Every time a new truck comes out, it seems like it’s built more and more capable of handling serious towing and payload, especially on the advanced diesel options. Features like backup camera assist for easy hitching, and Digital Steering Assist on heavy-duty models help hook up trailers and keep the driving even no matter the terrain. And then there is diesel exhaust braking now on vehicles like the 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500HD and 2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD, which can greatly assist on hills. But how does diesel exhaust braking work?
Quiet braking using the power of the engine
Traditional brakes on a passenger car require rotors and brake pads which are pressed together to produce the friction to slow or stop a vehicle, but on a large truck, especially one that is loaded down with a trailer or a large payload, that sort of braking may not work. That is where diesel exhaust braking comes in.
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Diesel exhaust braking works by using the power of the engine itself to slow a heavy vehicle. When the exhaust braking is activated, exhaust is forced back into the engine, which causes the engine to run more slowly, or even reverse itself. This can slow, or even stop a vehicle without needing to use the mechanical brakes. This can reduces the wear on traditional brakes, especially when taking heavy loads up and down hill, and help those brakes last up to three times longer (which can safe you a lot when it’s time to get servicing).
On the new Duramax turbodiesel engine available on the 2016 GMC Canyon midsize truck (which has the best gas mileage of any truck when outfitted with diesel power), or various heavy duty trucks, the exhaust brake can even be used when a truck is in cruise control. It will help maintain the correct speed without needing constant corrections from the driver. The diesel exhaust braking on the Duramax diesel working with the Allison transmission always delivers the perfect amount of braking no matter the load or the incline.