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Got back to the UK early June after a few months away and of many things pending, one was to revive the parked RX350 and get it in for an MOT.  I bought the car last year with a new MOT so was a bit apprehensive about it.  Good news is that I got a pass but it wasn't all plain sailing.

1.  I was expecting an advisory on the rear tyres.  In fact, I left them on just to see how they would fare.  I always have problems with the tyres getting dry and cracking up before the tread is run down since I don't drive much, so this was like a benchmark test.  Would I get an advisory or a fail?  I got advisories.  My own take on these - one is definitely dead since it doesn't maintain its pressure.  The other looks equally bad but doesn't loose pressure.  They are both dated 3612 (36th week of year 2012) so 7 years old.  They are made by Sonar.  6mm tread on both but I don't think they should be put through the paces any further.  (I'll try posting pictures later).

2.  My drive is on an incline.  When I park facing up, the car rolls back on the parking brake (in neutral).  When I park facing down, it locks in like concrete.  I was so sure this would need adjustment I had that on the agenda as a fix before the MOT, but had an interesting discussion with the manager of the garage I found online as a Toyota Specialist.  He said it probably wouldn't be a fail since the test does an average of the front and rear (directional?) holds.  So I took his advice and.. not even an advisory!  (No, it wasn't him doing the MOT). I asked the MOT tester about it afterwards and he said he had noticed it was a bit slack but not enough for an advisory.

3.  The not so good news is an advisory on a minor oil leak.  I haven't noticed any drops on the drive but I have had my doubts about the colour of some of the water stains after rains (unfortunately my drive has some old stains so it's not as if I can notice a light smear).  Another discussion with the garage guys - they were of the view that it's not serious and I shouldn't worry about it.  Well!  Now I know it's there I will need to know it's origin.

So that was that.  Except that I was informed that the CEL was now on in my car.  Hmmm.  A restart didn't help.  The engine was also running very rough (a cylinder or bank off).  They read the codes and suggested something wrong with one of the coils.  I was pretty sure it was because of all that lifting that goes on during the MOT test.  Drove home and disconnected the Battery for about 90 minutes.  All well after restart.  So much for this particular Toyota Specialist!

So now I want someone to check the oil leak and adjust/clean the park brake.  (Any recommendations of a garage?  I'm in Wandsworth SW London).  For tyres I'm thinking a full set of Avon ZX7s.

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Near Side Rear (this one doesn't maintain tyre pressure over time).

IMG_20190622_200917.thumb.jpg.917d99b771f7720b2fa16d543aa4b2eb.jpg

Off Side Rear (retains tyre pressure fine but I think the dry rot - cracks - are getting serious now)

IMG_20190622_200931.thumb.jpg.e7520495ff823f2be8f7061a98283d3a.jpg

 

Now, what's this Michelin (dated 1214) doing beginning to crack up at 5 years?!  6mm tread left on this too!

IMG_20190622_200944.thumb.jpg.7254011d68069addb9fb42a4c78ff5bf.jpg

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18 hours ago, BachelorDays said:

They are both dated 3612 (36th week of year 2012) so 7 years old.

6 years is generally considered to be the safe life of a tyre. I wouldn't go past this.

18 hours ago, BachelorDays said:

Any recommendations of a garage?  I'm in Wandsworth SW London

Might be a bit far but Russell at Toyotec in Redhill is very good and honest.

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You should have the same tyres on all 4 wheels on an AWD vehicle.

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22 hours ago, m4rkw said:

6 years is generally considered to be the safe life of a tyre. I wouldn't go past this.

Might be a bit far but Russell at Toyotec in Redhill is very good and honest.

On tyre life I go more for 10 years, but it depends on the manufacturer.  Mind you, this is my experience with cars and maybe with SUVs it's different.  That's why I posted the Michelin picture, since in my experience of Michelins (but on cars), at 5 years with 6mm tread the edges still look polished.

Thanks for the Toyotec reference.  I've seen them recommended before as well.  There's another recommendation for a garage in Sidcup but I think it'll be a better drive to Redhill.  Any experience of Toyotatech in Guildford?  Google maps shows it as a very small operation but the chap has been recommended in our forums in the past.

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2 minutes ago, BachelorDays said:

On tyre life I go more for 10 years, but it depends on the manufacturer.  Mind you, this is my experience with cars and maybe with SUVs it's different.

You cannot reliably determine whether a tyre is safe to drive on from a visual inspection alone. A quick google search reveals a documented accident caused by a tyre that was just shy of 10 years old: https://www.edmunds.com/car-maintenance/how-old-and-dangerous-are-your-tires.html

The general consensus amongst the various parties (including tyre manufacturers) is that 6 years is the safe limit: http://www.tiresafetygroup.com/tires-expire-in-six-years/

At £120/corner four premium tyres over six years work out to about £6.67/month. Why risk killing yourself or others just to save a few pounds a month?

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On 6/23/2019 at 8:09 PM, BachelorDays said:

(this one doesn't maintain tyre pressure over time).

could be all sorts of reasons and not just the tyre ...  maybe the way the seating has slightly corroded on the wheel rim ....  when you change the tyres get them to especially clean the rim thoroughly, will save going back when your brand new tyre starts going down too :no2:

Malc

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7 hours ago, Malc said:

could be all sorts of reasons and not just the tyre ...  maybe the way the seating has slightly corroded on the wheel rim ....  when you change the tyres get them to especially clean the rim thoroughly, will save going back when your brand new tyre starts going down too :no2:

Malc

May well be, but in my experience a tyre gone dry will eventually start losing pressure.  That's a sure shot sign for me to replace it - but that's not saying I'll necessarily wait for this to happen before changing the tyre.

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I kind of have this problem with wifey's car, she doesn't do much in the form of mileage and I always change the tyres because of cracking, never because they are worn out.

Short of parking it in the shade, and rolling it about once in a while, I don't think there is a "fix" for this.

My understanding is 6 years tops for tyres.

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19 hours ago, BachelorDays said:

a tyre gone dry will eventually start losing pressure.

never heard this expression before ...  what is it please

Thanks

Malc

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2 hours ago, Malc said:

never heard this expression before ...  what is it please

Thanks

Malc

I meant dry rot.  Cracking in the rubber.

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