How to use the engine brake?

engine brake

Indeed, it will manifest itself when you release the accelerator pedal while driving. It is an automatic deceleration process that feels like braking and slows your car down without using the brakes. Find out how to use the engine brake on a car gearbox !

What is the role of engine braking

The role of engine braking lies in the feeling of deceleration that occurs when you stop pressing the accelerator pedal . It’s a kind of engine anticipation of braking because when you stop accelerating, potential braking is going to happen.

This mechanical phenomenon therefore makes it possible to avoid excessive stress on the equipment linked to braking, such as the brake discs and the brake pads. . This therefore also makes it possible to limit their wear and extend their life.

In addition, the engine brake manifests itself in all the gears of your gearbox , from first to sixth.

It will be more marked in the first three gears while in the last three it is less noticeable because the speed is more significant. In practice, if you are driving at a speed of 100km/h and you stop pressing the accelerator, your vehicle will not continue its journey at 100km/h and will start to slow down.

As soon as you put yourself in neutral or press the clutch pedal , the engine brake no longer comes into play because the gearbox is uncoupled. Ultimately, the engine brake is a real driving aid and is very effective during the braking and downshifting phases.

The engine brake and the foot brake are not opposed and are, on the contrary, complementary for a driver. The most important thing during the braking phases is to know how to dose it. Indeed, it is preferable to avoid sudden braking, both for your brakes and for the entire vehicle.

Always start by taking your foot off the accelerator so that the phenomenon of engine braking sets in. Then you can begin to apply gentle, steady pressure on the brake pedal . The key to successful braking is anticipation, favor gradual braking.

However, if you are in a situation where you have to perform emergency braking, you will not be able to adopt this attitude. It will be necessary to press the brake pedal with great force to slow down and immobilize the vehicle as quickly as possible and avoid a possible collision.

On cars with automatic transmissions, there is no gearbox allowing you to downshift. However, the use of the engine brake can be done and especially when driving on mountain roads subject to more or less steep slopes .

Using the controls : they can be placed on the steering wheel , on the gear lever or at the level of the commodo . They are usually easily identifiable with a ‘+’ and ‘-‘ symbol. They are present on the sequential boxes.

Using report blocking : with the gear lever, you can choose the gear you want to be in. Generally, you are in the ‘D’ (Drive) position but you will need to position yourself in ‘3’, ‘2’, or ‘L’ (Low) when you are on a steep descent.

The engine brake can be used every day on the go

It will help preserve your brake discs and pads from premature wear. Indeed, as your car simply moves forward with its own momentum, it will begin to slow down on its own. .

In certain situations, the engine brake is essential to ensure that your vehicle slows down in complete safety. So when you’re on downhill roads with a steep incline, engine braking is essential to prevent the kinetic energy from picking up speed .

Used in addition to intermittent braking on the brake pedal , together they allow the vehicle to be slowed down without causing the brakes to overheat. If the brakes produce too much heat, the phenomenon of ‘icing’ can occur.

This means that your brakes are running out of cool and are deteriorating primarily in the brake linings . The brake pads can be vitrified by this event and their change will be compulsory.

Although it is very practical, the engine brake must be used with caution so as not to reduce its effectiveness. Thus, the precautions to be taken before using the engine brake are as follows:

The phenomenon of engine braking occurs on all existing vehicles, whether this one has a manual or automatic transmission. Essential for the longevity of your braking system , it is particularly used on steeply sloping roads. If you have the slightest doubt about the health of any of your braking equipment, don’t hesitate to compare garages near you to have your car inspected!

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