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Scion tC Problems and Solutions

volcomknurdvolcomknurd Posts: 13
edited March 20 in Scion
i was curious if any current owners of the new tC have had any problems with theirs. i know its a brand new car, but nothing in life is perfect.
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Comments

  • gtwgtw Posts: 46
    My daughter got hers July 3 and now has over 1,000 miles on it. No problems what so ever as of today.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,453
    closest thing to a problem might be a slight plastic creak somewhere in the dash when I hit a bump.

    One thing I did notice is that it seems to hold the revs slightly when you shift. That is, when you depress the clutch, it almost seems like I didn't let off the gas fully, even though I had. I used to have a Mystique that had a pronounced case of this (due to holding the revs for emissions reasons). I almost sense it more than hear it, and may just be overly anal about stuff like this, but I have never driven another one to compare.

    Anyone with a 5 speed notice anything like this, or just think I'm nuts?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,453
    This thread will never move to the top of Edmunds most active list ;-). Overall, this is the best put together car I have ever bought (knock on wood). Almost at 500 miles, and getting ready for the second tank of gas.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • deucedeuce Posts: 13
    Funny, I also got my tC july 3, and have just over 1100 miles on it, no problems.
  • tahlequahtahlequah Posts: 54
    my tc is doing exactly the same. In fact, it's so pronounced that I'm not yet convinced that the clutch isn't slipping - except for you perfect description of the event, stickguy. It really is felt more than heard and it seems most evident shifting into 3rd. That you experience this, too, makes me feel a little better and that it may be a product of the high rev value, not a fault per se.

    other than that, every other complaint (if you could even call it that) is just cosmetic - and those hardly warrant a mention.

    I just hit 450 miles on my tc (bought July 9). I'm averaging around 25 mpg, 50/50 highway/city. can't complain really.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,453
    at least it's not me. At some point I may ask the service department about it (at the first oil change if not before). IIRC, especially with the drive by wire throttle, cars can be set up to hold the revs for emission reasons. I remember with the Contique it was a common issue, and there was even a remedy (called "moosing") that involved putting a plug in some hose.

    It is just noticable enough to be noticable, if that makes sense, but doesn't really detract from the driving experience. I just notice it.

    Of course, if any owner finds out more about this, post for the rest of us.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • tahlequahtahlequah Posts: 54
    Got a Toyota enthusiast to drive my tc this evening just to double check my concerns RE: clutch activity - seems I'm not the only one having a tough time with a clean shift. They too had trouble with smoothness but remarked that it's a long throw and I shouldn't worry. Still, we're talking about two people who are very adept at driving a stick, both saying essentially the same thing; it's a long throw that doesn't make for a clean shift, especially at higher revs.

    And while we're throwing out complaints, there is actually one other concern I have and that's the "missing" affect most especially on the highway. The enthusiast seemed to believe it's all due to the AC compressor draining the engine but, if that's the truth, it's one helluva drain. Certainly more than I've ever experienced in any other car. I also thought it was the compressor until I turned off the AC and it did it anyway. It does it less frequently and is less noticeable, but it's still there if you drive long enough. (of course, with the friend driving I ran into the "mechanic" scenario: you know something's wrong but the problem doesn't rear its ugly head in front of the mechanic and you end up looking a fool!)
     
    Any ideas what else it could be besides the compressor? Is it possible that the engine is so hyped to work that a constant 60mph is a bother for it? I suppose that's a stretch. Maybe I'm just not used to a car with so much torque? That seems entirely possible to me.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,453
    I have no idea what the "missing" effect is. Can you describe the sensation? ALmost sounds like you are talking about a miss or a skip, and I haven't noticed anything like that. I will pay attention on Friday when I take another highway run, hopefully without tons of rain.

    By long throws, did you mean the clutch travel is long, or the shifter throws (which I don't consider long)? I notice the rev sensation when depressing the clutch (as if I hadn't lifted entirely off the gas), but have no problems with a clean engage. I also have been pretty gentle with it so far. Once it is fully broken in, I'll play some more with quicker shifts and shifting at higher RPM.

    I believe the tC does have drive by wire throttle, so it is software deciding what RPMs to be at, not the driver's right foot. if thats the issue, its possible that a reflash might be in order. Or we will just get used to it and eventually won't even notice.

    Biggest problem I have with being smooth is going back and forth to my Miata, which has a very stiff clutch with extremely short travel. Great for fast driving, not so great for getting stuck in traffic.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • rodzillarodzilla Posts: 2
    When I am babying the vehicle, due to the long clutch travel, I have a tough time getting a smooth start. When I drive it more aggressively, it shifts a lot smoother. Keep the revs up and it goes without any jerking. Keep shifts under 3K RPM, and live with a choppier ride. Until I pass a 1000 miles, I really don't want to push it. So, I live with rougher starts.

    I think the engine rev when engaging the clutch is for when you downshift. It's blipping the throttle for you to make for a smoother transition. Although, it doesn't quite feel right when it's happening on the upshifts. Personally, I'd prefer to match revs on my own on the downshift and not have the engine rev extra every time I engage the clutch.

    I too ran into the "skipping" thing on the highway. It's a perceptible nudge I can feel when tooling along. Almost as if the engine skipped for a fraction of a second. It is a bit disconcerting. It shouldn't have anything to do with the amount of torque the engine puts out. It's just a wait and see thing for the long term. Hopefully, it's just a software reprogram for both issues.

    Stick shifts owned
    81 DeLorean (Mom's car. Learned how to drive a stick on this.)
    81 Trans Am (M21. Heavy duty racing clutch. Brutal workout.)
    80 Chevette (What do you expect for 50 bucks?)
    90 Maxima (Very nice and connected feel)
    00 Maxima (Ugh. Not very forgiving.)

    Smoothest and nicest clutch so far was a test drive in an 04 Mazda3S. It is just about the nicest stick I've driven. Supremely forgiving. Unfortunately, the price difference and a lack of adjustability in the seating tipped the balance in favor of the tC. Or maybe I should say fortunately :)
  • tahlequahtahlequah Posts: 54
    I have no idea what the missing effect is. Can you describe the sensation?

    It's missing like I've put "bad" gas in it. But it's worse than that - I shouldn't say worse, just more pronounced than if it were simply bad gas or the compressor.

    By long throws, did you mean the clutch travel is long, or the shifter throws (which I don't consider long)?

    The clutch travel is long.

    I notice the rev sensation when depressing the clutch (as if I hadn't lifted entirely off the gas), but have no problems with a clean engage.

    Yes, that's what it's like EXCEPT the engage is blunt, for lack of a better word. If I depress really slow (I mean really slow), it will catch cleanly (all the while revving as if I'm still on the gas), but to depress as one would normally, it's a jerk, especially in 3rd.

    I believe the tC does have drive by wire throttle, so it is software deciding what RPMs to be at, not the drivers right foot. if thats the issue, its possible that a reflash might be in order. Or we will just get used to it and eventually wont even notice.
    What does the drive by wire throttle do exactly?

    I've been driving a stick since '83. I've logged hundreds of thousands of miles, literally - 80,000 in one year! I've never burned out a clutch nor have I ever had trouble shifting the way I do in this tC. I suppose some adjustment time (on my part) is to be expected but this isn't coming to me quickly. But, in all fairness, I've never owned or driven a car with this hp and torque before so I'm assuming I am the problem at this point.
  • tahlequahtahlequah Posts: 54
    Thanks, Rodzilla. It's true that the shift is easier at higher rpms, even still, I'm feeling inadequate because I have never had a car behave this way.

    I'm glad to know you've experienced the skipping/missing effect. Sorry that it's happening to you but glad that you know what I'm talking about. It is disconcerting indeed.

    I must have bought the only lemon Mazda ever made. I traded my 03' 6i for my tC. It was six months old with 3000 miles! It handled okay but what a nightmare that thing was otherwise. From the moment I drove it off the lot things went wrong. First time I waxed it, the paint on the trunk at the corners of the spoiler chipped off. That was the first paint job. Two months later, it happened again. That was the second paint job. By then, the dealer was so pissed at the body shop that they sent it to another body shop to have it painted a third time (KY's lemon law is four strikes...not three). In between all this there were brake issues (the pads were loose so they had to be replaced, that was at 1000 miles and the calipers were wasted), two recalls and a myriad of other things. I lost some $$$ dumping it but it was so worth it when I saw the tC.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,837
    What's your rpm in 5th gear when you notice this missing?

    I'm wondering if you are prematurely in overdrive. If you are trying to use 5th gear below 2,000 rpm this could explain the problem.

    MODERATOR

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,453
    the way the tC is geared, that would be about 40 MPH.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Guys, one thing about the engine in this car is the VVTI or variable valve timing with intelligence. Here's a short explanation about the intelligence part, it is not science fiction, it is fact. The engine and computer in this car actually "adjust" to your way of driving over time. If you like to drive quick and fast the software "remembers" your inputs. Same goes for the "granny" drivers. It remembers those drive inputs. The throtlle has the ETCS-i or electronic throttle control system with intelligence. Same concept as the engine. Also remembers your inputs, the drive by wire portion does away with the throttle or accelerator cable and is replaced by an electronic sensor which is very fast acting to your input on the accelerator. Next time you drive the car notice how fast it responds when you press the accelerator.
                      : )
                       Mackabee
  • tahlequahtahlequah Posts: 54
    Yes, stickguy, 2000 rpm would be about 40 mph and I'm feeling the miss regardless of either. The only factor I've found thus far is the AC but, like I said, even with it off the miss is still there just less so.

    Mack, everything you said makes sense. My question now would be: do I simply drive the tC like I drive my other cars and wait for the tC to adjust to me or is there a better approach? In this break-in stage, I am reluctant to do anything that might compromise the car. I'm only at 485 miles.

    And, yes, I had noticed the quick accelerator response very early on. So soon, in fact, that I thought perhaps the miss I was feeling was a result of some inability on my part to hold a steady accelerator pedal. But, when I got out on the highway and switched to cruise control in as flat a stretch as I could find, I thought differently. Is this also a product of VVTi?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,837
    Well if you are in fact at 2,000 rpm in 5th gear and you romp on the gas, you would be putting quite a load on the engine ("lugging") and you will get a protest from the engine I'm sure.

    If this miss occurs in all gears and regardless of rpm that's another matter. That's a problem.

    MODERATOR

  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    You could probably start driving it the way you usually drive and not hurt anything. This vvt-i is very intelligent! Have fun and enjoy!
                         : )
                          Mackabee
  • dat2dat2 Posts: 242
    I have tested the tC with manual twice now, both times I noticed a poor throttle response, mainly off idle. It seemed to take measurable split seconds for the engine to respond while idling. Does this also occur while driving, such as downshifting. I am comparing to my '96 nissan 240sx which responds brilliantly to blip throttle downshifts, how does the tC do in the situation??

    Can anyone confirm the drive-by-wire throttle? I have heard some say it is normal throttle cable and others say it has the drive by... Thanks!
  • mpls_xbmpls_xb Posts: 1
    I spoke with a Scion 'customer advocate' (1-866-70-SCION). They were not able to confirm electronic throttle on Scion, specifically xB.
  • ocelotevaoceloteva Posts: 5
    From Car and Driver

    "...Powering the tC is the Camry's 2AZ-FE 2.4-liter four-cylinder, a sophisticated engine with an aluminum block, a magnesium cam cover, electronic throttle control, and variable intake-valve timing."
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,453
    I think it has very quick throttle response. Maybe you aren't coming off the clutch as quickly as you think?

    Also, for the rev holding question, was driving last week when it was cool, and did not notice it at all. Wonder if it is something in the ECU mapping related to temperature?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • dat2dat2 Posts: 242
    I noticed the poor throttle response in blip-throttle downshifts, it is slow to blip, i think this must be related to the electronic throttle. For example, when slowing down for a corner, or in corner, blipping the throttle to not affect the transfer of weight in the dynamics of the car...
  • So, what does it mean when you let out the clutch and the steering pulls to the right?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,453
    It's a Republican?

    Actually, that's normally the result of torque steer. I haven't noticed any, but I haven't really nailed it from a start. The other thing to consider is that the widish tires are more sensitive to nuances in the road. In any case, just steer left ;-)

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,453
    Anyone notice if their parking brake has to be yanked all the way up to hold? On mine, it goes way up, and pretty much has to be on the last notch to hold the car (which it then does just fine). Just wondering if this is normal, or I should look into an adjustment.

    I might just be used to cars that only have a few clicks and don't need to be pulled up real far.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,837
    Yep, torque steer, especially if you nail it with the wheels slightly turned to begin with.

    MODERATOR

  • AH, well.....that explains that, then. Now tell me, is this normal? The wheels usually are at an angle but I'm not nailing it by any means. I don't think I've ever had this experience before....then again....I've never had a car like this before. That's why I seem ultra paranoid: just trying to find out what's me and what's the car.

    Ya'll are a HUGE help. Thanks. Although I hope my car is not a Republican.....but I digress......

    And you're not kidding about the nuances of the tires! I'm not complaining, just confirming.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,837
    Well some FWD cars torque steer worse than others, but all of them do to some extent. Depends on design and on power output. Also how you drive. I've felt torque steer on cars where the owners never mention it or insist it isn't there---but it is.

    Might be good for you to drive another identical car and see for yourself if anything strange is going on.

    MODERATOR

  • carguy79carguy79 Posts: 23
    I have had my 5 speed tC for a week now. I too have the revs between shifts, nut I am not concerned, my 98 Nissan 200sx did the same thing and the clutch is still working perfectly at 98000 miles. I have heard an interior noise especially when car has been sitting and I have to back out of my driveway into the street. Sounds like some flexing to me. It is a great handling car, second to none in its category
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