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What You Need to Know About Jake/Engine Brake

Your vehicle is one of the most complicated technological works of the modern world. It consists of many parts, and one of these parts is what we call the Jake brake. A Jake brake is a type of engine brake and is in fact also commonly known as engine brake. An engine or Jake brake is used in slowing down vehicle, hence, the term brake. This type of brake is most often found in semi-trailer trucks or big rigs. Etymologically speaking, the term Jake brake came from the Jacob's company, which is often credited for making it famous and has developed over time. Today, the so-called Jake brake has now become a common term associated with most kinds of engine brakes.

More about the Jake Brake

The Jake brake is a significant part of an engine. For instance, when the accelerator is released by a moving vehicle, the momentum continues to go forward and then turns the engine's crankshaft compressing the air in the cylinders. When this happens, the piston passes into the top dead center prompting the compressed air in the cylinder to act as a spring that pushes the piston back into the cylinder. In this case, the acceleration returns most of the compressed energy back into the crankshaft. Hence, the engine does not aid in slowing down the vehicle.

Jake/Engine Brake
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In the case of gasoline engines, on the other hand, the engine braking is provided when there is closed throttle operation due to the required work in maintaining the intake manifold vacuum, which is the balance from the internal friction back to the engine. However, diesel engines do not throttle air and do not also provide engine braking. Moreover, compression release engine brakes use extra lobe on the camshaft in opening a second exhaust valve located at the top of the stroke compression. Now, when the driver starts to control the on/off switch, the brake becomes active. And when the compression release engine brake is turned on, the Jake brake will then activate once the driver releases the accelerator. As there are also small switches on the clutch and the accelerator pedals, the compression brake will be deactivated once the clutch is disengaged or when the accelerator is pressed.

Moreover, using the release engine brakes can also cause the vehicle to produce loud chattering such as the noise in machine guns. This happens when the vehicles have high-flow mufflers or even no mufflers. When a vehicle tends to do this, some countries like the United States provide notifications to drivers not to do engine braking.

Road signs such as "Engine Braking Restricted" or "Jake Brakes Prohibited" are commonly posted to avoid drivers who habitually do engine brakes. Enforcement of these road signs are mostly done by penalties such as traffic fines. These prohibitions have significantly led to developments of some new types of mufflers or turbochargers to silence the braking noise. In this way, too much unnecessary noise in the streets can be greatly avoided.

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