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Old 09-21-2020, 02:58 AM   #1
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Tips On Using Engine Brake

I have a 2018 Ford F250 & wanted to get tips on using the engine brake as you are descending hilly areas. Mine has a manual & auto mode. This may also apply to GM & Dodge trucks.
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Old 09-21-2020, 01:17 PM   #2
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Engine brake

I have a 2013 GMC with an engine brake. My standard procedure is to hook up the trailer and turn the engine brake on. The engine brakes gives me extra confidence is our ability to control the truck/trailer is all circumstances. It helps, not only in the mountains, but in heavy traffic, like in large metro areas. I hope that helps.

Robb & Julie

2014 31sl stock
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Old 09-21-2020, 02:26 PM   #3
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I turn on the Exhaust Brake before putting the xmission into gear, towing or solo. On my 2015 Truck I had 120K on it, most of that towing and still had lots of OEM Brake Pads left.
Michelle & Ann
2018 Chevy 3500HD Crew Cab High Country DRW, D/A, 2016 RW39MB, Dual ACs, Auto Level, Auto Sat Dish, Stack W/D, King Sleep #, 17.5" Sailuns w/Disc, MORryde IS & Pin, Comfort Ride Hitch, 5.5 Onan, Res Fridge & Induction Cook Top
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Old 09-21-2020, 03:36 PM   #4
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Our 2018 Ford F350 I turn it on when ever the trailer is attached and leave it on. This with tow mode never had a hill that was an issue the exhaust brake and tow mode work great on hills.

2015 RL38
2018 FORD F350 SRW
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Old 09-21-2020, 04:58 PM   #5
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Same here, every time I hooked up turn on engine brake & press tow/haul button.
As to auto or manual, I had to manually press the button & it automatically worked, if your Ford operates differently I can't help.
Danny & Linda
Former '13 FB owner
Currently rvless!
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:05 PM   #6
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I turn it on everytime I drive the truck. Tow/haul on when toeing
2015 36RL pushing a 2015 Denali
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Old 09-22-2020, 01:35 AM   #7
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I turn it on every time I drive the truck. I have only not used it on very slippery snow covered roads and not had much weight in the truck. You can NOT hurt the engine or transmission by using it. The trans know how much engine RPM is safe on steep down hills you can put it in 1st gear at 80 mph it will only down shift to a gear that will not overspeed the motor. Its safe to see over 3500RPM on steep hills. I think the turbo control veins should be used the way its was designed , turn it on and don't think about it. Regardless of the brand of truck they will not do anything that isn't safe for the motor or trans. I have never had a set of brakes wear out on these trucks , the rust on the rotors always kills the brakes before the pads wear down. current truck has 100,000 miles on factory pads all the way around.
Mark & Melissa
2015 Redwood RL38 , Kodiak disk brakes , 17.5" tires , 8K Morryde IS
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:32 PM   #8
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To add to the other comments here is my 2 cents. As others I always tow with the exhaust brake on. This starts the braking as soon as you release the fuel pedal and with standard brakes you need every inch you can get. But the transmission downshifting is another important tool.

Learn to how your down shift knob works and the highest RPM you can drive your engine safely. I have a Ram 3500 Dually and in heavy traffic I will drive in 5 gear at a higher RPM and the exhaust braking is more effective when I need it.

Also when climbing mountains it is better to start in a lower gear on an ascent and shift up to a higher gear to keep your engine running near the highest optimum RPM. On steep climbs you can run near the red line on the tach to keep climbing. Ram 3500 engine on a flat highway optimum RPM is 1800 I have gone up to 3,000 RPMs in the mountains. You can tell if the engine laboring by the sound.

On decent you should shift down one gear lower then the climb. Make a game of it. I like to use the downshift and up shift while using the exhaust brake and I never apply the "foot brake" when driving down mountains. Also when braking apply the brakes hard until you slow down 5 mph, then release the brakes. This avoids fading.

Also Rams and maybe other diesels have a transmission radiator the comes on when the transmission oil comes on. If you never heard it before you will thing there is something wrong with your truck. You will know when it happens when your passengers freak out!!

You Tube has plenty of videos on driving in mountains.

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