What is engine braking?

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If you hear the word “engine braking” in a conversation, have you ever tried to pretend like you know what it means? There is even a funny story about a driver who said “Please give an engine brake” at the mechanic.


What is engine braking?

Engine braking is braking that utilizes the resistance of engine rotation. When the accelerator is depressed, the engine rotation speed rises to generate the power of the car. But when the accelerator is returned, the engine rotation drops, and the braking force work.

When the accelerator is not depressed, the engine speed is lower than the rotating tires, so it exerts an effect. This is the mechanism of the engine brakes.

Effective use of engine brakes

The following are scenarios in which it is helpful to use it and the benefits that can be gained by doing so.

  1. Travel safely on downhill slopes.
  2. To improve fuel economy.
  3. Make the brake pad & rotor last longer.

How to use engine braking

Most modern cars have automatic transmissions, but manual transmission cars also exist.

How to engine brake in an automatic car

If you take your foot off the accelerator while in the D range, engine braking hardly takes place and the car will continue to move with inertia.

What is engine braking?

When applying engine brakes with automatic transmission, you should drop it from the D range to the second range or the low range.

Modern automatic transmission cars also have models equipped with manual mode. In that case, operate as a manual transmission car and utilize the engine brake.

How to engine brake in a manual car

What is engine braking?

In the case of manual transmission vehicles, it will be effective by lowering the speed one gear more than the current gear, such as 3rd gear if running in 4th gear, or 2nd gear if running in 3rd gear.

If the engine speed goes low and the engine brakes become ineffective, you should drop another gear.

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