The concept of “Engine brake” is interesting whether in a car with a manual or automatic gearbox. If you’re trying to slow down your car and have a lot of space and time to work (meaning you don’t have to stop right away), slowing down with this method is an intelligent way to brake.
However, you cannot go too far with this technique because, as a rule, the “motor brake” helps to use the brakes less but never replaces them. This is not necessarily bad for your engine or gearbox, but it can be if you do it wrong. You need to weigh the benefits of motorcycle braking against several other factors and know how it works and in what situations.
What is the “motor brake”?
This is when the phenomenon we call ‘motor braking’ occurs. Most people confuse this term with other brakes, but it has a different mechanism than other braking systems.
Most of the engine starts when the accelerator pedal closes the throttle. This valve is the engine’s air intake source and works by using another butterfly valve to create a vacuum and spin the pistons in the engine. As a result, the engine slows down and eventually the wheels. Therefore, the “motor brake” will play a key role when descending a slope if you want to slow down.
How does the “engine brake” work in an automatic car?
In this case, it depends on the vending machine, that is. Until recently, the shift selectors had different numerical positions outside the notches “P,” “R,” “N” Yes “D.” We talk about the options “a,” “two,” “3” and in some cases, “4”. In those vehicles that are hybrid or electric, along with the four real estates, the function is integrated “B.”
When driving downhill, you can use the gear lever to shift the automatic transmission ratios into a lower gear. Typically, when moving to one of the numbered gears (that is, from “D” to “3”, for example), the vehicle stays in a higher gear without upshifting. This will rev the engine and slow the car down if you go down a hill or avoid applying excessive braking to the brakes.
It’s OK to do this to the engine and transmission, but if you’ve never done it before, you probably thought you couldn’t be suitable for the car. If you use the brakes downhill with a lot of momentum like most drivers do, chances are the brakes will overheat. This causes them to lose their influential power and may cause the brakes to “vibrate” or “squeak.” In extreme conditions, the braking system can even fail.
Suppose you are in front of a hybrid or electric car, position “B” in the gear lever. It is responsible for performing the “motor break” function, which is programmable in different retention modes to act as an energy recuperator. Remember that the energy lost in the form of heat when braking is always wasted, but thanks to regenerative braking systems, this source of friction serves to recharge the car battery.
By cons, downshifting an automatic transmission while going downhill may not be the best habit to do it routinely. Most transmissions are not programmed to shift manually constantly. Unless you have that way of selecting a gear or paddles (or something like that), manually controlling gear selection is a formula for an overheated transmission. If you have an automatic, use the “motor brake,” but don’t abuse him.
What are the benefits of “engine braking”?
You may be wondering, “Is ‘engine braking’ bad for my engine?” Although the process generates some heat, it is less of a problem because it has hardly any adverse effects on the vehicle if you use it in moderation. If the downshift is successful, the transmission should remain OK. There are several advantages to “engine braking,” including:
- Lower associated maintenance costs: Reducing the use of our foot on the brake pedal reduces wear and tear on the braking system components, extending the life of those components.
- Safer driving downhill: Prevents excessive friction that can cause the brakes to fatigue and fail, preventing the driver from stopping the car safely.
- Improved fuel efficiency: Since the car’s ECU cuts off the fuel supply to the injectors from the cylinders used during compression braking, this process aids the engine’s fuel economy.