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LameRandomName

Is it normal for the cruise control to suck this much?

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I have a 2000 Forester with 5-speed transmission. Just about to hit 45,000 miles.

 

The crusie control, well... sucks. It has since I bought it at the end of 2002 with 31,000 miles on it.

 

Whenever I set it, the speed drops 3-5mph before the cruise "catches", and if I use the "accelerate" option on the controller, it accelerates very weakly.

 

Now obviously, it can't downshift on it's own, and I know that the engine doesn't have all that much power, but still...

 

Of course, the part that I find especially annoying is where it ALWAYS drops speed after setting the cruise, then "catches" and slowly comes up to the speed I set it for. Sort of. It's not real accurate.

 

And of course there is the annoying problem where it cuts out completely if the speed drops about 9 or 10 mph below the set point. So if you have a full car and are going up a long incline, causing the speed to drop, the cruise doesn't seem to add enough throttle to maintain speed and pretty soon you have dropped the 9-10mph at which the cruise just cuts off completely and you have to manually accelerate and set it again.

 

This is different from EVERY other cruise control system in EVERY other car I have EVER driven. Considering that I started driving when Jimmy Carter was in office, you can imagine that adds up to a lot of cars.

 

 

So here's the question:

 

Is it just that subaru's cruise control system suck, or is my car in particular having a problem?

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My car came with cruise control but I have never used it. I prefer to drive the car myself. I'm a control freak. No idea what the things are supposed to be like.

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Originally posted by LameRandomName

I have a 2000 Forester with 5-speed transmission. Just about to hit 45,000 miles.

 

The crusie control, well... sucks. It has since I bought it at the end of 2002 with 31,000 miles on it.

 

Whenever I set it, the speed drops 3-5mph before the cruise "catches", and if I use the "accelerate" option on the controller, it accelerates very weakly.

 

Now obviously, it can't downshift on it's own, and I know that the engine doesn't have all that much power, but still...

 

Of course, the part that I find especially annoying is where it ALWAYS drops speed after setting the cruise, then "catches" and slowly comes up to the speed I set it for. Sort of. It's not real accurate.

 

And of course there is the annoying problem where it cuts out completely if the speed drops about 9 or 10 mph below the set point. So if you have a full car and are going up a long incline, causing the speed to drop, the cruise doesn't seem to add enough throttle to maintain speed and pretty soon you have dropped the 9-10mph at which the cruise just cuts off completely and you have to manually accelerate and set it again.

 

This is different from EVERY other cruise control system in EVERY other car I have EVER driven. Considering that I started driving when Jimmy Carter was in office, you can imagine that adds up to a lot of cars.

 

 

So here's the question:

 

Is it just that subaru's cruise control system suck, or is my car in particular having a problem?

 

How fast is the engine turning (typically) when you set the speed control?

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mine does the same, what i do to avoid it is; after setting the cruise speed/ turning it on, keep your foot on the accelerator for an extra second or two... this will prevent the bogging you mentioned before the car resumes the set speed, i figure it just takes a second or two for it to initiate.

 

is our cruise system running off engine vacuum like most systems? i can't remember the last time i looked at it/used it:D

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The cruise on my '02 OBS sucks.:)

 

It's got a mind of it's own. Sometimes it takes three tries to get it to catch, other times just once. Sometimes a stab at the accelerate function gives 2 mph, other times .5 mph. Totally inconsistant.

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The one we had on our '01 Forester was pretty good and locked in quickly. Its only drawback was the transmission computer logic would have it down-shift at the drop of a hat. At 70mph, that can be really dramatic! Hills found us either "helping" it to avoid the down-shift of cancelling cruise all together.

 

Then we got the '03 Baja with the 5MT. Cruise on that thing required some real getting used to! Found that speed had to be consistently stabilized at the desired value for 10-15 seconds before setting the cruise. Then you could feel it kick in. Too quick and it would drop 3-5mph before getting back to what ya set. The Baja likes 5th gear and hardly ever droops except on really steep hills and those seem to be mostly in western mountains. The actuator on the Baja seems to be electric instead of vacuum.

 

Karl

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Not on a Subaru but years ago I had a vehicle that did much the same thing. What it boiled down to was a cruise control cable to the throttle body that has too much slack in it. Adjusting it to remove most but not all of the slack turned the beast into a dream. Now I had to take several attempts to get it just right (with a test drive in between) because when I took all of the slack out of it, the darn thing wouldn't even set. I suggest that you try something similar IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH DOING IT YOURSELF. If not, let the dealer straighten out the problem. It can't be all that expensive to correct. HINT: I always keep my foot on the gas to stablize the transition to cruise when I set it. You will actually feel the accelerator pedal pull away from your foot (my wife's Lexus, my 300ZX and my 02 OBW LTD all do the same thing). And just before I turn the cruise off, I put my foot back onto the pedal to take up the slack so that the transition is not jerky in any way. It may be anal retentive but the driving experience is much improved.

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Originally posted by LameRandomName

OK, so there's nothing wrong with my car, it's just that the guy who engineered the cruise control system was a jackåss.

 

Sounds like it. The only weird thing is that you say it drops after it goes under 9-10 mph under the setting. Mine acts just like yours (91 Legacy, MT), but I have never had that dropping problem. You might want to check the system out.

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Yeah, I agree Subaru cruise control isn't the greatest. My '97 Legacy speed varies more than I'd like. In the cold (below say 25 deg F) the speed creaps up. Pretty much all the time though, if I accelerate with the gas pedal (say from 70 to 75 MPH) and then lay off, the curise won't pick up again till 65 MPH. That really annoys the people you pass. I compare this to my summer car, a late model Camaro. It will run +/- 1 MPH all day long even up steap grades...but 300+hp/ftlb helps.

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I had an MY01 Liberty RX 5MT and the Cruise Control in that thing used to piss me off big time as it was like "LameRandomName's".

 

I now have an MY03 XS Forester 5MT and the Cruise control in this car is not in the same league as the Liberty, "it's as smooth as silk" to engage.

When you flick the stalk up or down for the 2kph increments there is no jerking associated with the speed increase/decrease and when you cancel it there is a smooth slowing down of the car, in 3 words................. "I love it".................. and the car too :D :D

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See, I like a cruise control that "hits" hard and maintains the speed aggressively.

 

Very often, when I'm on the highway, I like to "drive" with the cruise control, doing all my accelerating and cruising with it, and only moving my foot to use the brake when it's absolutely neccessary.

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