What Is Honda Cruise Main?

This setting means the cruise-control system is ready to go.

A blue 2014 Honda Civic driving on a highwayHonda


Cruise control — not to be confused by the more advanced adaptive cruise control automated driver-assistance system — is a popular standard convenience found in many of today's automobiles. There are numerous ways to activate and use cruise control on modern cars, trucks, and SUVs, and not all systems operate in the same way. This can lead to confusion when getting behind the wheel of an unfamiliar brand. Here's what you need to know about the Cruise Main light on the dash of a Honda.

Cruise Main Means All Systems Are Go for Cruise Control

Some cruise-control systems activate as soon as you hit the on button, setting the vehicle's current speed as the baseline and allowing you to adjust it up or down from that point.

Other systems, like Honda's, operate differently. Turning the cruise-control system on — generally via a button on the steering wheel — causes the Cruise Main message to display on the dashboard. This doesn't mean that you can now take your foot off the accelerator pedal. It means the system has been activated and is ready to have its speed set.

Once Cruise Main Is Activated, You Still Need to Set Your Speed

On some models, setting your speed after activating Cruise Main might only be possible above 25 mph. On vehicles with adaptive cruise control that feature stop-and-go capability and low-speed following, you may be able to engage speed control when traveling more slowly.

Either way, the process of setting the cruise-control speed is accomplished by pushing the Set button on the steering wheel once you have the vehicle traveling at your desired pace. At this point, the gauge cluster should display Cruise Control in addition to Cruise Main to let you know the system is maintaining your rate of travel.

You can increase your speed using the RES/+ or RES/ACCEL button as well as resume (RES) the programmed speed after the cruise control system has been interrupted, such as when you tap the brakes.

Canceling Cruise Control Doesn't Cancel Cruise Main

If you do happen to tap the brakes while using cruise control or hit the Cancel button on the steering wheel, you will see the Cruise Control light on the dash disappear, but the Cruise Main display will remain visible.

This is because the system remains active even if there's no set speed or the previous set speed has been canceled. If you wish to deactivate the Cruise Main light, turn the system off by using the same button that activated it.

This means you won't have to push the cruise-control master button to resume the set speed, or to set a new one. You can instead use RES/+ or RES/ACCEL to accomplish both tasks. If you want to completely disable cruise control, you will have to toggle off the master Cruise button manually.

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Benjamin Hunting
Benjamin Hunting is a writer and podcast host who contributes to a number of newspapers, automotive magazines, and online publications. More than a decade into his career, he enjoys keeping the shiny side up during track days and always has one too many classic vehicle projects partially disassembled in his garage at any given time. Remember, if it's not leaking, it's probably empty.