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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.
With an unlikely history that began with making looms back in 1909, Japanese brand Suzuki didn’t make the move into vehicles until the late 1930s, when Michio Suzuki decided that building a new small car would be a great venture for his company. Interestingly, Suzuki also used to create bicycles with fitted motors known as the “Power Free”, which were immensely popular in Japan after the war.
These days, Suzuki is known for focusing on two major vehicle industry segments - compact hatchbacks and 4x4s. The basic Jimny is more on the utilitarian side of things when it comes to going off-road, with less refinement than many others in its class. The SX4 S-Cross and Vitara SUVs both represent good value for money and have been highly praised by critics. They seem to represent the Japanese brand’s efforts to balance on- and off-roading.
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