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Is It Bad For Your Car To Engine Brake With A Manual Transmission?

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Is it bad for your car to engine brake? Engine braking is when you use the engine to slow your car down, rather than the mechanical brakes. This utilizes the engine’s cooling system to displace the heat that results from slowing the vehicle down.

source/image: Engineering Explained

There are benefits to engine braking, such as better fuel economy, and saving the life of your brake pads. In a car with a manual gearbox, you can use that stick to your advantage in more ways than the simple act of shifting gears.

If you want to slow down, instead of relying on just the brakes, you can pop your gear lever into a lower gear and use resistance from the engine to slow you down. This is called engine braking, and some might think it’s harmful to your vehicle.

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Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained is here to tell you why that’s not true.Letting off of the gas and using the engine to slow the car down is a fine practice. You’re closing off the throttle and thus restricting the amount of air your engine is taking in. This creates a vacuum, and that vacuum is what causes the engine to slow down the car as it tries to pull in air. Using engine braking will save you some gas, as well as some minor wear on your brakes.