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Jake Brake Vs. Exhaust Brake: Which is Better?

Unlike other engines like gasoline, diesel engines come with two braking mechanisms. Jake brake and exhaust brake are two the brakes that come along with a diesel engine vehicle. Both breaks function superiorly at their level; however, they both have differences in their working principle. Let’s get further on Jake brake vs. exhaust brake and explore how these to brakes function differently from each other-

Jake Brake Vs. Exhaust Brake: Which One Is More Efficient?

Both brakes function to make the engine producing the negative power that slows down the vehicle; the difference lies in the method these brakes use to form the negative power.

Understanding the Exhaust Brake

Going on the Jake brake vs. exhaust brake, get an idea about the exhaust brakes first. The brake can simply be understood as a butterfly valve that is huge enough to make the deal. The exhaust brake works on trapping a large amount of gas inside cylinders.

This makes the engine get the limited fuel that lets it operate to the idle condition only. As the valve blocks the gases, they can’t escape anywhere because of the valve, and so their force is used against the piston, which slows down the engine and stops the vehicle.

Exhaust Brake
The exhaust brake works on trapping a large amount of gas inside cylinders (Photo Source: trucktrend)


Understanding the Jake Brake

Now that you know “how does an exhaust brake work,” acquire information about the Jake brake too.

A Jake brake works oppositely as an exhaust brake. Instead of creating a space for the exploding gases in the cylinder, Jake brakes empty the space to slow down the downward piston movement.

While the piston is still upward, the Jake brake makes the exhaust valve to open early that vacuums the gases. This removes any application of the gases to the engine and hence helps to slow down the vehicle. In other words, the mechanism of the Jake brake makes the engine to pull the piston back down.

A Jake brake may help the driver to slow down the vehicle while being on the downhill grades. The driver performs the operation just by using the engine brake switch. This brake can’t be used in every area since there are rules on the usage of Jake brake because of the noise it produces.

The Difference between Jake Brake and Exhaust Brake

Jake brake is considered to be more powerful than the exhaust one. Such as the exhaust brake can only perform somewhat 60 to 80 percent of what a Jake brake can do. Clear more doubts about braking mechanism by reading the Maintenance Tips here.

However, the exhaust brakes are brought more in use due to their low noise functionality. As you can get a hint, the Jake brakes are noisier, and so the drivers prefer them less.

Jake Brake and Exhaust Brake
The exhaust brake can only perform somewhat 60 to 80 percent of what a Jake brake can do (Photo Source: studybreaks)


When it comes to comparison, undoubtedly, it is the Jake brake that performs more efficiently. However, when it comes to usability, it is the exhaust brake that wins the place because of being nice and quiet.

So, this was all about Jake brake vs. exhaust brake, where both brakes differ in terms of functionality.

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