Powertrains with "Grade Logic" will eliminate the problem.

So the answer to your question is "It depends"
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:17 PM   #5
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I use the cruise control 80% of the time. After using it for a while you get the feeling of it. Meaning if I have it set for 62 MPH and we come up to a hill and our speed drops to 58 I know it's going to down shift, before this happens I turn it of and take over the gas pedal myself. I much rather take a hill slower then dropping down one or two gears and having the engine turning such high RPM's.
I try to keep the engine speed below 3200 and if that means going slower then thats fine.

I personally thinks it makes driving easier.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I use the cruise control 80% of the time. After using it for a while you get the feeling of it. Meaning if I have it set for 62 MPH and we come up to a hill and our speed drops to 58 I know it's going to down shift, before this happens I turn it of and take over the gas pedal myself. I much rather take a hill slower then dropping down one or two gears and having the engine turning such high RPM's.
I try to keep the engine speed below 3200 and if that means going slower then thats fine.

I personally thinks it makes driving easier.
I do exactly the same. Some days it's constant on and off . It keeps me awake :-)

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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I do the same thing, but watch my scangauge. When the mileage slips below 7 MPG, I jog the "pause" button on the end of the cruise control stalk. Usually this allows a slight grade to be climbed while remaining in cruise. Sometimes, I jog several times, but also turn the cruise off if I see a steeper grade. My goal is to stay in cruise as long as possible, but without letting the transmission downshift until really needed. I'm convinced this results in some degree of MPG gain. The people who complain about gear hunting and engine revving may not be paying much attention to the road, or their vehicle. Leaving the cruise on, and letting the transmission downshift while the cruise control gives full throttle trying to regain lost speed is not the route to maximize MPG.

Quote:
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I use the cruise control 80% of the time. After using it for a while you get the feeling of it. Meaning if I have it set for 62 MPH and we come up to a hill and our speed drops to 58 I know it's going to down shift, before this happens I turn it of and take over the gas pedal myself. I much rather take a hill slower then dropping down one or two gears and having the engine turning such high RPM's.
I try to keep the engine speed below 3200 and if that means going slower then thats fine.

I personally thinks it makes driving easier.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:41 PM   #8
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All good replies ,I do much the same my self ,on hills I try to lock out OD before it down shifts that keeps the RPM lower ,I think it is because the torque convertor stays locked .
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:46 PM   #9
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my thoughts exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clyon51 View Post
My experience is using cruise on relatively flat roads wastes no fuel. When you reach hilly territory it begins to waste fuel. Mainly by dropping out of OD on inclines and cresting hills. By feathering the throttle a bit and allowing speed to drop a bit, you keep the revs down saving fuel.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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While your right foot is on the accelerator, If you tap the brake pedal with your left foot the cruise control will turn off and if under the right load conditions you will unlock the torque converter. The brake switch will tell the ECM to unlock the TCC solenoid, thus you can stay in the same gear but increase your RPM's slightly for more torque.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:55 PM   #11
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I too am a big fan of ScanGuageII and I think it helps you with cruise control and mileage on general.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:04 PM   #12
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I do much the same. I will feather the throttle and increase speed by a MPH or so then let the cruise adjust going up the hill. But I watch the speed as I climb and if it drops more than three MPH I will switch off the cruise on the steering wheel then back on when I crest the hill. I am somewhat concerned about fuel mileage, but I am more concerned with the constant gear changing and the tyranny heating up above its normal operating range. I seem to get 7-7.5 MPG no matter how fast or slow I drive. If I was that concerned about MPG I wouldn't be driving a big square box down the highway. Jmho
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:07 PM   #13
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I have a 36' 1997 Dolphin M.H. on a Chevy chassis with a workhorse engine.
I use the cruse control when ever possable, I try to keep my speed around 55 miles an hour.
There are times that we come upon a small mound I will let it do it's own thing sometimes it down shift and other times it does not.
There is a steep grade (7%) that we go up on our way home from San Luis Obispo on Hwy. 101.
We toe a 1995 Saturn (2900 lb) and I must say we hold our breath on the way up.
I will hit the base of the hill at about 70 miles an hour (in third gear) but it does not take long before we drop down to 55, then a little while later we are down to 45 now were in (second gear) I try to keep the tac. around 4000 by then we are in (first gear) we are able to clime the rest of the hill in First gear going around 32 miles and hour.
As long as I keep an eye on the tac. and don't let it go over 4000 were good.
It takes us a little longer to get to the top of the hill but who cares.
Just a thought.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:17 PM   #14
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Using the scangaugeII will show where to shift.
My truck will do well in the hills on cruise at 55 MPH on hi. Will cruise at 60/65 on overdrive but it's a diesel. And cruise works well under those conditions. 6% hills are never a problem on OD.
Gas only performs well at 3000 rpm and best MPG will be on high and plenty of power not to shift anyway using cruise.
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