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How do car brakes work?

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. A brake system which has leaks or air bubbles will not operate correctly, or not at all, so regular inspections are very important.

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.

Coventry

Coventry is the 10th largest city in England, harbouring a population of more than a third of a million inhabitants. It was once the country’s capital, and its rich heritage includes the Lady Godiva legend and St. Mary’s Guildhall where kings and queens were entertained. Coventry has been through its economic ups and downs, but has flowered in recent decades into a thriving and culturally rich city, unrecognisable from the ‘Ghost Town’ referred to by The Specials in their 1981 hit.

The 14th century St. Michael’s Cathedral is the city’s best-known landmark, and German bombing during the Second World War left only the outer walls and soaring spire intact. This evocative space remains one of the most important international symbols of peace and reconciliation in the world, and Graham Sutherland’s celebrated tapestry, ‘Christ in Glory,’ poignantly echoes this sentiment. Nearby, the Cathedral quarter connects Coventry old and new. Regeneration has revived original and reconstructed buildings with a range of excellent pubs, cafes and restaurants.

A number of chain and art house cinemas, plus a diverse range of theatre and arts centres provide regular, traditional and cutting-edge entertainment. Following a recent multi-million pound expansion, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is a great place to go with all the family, and The Coventry Transport Museum holds the largest collection of British transport in the world.

Much of Coventry city centre is pedestrianised but you’ll find on-street, short and long stay car parks in the centre. For specialist shops go to medieval Spon Street, Hertford Street and in the City Arcade. If you’re looking for a more distinctive browsing experience, you’ll find independent shopping and creative arts at Fargo Village on Far Gosford St.

Coventry is served by the M45, which connects to the M1 and to London. The M40, served by the A45 and A46 dual carriageways, is ten miles south of the city and offers an alternate route to London. A dual-carriageway runs north–south and links the city centre with the M6 motorway. The inner ring road circles the city on concrete stilts, and can be confusing for drivers visiting for the first time.

The roads around Coventry, however, are some of the safest in the country, showing no medium- to high-risk roads at all. The motorways and single carriageways of the West Midlands have the greatest in-built safety of any region.

Find the best garages for a service or repairs in Coventry at BookMyGarage, or call our Concierge service on 03304 004439 for free advice from an expert mechanic.

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