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The brakes on your car utilise fluid pressure.
When the brake pedal is depressed, it activates a plunger in the master cylinder,
which pressurises the brake fluid in the pipes and hoses causing the brake components to move.
Brake repairs are one of the most common reasons to visit a garage; all cars need their brake discs and pads replaced at regular intervals. Some of the warning signs for brake failure are squealing or grinding noises when depressing the brakes, or the brake feeling 'spongy' when the pedals is pressed. And of course if you need to brake increasingly hard to effectively slow or stop your car, then you could well be looking at brake replacement.
There are two main types of brake systems: disc brakes and drum brakes.
Disc brake systems are comprised of two pads per wheel, which clamp down on the brake disc when the brake pedal is depressed. When the fluid becomes pressurised, it sends a plunger in the calliper forward, forcing the brake pads on either side of the brake disc to squeeze it, which results in the slowing and stopping of the car.
Drum brakes operate in the same way as disc brakes, but with a different design. They both use friction to slow and stop the car, but drum brakes use shoes, instead of pads. The shoes are inside the steel brake drum itself, which spins with the wheel. When brake pressure is applied, a component called the wheel cylinder expands, forcing the brake shoes apart and towards the inside edge of the drum. Drum brakes are usually found on older vehicles, or just on the rear brake system.
The makers of the Italian Alfa Romeo began getting involved in car racing in 1911, but things didn’t start ramping up for them until they switched to mass-producing small vehicles rather than hand-building luxury models after the end of the second World War. Over the years they’ve competed successfully in many different varieties of motorsport, from Grand Prix motor racing to Formula One, sportscar racing, rallies, and touring car racing, but they're still known for their beautiful cars above all else.
When it comes down to it, modern Alfa Romeos are as reliable as just as cars from any other major manufacturers, but are frequently flashier looking! The MiTo and Giulietta add a bit of Italian charm to the supermini and family hatchback models respectively due to their smart styling and unique interiors. And on top of that, both are available as sporty ‘QV’ models in true Alfa Romeo tradition. Of course, you’ve got the lightweight Alfa Romeo 4C if you’re looking for a Italian sportscar to play around with.
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