Hey friends -
I got the letter but really don't want to do without cruise until the
harness comes in. If I got the story right, the switch under the hood leaks
brake fluid, eating the plastic and letting wires touch and burn.
If there is no fluid leaking from the switch, what is the likelihood of an
I see there have been about 75 fires and a bazillion units recalled so the
chances are slim anyway.
I plan to call the dealer and ask about the harness just to nudge them but I
drive highway every day. Just fishing for ideas and thoughts.
'95 Crown Vic
The fluid leaks internally, from the fluid side to the electrical contacts side,
corroding the contacts INSIDE the switch, causing excess heat.
The switch leaks internally.
Without X-ray vision, you won't know until it's too late.
I've been "driving highway every day" for the last 12 years. Never had cruise.
You've been warned by Ford of a known defect that has destroyed dozens of
vehicles, several homes, and apparently killed two people.
Just unplug the damn thing and put your foot on the gas pedal.
Not to worry.
Considering the number of vehicles involved and the percentage that have
actually developed a problem, one is far more like to be struck by lighting
than have a fire in their vehicle. Generally the fuse blows long before a
fire will start. Beside if you vehicle did actually get destroyed by fire,
as a result of the recall, Ford will give you one hell of a good deal on a
brand new vehicle. ;)
From the record, "Ford found that brake fluid could leak through the cruise
deactivation switch into the cruise system's electrical components and cause
corrosion. Corrosion can cause a short that will blow the fuse and keep the
cruise control from working, but in some cases it can lead to verheating and
cause a fire at the switch."
Fixing the Problem
"To repair trucks, Ford will install a jumper harness between the cruise
control deactivation switch and the cruise mechanism. The harness will act
as a circuit breaker that will open if there is a higher flow of current
does occur that will turn off the current at the switch, if the switch
That would be expensive! Better just to add another, smaller,
All my previous vehicles with cruise didn't have the brake line switch. The
brake light circuit deactivated the cruise. If that failed, the switch on
the wheel marked OFF would kill it. Lastly, turning off the key would do
it. I think I'll just bypass it for now.
Thanks to everyone -
Unless things have changed, Ford is replacing the switch with one of a
different design and adding a fused jumper. The problem is that they
can't get enough of them, fast enough to cover all of the vehicles.
Older cars used a vacuum dump valve at the brake pedal along with the
brake lamp switch to deactivate the cruise. (redundant deactivation
devices) Many CC controllers are not vacuum operated these days so a
different way was needed to have the redundancy.
You could actually jumper out the connector on the switch and never
see a difference in the operation of the cruise. This would cause a
very dangerous situation if the brake switch ever failed though.
You are correct, most owners have no idea that the brake horse power is
always greater than the engine HP. That is why those old unintended
acceleration stories were BS.
One can easily prove it to themself by placing their foot on the brake and
putting the throttle to the floor. The tranny in it lowest gear, with the
greatest amount of torque, still can not overcome the BHP.
Makes sense since the brake contact surfaces are cooled by air rather then
being fully enclosed like drum brakes are. I had a '69 Dart that had drum
all the way around & it never had a difficult time stopping. Had a big problem
with vapor lock in the fuel system (but that's another story).
PLEASE don't do that Paul! That wasn't a suggestion. Some Ford
products have problems with the wire breaking at the brake switch
connector. If that happens while you have it jumpered, you could get
into a terrible accident. I only mentioned that for clarity.
Jeff, the brakes will not stop the car from 60 mph while the CC has
the throttle at WOT trying to get it back to to 60.
Yeah, they will, although not as fast as they would if the throttle were
closed. However, one is able to shut off the cruise control by pressing
the clutch or the off switch, too, in this situation.
On Thu, 06 Mar 2008 01:48:58 GMT, "Paul of Dayton"
There are number of things you could do until they get the part.
Put heat shrink tubing around the wires so they cant touch, or even
Apply a blob of silicone caulk between the wires do they can not touch
Cut one of the wires and a small fuse inline, probably a 5 amp or so.
The last one might cause warranty problems ?????
The others shouldn't.
The caulk is probably the easiest to do.
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