Smart Exhaust Brake, Controlled Descent
For fearless downhill towing, Sierra's got you covered.
Sure, what goes up comes down. It's *how* it comes down that's important. If you tow a heavy load and take advantage of Sierra's huge towing capacity, you want to be sure every descent is controlled and just as easy on your vehicle as it is on your nerves. That's where the "Smart" Exhaust Brake comes in.
When you select the Smart Exhaust Brake it adjusts the vanes on the exhaust side of the variable geometry turbocharger to generate engine backpressure. By slowing your Sierra this way, using engine compression and without applying the brakes, you maintain better control and reduce fade and brake lining wear. And it's as simple as pushing the dedicated button conveniently located on the centre stack.
The Smart Exhaust Brake is a fully automatic process. It also works in tandem with Sierra's other systems - such as Cruise Control, and the transmission's Tow Haul Mode and Automatic Grade Braking - by varying the braking to account for the grade and vehicle load, thereby reducing the amount of regular braking needed while you're towing downhill.
A word from the critics...
A recent 2011 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty review in Autoguide.com calls out the "intelligent" exhaust brake's ability - in this case when combined with Cruise Control in a test drive that involved "fairly steep grades" around the Maryland/West Virginia border: "With the cruise active, [the Smart Exhaust Brake is] able to vary engine speed according to the grade and is mightily effective - we barely had to tap the brakes most of the time - even when a 20 foot camping trailer was hooked to the back of our test vehicle."
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