How to Replace a Cruise Control Switch

by Alibaster Smith

The cruise control switch in your vehicle is secured to the steering column. Many cruise control switches also contain the turn signal and headlight switches in a "combination switch." When this switch fails, you will not be able to use your cruise control. It might also affect your turn signal and headlight function depending on your vehicle. Replacement switches can normally be purchased from your vehicle's dealership or from some auto parts stores. The best-fitting replacement will be from the dealership that sells original factory replacement units.

Unscrew the screws that hold your steering column cover in place. The exact location of the screws will vary according to your vehicle. You may need a flat head screwdriver to pry off your vehicle's steering column cover if it is held in place with retaining clips.

Remove the steering wheel. Some vehicles require that you remove the steering wheel to access the cruise control switch. To do this, open the hood of your vehicle and loosen the retaining nut on the negative battery terminal cable clamp and slide the clamp off the battery terminal. Pry up on the screw covers on the face of the steering wheel using a flat tip screwdriver. Remove the screws under the screw covers and pull the front of the steering wheel cover off. Unbolt the bolts holding the airbag assembly in place, and pull the airbag assembly forward. Unplug the factory wiring from the airbag assembly. Remove the airbag assembly. Remove the center steering wheel nut using a socket wrench. Place the steering wheel puller over the center of the steering wheel and thread the steering wheel puller bolt through the center of the steering wheel puller. Tighten the steering wheel puller bolt with a socket wrench until the steering wheel comes off the steering column.

Unscrew the screws holding the cruise control switch to the steering column. Normally, this involves only two screws.

Pull the cruise control switch off the steering column and unplug the electrical connector running to the switch.

Plug the electrical connector into the new cruise control switch.

Mount the switch onto the steering column and secure it with the factory mounting screws using a Phillips head screwdriver.

Replace the steering wheel. To do this, slide the steering wheel back onto the steering column and secure it to the column with the center retaining hub nut. Replace the steering column shroud cover and secure it to the column with the factory mounting screws using a cross point screwdriver.

Unplug the cruise control power switch on the dash, if your vehicle uses a separate power switch to control whether the cruise control unit is powered on or off. To do this, reach up behind the dash and pull the power connector out of the back of the switch mounted on the dash. Normally, these switches are located to the left of the steering wheel and are located towards the bottom of the dash.

Push the switch into the dash. Almost all switch assemblies of this type are held in place with small, plastic, retaining clips. You may need to wedge a flat tip screwdriver between the dash and the switch from the front side of the dash while pushing the switch into the dash. On the off chance that your switch has a cross point retaining screw, unscrew the screw from the back of the switch assembly. It might be a tight fit, so you may need a small screwdriver.

Pull the switch through the back of the dash to remove it.

Push a new switch into the dash from behind and reconnect the electrical connector to the back of the switch.

Tip

  • check For specific information about replacing your vehicle's cruise control switch, consult the particular vehicle's manual (see Resources).

Warning

  • close Whenever you are working on or around the air bag assembly, you should disconnect the battery. Failure to do so could result in an accidental deployment of the airbag.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

I am a Registered Financial Consultant with 6 years experience in the financial services industry. I am trained in the financial planning process, with an emphasis in life insurance and annuity contracts. I have written for Demand Studios since 2009.