Do you ever use engine braking when driving? Many people are unfamiliar with this term and rarely do people ever use engine braking while driving. Engine braking can help get more miles out of your car and increase the vehicle’s overall longevity. As engine braking is unfamiliar to some, Citywide Towing Service would like to explain what engine braking is and when it has its uses.
What is Engine Braking & How Does it Work?
Both gas and diesel powered engines require a fuel source to expectorate the engine or the vehicle’s speed. Both fuel types essentially can utilize engine braking to slow down the vehicle. A gas powered engine will achieve engine braking slightly differently than a diesel-powered engine will. A gasoline-powered engine achieves engine braking by restricting the airflow by closing the throttle valve. The throttle valve closes once pressure is released from the gas pedal. When the throttle closes, it creates a vacuum effect in the pistons which naturally slows down the engine and or drops power. A diesel-powered engine does not have a throttle valve. Instead, a diesel engine has an exhaust brake which is similar to a throttle valve. As the driver presses down on the gas pedal, the exhaust brake opens and closes. When closed, the air cannot get out which creates a pressure in the pistons. In turn, this decreases the speed of the vehicle.
How to Do Engine Braking
Achieving an engine braking will be done differently in an automatic versus a manual. However, the concept is the same in both types of vehicle. You will essentially need to down shift to slow down the vehicle. In an automatic, you will need to simply remove your foot from the accelerator or gas pedal. In a manual, you will need to down shift. However, you will no longer apply gas to the engine. Manual engines have more of a controlled engine braking and can decrease speeds more rapidly. Engine braking is a fancy term for coasting to a stop.
Is Engine Breaking Good or Bad?
So the big question for many drivers is why should I engine brake? The reason most drivers do not utilize engine braking is because it will require more distance between other vehicles and you will need to begin slowing down sooner than when using your brake. However, engine braking has many benefits and more drivers should use engine braking. Engine braking first helps conserve fuel. You are using less fuel as you engine brake because you stop using the gas pedal and naturally slow down to a stop. Not only will you conserve fuel, your brake pads will also last much longer. By using engine braking you are using your brakes less as well which takes off the stress of speeding around and mashing down on your brakes. Of course at some point you will need to use your brakes but you can greatly extend the life of your vehicle’s brakes. For better fuel economy and extending the life of your brakes, consider using engine stopping more often.