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Old 01-11-2013, 11:37 PM   #1
EveDallas
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Question Crusie Control in 2004 ZTS - won't work when headlights are on

Hey all - I'm new to the forums, but hope someone can help me with an issue with my 2004 ZTS sedan. I've done a search of topics on the forums and wasn't able to find this specific issue, so I hope someone can help.

About a week ago, I noticed that my cruise control will not work (engage) when the headlights are on. I believe this is a fairly recent occurrence, as I use my CC quite often and just noticed it. If I turn my headlights off (switch to OFF), the cruise control works without an issue.

I'm a bit of a novice with car repair, but can change the oil, headlamps, fuses, etc.

Thoughts?!?


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Old 01-11-2013, 11:55 PM   #2
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I should also clarify that "will not work" means the indicator light does not come on and the speed will not set. It's not a bad light, as it illuminates when starting the vehicle.

I'm hoping this is an easy and/or inexpensive fix, as I am currently unemployed and funds are a premium.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:38 AM   #3
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Just a wild arse possibility, not saying it is likely:

If the taillights are back feeding voltage through the brakelight circuit to the brake pedal switch, the cruise control will turn itself off thinking you are on the brakes.

I have had the opposite, brake lights feeding back into the taillamp circuit (different car) and when I hit the brakes, the dash lights would turn on.

Lightbulb had a solder blob that was making contact on both pins and connecting the brake lights and the taillights.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:54 AM   #4
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The above poster is onto something

If you have a wagon or a hatchback... the wire umbilical going through the rear hatch very possible have cracked wires inside

Come back and verify if this is the case or not
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
EveDallas
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When I turn on the headlights, my brake lights do indeed come on. Is there a way for me to fix this, or should I just take it to a shop since it seems to be an electrical repair?
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:31 PM   #6
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I would suggest removing brake light bulbs and inspecting. You may have a burned out bulb, sort of. the fillament may have broke off brake light but fell and arced itself on the tail light fillament and that could be causing the current back feed. Bulbs are cheap. I'd just check bulbs before you just start replacing them.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:30 PM   #7
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Please verify whether you have a wagon [5 door]or a hatchback [3 door]or a sedan [4 door]
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:23 PM   #8
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My CC stopped working on me one time, and at the same time the brake lights were stuck on when I shifted it into every gear. Only turned off when I shifted it back into park.

To see if this is your issue start your car, shift it into drive, and put the E-brake on. Look around, and see if your brake lights are stuck on. I don't mean the tail lights, but the actual brake lights.

All I did to fix this was replace my third brake light bulbs. They were all blown. If this isn't your case then you have a short some where in your wiring system. The older focuses are known where the wires crack, and the open copper shorts things out.

Hope you can fix this man. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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With the brake lights coming on with the headlights, the "backfeed" issue mentioned seems to be your problem.

Elsolo's simpler issue to check (light bulb contacts) would be first to check, followed by mikeeshaq's comment on the common issue of wiring problems in the hatch/trunk umbilical.

(more issues seen on here with that umbilical, but the bulbs & sockets are prob. easier to check)

ALL the responses you got are good ones, it's just a case of seeing which issue caused YOUR problem now. As far as needing a shop to check it, it depends on whether you have any experience/comfort level/tools avail. to check for electrical issues. Visual inspection can find some of these problems, for example once you peel back the boot covering the wires to the trunk/hatch wiring that's damaged from flexing over time is fairly obvious & if the wires are intact just using electrical tape to repair the insulation MAY be all that's needed for a repair that'll hold for a while!

Luck!
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the tips; will give them a whirl tomorrow and update on the progress.

If it's pertinent, my ZTS is the sedan with the standard decklid.
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