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Debunking the Myth That Engine Braking Is Bad for Your Car

There’s a common misconception throughout the car world that engine braking to slow your car down is bad for the drivetrain. Well, that’s just not the case. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite.

In this latest video from Engineering Explained, Jason Fenske walks us through how exactly engine braking works. Basically, when you’re in gear and let off the throttle, the throttle valve closes, creating a vacuum with engine trying to pull in air. This causes the engine to slow down the driven wheels without having to use the actual brakes. It doesn’t create any additional wear on the engine or transmission, nor does it waste any fuel.

There are actually benefits to using engine braking over the traditional braking system in certain scenarios as well. When going down a steep hill, it’s better to leave your car in a low gear and let the engine do the slowing so as not to overheat your brakes, for example.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to engine braking. Let Fenske explain it all right here.

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