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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.
Located around the shores of the River Avon and the Severn Estuary, Bristol is a culturally diverse, socially abuzz, alternative and independent city. Small wonder that in 2014 The Times named it the best city in the UK to live. It’s also one of the sunniest.
Bristol is famous for Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, which is well worth a visit if you don’t happen to drive across it on your way into the city. There is a small toll on this Grade I listed structure which forms part of the B3129. But if you suffer from vertigo don’t look down, the deep drop to the River Avon and Gorge is spectacular and changes with the tide.
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