Jap tyres - a cautionary tale

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#1
So I got my 2002, e51 with 19,000 miles on it last October. The tyre tread all around was excellent although the rubber between the treads was cracking. This is not an MOT failure so no worries (l thought).

Roll forward 5 months to my first post-camper conversion in Devon. As is the norm, the roads have a good few potholes. On the way back home on the A303, a particular pothole led to an immediate wheel wobble. A puncture me thinks, but no. I carry on and the wheel wobble is worrying me so into a tyre shop for a check over: nothing visible but a front wheel balance done to eliminate that possibility.

The journey continues and wheel wobble is suddenly more pronounced. I stop in a layby to find a rear tyre showing more steel wire than the forth road bridge.

To cut the story short, this is what is thought to have happened?

The cracks in the tread let in water which over time weakens the wired tyre carcase. The repeated potholes causes the tyre to collapse.

Seems a fair assumption to me and I now have new tyres all round.

PS - the old tyres were 2011, so had spent a lot of time sitting around.
 

Phil

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#2
So I got my 2002, e51 with 19,000 miles on it last October. The tyre tread all around was excellent although the rubber between the treads was cracking. This is not an MOT failure so no worries (l thought).

Roll forward 5 months to my first post-camper conversion in Devon. As is the norm, the roads have a good few potholes. On the way back home on the A303, a particular pothole led to an immediate wheel wobble. A puncture me thinks, but no. I carry on and the wheel wobble is worrying me so into a tyre shop for a check over: nothing visible but a front wheel balance done to eliminate that possibility.

The journey continues and wheel wobble is suddenly more pronounced. I stop in a layby to find a rear tyre showing more steel wire than the forth road bridge.

To cut the story short, this is what is thought to have happened?

The cracks in the tread let in water which over time weakens the wired tyre carcase. The repeated potholes causes the tyre to collapse.

Seems a fair assumption to me and I now have new tyres all round.

PS - the old tyres were 2011, so had spent a lot of time sitting around.
Thanks for that @Alan Morgan . I've still got the Jap tyres on - Yokohama Blu..something (can't remember exactly) & I've been wondering if I should get them changed. I searched google previously & they sell this make in the UK so I thought they might be ok.

I will check them today for the splits as you describe above. Thank you :)
 

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#3
Hi @Phil, I had a lot of small splits and this in combination with low mileage and the tyre age (2011) meant that the vehicle spent a lot of time motionless.

A higher mileage vehicle may be less affected by inner steel band deterioration due to the heat generated when running, but that's pure speculation.

I'm off to France in May and the thought of a blowout in a country whose language is not known to me, leaves me feeling cold.
 

Baz L

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#4
Similar to what I had, the tyres looked reasonable when I picked mine up from the port, luckily it was trailered as tread on one of the rears had nearly de laminated which was only visible on the inside wall.
 

Travellingman

Well-Known Member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#6
When we got the Cho last year , she had two tyres dated 2007 on the front , funny thing is if the mileage was "Correct" at only 28k why had it had all four tyres replaced ? I replaced all 4 and have put on twice that mileage in less than 12months and yet the new tyres are still good , wonder if the mileage check they do in Japan is very reliable ?
 

Karl

Founder
Staff member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E50 Expert
#7
Doesn't matter if I get an import or a second hand UK car. I always look to change the tyres as soon as possible. You don't know their history.

@headless has his Jap tyres blow out on him after a stretch on the motorway (luckily he was off the motorway and on rural roads).

Do not leave Jap tyres on, even if they "look ok". Get new tyres put on, even if they are budget tyred for now, they will be better and safer and you'll know their history.
 

Travellingman

Well-Known Member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#9
Its quite scary how many High end cars have nearly bald tyres on them , a walk through the supermarket car park will always reveal Audi,s , Bmw , Etc , with less tread than an old trainer on their tyres , :(
 

Phil

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#10
I'm off to the beautiful Scottish Highlands in the summer with my two lovely daughters ... (oh and the wife :)). So for the sake of £400 I want to make sure our journey is as safe as possible.

What do you recommend for mid range tyres on a 2002 Xl ?
 

Whotsit

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#11
Whether it's true or not I don't know but I was told that if the tyre did not have the European mark on them they should not pass the MOT, although my tyres appeared to be in good condition I was not entirely happy with them so I sported out for a new set all round, not due to whether they were legal or not but to a gut feeling that I had about them.

I can recommend an on line company called Tyre Shopper, best price, no messing about and no hidden cost, fitting and ballancing FOC.
 

Christopher

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
#12
I'm off to the beautiful Scottish Highlands in the summer with my two lovely daughters ... (oh and the wife :)). So for the sake of £400 I want to make sure our journey is as safe as possible.

What do you recommend for mid range tyres on a 2002 Xl ?
Brian at BMR put Acceleras XL on my 03 E51.
 

AnneTD

Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#13
Garage has told me that my E51 has snow tyres on and told me I won't have as good grip in the summer.
Place I bought them from says they are legal. Should I keep them for winter or dump them?
Or should I just change for all rounders?
Read pros and cons for all types.
 

Phil

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#14
Thanks @Whotsit I will have a look at Tyre Shopper

Thanks @Christopher I had acceleras on my last 4x4 & had no problems with them. And if @BMR is using them, I'll make sure I have a look at them again.

@AnneTD the general opinion seems to be that the Jap fitted tyres aren't very good or safe on our roads but I'm no expert I'm afraid. I'll have a look for all rounders I think.
 

headless

Moderator / Rock Star
Staff member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#15
Doesn't matter if I get an import or a second hand UK car. I always look to change the tyres as soon as possible. You don't know their history.

@headless has his Jap tyres blow out on him after a stretch on the motorway (luckily he was off the motorway and on rural roads).

Do not leave Jap tyres on, even if they "look ok". Get new tyres put on, even if they are budget tyred for now, they will be better and safer and you'll know their history.
As Karl said I had a huge blowout on the original jap tyres, was even told they were snow tyres and I'd been running then for about 3 years, haha, no wonder they blew, I was very very lucky that I was not on the motorway at the time.
Would post up pic but the bloody forum won't let me upload picture....Karl?????
 

BMR

Moderator
Staff member
E51 Expert
#19
Word of warning for E51 owners running adjustable or lowered suspension on the rears, the suspension is disigned to increase its negative camber as the suspension loads up on corners to help give more grip to the outside wheel on a bend, the downside is that the inside shoulder of the tyre wears quite fast but a glance at the outer 3/4 of the tread looks fine, this is even worse when running 19" and 20" wheels with low profile tyres as there is less flex in the side walls. Another tip when running bigger wheels with low profiles do not try to straddle those lump type sleeping policeman as you place a lot of strain on the insides of the tyres and rims, i know after cracking the inner rims on the wheels my E51 came with.
 

Alan Morgan

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#20
Let's see if this works, this is the jap tyre blown out!!
I'm the original poster of this thread - I couldn't upload my blown tyre pic at the time, but here it is - looks rather familiar to @headless 's near catastrophe.

The response to this posting has obviously brought the subject to a useful head for many - maybe the ADMIN folks could consider making it a 'sticky' for others to read, especially new members?
Elgrand tyre blowout.jpg