What is a Jake Brake?

Do you know what a jake brake is? If not, you’re not alone. A jake brake is a device that helps to slow down a truck by using the engine’s compression to create a back pressure. This pressure helps to keep the brakes from overheating and allows for a smoother stop. While they are mostly used in trucks, there is no reason they can’t be used in cars as well. In fact, many states are now requiring them on all commercial vehicles. If you’re looking for a way to safely and smoothly slow down your car, consider investing in a jake brake. You won’t regret it!

What Is Jake Brake? 

A Jake Brake is a type of engine brake that is used to slow down or stop a vehicle. It works by using the engine’s compression to create resistance against the wheels, which slows the vehicle down.

what is a jake brake

Jake Brakes are named after their inventor, Joseph B. Johnson, who created them in the 1950s. They are commonly used on trucks and other heavy vehicles, as they can significantly reduce wear on the brakes and extend the life of the tires.

Jake Brakes can be very noisy, so it is important to be aware of this if you are using one near other people or buildings. Some states have laws regulating the use of Jake Brakes, so it is important to check before using one.

Where Does the Name Jake Brake Come From?

The name Jake Brake comes from the brake’s first inventor, Jacobus Bekker. He originally designed them for use on trucks in the 1950s. The brakes work by using the engine’s exhaust to slow the vehicle down. When the driver activates the brake, a valve opens and allows exhaust gasses to flow into what are essentially chambers located above the pistons in the engine. The pressurized gasses push against the pistons, which slows the engine down and ultimately stops the vehicle.

Jake Brakes have been increasingly used since their inception and are now commonplace on many different types of vehicles including trucks, buses, construction equipment, and even some passenger cars. While they are most commonly used when descending steep grades, they can be used in a variety of situations where engine braking would be beneficial.

There are some drawbacks to using Jake Brakes, however. They can be quite loud, which can be disruptive to both the driver and those around them. Additionally, they can put additional wear and tear on the engine, which may shorten its overall lifespan. But for many drivers, the benefits of Jake Brakes outweigh the negatives.

How Does a Jake Brake Work?

A Jake Brake is a type of engine brake that is used to slow down or stop a heavy vehicle. It works by using the engine’s compression to create resistance against the pistons, which in turn slows down the engine. The Jake Brake is named after its inventor, Jacobus “Jake” Visser, who patented the device in 1954.

There are two main types of Jake Brakes: those that use exhaust valves and those that use intake valves. Exhaust valve brakes are more common, as they are less likely to cause engine damage. Intake valve brakes are typically only used in very heavy vehicles, such as 18-wheelers.

To use a Jake Brake, the driver brings the engine up to speed and then activates the brake. The brake will automatically begin to slow the engine down. The driver can adjust the amount of braking power by adjusting a knob or lever inside the cab.

Jake Brakes are very useful for slowing down or stopping a heavy vehicle, but they can also be dangerous if not used properly. If the Jake Brake is activated too suddenly, it can cause the engine to stall or even damage the engine. It is important to read the instructions carefully before using a Jake Brake and to always use caution when operating one.

How Do I Know If My Car Has One?

If you’re not sure whether or not your car has a Jake brake, there are a few ways to find out. The most obvious way is to check the owner’s manual. Many newer vehicles have them, but not all.

Another way to tell is by listening to a loud, metallic clicking noise when you let off the accelerator. This noise is made by the valves in the engine that open and close rapidly, and it’s a dead giveaway that your car has a Jake brake.

Lastly, you can look for an external switch on the dash or near the pedals. This switch is usually marked with a picture of a truck or an arrow pointing down and flipping it activates the Jake brake.

Jake Brake Terms You Should Know

If you’re new to trucking, you’ve probably heard the term “Jake Brake” and wondered what it meant. A Jake Brake is a device that helps slow down a heavy vehicle by using the engine to brake. It’s named after its inventor, Jakes Manufacturing Company.

Here are some other terms related to Jake Brakes that you should know:

Engine Braking – This occurs when the engine is used to slow down the vehicle, as opposed to the brakes. Jake Brakes are one type of engine braking, but there are others, like exhaust brakes.

Retarder – A retarder is a device that helps slow down a vehicle without using the brakes. Retarders can be mechanical, hydraulic, or pneumatic. Jake Brakes are a type of retarder.

Service Brake – The service brakes are the brakes that are used most often to slow down and stop the vehicle. They’re usually activated by a pedal in the cab.

Parking Brake – The parking brake is used to keep the vehicle stationary when it’s parked. It’s usually activated by a lever in the cab.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) – This is a system that prevents the wheels from locking up when the brakes are applied. It can be helpful in situations where you need to brake suddenly

Jake Brake vs. Exhaust Brake

If you’ve ever been driving behind a big rig truck on the highway, you’ve probably noticed that they use what sounds like engine braking to slow down. This braking method is called a Jake Brake, named after the company that first designed and installed them, Jacobs Vehicle Systems.

Jake Brakes work by opening the exhaust valves at the top of the compression stroke, releasing pressure and allowing the piston to push down on nothing but air. This effectively turns the engine into a giant air compressor, slowing the vehicle down without wearing out the brakes.

what is a jake brake

While Jake Brakes are incredibly effective at slowing down large vehicles, they can be noisy and disruptive, which is why many cities have banned their use. If you’re driving a smaller vehicle, you may want to consider an exhaust brake instead.

Exhaust brakes work by using a valve to redirect exhaust gasses back into the engine, which increases backpressure and slows the engine down. While they’re not as effective as Jake Brakes, they’re much quieter and can be used in urban areas.

What New Truck Drivers Need To Know About The Jake Brake?

As a new truck driver, you may have heard about the Jake Brake and wondered what it is. The Jake Brake is a braking system that helps slow down a heavy vehicle like a tractor-trailer. It works by using the engine to help slow down the truck.

When the Jake Brake is engaged, the truck’s engine slows down the wheels which in turn slows down the entire truck. This can be helpful when coming down a long, steep hill or when you need to stop quickly.

To use the Jake Brake, you’ll need to shift into a lower gear before engaging it. Once it’s engaged, you’ll feel the truck slow down. Be sure to disengage it once you’ve come to a stop so that you don’t damage the engine.

The Jake Brake can be a helpful tool for new truck drivers to learn about and use. It can help you slow down quickly and safely in certain situations. Just be sure to practice using it before you need to use it in an emergency situation.

Benefits Of Using Jake Brakes

Jake brakes can be extremely beneficial for both the driver and the vehicle. When used properly, Jake brakes can help reduce wear and tear on the brakes, improve fuel economy, and provide additional stopping power when needed.

When driving down a long, steep grade, Jake’s brakes can help take some of the strain off of the vehicle’s regular brakes. This can help prevent brake fade and overheating, which can lead to brake failure. Additionally, using Jake brakes can help improve fuel economy by reducing the amount of work the engine has to do to maintain speed.

In some situations, such as when descending a mountain pass or entering stop-and-go traffic, having extra stopping power can be lifesaving. Jake brakes can provide this extra stopping power by using the engine to slow the vehicle down instead of relying solely on the brakes.

While Jake’s brakes can be extremely beneficial, it is important to use them properly. Sudden or excessive use of Jake’s brakes can cause wheel lockup and skid, which can lead to loss of control and a serious accident. When using Jake’s brakes, it is important to apply them gradually and smoothly to avoid wheel lockup.

Laws Against Using The Jake Brake:

There are a few states in the US that have laws against using the Jake Brake. These states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

If you live in one of these states and you use your Jake Brake while driving through them, you could be fined or even arrested. So it’s important to know the laws of the states you’ll be traveling through before using your Jake Brake.

Why Are There Laws Against Using The Jake Brake?

The main reason for these laws is because the loud noise made by Jake Brake can be a nuisance to others, especially at night. It can also startle animals, which can be dangerous if they’re on the road.

How To Use The Jake Brake Responsibly?

If you do need to use your Jake Brake, make sure you do so responsibly. Only use it when necessary and give people plenty of warning before you activate it. Drive slowly and carefully after using the Jake Brake so that everyone around you is aware of what’s going on.

what is a jake brake

By following these simple tips, you can avoid breaking any laws and keep everyone safe while you’re on the road.

How popular are they today?

While Jake Brakes are most commonly found on semi-trucks, they’re actually becoming increasingly popular on other types of vehicles as well. That’s because as people become more aware of the dangers of brake fade, they’re looking for ways to improve the performance of their brakes.

One way to do this is by installing a Jake Brake. A Jake Brake is a device that’s installed between the engine and the transmission. It uses the engine’s power to help slow down the vehicle.

When activated, the Jake Brake applies the brakes harder and for a longer period of time than what you could do with your foot alone. This can help prevent brake fade and give you better braking performance.

If you’re looking for ways to improve the performance of your brakes, a Jake Brake is definitely something to consider.

When should you use a jake brake?

A jake brake should be used when descending a long, steep grade to help control the speed of the vehicle and prevent the brakes from overheating. The jake brake works by slowing the engine down, which in turn slows the wheels.

While the use of a Jake Brake is beneficial in many situations, there are some instances where its use is not recommended. These include:

-On wet or icy roads, the braking action can cause the wheels to skid.

-In built-up areas where the sudden braking noise may cause a disturbance.

-When towing a trailer, the deceleration can cause instability.

Jake Brakes are a great tool when used correctly, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks before using one.


Tips For Using a Jake Brake

When operating a truck with a Jake Brake, there are some important tips to keep in mind in order to stay safe and avoid damage to the brake. First, always make sure that the Jake Brake is properly serviced and maintained. Secondly, when using the Jake Brake, gradually increase pressure on the pedal rather than applying full pressure all at once. This will help avoid sudden stops which can be dangerous. Finally, be aware of your surroundings and what type of terrain you are on, as using the Jake Brake on certain surfaces can cause skidding or sliding. By following these tips, you can help ensure safe and proper operation of your Jake Brake.

Do Jake Brakes Use More Fuel?

Jake brakes are often used to help control speed when descending long, steep grades.  Because they slow the truck without using the service brakes, jake brakes can help reduce wear on the brake system and extend its life.  In addition, using a jake brake can help save fuel by reducing the need to use the truck’s engine to slow down.

However, some drivers believe that using a jake brake can actually increase fuel consumption.  This is because when the jake brake is engaged, it puts extra strain on the engine.  As a result, the engine has to work harder and use more fuel.

So, do jake brakes use more fuel?  There is no definitive answer, as it depends on a number of factors, including the type of engine in the truck, the terrain being driven on, and the driving habits of the driver.  However, in general, using a jake brake should not have a significant impact on fuel consumption.

Does Jake Brake Hurt the Engine?

The purpose of a Jake Brake is to slow down a heavy vehicle without overworking the brakes.  However, some people believe that using a Jake Brake can damage the engine. So, what is the truth?

Using a Jake Brake does not hurt the engine of your truck as long as you use it correctly.  If you engage the brake too early or too late, you could cause wear and tear on the engine, but if used correctly, the Jake Brake will not cause any damage.  In fact, many truckers believe that using a Jake Brake can actually prolong the life of your engine by taking some of the stress off of the brakes.

So, there you have it! Using a Jake Brake will not hurt your engine, as long as you use it correctly. So, go ahead and give it a try the next time you’re behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle. You may just be surprised at how well it works!

Are Jake Brakes Illegal?

Jake brakes are devices that are fitted to trucks and other large vehicles. When the driver applies the brakes, the Jake brake activates and uses engine compression to slow the vehicle down.

While Jake brakes can be very effective at slowing a vehicle down, they can also be quite loud. This has led to some people wondering if Jake brakes are legal, especially in urban areas where noise pollution is a concern.

The answer to this question depends on what jurisdiction you are in. In some areas, Jake brakes are perfectly legal and there are no restrictions on their use. However, in other areas, there may be noise regulations that limit when and where Jake brakes can be used. So it’s always best to check with your local authorities before using a Jake brake in an urban area.


A jake brake is a compression brake used on heavy trucks and buses. When the driver engages the brake, the engine RPM increases and air is forced into the cylinders. This creates a high-pressure air pulse that acts like a shock wave to slow the vehicle. Jake brakes are named after James Henry “Jake” Jacobs, who invented and patented the device in 1935. If you’re looking for a way to slow down your big rig or bus, a jake brake may be just what you need. Do you have any questions about how they work or whether one would be right for your vehicle? Let us know and we’ll help you out.

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