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Scion tC Problems and Solutions



  • Thanks for the 'drop it' mac. I also miss the point of this run-on. Who cares? Go buy the BMW if it is so sophisticated. Have fun with the iDrive while tC owners are having fun driving!
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Point is your original post was incorrect also, as was my point that no Toyota engines have VVTi on the exhaust side.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Actually, I'm a Toyota junkie anyway, not a big fan of BMW, but it doesn't mean Toyota is better at everything.
  • geneegenee Posts: 170
    I hope the embroidery on the boxers doesn't itch. The parts department has ordered the third attempt at the radio lid. They are back ordered so I must NOT be the only one trying to get a fix.
  • I am feeling heat when I drive and it is not the air vents. I went to two toyota dealers and could not fix the problem. One says that heat rises due to the exhaust system. I think it is poor insulation. IS ANYONE EXPERIENCING THIS PROBLEM....? DON"T KNOW WHAT TO DO...I FELL THAT I HAVE BOUGHT A LEMON....
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    No max, my post was not incorrect. I quoted straight out of the technicians manual and source book issued by Toyota Motor Sales USA.
                : )
  • My manual transmission has to be replaced after only 700 miles because it couldn't stay in 3rd gear. According to my dealer a number of people have had the same problem so Toyota is designing a fix for the transmission. I am now going to have to wait until 10/7 (3 weeks without my car!), so Toyota can address this problem in Japan.

    First year cars are risky, but I would have thought Toyota of all companies would be able to pull it off. I know there is a company rep who reads these posts, what is your take on this problem? To all manual tC owners, keep an eye on your 3rd gear!
  • You have me worried about the manual transmission. I have 3300 miles on my tC and have not experienced anything out of the ordinary. Are their any tell-tale signs that will happen before it starts jumping out of gear? (i.e. slipping, hard to shift) I have tried to make mine pop out by accellerating up a hill in third and driving at higher rpms in thrid to notice a problem. Did Toyota say how prevelant of a problem this is?
  • Actually, I have very little information from Toyota. Originally, my transmission was going to take a week to come from Japan, then I got a call last week from the dealer stating that they wouldn't have the transmission until 10/7 and that Toyota is working on a fix, since apparently others have had the same problem. Unfortunately, that's all I know.

    In my case, I noticed that 3rd gear always had a rattle (vibration). When I would shift into 3rd I would feel a vibration from the shifter knob that was not present in the other gears. When the car was warm (30+ minutes of driving) the shifter in 3rd gear would slide back little by little until eventually it popped out of gear. At first I thought it was a poor linkage adjustment, but the dealer determined it was the transmission.

    If you don't have the problems above, I guess I wouldn't worry. I probably got a lemon transmission which I am sure is unusual for Toyota. I'm not trying to scare folks who bought tCs, however, since this is a brand new model, I want everyone to be aware in case they experience a similar problem, and to know that Toyota has a fix (according to the service manager at my dealer). I hope that helps.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 21,109
    I'll pay close attention later, but I haven't noticed any vibration or movement in 3rd gear. It shifts just fine too.

    I also had the AC (actually the defroster, but that runs the AC also) on this morning. It does idle slightly higher, and I felt a slight sensation of "drag" (similar to an AT car when it is in drive but you have the brakes on), but no vibration at all. The steering wheel was rock solid.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • This A/C thing baffles me. I lives in South Alabama and have to run the A/C 9 months out of the year. Mine is not idling rough, it is slightly higher, which is to be expected, but there is not great loss of any power. My only problem so far has been the creaking roof and some wind noise that is easily drowned out by the radio. It was hard to part with my 03 Tacoma, but this car was better than any other choise that I had.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,060
    A new Scion Owners Club is now available on Owners Club board. Please stop by and introduce yourself in Meet the Members and let me know how I can help build your club.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

    Edmunds Community Manager Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.

  • I've had my TC for just under two months now and have put over 3400 miles on it. I love the car and think its just about the best offering for under 20K. There is one major flaw however... The automatic transmission is never consistent with its shifts. Sometimes the car shifts perfectly and life is great! Then... without warning, it shifts like a piece of scheisse!

    Scheisse shifting is:

    Lagging shifts - shifts that take a long time to complete. this usually happens during moderate acceleration between first and second gear. while this is occurring, the RPM increases almost as if the tran is slipping(usually happens when after a complete stop after being on the freeway).
    Very frustrating!

    Reluctance to engage in gear - This is the most frustrating characteristic because it is the most frequent. When performing city driving you're always coming to quasi-stops, such as a light that has turned green before you've fully stopped, taking a turn, pulling out around a turning car, or a myriad of other driving situations that have now become absolutly dreadful for me. When any of the above situations occur, my TC has very slow throttle responce (almost a full second!!!) before it engages in an apropriate gear for accelleration. Whats happening???? I feel this is somewhat connected to the VVT-i issues that have been plagueing you fellow manual drivers. Toyota... what is going on? Please help us! I love the TC, but this Reeeealy sucks!

    Besides these problems, the Tran does other very bazzar things that i know are weird, but i don't know how to classify them.

    I brought it in to the dealer... and of course she behaved like a lexus! After they wiped the egg of my face, they said "It must have been learning how i drive, but if it continues we can reset the computer". Should i let them do this? Has anyone else experienced any problems with their automatic TC?

    Please help!

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 21,109
    welcome to the world of fully electronically controlled cars (trans/engine/throttle). basically it is trying to figure out what it should do based on the parameters programmed in, and sometimes it gets confused for a while.

    Part throttle and slow speed situations are the worst, because the ECU is trying to maximize mileage most of the time, which can keep you up a gear, and tries to avoid hard downshifts that can upset the balance in a turn.

    The software is supposed to learn your style, and they can reset it to re-learn if it developed bad habits. One problem with the adaptable logic is if you normally drive one way, it gets confused when you do something different.

    All just another reason to drive a stick shift!

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • Thanks...

    Yeah... I'm wishing I got a stick, but they said it would be a two month wait! Since I needed a car ASAP, I went with the AT option. Should I have them reset the computer?

    I think I confused the CPU because I drive like a Jack-[non-permissible content removed]! But, so don't most people who own this car:)

    Toyota should have foreseen this!
  • Have any of you seen any OEM sytle after market spoliers for the tC yet?
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Genee, I had a chance to sit in a tC today (one of three that arrived and wasn't pre-sold)for a good while and played with the radio cover. I can see how you could get frustrated with it. I had to use a good "like you mean it" push on the door to open it. I tried this for about 10 minutes and when I did it softly or gently it would not open. I wouldn't see this as a "defect" per se. It just requires a constant pressure to open it up. But that's me. The car sold fifteen minutes after I got out of it.
                      : )
  • geneegenee Posts: 170
    We - and the service manager - have tried gentle, hard, quick, slow, etc. Just about the time you THINK you have it figured out .. it doesn't work. Char says her long talons work ... My daughter just pushes the top in .. I just want to see if they can give me one that works 98% of the time. Now I am waiting to get the trim piece for the driver's side windshield column replaced. Mine falls off with the slightest touch.
  • I picked up my tC last week. I do notice that the radio lid requires a certain touch. But, I don't believe mine needs fixing. It works pretty well now that I'm familiar with it.
  • sayawsayaw Posts: 1
    Hi everyone, I'm going to be getting my scion tC in a month and a half or so. Thanks for all the info on possible problems with the car.

    Genee, could you send me pictures of your leather interior. I made my email public so that shouldn't be a problem.
  • Anyone else with a weird auto transmission? Can somebody send me photos of the leather interior?

  • geneegenee Posts: 170
    Next Tuesday will be the second attempt to have the radio lid replaced. I was told the first one was worse than the original. Today they "fessed up" that it fell apart when they opened the package and they couldn't get it back together right.
  • weav727weav727 Posts: 15
    I just got my silver 5 speed tC yesterday, and it is awesome. One small problem- sometimes I can't get the trunk to open! I'll push the little button or whatever it is, and it will not open. THen I'll go back 5 minutes later and it opens right up. Anyone else experience this? I think it could have something to do with trying to open it with only the driver's door unlocked, but I'm not sure. It will continue once I unlock all the doors, and then finally decide to open.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 21,109
    you have to have all the doors open (2 pushes on the fob) for the trunk to unlock. If it is unlocked and you are still having issues, it's possible your button is not adjusted properly. I don't have any problems with mine.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • hc72hc72 Posts: 20
    I got an automatic as well. It is fine, the response is a little off sometime but I got use to it. Each car maker programs their system slightly differently, it is just matter of getting to know your car. I did notice that the pedal is very touchy. It revs up quite a bit with slight touch.

    Transmission is a direct drop in from Camry, but it feels like they are programed differently. But I have not drove much. Got the car for over 2 months now, but only 140 miles. Is this some kind of record? My work is just 5 minutes down the street, and I take MAX (Portland version of above ground subway) when going downtown. I am not in a hurry. Plan to keep the car for 10 years.

    Have not had vibration with AC on. However, I had my freon refilled. 1 week after getting the car. I noticed that my AC was working hard but not getting sufficiently cold. Dealer found that there is only 6 lbs of freon instead of 9 lbs. Not sure whether this could cause your problem.

    Also found the shift cover trim lifted by 1/4" and had it fixed. My spoiler was off center by 1/4" as well. Other than that everything is good so far. Since I do not drive much, I made sure I checked everything (I mean everything, every button, panel gap, engine bay, fluid, trunk, spare tire, etc) and bring the car in right away for repair. The dealer fixed all the problem right away and free. That was real nice.
  • Anyone have a good recommendation for winter tires for the tC? I live in Maine on a steep hill and need really good snow traction for about 4 months out of the year.

    Also, should I purchase a separate set of wheels to make switch over easier as Consumer Reports recommends? If so - should I buy from the Scion dealer or someplace like VIP?

    Thanks!! Snowstop.
  • markg4markg4 Posts: 44
    i have conti extreme contacts on my 2000 si and am very happy with their wet & snow performance. if you dont want the hassle & expense of switching 2x a year, a good all season is the way to go. check out the reviews on tirerack as i did when i chose to purchase them.

    good luck!
  • I too have expressed concern with wet/winter driving (Michigan). The reviews and ratings I've seen on the Potenza's are not encouraging.

    TireRack recommended the Pirelli P Zero Nero M+S. Ratings and reviews are far better than the Potenza RE92's for wet, dry, snow, wear, and ride.

    Still waiting for my tC to come in. In the mean time I am canvassing tire dealers to see what kind of 'trade' deal I can make to get the Pirelli's on the day of delivery. Right now it looks like I will take quite a hit on the cost even though the Potenza is priced higher. They are all telling me that they have to treat the tires on the car as used. Sound right?

    Flipping a coin now to determine if I should use the money on a couple more accessories and worry about the tires later (take a chance on their winter performance).
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 21,109
    If you live in serious snow country, you should seriously consider snows on dedicated wheels. You will be limited to an all-season tire on the stock wheels, and no 45 series tire is going to do very well in snow. THe OEMs are not known for snow traction either. You also run the risk of trashing the nice alloys in the winter.

    Check out for advice. They do a huge business with snow tire packages, and know what fits. There is also a thread on Edumnds for them (ask Connor).

    Most people get the snows on steel wheels w/hubcaps. You can also do a -1 and get 16" wheels/tires with a taller sidewall (aka higher profile), which will work better in snow and be lots cheaper.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • Michigan winters can be a bear but living in the Detroit (Urban/suburban) area roads are cleared rather quickly and the realistic problem (for the most part) in this context is wet/slushy roads rather than deep snow-covered ones.

    Even with that considered, I have yet to find anyone say anything positive about the OEM tires in this regard. All-seasons would realistically serve the purpose for me.

    I guess I'm looking for someone to legitimately come to the defense of the Potenza's in which case I may leave them on and take my chances or flat out deride them and push me over the edge to replace them immediately despite the cost.

    There is nothing available on the performance of the tC in winter conditions - car, tires or otherwise. I suppose we early owners will be the test market.

    Thanks for the insight
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