Engine braking

Here’s another search story/tip, and it’s much shorter than my previous one. Hint: You can skip the next paragraph.

Ever see those signs on the road that say “No engine braking”? During one of my many drives between my house and Baltimore in college, I learned that I can accurately mimik the sound that these signs are intended to prevent. My family has heard me make this sound once when someone asked what that sign meant, and I explained. Since they had such a strong reaction (it was positive) to the accuracy of my impression, I now can’t perform the sound in front of people without getting too self-conscious. While visiting Washington, D.C. last weekend with my family, I was asked to recreate the sound for my aunt, uncle, and cousin. I was too nervous, and said that I would find a clip of it on YouTube. It wasn’t as easy as I thought.

I figured I could just type in something like [engine braking] and get what I wanted. I found a couple of clips here and there that were close but low quality, and there was a lot of noise that had the braking sounds of cars and motorcycles. After a few more searches, I noticed that the term “Jake Brake” was used in a few results. It turns out that Jake Brake is a brand of engine brakes, and it’s common for truckers to refer to engine brakes simply as “Jake Brakes” whether they are that particular brand or not, just like one may refer to an adhesive bandage as a “Band-Aid.”

With this new knowledge, I modified my search to use the terms that a trucker would use when describing his or her sound clip. [jake brake video] did the trick!

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