How to Replace the Cruise Control Switch on a Ford

by Thomas West

Ford has offered vehicles with steering wheel-mounted cruise control buttons since the 1960s. This allows drivers to set and adjust the cruise control without taking their eyes off the road. Cruise control can save fuel mileage by keeping the vehicle at a constant speed. The cruise control is operated by a switch behind the horn pad and airbag on the steering wheel. The switch will probably need replacement if the cruise control in your Ford vehicle is malfunctioning.

Open the hood of the vehicle. Remove the negative battery terminal by loosening the clamp with an adjustable wrench. Pull the cable off using a twisting motion. Wait 15 minutes before continuing, to insure current has been completely shut off to the airbag.

Pry off the two plastic plugs on the back of the steering wheel spokes with a small flat-blade screwdriver. Use care not to scratch the plastic. Remove the two bolts revealed after removing the plastic plugs with an 8mm socket attached to a 1/4-inch drive ratchet.

Carefully lift up on the horn pad/air bag module and disconnect the wiring harness from underneath the module. Set the module aside.

Loosen and remove the cruise control switch attaching screws (located under the horn pad/air bag module) with a Phillips screwdriver. Remove the wiring harnesses from the switches (there are two) by pulling the connectors out by hand. Remove the switches from the steering wheel assembly.

Install the new cruise control switches in the steering wheel assembly by tightening the attaching screws with a Philips screwdriver. Plug the wiring harness connectors into the switches.

Place the horn pad/air bag module onto the steering wheel and replace the two 8mm bolts through the holes in the back of the steering wheel spokes. Tighten the bolts with an 8mm socket attached to a 1/4-inch drive ratchet.

Push the negative battery cable back onto the negative battery terminal and tighten the nut with an adjustable wrench. Close the hood.

Tip

  • check To remove the wiring harness from the cruise control switches, use your thumb and index finger and wiggle the connector out carefully. Do not use pliers or you may damage the connector.

Warning

  • close Wear safety glasses when working around a live airbag.

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