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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.
Birmingham is the second largest and most populous UK city after London, a fact which might go some way to explaining why it’s simply stuffed with things to do and see. Six universities keep the place youthful with a vibrant and multi-cultural grassroots art, music and literary scene. Birmingham’s international reputation has been built on its many celebrated cultural institutions. As well as housing the world’s largest pre-Raphaelite collection of artwork, the city is home to the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Symphony Orchestra, the Repertory Theatre and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts as well a diverse range of other arts, theatre and music venues.
You’ll find high street and designer shops at the Bullring and Mailbox centres, and if vintage chic is more your thing then wander the quirky East Side for some unique finds. Birmingham’s drink and food scene is currently thriving, with exotic flavours catering for all tastes. It also boasts four Michelin-starred restaurants (more than any city in England except London) and street food that’s hard to beat. It may be a tightly populated place but Brummies love their green spaces. As well as the splendid Birmingham Botanical Gardens there are an additional five hundred and seventy-one parks to choose from - more than any other European city.
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