Can You Use Cruise Control In A Manual Transmission Car?

If you’re a fan of manual transmission cars, the question of whether or not you can use cruise control may have crossed your mind. The good news is that it is possible to use cruise control in a manual transmission car. Cruise control is a handy feature that has been around for decades and was invented to make long drives more comfortable for drivers. It allows drivers to maintain a constant speed without having to keep their foot on the gas pedal all the time. In this blog, we will discuss how cruise control works in manual cars, the different types of cruise control, and how to use it with your manual car. So, buckle up, and let’s get started!

What Is Cruise Control? And When Was Cruise Control Invented?

Cruise control is a car feature that maintains a constant speed without using the accelerator pedal. Although patented in 1948, it was not widely available until the 1980s. Inventor Ralph Teetor, who was blind, created it to prevent motion sickness. Almost all cars have cruise control now, with newer models featuring adaptive systems.

How Does Cruise Control Work In Manual Cars?

Cruise control in manual cars operates similarly to automatic cars, allowing the driver to set and maintain a desired speed. However, the system may require manual adjustments when driving on hills or declines. When the car slows down, it will automatically downshift to maintain speed.

Types Of Cruise Control

1. Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is one of the most advanced forms of cruise control that is available in modern cars. The system uses sensors to detect the speed and distance of other vehicles on the road. This ensures that you maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and avoid collisions. ACC adjusts the car’s speed and braking automatically, so you don’t need to worry about constantly adjusting your throttle or brake pedal. It provides smooth acceleration and deceleration, ensuring a comfortable ride for everyone in the car. ACC is typically found in newer cars but can also be retrofitted into older cars as an aftermarket upgrade. It is a standard feature in many SUVs and luxury cars from brands such as Ford and Chrysler.

How does adaptive cruise control work with a manual transmission?

Adaptive cruise control relies on radar or camera sensors to detect the distance between your car and the one in front, automatically adjusting your speed. However, if you have a manual transmission car, you’ll need to disengage the clutch and shift gears yourself. This requires extra attention, so exercise caution when using it and only in ideal conditions.

2. Semi-autonomous Cruise Control

Semi-Autonomous Cruise Control is an electronic system that utilizes sensors to detect both the speed and distance of other vehicles around you. By monitoring these factors, it offers drivers an effortless way to maintain a safe following distance while cruising at a constant speed. This feature can be found as standard on many modern-day suvs like Ford and Chrysler or as an optional add-on for regular cruise control systems. The adaptive cruise control feature is available on some manual transmissions, but it may require additional sensors or technology in older cars. As with any driving aid, always check your car’s manual or consult with professionals before attempting to use it under traffic conditions.

3. A Speed Limiter

A speed limiter is an electronic system that comes in quite handy when you want to keep your vehicle from exceeding the pre-set limit of its cruising speed. This feature is particularly useful if you want to avoid speeding tickets or maintain a constant speed on long drives. A speed limiter is a type of cruise control system that allows you to set a maximum speed for your manual transmission vehicle without having to worry about accidentally going over the desired limit. It should be noted that while using this feature, it’s important to stay alert and follow safe driving practices such as keeping a safe distance from other vehicles on the road and adjusting your throttle, accelerator, and clutch pedals correctly. A Speed Limiter is not just available in modern cars but also in older ones like Ford or Chrysler suvs and manuals as well.

How To Use Cruise Control With A Manual Car

Manual Car

It’s important to note that while most newer cars have standard cruise control, some models come with more advanced features like adaptive cruise control systems that allow you to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles even in heavy traffic conditions. So whether you’re driving an automatic or manual transmission car, make sure you know how your car’s cruise control works before hitting the freeway for those long drives.

Locate The Cruise Control Button

When locating the cruise control button in a manual transmission car, identifying it is crucial. This small yet handy feature is usually found on the steering wheel or dashboard and resembles a speedometer with an arrow pointing towards it. To activate cruise control after locating this button, press it once. Following this step, you can increase your car’s speed through smooth acceleration with aid from the accelerator pedal and set your desired cruising speed by releasing it. The electronic system of your vehicle takes over and maintains this constant speed until you turn off the cruise control or apply brakes.

Reach Desired Highway Speed

To use cruise control in a manual vehicle, it’s important to reach your desired highway speed first. Begin by engaging the cruise control feature either through a button or lever located on your steering wheel. With that done, release your foot from the accelerator pedal and allow your car to maintain a constant speed with the assistance of sensors and other electronic systems. If you need to slow down or stop abruptly due to traffic conditions, simply disengage the standard feature by pressing either the brake or clutch pedal. By utilizing this handy feature on long drives, you can save fuel while cruising at a smooth acceleration and safe distance from other cars on the freeway.

Turn On Cruise Control

When turning on the cruise control feature in a manual transmission vehicle, ensure that your car is traveling at a steady pace and is in the right gear. After reaching the desired speed, activate this handy feature by pressing the “set” button located on the steering wheel. To adjust your cruising speed, use either the “+” or “-” buttons conveniently placed within reach. It’s worth noting that while this feature works smoothly in modern cars, it might not be suitable for certain traffic conditions or older models of vehicles. By incorporating secondary keyterms like ‘accelerator,’ ‘cruise control works,’ ‘throttle,’ and more, one can get a smooth acceleration and maintain a constant speed without having to worry about constantly shifting gears or using the clutch pedal.

Avoid Unnecessary Braking And Shifting

Maintaining a constant speed while using the cruise control feature in a manual car is crucial to ensure maximum efficiency. When engaging this handy feature in a manual transmission vehicle, always make sure to reach your desired speed and set it by pressing the designated button on your steering wheel’s cruise control system. Whenever necessary, remember that downshifting or disengaging the feature is an option if the car begins to slow down abruptly due to traffic conditions or changes in elevation. In addition, cruising at smooth acceleration levels can significantly reduce driver fatigue during extended trips. Lastly, it’s worth keeping in mind that choosing an appropriate gear for your current speed before initiating the regular or adaptive cruise control system can significantly enhance your driving experience.

Watch the road and steer

While using the cruise control feature in a manual car, it is essential to remain alert and attentive towards the road. It would be best if you familiarized yourself with your car’s specific controls and settings before engaging the cruise control system. Always keep both hands on the steering wheel for proper maneuvering of the vehicle, be cautious, and ready to disengage the system when needed. Keep in mind that using cruise control does not replace your driving skills or instincts as a driver. Therefore, always be vigilant while making use of this handy feature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cruise control available to manual transmission?

While some manual transmission cars have cruise control, not all do. Those that do work similarly to automatic cars but require additional clutch and gear adjustments. To know if your manual car has this feature, check the manual or ask a mechanic.

Is cruise control only on automatic cars?

Although not all manual transmission cars have cruise control, some models do offer it along with a speed limiter feature that helps maintain a specific speed. It’s important to refer to the car’s owner’s manual to confirm availability. If unavailable, maintaining a constant speed manually or using the speed limiter can be an alternative.

Is cruise control bad for your transmission?

Cruise control is safe for your transmission when used responsibly. It won’t cause damage, but using it on hilly or rough terrain may put additional strain on your transmission. If you have a manual car, you’ll need to shift gears manually while using cruise control.


In conclusion, using cruise control in a manual car is possible, but it requires some additional effort from the driver. It is essential to know the different types of cruise control systems available and how they work to make an informed decision. With the right technique, you can use cruise control on long drives and reduce fatigue. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that cruise control doesn’t replace attentive driving and steering. Use it responsibly and always keep an eye on the road ahead. Now that you know how to use cruise control in your manual car, hit the road without any worries!