Exhaust brake system

About Exhaust Brake Systems
Diesel engines, because of the way they operate, do not create vacuum pressure once the throttle is released in order to aid in slowing the vehicle down. For this reason, manufacturers have implemented the use of an exhaust brake, which saves wear and tear on the actual brakes, and makes towing heavy loads a bit safer.
The function of an exhaust brake is to aid in slowing down vehicles with diesel engines without the use of the wheel brakes. Some of these brakes work automatically whenever the driver takes his foot off the accelerator, and some are manually controlled via a switch, or both. Different settings allow the driver to control how the brake is applied.
Exhaust brakes feature a "doorway" which closes when the vehicle is rolling and the accelerator is not being used. When in the closed position, these brakes drastically restrict the flow of exhaust gasses, thus increasing the back pressure inside the engine, which ultimately slows the vehicle down. Most also feature a switch or other control inside the cab, which can be set to either activate the second the driver is off the accelerator pedal, or be activated manually in downhill towing situations only.
The biggest benefit of the exhaust brake is that they add slowing power to the regular brakes, preventing them from heating up and glazing, which dramatically decreases their effectiveness. When towing heavy loads, these brakes can save lives. These brakes do not damage the engines, and therefore they can be used over and over safely.
If you have a pickup truck that regularly sees heavy payload duty or fifth-wheel trailer action, an exhaust brake can greatly help with stopping power. Tractor-trailer trucks have used similar braking systems for years, and now it is being offered to the general public by companies such as Jacobs and Banks.
While an exhaust brake can significantly increase slowing and stopping duties, it is by no means a primary braking system. Also, check local ordinances regarding these brakes, because some can create substantial noise and may be illegal. An exhaust brake is not the same as the Jake Brakes used on semi-trucks, but is similar in idea. Some exhaust brakes may lack power at lower RPMs as well, and are mostly used in full-speed applications.


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