: Cruse Control Scare

12-12-2008, 10:19 AM
I took my 95 540i for a little road trip yesterday and when I engaged the cruise control (for the first time) I noticed a gradual increase in speed so I bumped the lever to slow down a bit but nothing happened. Since I was approaching 90 mph I attempted to turn it off but it wouldn't. Hum, what to do? I could apply the brakes to slow down and I had an hours worth of I-20 left so I called my local dealer, (BMW of Columbia SC) and was more than a little pissed to find out that they were closed for lunch!
I stood on the brakes and pulled over on to the shoulder, slipped it into neutral and turned the key off before the tack hit the red line. Man I tried everything, Disconnected the battery, pulled the cruise breaker out thinking it would reset but it wouldn't.
I put everything back together and started the car, slammed it into drive and took off like a mad man. I grabbed the cruise lever and pulled outward and back sharply in hopes what ever wasn't working in their would connect. After jerking that damned thing out, back, and forward for a good 5 minutes it finally cut off. I'm more than a little surprised the lever stayed attached.
Any ideas how hard it's going to be to replace that switch in the column?

12-12-2008, 10:58 AM

Tried my own link and no go. the recall # is 97V131000
This was specifically for '94 models but I'll bet yours is same.
Something about the throttle linkage coming apart and binding.
In the meantime have a look at the linkage where it attatches to the throttle body.
Another thing that sometimes happens is when a ground strap fails the electricity uses the throttle cable as a ground. Since the cable cannot support the current needed it burns and sticks.
Hopefully yours is just a clip on the cable fallen off.

bimmer dot info
12-12-2008, 11:03 AM
Sounds like you have other problems. Stepping on the brakes should shut off the cc. Have you checked the throtle body and actuator? When you pulled the relay it should have stopped.

Replacing the switch is not that bad.
You will need to remove the covers
To get those off you will need to remove some of the dash trim.

Ross's post reminded me. There was a recall about some clips on the throtle cables. Check with the dealer to see if it was done.

12-12-2008, 02:50 PM
I had the same problem on the higway. I removed the engine cover and disconnected the cable from the throttle housing allowing the engine to return to normal idle. I foud that cruise control acuator had siezed when I actuated the cruise control at 60mph. Best solution is to replace with a used one. The seized actuator can not be repaired, but make sure you keep the original cable. Make sure to ask for the cable that goes with the used actuator and if your lucky you'll get the right length-if not use the original. Best way to access the actuator is to remove the driver side headlight assembly.

Good luck,


12-15-2008, 03:49 PM
Thanks guys! I'll get on it as soon as this cold a$$ rain stops. I'll let you know what I find.