What is Engine Braking: Should You Do It?
A lot of you who have cars are probably guilty of one thing – not knowing enough technical stuff. Oftentimes, we are confused when we hear a word that seems foreign to us. It pays to be always well-informed. This will be an opportunity to you to understand how cars work, and more importantly, the factors that affect their performance.
One thing that you should know about is engine braking. If you want to learn about what is engine braking, keep on reading the rest of this post and we’ll let you know. You probably have done it several times already, but you are just unaware of what exactly is it called. How does it happen? Are their benefits? Keep on reading and learn from the valuable insights we will be sharing.
What is Engine Braking?
To be technical, engine braking refers to “using the retarding forces inside an engine to slow down the movement of the rotor, and consequently, of the car.” To put it simply, engine braking happens when you lift your foot from the accelerator. In turn, the moving parts in the engine experience friction and compression resulting to slowing down. Essentially, this will be helpful in slowing the pace of the engine. It has the intention of preventing the vehicle from going down swiftly or for the car to pick up speed.
Types of Engine Braking
To have a better understanding of what is engine braking, it is also important to note that there are different types:
- Petrol Engine Braking: This happens to a petrol engine once you let go of the throttle. Upon its release, the butterfly valves will open upon the intake of the engine. This will allow air penetration and lead to combustion.
- Diesel Engine Braking: The biggest difference with a diesel engine is that it does not have a throttle valve. With this, it is the exhaust valve that will close. Also, jake brake usually happens in a diesel engine. This uses a rocker arm to open the exhaust valve.
Benefits of Engine Braking
Why is it that some people engine brake? Here are some of the reasons why this is a common practice for other motorists:
- Improve Safety: This is perhaps one of the most significant benefits of engine braking. Provided that you do it correctly, it is one thing that will help in the promotion of safer driving. This is especially true if you will be driving on a downhill slope. Through engine braking, you will be in better control.·
- Durable Components: Engine braking can also be instrumental in prolonging the functional life of the different components of the car, especially the brake pads and discs. This is basically because of lesser friction that will be experienced by these parts. Your tires can also be spared from damage.
The Downside of Engine Braking
Despite the benefits that have been mentioned above, however, it should be noted that there are also disadvantages. In some areas, this is illegal. The main reason for the latter is because it produces a loud noise, which can be disruptive for a lot of people. According to some studies, the sound that is created by engine braking has the same decibel as a large lawn mower. You have to pay attention to the signs along the way and do not do it if it says it is prohibited. More often than not, this is the case if the road is near a residential area.
Now that you are done reading this post, we hope that you have learned a thing or two on what is engine braking. Should you do it? Well, it depends on the area where you live. The first thing that you have to do is to check with the existing laws in your area. Make sure that it is not illegal to do so. If you are sure that you won’t be going against the law, there is no reason why you should not try engine braking. It provides you with better control of the vehicle, which is vital for your safety. To add, it also prolongs the lifespan of the tires and brakes, among other components of your car.