Exhaust Brakes: What Benefits Do They Bring And How Do They Work?

Exhaust Brakes


Buying a new RV will cost, on average, around $45,000, but high-end RVs and fifth wheels can cost up to $75,000. Used RVs can cost anywhere from $ 32,000 upwards.

When purchasing an RV, one should consider what the purpose is for buying it, as well as the terrain they are looking to travel on. One should also check the tires, the exterior, the engine, the exhaust brake, and the interior, such as flooring.

What is an Exhaust Brake?

An exhaust brake is an external supplemental braking system and works by trapping pressure in the exhaust system. This creates a back pressure that forces the engine to turn more slowly. If there is no exhaust brake, the pistons in the vehicle will travel upwards in their cylinder bore. This will push the depleted exhaust gasses out of the exhaust valve.

When the exhaust brake is applied and the butterfly valve is closed slightly, additional force is necessary to push the exhaust gas out from the engine. This extra force causes the engine’s rotational speed to slow down. When the engine slows down, the vehicle starts to slow down, too.

The Benefits of Exhaust Brakes

No matter how heavy the load of a vehicle is, an exhaust brake is beneficial as it will provide assistance that can significantly help the car and driver.

More benefits of exhaust brakes include the following:

  • It provides engine braking to assist with deceleration.
  • It assists in keeping one’s speed in control when going down steep grades and helps maintain the overall management of the vehicle and any trailers one might be towing.
  • It reduces brake heat.
  • It reduces brake wear.
  • It provides a greater braking reserve than a standard brake system.
  • It is entirely silent.
  • It increases the lifespan of regular brakes. 

How Does An Exhaust Brake Work On

An exhaust brake works by closing off the path the exhaust would use to push out spent gas from the vehicle. This process creates back pressure in the manifold and cylinders, which makes the engine work harder and, as a result, drastically slows the cars while rarely relying on brakes. 

Generally speaking, a driver can activate the system with a button, and the exhaust brake will respond when necessary. An exhaust brake will not harm one’s engine and will only start when needed. This activation happens when it identifies that the brakes need assistance.

When Should an Exhaust Brake Be Used?

Many drivers will activate their exhaust brakes as often as possible, as this will help to extend the life of their brakes and prevent them from burning through. On the contrary, some will only activate their exhaust brakes when towing or navigating steep mountains and hills.

Either way, one doesn’t need to worry about harming their engine. It doesn’t matter how heavy the vehicle or load is, as the exhaust brake will provide extra assistance that can significantly help the driver, brakes, and vehicle speed.

Generally speaking, if a vehicle has an exhaust brake installed, it’s a good idea to use it when driving.

Used RV Sales and Services in Kirkland, WA

The benefits of an exhaust brake are significant and a must-have for RV owners. Finding the perfect RV for you is step one and we can help!

Call us today for Used RV Sales and Services in Kirkland, WA, or contact us online, where our team is ready to make your RV dreams a reality!