The Difference Between Engine and Exhaust Brakes

The brakes are one of the most important parts of a vehicle, as they play the important role of slowing it down. However, not all braking systems are created equally. Many vehicles, specifically trucks, rely on either engine or exhaust brakes on top of their regular brakes. We’d like to explain to Bloomington, MN drivers how each do their job and how we perform the brake repair.

What Is Engine Braking?

Engine braking is unlike traditional braking in that it uses the engine to stop the vehicle rather than brake pads. This type of braking relies on a series of mechanisms within the engine, and it works differently for gasoline and diesel vehicles.

  • Gasoline vehicles: The braking occurs when you’re in gear and take your foot off the accelerator. That’s because the throttle valve (which is in control of airflow into the engine) closes, leading to a decrease of air and creating a vacuum. This vacuum slows down the vehicle because it makes it harder for the engine cylinders to work, creating the force that slows the truck.
  • Diesel vehicles: Diesel engines don’t typically have throttle valves like gasoline engines do. Therefore, the manufacturer will add a throttle valve to the exhaust side. When the pistons force exhaust out, the throttle will close and create pressure, which resists the engine and slows the truck.

What Is Exhaust Braking?

Exhaust braking, like engine braking, is all in the name. With this braking process, the exhaust path for the truck is closed. Because there is nowhere for the exhaust to go, it is compressed, creating force on the engine’s pistons that slows the truck. This is due to the back-pressure (the reversed movement of the exhaust gases back toward the engine). It’s so effective that drivers don’t even need to put their foot on the brake to slow down much of the time.

Brake Repair in Bloomington, MN

Kennedy Transmission specializes in more than transmissions; our technicians also provide quality brake repair services. We can inspect your vehicle for braking malfunctions, perform a complete diagnostic and repair the problem quickly and efficiently. We provide many different automotive services in Bloomington, MN, and the surrounding areas. Give us a call or visit one of our convenient locations. Whether you need your brakes replaced or your fluids changed, our experts provide the best in total car care. If you are interested in reading more about our services and repairs, click here!

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