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Take a break by concentrating on your brakes!

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Your braking system should be looked at along with your oil change and yearly for electric car owners.

We all know what brakes do, but how does it work?

When you press your brake pedal, brake fluid is compressed through the brake lines to a piston in a brake caliper that forces the brake pad to press on a brake rotor. This friction slows the car down by converting the energy moving forward into heat on that brake rotor.

To get the best gas mileage and the longest life out of your brakes, use the brakes the least amount as possible.

How do you slow down by not using the brakes?

First don’t speed. Maintaining a reasonable, constant speed with enough distance to the cars in front of you allows you room to slow down by using the engine and aerodynamics to slow you down.

The next time you are on the highway, notice how the car slows down when you let go of the gas pedal. That is a mixture of the wind resistance and your engine using engine braking to slow your car. 


How can the engine that moves you forward slow you down?

When you let go of the gas pedal, there is a vacuum created in the engine that slows down the movement of the pistons. That slowdown of movement will affect the driven wheels acting as a brake. You can really feel the effect if you are able to shift down to a lower gear. You can feel the effect more in a manual or Dual Clutch transmission because of the clutch(s).

Will it damage or overheat my engine when using engine braking?

Engine braking won’t overheat your engine as long as you don’t keep it in high RPMs and your cooling system is well maintained. 

In a manual or stick shift car, you may damage your transmission because of improper use of the clutch and gas pedal when downshifting. This is not a problem for dual-clutch transmissions as the computer controls the clutch and gas pedal.

How much gas is used in engine braking?

Very little to none. Modern engines contain sophisticated computers to manage fuel. When you are not pressing the gas pedal, the computer restricts gas from going into the engine and uses the vacuum and current movement of the vehicle to keep the engine moving. 

Electric Cars

Although the electric motor provides a lot of braking power that converts that energy into battery power, you can’t overlook your brakes. They still provide significant stopping power when you need it.

By not using your brakes, you allow them to rust over time and they may eventually seize up and become useless and a danger to your vehicle.


Do you and your car a favor by stepping on the brake pedal here and there on your drive to keep it maintained.

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