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Discussion Starter #1
2008 Element SC, automatic transmission, 41000 miles.

While in cruise mode at 45mph I had to stop quickly for a light (as I don't want to run lights). With my foot firmly on the brake, the car did not slow down and started bucking. I shifted from drive to neutral, the engine wound up to the red line and back to idle. With no motive power, I was able to stop. This has happened once before when I had to make a quick stop in cruise mode. I could not recreate the error afterwards.

Was I too fast for the cruise disconnect switch on the brake pedal? I suspect that the engine room did not receive instructions from the bridge to disengage. Is this a problem or a once-in-a-blue-moon gremlin?
 

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I did that once and saw afterwords that the edge of my big foot was on the gas at the same time I was pushing the brake. The stupid squishy brake pedal goes down far enough on hard stops to press the gas pedal to the floor.
 

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It does sound like a foot touching the gas pedal. To test the cruse, with it on just touch the brake and see if it quickly disingages. The other thing is if it happens again lift your foot off the brake and reapply to make sure you are not hitting the gas. If you are still under warranty take it by the dealor and tell them what has been happening so it is logged that you might be having a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Runaway Element - Epilogue

Thanks for the evaluation, folks. The foot-on-the-throttle theory does have merit. I shall endeavour to be more carefuller next time. I do, however, have big feet.
 

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Make sure your brake lights are working. A misadjusted or faulty brake light switch will prevent the cruise from disengaging when you touch the brake.
Misadjusted will not cause this - there are two circuits involved to provide redundancy for cruise control disengage. One circuit is high and the other low when the brake pedal is not being applied, the voltage states flip when the brake pedal is being pressed - the high goes low and the low goes high. A misadjusted switch would cause the brake lamps to be illuminated all the time and the cruise control would not operate at all, or the brakes would be in a constant state of light application because the switch is preventing full pedal return and the brakes would over-heat and start to lock-up in a short period of driving.

A brake switch that is stuck could cause this concern. A stuck brake switch, on an automatic transmission equipped vehicle, will often manifest itself with a concern that the transmission cannot be shifted out of park.
 

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When I first bought my E I found the brake pedal was too close to the gas for my big foot so I grabbed the brake pedal and bent it a bit away from the gas pedal and have been happy every since. Open the door, reach in and just pull.
 

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I have to be very careful when I drive either my E or my Forester if I have boots or Dr. Martens shoes on my 14E feet. Really easy to hit both the gas and brake at the same time.
 

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When I first bought my E I found the brake pedal was too close to the gas for my big foot so I grabbed the brake pedal and bent it a bit away from the gas pedal and have been happy every since. Open the door, reach in and just pull.
I used to work building the HumVees and that's how you take the brake pedal clear out.

They're fixed now.
 

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I noticed the closeness of the two pedals myself. I'd be great for heel and toeing, but I don't see taking my E around the track at speed any time soon with a manual trans.
 

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Well I gotta ask: Using Cruise control in traffic and/or driving through an area with stoplights might be considered a bit risky wouldn't it?

Not that I have not used cruise in moving moderate traffic...but where traffic lights are present? I don't know...
 

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Why would it be risky? As long as it disengages when you touch the brakes, all should be good.

Now, judgment is needed... I wouldn't use CC in stop and go traffic, but later at night, some roads around here become speed traps as it's much easier to end up going 50+ in a 40, so I use CC to keep from getting a ticket.
 
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