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Martynn’s Tips: highlights from 2023

Martynns Tips Haynes Manuals

Martynn Randall, technical editor at Haynes has dispensed all manner of free automotive advice during 2023. Here are the highlights…

Cleaning brakes with brake cleaner

How to stop brake pads from sticking

Sticky brakes can affect cars at any time of year, but it tends to be worse during the wetter months, says Martynn. It can be caused by a problem with the brake caliper, but it’s more likely to be the brake pads sticking within the caliper.

So, how do you even know if your pads are sticking and what do you do if they are? Martynn explains in this feature.

Tappet noise

Curing noisy tappets

Martynn says his BMW’s engine has always suffered from noisy hydraulic tappets. "Leave it unused for a few days, and on start up the 3.0-litre straight-six motor sounds like a tractor."

One option is to change the exhaust tappets, but with 12 costing $28 each, and the replacement procedure not the work of a few minutes, Martynn has been reluctant to take on the job.

There's one more possible 'fix' that sounds too good to be true…

coolant hose

Can your vehicle cope with the heat?

Not so long ago, it wasn't unusual to see utes, trucks and cars usually halfway up a hill, bonnet up, with steam pouring out. High temperatures and traffic jams used to test a vehicle’s cooling system to the limit, and sometimes beyond.

It’s a less common sight these days, but engines still overheat, and being stuck by the side of a busy road on a hot day waiting for the breakdown service to arrive is no fun at all.

Martynn shares his tips on how to keep your car's engine cool during a heatwave.

check your motorbike

Make sure your bike’s fit for the road

Do you use your bike all year round or do you switch to four wheels for weeks or months at a time?

If it's the latter, before you hit the open road, there are some important checks to do to make sure your bike is ready for the road. Motorcycle preparation involves looking at key components, such as the battery, tyres, and brakes. Is the battery holding its charge? Are the tyre pressures low? Don't forget to check the rear brake.

Martynn has 7 tips to get your motorcycle ready.