What is B on the Gear Shfit?
If you’ve ever driven a manual transmission vehicle, you’re likely familiar with the P-R-N-D-L pattern on the gear shift. But have you ever noticed the letter ‘B’ tucked away down there? What is B exactly?
What B Stands For
Most likely, you’ve seen B represented on the gear shift of many different vehicles, ranging from hybrids to luxury cars and even pickup trucks. B is an acronym that stands for Engine Braking, a maneuver used to slow down and maintain control of the vehicle when descending a steep incline.
Why the B Setting is Helpful
The B setting, which works by reducing the engine’s power output and utilizing compression braking to decelerate the vehicle, is especially helpful when driving downhill as it:
- Reduces the strain on the brakes – When driving downhill, the combination of gravity and incline can place a significant amount of strain on the brakes, resulting in an overheated system that isn’t able to stop the vehicle. By using the B setting, you can reduce this strain on the brakes and increase your vehicle’s downhill stability.
- Gives you more control – If you notice that your brakes and brakes alone aren’t enough to safely navigate a steep downslope, using the B setting can provide you with greater control over your vehicle and help you slow down and maintain your speed.
- Maximizes fuel efficiency – Using the engine to reduce speed instead of the brakes can also take the load off your vehicle’s engine, helping it run more efficiently and reducing fuel consumption.
How to Use the B Setting
Using the B setting is simple. All you need to do is:
- Shift into the B setting by pushing the gear shift down one more time from the D setting
- Continue pressing down on the gear shift with your foot off the accelerator until you’ve reached the desired speed
- Then, when you’re ready to accelerate again, press on the accelerator while gently shifting back into the D setting.
So, the next time you’re navigating a steep downhill section of road, remember to use the B setting to maximize your vehicle’s performance and reduce the strain on the brakes.