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Old 09-20-2015, 11:22 PM   #1
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Exhaust Brake on Duramax

A quick question to you "pros" out there. I am new to towing, having just bought a 2015 Chev 3500 duramax/allison to pull a new Glacier Peak 5th wheel. We may miss our Class A Itasca at times while cruising south on the I5, but when parked, this new rig is going to be pretty nice. The question, when in tow/haul mode, do you leave the electronic exhaust brake on all the time even when cruising flat highways etc...or do you tend to turn it on and off as needed.
Thanks. Alex
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Old 09-21-2015, 07:52 AM   #2
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I leave mine on the entire time I'm towing. You have to turn it on each time you start the vehicle. I really don't see what it hurts to leave it turned on when towing.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:00 AM   #3
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I leave mine on all the time when towing. It doesn't hurt to have that extra stopping power, even on the flats.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:54 AM   #4
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I tend to keep mine on all the time, even when not towing. There does not seem to be any downside. When easing off of the accelerator, the cpasting seem about the same either way.

Joel
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for your input. Alex
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:31 PM   #6
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Mine is turned on right after starting, and presently have 85K miles with 90 to 95% of the time towing heavy and still on the OEM Factory Disc Brake Pads.
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:40 PM   #7
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The only potential issue is that it is not in the anti-lock brake system so if you are in slippery conditions you might want to turn it off. Absolutely use it going down hill but you're in the west so you knew that already.
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:54 PM   #8
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I always turn mine on when towing and often when I'm not.
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Old 09-30-2015, 11:45 PM   #9
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We drove down the Rattlesnake Grade on Lewiston Hwy 3 today with a 10,000 lb plus 5th wheel in tow and I was amazed at the braking capacity of the Allison transmission with the exhaust brake. I actually enjoyed the drive although my wife may not quite agree.....put my new truck to the test and it came through with "flying colours". Alex
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:27 PM   #10
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Another vote for using the exhaust brake. Although I don't have any experience towing yet with this truck,,, a 2015 Silverado 2500 crew cab 4x4 Duramax, I do drive a truck for a living. I agree you'd be advised to turn it off in slippery road conditions,, other than that, I'll use it. I've personally heard of many people getting over 100K miles on a set of brakes,,, Dodge, Chevy, Ford,, it really helps... Its there,,, use it...
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:16 AM   #11
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Hey Alex, yo uwon't miss thqt Class A when you compare the milage. I got 7.12 over a ten year period woth a Workhorse in a 36' DAmon. and I am getting 11.3 now pulling a 16,000 Prime Time Sanibel
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:36 AM   #12
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I only use the air brake going downhill. It effectively maintains your current speed on a hill so you don't have to ride your brakes. I don't see any reason to leave it on except when going downhill. Leaving it engaged slows you down, effects fuel economy and I wonder if there is wear and tear over time? The dealer told me to use it on downhill and I've tested it in lots of situations. Get to your desired speed going downhill and turn it on - the air brake will keep you at that speed even with your foot off the pedals. On steep 6-7% grades I've seen speed increase only 5 mph. If you need to slow more, apply the brakes and tranny will up shift. Really great feature and makes descending mountains a lot easier.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WagonMaster View Post
I leave mine on the entire time I'm towing. You have to turn it on each time you start the vehicle. I really don't see what it hurts to leave it turned on when towing.
same here.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:42 AM   #14
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I don't think it's called an "air brake" on Duramax engines. It's actually done with the variable vane turbo. According to the manual it's primary purpose is to limit down hill speed when using the cruise control. Works amazingly well and I've not noticed any negative effect on fuel mileage. To each his own.
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