can you use cruise control in the rain

Can you use cruise control in the rain? Cruise control allows drivers to maintain a steady speed while using less gas.

So, in this post, we’ll look at whether or not it’s possible and give you some reasons for or against using cruise control while it’s raining.

Keep reading to learn more!

It is preferable to avoid utilizing cruise control when the weather is bad, such as rain. Using cruise control at high speed, your automobile may hydroplane while approaching standing water. When driving in icy conditions, you risk slipping and eventually spinning out of control.

How Does Cruise Control Function?

cruise control function

Can you use cruise control In the rain?

To properly answer this question, you must understand how cruise control works.

Cruise control detects your vehicle’s speed and modifies the throttle inputs to maintain that speed.

It’s generally only accurate to within 3-5kph, so setting it to 107kph is a bad idea since you’ll likely occasionally exceed the police’s tolerance. 

To maintain speed, the engine must overcome wind resistance, friction and power losses in the gearbox and differential, and tire rolling resistance.

Gravity is also a factor to consider if you are driving uphill.

As a result, while driving, the engine is constantly working since there is always something pushing against the vehicle.

Unless you are going on a steep downward grade, that gravity means you will speed up even if you don’t use the throttle.

Cruise Control Functions

cruise control function in car

On/off – This permits the cruise control to function, but it does not imply that it is active.

Set – This sets the cruise control to the speed at which the automobile was when you pressed the button.

Cancel – This disables the cruise control and provides complete control over the acceleration.

Resume: You may instantly resume your pace to the last specified speed by pressing this button.

Increment/decrement – Depending on the system and settings, you can normally add or remove 1, 5, or 10kph from the speed.

Radar distance – This setting can identify other vehicles and will automatically maintain a safe following distance behind them.

Why Shouldn’t You Use Cruise Control in the Rain?

cruise control in rain

While using cruise control is more cost-effective in certain situations especially if the road is flat and relatively straight, since the drivers don’t have to worry about receiving a speeding citation if they set the cruising speed below the limit.

However, there are some situations where you should not use cruise control, for instance, during the rainy season.

Rain after a period of hot and dry weather generates slick roadways. As a result of this rain causes the oil and grease on the road to rise to the surface. 

This produces a slick, ice-like state on the road, but it may quickly deteriorate if your tires cannot tread through the water quickly enough.

This is known as hydroplaning, which may occur at speeds as low as 35 MPH.

Hydroplaning may cause a variety of problems, including: 

1. Traffic Problems

problems in traffic

During the summer, grime, oil, and other debris accumulate on the roadways.

When rain falls on top of it, those elements may form a coating on the street’s surface, making it very slippery.

The thin layer of filth over the surface of the water hinders traction when driving. 

Hydroplaning, a condition in which a car spins out of control at high speeds, and the resulting traffic are both consequences.

If this happens while you’re on cruise control, using the brakes might cause you to lose control and perhaps spin out.

2. Limitations of Cruise Control

Cruise control also restricts your capacity to make quick judgments while using cruise control in the rain. In typical driving circumstances, slowing speed is as simple as relaxing off the gas pedal.

When you use cruise control, you are locked in at a fixed pace and have less time to slow down.

Driving at high speeds on wet roads might cause your vehicle to lose traction and hydroplane because your tires spin too quickly to grasp the surfaces effectively.

This is made worse by cruise control, which may force you to apply your brakes to recover control of the car.

While cruise control may seem a safe option for driving long distances in heavy rain, the less-manual cruise control approach may be more of a hindrance when confronted with split-second judgments on slick roads.

hydroplaning in rain

3. Cruise Control Worsens Hydroplaning

Is it safe to use cruise control in the rain?

Cruise control worsens hydroplaning during the rainy season by attempting to maintain a consistent speed.

You can disable it by braking, but if you don’t have anti-lock brakes, braking while hydroplaning would worsen the skidding. 

If you begin to skid or hydroplane:

Reduce Your Speed

reduce speed

More diver safety experts think hydroplaning is most probable at speeds higher than 35 miles per hour. Slow down significantly as soon as the first droplets strike your windshield. 

Reduce your speed by half the miles from the posted limit if the weather is bad, and much more if the wind is blowing strongly.

Hydroplaning is made more likely by sudden changes in speed, such as those required to pass. Always try to avoid starting off at a slow speed and racing off.

Rotate and Balance Your Tires Regularly

Hydroplaning is more likely to occur in worn tires, therefore maintaining their condition is another way to avoid losing control of your car in the rain.

Every 7,000 to 10,000 miles (or at each oil change), you should get your tires rotated and balanced.
high quality car tires

Select High-Quality Tires Designed to Prevent Hydroplaning

This is especially crucial for drivers who reside in parts of the nation where it rains often. Regularly replace your tires.

On wet roads, It’s risky to get behind the wheel with worn or flat tires.

Stay Away From Puddles and Standing Water

puddle standing water

Avoid any area of the road where you can see the water has accumulated.

A thin coating of water causes hydroplaning. If you can see standing water, your car will almost certainly hydroplane as it travels over it.

However, no matter how cautious the driver is, hydroplaning may still occur.

If your car starts to hydroplane over a wet road surface, you may restore control by doing the following steps:

  • Stop immediately. Hydroplaning brakes are useless. On a wet road, sudden braking might cause a skid.
  • Gently move your steering wheel towards the hydroplaning direction. This can help straighten your tires and restore steering control.
  • Wait for the tires to reconnect with the road surface. When the car has driven out of the hydroplaning scenario, the driver will be able to tell.
  • After regaining control of your vehicle after hydroplaning on a wet road, you may want to pull over to rest and collect your thoughts.

Note the Following While Using Cruise Control in the Rain

cruise control notes

When driving in adverse weather, such as rain, you should avoid utilizing cruise control as much as possible.

The reasoning behind this is that if you set your car’s cruise control at a too high speed, it may cause your vehicle to hydroplane when it comes into contact with standing water. 

Additionally, when driving in situations where there is ice on the road, you face the danger of your vehicle sliding and, as a result, spinning out of control.

So, It is in your best interest to avoid using cruise control while driving in bad weather.

This will allow you to maintain full control of your vehicle and adjust the speed of your automobile according to how the road is being driven.

Read Next: Can You Charge A Tesla In The Rain? Complete Guide!

Final Verdict

Can you use cruise control in the rain?

If it’s raining, don’t use cruise control. High-speed cruise control may cause hydroplaning near-standing water.

Icy roads may cause skidding and loss of control.

On rainy roads, disable cruise control and slow down. If you skid or hydroplane, take your foot off the pedal and steer in the skid’s direction.

Once you regain control, you may return to the center of your lane.

Thanks for reading!