Cruise control stops working

Tiny
HARDSET2000@AOL.COM
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
  • 3.4L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
The cruise control stops intermittently and can shut it off with the control on the steering wheel and restart it but it keeps shutting off. Recommendations please?
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Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 AT 6:29 PM

19 Replies

Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Welcome to 2CarPros. A common cause of this issue is a bad or wrongly adjusted brake lamp switch. Part of the switch is used to shut the cruise off when you step on the brakes. A quick test for adjustment is to use the cruise and put your toe under the brake pedal and lift it toward the dash, that holds the switch so it doesn't move. If the cruise now works without shutting off you have a switch that is worn or out of adjustment. To adjust it you can screw the switch in a turn. That would be the same as lifting the pedal. Personally I would replace the switch and adjust the new one so it is fully depressed when the pedal is at the stop.
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Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 AT 9:47 PM
Tiny
HARDSET2000@AOL.COM
  • MEMBER
Excellent response. It makes sense. I'll try that and if it works, I'd like to make a donation with my PayPal accounts. Do you accept PayPal? Jack Ellenberger
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 AT 12:46 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Try it out and see if it works then return with good news. As for donations, the site doesn't accept them. Instead please pick a charity or local animal shelter and donate to them.
Thank you for using 2CarPros. Please return anytime with your automotive questions.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 AT 12:53 PM
Tiny
HARDSET2000@AOL.COM
  • MEMBER
Wow, I am 70 years old so I got a reclining lawn chair with a nice thick cushion and laid in that just outside the vehicle and wiggled my way in. I guessed right with 14mm wrench and turned the switch in about a turn and a half. I test drove it about 25 miles and presto! It all worked flawlessly. You deserve a donation directly. I don't like to give to most organization because they often bug the bejesus out of me for more and more. You know the deal! I would like to send you $40.00 via pPayPal please for your time and knowledge! Please say yes! God bless you. Jack Ellenberger.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 AT 3:51 PM
Tiny
HARDSET2000@AOL.COM
  • MEMBER
I sent you a $40.00 "cup of coffee" donation via PayPal. I'm very please and thankful for your very accurate help. It worked and problem is fixed. Thank you, Pete.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 AT 4:33 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
STEVE W. Is one of our best! Thank you so much for the consideration. We do not take donations currently but will soon ;)
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:07 PM
Tiny
RZWILKINSON
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
  • 320,000 MILES
I have the same problem as the other guy who has a 2002 Toyota Highlander with the cruise control problem. My car and cruise control not engaging are the same as his. Mine started failing at 275000 miles. Controls work, lights work, cruise does not engage.

Thank you
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check four fuses inside car see pic, and then have scanned as it may be an ecu problem.
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FIXITDAD1
  • MEMBER
I noted that my "D" light (Drive) was flickering while I was driving. When it did that the cruise control dis-engaged. I adjusted the shift cable, the "D" light stopped flickering and cruise control is working fine. Google Toyota Electronic Transmission Checks and you should find a document with a section to "Inspect and Adjust the Shift Cable". There is a basic diagram on it. I couldn't get it to adjust using their directions so I tried this with the help of my 8 year old.

The shift cable on the Highlander is located under the battery, about an arm's length down. I removed the battery restraint to give better access for my right arm. You'll need a 12mm socket, the small version works good. Place the vehicle on a flat spot and engage emergency break. Locate the shift cable, there are two bolts. Loosen the left bolt, don't remove. Having another person (8 year old) help in the car is great. Turn on the power but don't start the car. Shift the transmission to Drive. Return to the shift cable and slightly adjust/rotate the arm until the 8 year old tells you the D light is staying lit. Tighten down the bolt. Check Park, Reverse, Neutral, etc. Lights should work OK. I couldn't get the the L light to come on but the transmission still engages. Test drive. Cost = your time. Help from the 8 year old, priceless.
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Working with an eight yr old is not only priceless but called dad time. One thing with the adjustment your cable stretched so just keep an eye on it as it may break or get hard to move in and out of gear. If it does replace it.
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RZWILKINSON
  • MEMBER
Thank you for the reply. In my case it turned out to be a cable connection problem. A wise Service Technician opened the hood, unplugged the electric cable that came up from the unit, and plugged it back in. The 2002 Highlander now has 374,000 miles and the cruise control continues to work great.
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
POGO03833
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
  • 200,000 MILES
The drive light on the dashboard flickers on and off. It is a circuit board design so no lights. If cruise control is on it goes off if the light goes off. Is there something on the transmission that sends a signal to the dash to say it is in drive? Any thought on what to check?
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
I think you are describing a fault code indication, go get a scan done on the engine and transmission just to be sure, start here.
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FIXITDAD1
  • MEMBER
This is a cut/paste from another post. I noted that my "D" light (Drive) was flickering while I was driving. When it did that the cruise control dis-engaged. I adjusted the shift cable, the "D" light stopped flickering and cruise control is working fine. Google Toyota Electronic Transmission Checks and you should find a document with a section to "Inspect and Adjust the Shift Cable". There is a basic diagram on it. I couldn't get it to adjust using their directions so I tried this with the help of my 8 year old.

The shift cable on the Highlander is located under the battery, about an arm's length down. I removed the battery restraint to give better access for my right arm. You'll need a 12mm socket, the small version works good. Place the vehicle on a flat spot and engage emergency break. Locate the shift cable, there are two bolts. Loosen the left bolt, don't remove. Having another person (8 year old) help in the car is great. Turn on the power but don't start the car. Shift the transmission to Drive. Return to the shift cable and slightly adjust/rotate the arm until the 8 year old tells you the D light is staying lit. Tighten down the bolt. Check Park, Reverse, Neutral, etc. Lights should work OK. I couldn't get the the L light to come on but the transmission still engages. Test drive. Cost = your time. Help from the 8 year old, priceless.
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
8 year old's. Where would you be with out them. Good result
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HARDSET2000@AOL.COM
  • MEMBER
You have the wrong person. I had the problem with the cruise control and you or Pete told me how to fix it and now it works. I sent $40 via PayPal for ur help. Jack Ellenberger.
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Friday, October 4th, 2019 AT 12:41 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Jack, yeah the answers to a few questions were merged and everyone in the post gets an update when something is added. Sorry about that. An easy way around that is to click the un-follow button that should be up under your first post. Then you won't get a message in 2 years when someone adds in a "Hey my truck is doing the same thing" type post.
Sorry again.
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Saturday, October 5th, 2019 AT 11:08 PM
Tiny
HARDSET2000@AOL.COM
  • MEMBER
Roger that. Thanks! I am very pleased with all your services. It is so unusual to find a simple solution that works and kept me away of the dealers expensive charges. I am sure it would have been at least $150.00 plus tax verses my $40.00 donation. Sellers, Buyers, everyone should realize we are ALL consumers and love a good deal. Even Gates, Buffet, Bezos love a good deal! Thank you all again. Im a new believer in 2carpros! Jack Ellenberger.
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Sunday, October 6th, 2019 AT 12:40 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Good to hear, please use 2CarPros anytime we are here to help.
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Friday, October 18th, 2019 AT 2:15 PM

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