How to Replace the Cruise Control Actuator

The cruise control actuator is the mechanical component of the car that turns cruise control on and off. You press the cruise control button and then the actuator will move to the “on” position. This component does not often fail. However, when it does, there is no need to take your car to an auto repair shop. Replacing this component can be done by an amateur. All that you need to do is to follow this simple step-by-step guide.



Gather Your Tools

The first thing that you will need to do is to gather all of the tools needed to perform this repair. You will not need many items. For this replacement, you will need the new actuator, a torque wrench, socket set, and a set of screwdrivers.


Disconnect Battery

This repair requires some work in the car’s electrical system. The first step of the repair is to disconnect the battery. The easiest way to do this is to remove the negative battery cable. This is the black end. The red end is the positive connection.


Disconnect Actuator Cable

The next step is to remove the actuator cable from the accelerator cable harness. This is the electrical connection that comes off the cruise control actuator. It will be held in place by a screw. Simply unscrew and remove it.


Disconnect Vacuum Hoses

The actuator will also be connected to two vacuum hoses. You will need to disconnect both of these connections on the actuator side. They will likely be held in place with a clamp. Loosen the clamp. You should then be able to pop the cables off.


Remove Servo Assembly

The servo is the component that houses the actuator. The servo actuator will be mounted to a bracket with either bolts or screws. Loosen these and remove them. The servo can then be removed. It will still be connected to the cable harness. Once you have removed the servo, you should be able to disconnect the cable harness.


Remove Actuator

The servo will have a plate holding the actuator in place. You need to remove this plate by removing any screws holding it in place. Then you will be able to remove the actuator from the servo assembly.


Re-install Actuator

Take the new actuator and re-install it in the servo assembly. After it is placed in its mount, you will need to refasten the metal plate to hold it in place. Then reconnect the servo to the cable harness.


Install Servo Assembly

You are now ready to mount the servo assembly. Place it back in its bracket and tighten the bolts to hold it in place. Then, reconnect the two vacuum hoses. You will need to make sure the clamp is tight to prevent any pressure from escaping.


Reconnect Actuator Cable

The actuator cable can be a little difficult to reconnect. You will want to connect it just like it was before you started. Make sure that it is away from any moving components in the car. It should be connected both to the servo assembly and the accelerator cable assembly.


Reconnect Electrical System

The last step is to reconnect the battery cable. This should provide power to the car. You can also take your vehicle for a test drive to ensure that the cruise control works. First test the accelerator and brakes to make sure they are still functional. Then you can road test the vehicle to ensure the cruise control engages correctly.

You can follow this procedure to replace the cruise control actuator. The actuator failing is the most common reason that your cruise control will not engage. The replacement procedure is fairly easy, as you only need to follow this list of steps. The entire repair should take around half an hour to complete.