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My car has passed it’s MOT but….

(43 Posts)
MayBee70 Sat 11-Nov-23 23:38:51

The garage say all of the shock absorbers have corroded and need replacing. It’s going to cost nearly £2,000. It was a bit of a shock as, although it’s old (2007) I thought Toyotas, if well maintained, went on forever. And there was no mention of any corrosion at all last year. I do trust the garage; bought the car from them and I know of people that travel from other parts of the country to use them. But I’m confused as to how sudden the corrosion has been. I did read that something had changed this year MOT wise in that they now have to tell people of things that are likely to need doing going forward. I’ve got to have it done; I know I could put the money towards another car but the sort of car I could afford will probably have done far more mileage than mine has and I’ve got fairly new very good tyres and a new battery. Going to show my ex the video of the corrosion because he always used to maintain our cars and kept horrible old cars going for years. I wonder if it’s another result of the wet weather we’ve been having?

denbylover Sat 11-Nov-23 23:47:31

Hi if, it were me, I think I’d pay for the new shock absorbers. To purchase another vehicle might let you in for goodness knows what problems. If you do the SA’s at least you know the rest of your current cars in good condition.

merlotgran Sun 12-Nov-23 00:00:34

If it has passed you have a year to decide if you want to scrap it and put the £2,000 towards a newer car. The work needed is advisory so you could take the car to a different garage for a pre test examination before the next MOT. It’s cheaper than a failure in the long run because you can still drive it before the test date while you look for something else and you can ask for another quote to replace the shock absorbers.

Keep an eye on the mileage because as it’s an old car you may be throwing good money after bad if you decide to keep it, replace the shock absorbers and then the cam belt goes!!

MayBee70 Sun 12-Nov-23 00:14:04

They want to do the work asap. It’s the time of year when they’ll start salting the road so any corrosion will get worse. I just don’t understand how it has got so bad so quickly. It’s in such good condition. To look at it it almost looks like a new car.

merlotgran Sun 12-Nov-23 00:35:24

If it’s that urgent it wouldn’t/shouldn’t have passed the MOT. Advisories mean you have until next year to get the work done.

I think they’re having you on.

Georgesgran Sun 12-Nov-23 03:06:30

No car goes forever Maybee70 and at 17 years old, it’s more than possible for a car to fail its MOT from one year to the next. That sounds patronizing - I don’t mean it to be. Try googling the importance of shock absorbers and what they do, as I’ve just done, but it was interesting to see an approx cost of up to £500 given. I don’t know if that’s per absorber, so if all 4 of yours are going, £2K is about right. Is it worth getting a price from another garage, as yours seems a little hasty in pushing for the work, especially as the car has passed its MOT.
What I’d think about, is that the repair is going to cost as much as the car is worth and as Merlot says what else might go, especially on an old car.
Obviously, I’ve no idea of your circumstances, your age and how much longer you hope to drive, but personally … I’d start looking for something else, while you’ve a long MOT and trade your ‘banger’ in. I’ve had an old car in the past, but a classic car and threw money at it, but in the end my head had to rule my heart and it had to go.

Susan56 Sun 12-Nov-23 07:16:01

An advisory shouldn’t mean the work is urgent.I am sure that if the problem was that bad you would have noticed.I would say get a second opinion?

We had an advisory re tyres in March 2022 and March 2023.We went to the tyre garage every month to get them checked and they finally said to get them changed a couple of weeks ago.

NotSpaghetti Sun 12-Nov-23 07:40:31

An advisory doesn't really mean you have a year to do it Merlotgran. It means that it is passing that day. It may mean doing the work quite quickly to be safe (or not to cause further damage) for example.

It's very obvious with a tyre - which would maybe be fine (within the law) on Monday but if you drive 1000 miles over the next week because you visit someone in Scotland from (say) Brighton you could then fail the MOT the next week. You would still have the MOT pass for then on but it wouldn't be legal (or safe) to drive it.

We have had things just pass on our MOT or service and then had to decide what to do.
It's always a shock if it's a big job - but I'd rather know!

I hope you feel clearer about it once others have seen the video Maybe.
I don't think the garage is necessary "ripping you off" but still worth getting an estimate for the work being done elsewhere.

Gelisajams Tue 14-Nov-23 11:13:54

Get a quote from a different garage.

Calendargirl Tue 14-Nov-23 11:20:50

We had our car serviced and MOT’d yesterday. It passed, but the timing belt is overdue to be replaced.

Will cost about £1500, it’s a big job. The car is 11 years old, but our mileage is low. After a discussion with the chap in the service department, we are having it done.

Yes, the car is getting on, but it passed the MOT easily. We have used this local garage for many years, always been happy with them, so trust what they say and assume the price is pretty standard for our make of car. If the belt went, it would cause huge damage to the engine.

ABW, we shall hang onto it then for another few years.

karmalady Tue 14-Nov-23 11:32:55

I have an advisory on my back tyres, July. The local family -run tyre co checked them last week and they are ok but they said to call back in a month for checking again. They don`t charge for this. Whatever, I will be asking for new tyres before next july, whether I need them or not

EEJit Tue 14-Nov-23 11:47:07

If you're doubtful take it to another garage and just ask them to check the shocks. It'll cost you, but not £2000.

4allweknow Tue 14-Nov-23 12:02:51

I don't think its a new thing in the MOT to be given info on what looks like potential work required. Take your car to another garage and ask them to check the SA, perhaps an independent wirkshop/garage, not one linked to a dealer of any sort. You need to keep in mind your car is 16 years old, how long do you expect it to be roadworthy without major repairs being needed.

NotSpaghetti Tue 14-Nov-23 12:22:57

I have done some googling about this as I had mine replaced last year.

The concensus is that they will last you for somewhere between about 50,000-100,000 miles. If roads are bumpy and bendy or with speed humps it will be less, if a well maintained motorway it's likely to be more.
Also, if you are a more aggressive driver it will be less. Every turn and cat's eye contributes to their wearing out. It happens slowly.

How many miles are on the clock?

I read this on "honest john":
The problem with dampers is that they gradually lose effectiveness, and this means it can be almost unnoticeable. However, 'difficult' roads show the problem. I used to regularly use a road which had a mixture of undulations and bends, and really tested the suspension. It was clear from the way my car started to handle this road that the rear dampers were losing effectiveness. This was at about 70k miles. Seemed ok most of the time, but not on that road. Perfectly MOT-able, but fading. The risk? The car will not behave well in an emergency situation.

If there is corrosion and the rest of the car is OK. I'd speak to the garage i trusted but probably "suck it up", personally.

Stewpot100 Tue 14-Nov-23 12:29:49

My old Toyota Yaris was amazingly reliable every year. Bought from nearly new and finally failed the MOT on emissions some 120,000 miles later. Finally scrapped it but even then was given around £200 for it.

MayBee70 Tue 14-Nov-23 12:44:00

I am going to have the work done. I may need some dental work doing soon so that’s going to deplete my crisis fund! It was more the scale of the problem that shocked me and the suddenness of it. I always assumed the longevity of a car was down to it’s mileage and, if I bought a second hand car to replace it I doubt if I would find one with less mileage. I would have expected a problem engine wise due to lack of mileage ( it really needs a good spin up a motorway) rather than a structural problem. I bet it hasn’t done much over 20,000 miles! I’m annoyed with myself in that, if I’d hosed the underside of the car down after the roads had been gritted it might have prevented this. I’m sure my ex used to put oil under the car. As I said to him years after we’d separated ‘ I never appreciated all the work you did on the house and the car’, and he replied sadly ‘I’m an engineer, nobody ever does’. I get frustrated by my lack of knowledge when it comes to technical or mechanical stuff.

cc Tue 14-Nov-23 13:36:37

My husband has just had his 5 year old Mercedes MOT'd and was shocked to be advised (as part of the MOT) that the brakes needed replacing. However when he spoke to the service manager he said they were fine, it was just the advisory part of the MOT and they should be fine until the next MOT at which time they may well need doing.

LovesBach Tue 14-Nov-23 13:37:11

It's well worth keeping an older car - the general opinion is that they are better made. We maintain ours because it is reliable, so comfortable and rarely needs more than the odd spare part. 'Problem will be when parts are no longer available, but we will hang on to it as long as we can. (It's twenty five soon - 175,000 miles on the clock.)

ExDancer Tue 14-Nov-23 13:50:19

My 2008 Toyota actually failed because of something to do with corrosion to the suspension. They have fixed it (not had the bill yet! sad )
They advise looking for a replacement.
I too thought Toyotas were pretty corrosion proof. It seems not.

SheepyIzzy Tue 14-Nov-23 15:49:38

Makes me wonder if it's the garage??? My mechanic has been looking after my car for a few years, (car is now 17 years old) when he did some work on it last year (relating to 2021 MOT) he said it needed some specialist welding. I suggested SCRAPPING the car, he said don't be daft, good car etc, pay for the welding, you'll be fine. So we paid for the welding, 3 MONTHS LATER, he came back and said start looking for another car as the other side would also need this specialist welding! I passed comment about why wasn't welding done On both sides? He shrugged his shoulders! So this year, as you can imagine, I've been panicking as to what to do, there isn't a car in our price range, for what we need (we aren't interested in brand new) and 2nd hand have held their prices, mechanic adamant SHE WILL FAIL! So someone put me in contact with a different mechanic, car passed, after he failed it On a different issue, NO specialist welding needed! He even showed me where, under the car, the repairs were done last year and DON'T need to be done this year! We're thinking our mechanic was either having a bad day last year or no longer wanted us as customers!

MayBee70 Tue 14-Nov-23 16:10:47


My 2008 Toyota actually failed because of something to do with corrosion to the suspension. They have fixed it (not had the bill yet! sad )
They advise looking for a replacement.
I too thought Toyotas were pretty corrosion proof. It seems not.

I think they improved corrosion wise in the years after mine was made. I’m trying to get onto a Toyota owners forum because there’s a thread about shock absorbers but I can’t seem to get past the are you a robot bit! When I asked ‘if I get this work done will I get a few more years out of it’ they wouldn’t answer. I suppose they couldn’t. I even tried the question I use with vets ‘ if it was you what would you do’ but, again no answer. My problem is my ex used to keep our cars going forever: it resulted in me driving the most awful cars which resulted in me losing my confidence driving. They were safe because he did such a good job but were horrible to drive; a Chrysler Alpine and an Austin Princess that, no matter how many times we cleaned it still smelled of my FIL’s years of smoking. A Mini Metro that had no acceleration whatsoever; I used to come home in tears because I annoyed other drivers so much. I guess I’m emotionally dependent on a car that, till now I had 100% faith in. I think the owners forum might say 2006 was a bad year shock absorbers wise. I’m going to get the work done but assume next November I will have to replace it. Annoyingly me neighbour recently stopped driving and sold their Yaris. If only I’d known.

MerylStreep Tue 14-Nov-23 16:42:14

I asked my partner about this. He said you can pick up most shock absorbers for £200/300 without knowing the model he couldn’t say if it would be a piece of cake or a b&£#@#d.
So if you say £800 for Labour that’s not too bad.

Katie59 Tue 14-Nov-23 17:06:03

New shock Absorbers for a 15 yr old Toyota don’t cost £2000
Maybe £500 is realistic, OH put 2 on my BMW they cost £120 and took an hour to fit.

An MOT now gives “advisories”, if they were unsafe it would have failed the MOT. Wait until it fails the MOT then replace them

midgey Tue 14-Nov-23 18:17:59

When my daughter leant me her I took it for an MOT, it was given several advisories, it was returned to her with no work down. The follow year it passed the MOT with flying colours. I think it all depends on the mechanics, the weather, the wind direction and how they got up in the morning! That’s not to say that I don’t trust the test just some of the advisories.

MayBee70 Tue 14-Nov-23 18:25:49

I have got a video of the corrosion though, and it looks pretty bad. My ex is hopefully going to look at it.