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Discussion Starter #1
On the weekend I was towing a snowmobile trailer (approx 1500 lbs) with my 2010 3.5 litre AWD. Without cruise on - the vehicle would cruise nicely at 110 kph at 1900 RPM. If I turned on cruise, the vehicle would drop to 5th gear and be at 2500 RPM. This was flat road. Bacically I drove without cruise for 3 hours. Any idea why cruise control was having such an issue maintaining speed?
 

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Could be high winds or cold weather both affect the engine to work much harder as well as cruise control makes your engine work harder to maintain constant speed. Am sure under 1500lb. load is normal condition even on a fairly level road. Try not using cruise control on the level road and see if you can maintain speed with your foot NO cruise and if so, wouldn't worry about it. Sometime cruise control can be very touchy and my RAV4 was horrible would floor the engine same 3.5L V6 AWD on cruise even on a slight hill is all. I hated cruise control on that RAV4 complained constantly it was faulty to dealers and they ignored me stating is working normally.
 

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Try not using cruise control on the level road and see if you can maintain speed with your foot NO cruise
Well he did say in his post "Without cruise on - the vehicle would cruise nicely at 110 kph at 1900 RPM." so I think he's already shown that the engine could have handled the load just fine in a higher gear.

It seems likely that the engine controller behaves at least a little more aggressively when cruise control is engaged, because it needs the extra reserve of power to provide a smooth adherence to the target speed, but I'm a little surprised that it would force the lower gear even when the engine was capable of maintaining speed just fine at a higher gear. 1900rpm isn't exactly the ragged edge for 6th gear in this car.

-A
 

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If cold out, the engine will rev higher/downshift even on cruise control. I bet if not winter out the cruise would probably work fine pulling 1500lbs. on level surface. I know with these cold temps in winter, even my 381hp 5.7L V8 tundra likes to downshift more so with cruise much earlier than when in warmer temps say above 50-60 degrees even on fairly level surfaces where it would never downshift in warmer temps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That actually makes sense. I did not have the same issues with cruise pulling the same trailer in the summer.

And yes I did pull the trailer without cruise at a nice 1900 rpm. It was long trip so using cruise would have been nice. Its was about - 21C.
 

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That actually makes sense. I did not have the same issues with cruise pulling the same trailer in the summer.

And yes I did pull the trailer without cruise at a nice 1900 rpm. It was long trip so using cruise would have been nice. Its was about - 21C.
And what would have been the issue with driving with the cruise on at 2500rpm?

Nothing I'd bet. Unless the transmission start to flip back and forth between 5th and 6th. If it stays in 5th, so be it. Faster RPM doesn't necessary translate to more fuel consumption. Your engine could spin at 2500rpm easily or at 1900rpm with more difficulty. In this scenario, the slower RPM could result in higher consumption.

Just a thought.
 
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