Russia: Medvedev visits AvtoVAZ and test drives new Russian car

Prime Minister of Russia Dmitri Medvedev visited an AvtoVAZ automobile factory in Tolyatti, Friday.

Medvedev arrived to discuss the current condition of the industry and its development strategy till 2025. He also test-drove a Lada XRay and said that it is “comfortable and modern, it is not worse than any other foreign car of the same class.’ Commenting on the future of the Russian car industry, he said “it is a hard time for the economy right now” and that the “automotive industry needs government support.”

SOT, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev (Russian): “I just drove the car and I like it: it’s a very comfortable and modern car, not worse than any other foreign car of the same class. I think it has a great future. If it has a great future, everything will be good with AvtoVAZ as well.”

SOT, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev (Russian): “We came here today to discuss support for the automobile industry. Now is a hard time for our economy. There are some industries that can overcome this period without problems, others like the automotive industry need government support. We will discuss how to secure the demand for Lada’s cars.”

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Austin Metropolitan

Austin Metropolitan

1957 Austin Metropolitan at the 2011 Cromford Steam Fair.

A brief history of the Metropolitan

In 1950, the Nash Motor Corporation, one of the leading independent US auto manufacturers, decided to test public reaction to a new small car they were considering putting into production. This was a revolutionary concept in those days of big gas guzzlers.

They issued a questionnaire pamphlet called a "surview" showing pictures of a prototype concept car, based on a design by independent auto designer William Flajole, with a reply-paid envelope for people to return their opinion on the car. Quite an innovative strategy for the time.

The reaction to the surview convinced Nash that there was a market for a new small car. Since no US auto factory had the tooling or experience to build cars of this size, it was decided to produce the car in Europe. The Austin Motor Company was at that time the largest car manufacturer outside the US, and was an obvious choice, in view of their reputation for quality build and engineering.

Following various design modifications, the first Metropolitans rolled off the Longbridge production line in October 1953, and went on sale in the US in the spring of 1954. Early versions were fitted with the 1200cc Austin Somerset engines and are now easily recognisable by a "floating bar" grille, and monotone body colours for body and roof. None of these early cars were released on the home (UK) market – the entire production until 1957 was for export only.

By the time the first Metropolitans arrived in America, Nash had merged with another independent auto maker, Hudson. Metropolitans were badged as either Nashes or Hudsons, depending upon which dealer sold them.

When the Metropolitan was released on the home UK market, in 1957, it had already earned millions of vital dollars for the British car industry, and was reputed to be second only to the Volkswagen Beetle in terms of volume car imports to the States at that time. The engine had been upgraded to the proven BMC "B" series 1500cc unit used in a wide variety of other BMC cars, which had a power output of around 55bhp, giving quite a lively performance in such a light-bodied car. The car was not known as a Nash in the UK though it is sometimes wrongly referred to as such. UK-supplied cars are correctly described as Austin Metropolitans, though they join the ranks of a minute number of cars produced in the world which do not bear a manufacturer’s badge.

From 1957 on, all cars were duo-toned with white, with the main body colour ( red, green, yellow and later black) separated by a stepped stainless steel moulding. The Metropolitan was to stay in production until 1961 with only minor changes in 1959 to accommodate an opening boot lid, one-piece rear window and quarter lights in the doors.

Today the Metropolitan is a rare sight on British roads, although they continue to be plentiful in North America, the …

Brake Pedal Goes Down Further Than Normal

If you press the brake pedal of your car, you will noticed that the brake pedal goes down further than than the usual. This phenomenon happens because of two possible reasons.The first is that the brake fluid is very low and the second is that the brake shoe lining is worn out.

How to determine the cause of the problem?

1. First is to open the hood and locate the brake fluid reservoir, this is usually located on the top of the brake master cylinder. Observe if the fluid level is within the “Max” and “Low” markings on the reservoir. If the fluid is sufficient enough then you can rule out the low brake fluid as the cause of the problem.

As you may not know, when the fluid level is low the brake pedal will travel further before it will stop because the lower the fluid level the lower the pedal will travel. If the fluid is insufficient just simply add the required amount of fluid to correct the problem, however the reason why the fluid level is low is another problem that needs to find out.

2. If for instance the fluid is at a normal level, then the reason why brake pedal travel further than the usual is the brake shoe is worn out. Brake shoe is use on the drum brake which is usually found on the rear brake of the car. This happens because when the brake pedal is press the shoes will press against the drum if the shoe is worn out excessively the pedal will have to press further before the shoe touches the drum.

To solve the issue of brake pedal traveling further because of worn shoe, bring the car to a repair shop. Asks the mechanic to replace the shoe lining, also tell the mechanic to check the brake drum because it might also damage and need to be machined. When replacing the brake shoe lining, consider also to machined the drums before installing a new lining.…