Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Jake Brake and Exhaust Brake

Jake Brake vs Exhaust Brake

For most people, engine braking is a given in vehicles; but the truth is only gasoline engines have engine braking. Diesel engines do not have the same braking mechanisms as gasoline engines, instead they have two different mechanisms; the first is compression release engine brake, which is commonly known as Jake brake, and the exhaust brake. The main difference between the two is in how they operate. A Jake brake creates braking force by releasing the compressed air inside the cylinders. In contrast, an exhaust brake blocks the path of the exhaust, causing an increased pressure in the exhaust manifold.

An exhaust brake attaches to the exhaust system and is typically a valve that is closed when you let go of the accelerator. The increased pressure makes it more difficult for the wheels to move the pistons and causes the vehicle to slow down. Inside the cylinder head, the engine works to compress the air. The same pressurized air pushes the piston on the downstroke, thereby returning some of the energy. What the Jake brake does is to release the compressed air once the piston reaches the top, making the engine work to pull the piston back down. Obviously, the Jake brake needs to be attached to the valve train where it does its job by giving the compressed air an alternate route.

When it comes to performance, the Jake brake is a lot more powerful compared to the exhaust brake. A Jake is to exert braking power that is slightly over the rated power output of the engine; in comparison, an exhaust brake can only do somewhere between 60 to 80 percent. Despite being superior, the use of Jake brakes is not preferred. Mainly because of the excessive noise that it generates, which is comparable to a firing machine gun. In some places, Jake brakes are outright banned, while others impose regulations that necessitate the use of mufflers in order to minimize the noise that it creates.


1.A Jake brake induces engine braking by reducing pressure while an exhaust brake induces engine braking by increasing pressure
2.A Jake brake attaches to the valve train while an exhaust brake attaches to the exhaust system
3.A Jake brake is able to produce a lot more braking power than an exhaust brake
4.A Jake brake produce significantly more noise than an exhaust brake

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  1. Thanks for explaining the differences between a Jake Brake and an exhaust brake. We are looking for an RV and this articles helped us educate ourselves on which braking system is better (aka not banned).

  2. Great article man,clear illustration on the two braking systems. Kindly review on engine specifics that can be fitted with exhaust brakes if it was manufactured without.

  3. Am very grateful on how you have explained the difference between the jak brake and exhaust brake system

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