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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.
Another French company churning out good-looking vehicles, Renault has been in the business of making cars since 1899. The alliance of Renault with Nissan (conveniently called the Renault-Nissan Alliance) make up the fourth largest automotive group in the world.
Renault is also widely known for its role in motor sport, particularly Formula 1. Early work on mathematical curve modelling used on Renault car bodies is an important, but little known, part of the history of computer graphics. Renault began to take part in motorsport early in the 20th century, largely due to Marcel Renault’s own interest in the sport. Over the years, Renault acquired multiple companies with sporting connections, and in the 1970s set up its own dedicated motorsport division, Renault Sport, winning both the Le Mans 24 Hours race and the Renault Alpine A442.
But back to the world outside of motor sport! Back in 2013, the newest Renault vehicles had the lowest average CO2 emissions among European generalist brands, average at 110.1g/km.
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