What Does The “B” In A Car Mean? [Answered]

What Does The "B" In A Car Mean

The car dashboard is full of letters and symbols, and if you don’t read the car manual, it can be a guessing game.

Though some are a giveaway and common, some signs are hard to decipher sometimes. 

The letter that this article will discuss is on the common side, the letter B, which means breaking.

Also known as the engine brake, you can find this letter B sign on the gear shift. 

Using this B shift when you’re going down on a slope or gradient road is advisable to elevate the whole drag.

The brake will help your engine and car brakes from working double-time since sliding on the road can be a major load.  

Going downhill is not the only purpose of the brake. It can also alleviate your uphill journey, ensuring that your car won’t crawl back. 

So, either way, you can use that B sign on your car. 

However, you must remember that some cars don’t use the letter B as the brake. Instead, it is reflected in the letter L

The B and S In An Automatic Transimission 

The most common questions that pop up in an automatic transmission car are the meanings and functions of B and S.

Carter from McPhillips Toyota explained these two concepts for car owners to be aware of. 

In his discussion, he started explaining the letter S in a car known as the sports button.

To ensure a smooth journey, you must use this mode when traversing twisty country roads or rough roads. 

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While in sports mode, you can keep the Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) increasing despite winding through the roads’ corners. The S transmission can also hold lower gears longer, which provides more power. 

Meanwhile, the B mode, or the Engine Brake mode also has lower gears like the sport mode. However, they are used for totally different reasons. 

Mentioned above are some of the brake meanings and functions. 

Further, Carter mentioned the B mode as a conventional transmission that you need for long downhill roads.

As said earlier, the B position will level up the engine to drag and slow down the vehicle. 

These modes’ functions and meanings emphasized apply to automatically transmitted cars.

Depending on the manufacturer and car type, it can have different or multiple functions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I shift from drive mode to B mode in automatic transmission while my car’s running? 

You can shift from D or drive mode to B while driving. Doing this means you’re changing the program for regeneration. 

Also, the engine brake mode lets your automatic transmission car use lower gears.

So, it will give your engine a higher revolution to accelerate better for a stronger brake effect. 

Do sports mode easily wear out my engine or car in general? 

Fact: How you use your car determines how long its part could last. If you drive hard, then it can wear out easily. 

However, when it comes to placing it in sports mode, it won’t make necessary changes in the vehicle quality.

Unless you’re using sports mode in places you don’t need, then it could probably affect the car’s life. 

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Remember always to use the modes based on their functions to avoid possible damage. 

Should I use the neutral mode for fuel efficiency? 

According to Bike Hike, putting your car in neutral mode does not benefit your engine or car in general. So it is unlikely that is the best mode for fuel efficiency.

When driving in gear, your car’s computer usually lowers the Air–Fuel Ratio (AFR) than when your vehicle is idle or neutral. 

It is still best to check the manufacturer’s manual to see what you can do to lower your fuel cost.

DrillandDriver

I’m Brian, a car fanatic, and the founder of DrillandDriver.com, I’ve been into cars my whole life. Actually, not just into them but obsessed with them. I have been working as a mechanic for over 15 years and have been deeper into the motor and electric vehicles for some years.

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