Cruise Control Installation Cost [Labor & Parts]
Cruise control is a small, but the luxurious feature that adds a lot of convenience to your ride. Unfortunately, some vehicles don’t come from the factory with cruise control already installed!
If you want to add cruise control to your vehicle, you may be wondering how much it will cost. Typically, installing a cruise control system on your vehicle will cost anywhere between $200-$350.
It’s pretty easy to install it yourself, but you may choose to have a professional install it instead. If you opt for this method, it’ll add somewhere around $100-$250 to the total cost.
Keep reading to learn more about the cost of installing cruise control, as well as the benefits of doing so.
How Much Will It Cost to Install Aftermarket Cruise Control?
Depending on your specific vehicle and the aftermarket kit you purchase, your cruise control installation can cost anywhere from $200-$600 total.
This cost heavily depends on whether you install the system yourself or have a professional do it for you.
It’s more expensive to install cruise control on some vehicles because they require specific, more expensive kits.
While there are universal kits available that work for most vehicles, some models require OEM parts. This could easily double the estimated cost.
Most aftermarket cruise control kits include everything you need for self-installation, including the activation handle or switch.
If you’re not comfortable installing it yourself, however, you’ll need to pay for the mechanic’s labor. Depending on where you go, this could add anywhere from $90-$250 to the cost.
What Are the Best Universal Aftermarket Cruise Control Kits?
While you can choose an installation kit made specifically for your vehicle, many people prefer a universal kit. The table below will highlight the specifics of several popular universal cruise control installation kits.
|Product Name||Price||Best Feature|
|Rostra 250-1223||$212||Easy to install yourself|
|Ididit 3100010000||$325||No external sensors required|
|Dakota Digital Cruise Control Kit||$323||Compatible with vehicles that have cable-driven speedometers|
Each kit listed above comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Before you choose a kit for your car, make sure you know the specifics.
What is Cruise Control?
A cruise control system allows you to set your vehicle at a specific speed with the touch of a button. Once you get up to your desired speed, you press the switch or handle to lock it in.
If you want to deactivate the cruise control, all you have to do is press the switch again or put your foot on the brake.
Cruise control works by adjusting your car’s throttle position. Your speed sensors sense the speed and throttle position and lock it in when you activate cruise control.
Most systems operate through something called “proportional-integral-derivative,” or PID, control.
What are the Benefits of Cruise Control?
Cruise control adds convenience to your drive and saves you money in gas. At a constant speed, your car does not have to work as hard while switching gears and accelerating.
This, in turn, improves your gas mileage and saves you a considerable amount of money.
In addition, cruise control provides you with a more comfortable ride. Because your speed is locked in, you don’t have to constantly keep your foot on the gas pedal.
You can change your position safely if you need to adjust your posture and experience behind-the-wheel fatigue.
Cruise control also allows you to have better control over your speed. You can set it at the posted speed limit, preventing any accidental speeding.
The Difference Between Cruise Control and Adaptive Cruise Control
If you’ve been searching for cruise control kits, you may have seen “adaptive cruise control” pop up a few times. While these two things are similar, they have some significant differences in operation.
As we’ve discussed, cruise control works by setting your vehicle’s speed at a constant number. Adaptive cruise control, on the other hand, is more intuitive.
It typically only works with vehicles that have either a navigation system, forward-facing cameras or sensors, or both.
Adaptive cruise control allows you to set a constant speed, but will automatically adjust itself in certain scenarios.
For example, if a slower car cuts in front of you on the road, it will automatically lower the set speed to avoid getting too close. Once the other vehicle moves out of the way, it will raise back to your set speed.
Some adaptive cruise control systems will also slow down around tight curves, or even reduce the speed if the posted speed limit changes.
However, don’t mistake this system with “self-driving!” Adaptive cruise control still requires you to steer your vehicle, and you may need to brake manually if a car ahead of you suddenly brakes.
As you would probably expect, adaptive cruise control is much more expensive to install than regular cruise control.
At the low end, systems cost around $500. However, the most intuitive systems can cost up to $2,500.
How Do You Install a Cruise Control System?
If you choose to install your cruise control system yourself, you’ll need to follow the correct steps to ensure it’s done properly. Here is everything you need to do while installing cruise control on your vehicle.
- Before unhooking your battery, put your key in the accessory power position to unlock your steering wheel. Turn it so that at least one of the airbag screws is facing the floor.
- Next, unhook your battery. Leave it unhooked for at least 10 minutes to ensure all the power is released from the airbags.
- Now you’ll need to move your steering wheel airbag to allow for proper access. Unscrew the airbag bolts, then lift them away at least six inches. Make sure to unhook the airbag cable connection carefully, and don’t pull out any additional wires or cables.
- Once the airbag has been removed, you’ll have to look inside the wheel to find the white cruise control connector. This is normally close to the horn. If you can’t find it, consult your owner’s manual.
- Place the cruise control switch and attach all wires as directed.
- Now, you can mount the switch securely, using all the included brackets and screws. Once you’ve mounted it, reattach your airbag and put it back inside the steering wheel.
- Tighten all the steering wheel airbag bolts.
- If your kit includes a master switch, install it near the steering column.
- If your vehicle is not cruise control ready, you’ll need to install the cruise control computer. The location varies by vehicle, but it’s often located near the driver’s side kick panel.
- Attach any remaining parts required, such as a sub-zero unit, additional switch, or cruise actuator.
- The last step is to calibrate your vehicle’s computer. This can be a complicated process. Consult online guides for your specific vehicle, or go to the dealer and have them do it for you.
Although this process may seem complicated, it’s generally not considered difficult to do. Typically, installing this system will take you no longer than an hour.
Can You Install Cruise Control on a Manual Transmission?
If you have a manual transmission vehicle, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s still possible to install cruise control. However, it will be less flexible and typically requires extra sensors, such as a clutch disengagement switch.
Putting the car into neutral or pressing the clutch will deactivate cruise control. It will typically only engage in 4th gear or higher, meaning it’s most useful for highway or other high-speed driving.
Can Cruise Control be Installed on Any Car?
While most cars do accept cruise control systems, there are a few that don’t accept them. Do your research on your particular make and model to ensure it’s possible to install cruise control.
Even if your car isn’t “cruise control ready,” it’s likely still possible to install it. Complete kits typically include everything you need to upgrade your vehicle.
However, you may need to purchase a separate vehicle speed signal (VSS) generator for certain vehicles.
Will Adding Cruise Control Void a Car’s Warranty?
Unless your aftermarket cruise control system damages your car in some way, your warranty will not be voided. In fact, your kit may require dealer activation, and the mechanic there will be happy to help.
If your kit says that dealer activation is required, it means that the vehicle’s computer needs to be activated to allow for cruise control.
You’ll take your car to the dealer, and they’ll set the internal computer to accept cruise control. This will typically call for an additional cost.
The Bottom Line
Adding cruise control to your vehicle is usually pretty simple to do yourself. Most DIY kits cost between $200-$350. If you want a mechanic to install your system instead, expect to pay around $90-$250 extra.