Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Scion tC Problems and Solutions



  • geneegenee Posts: 170
    Once upon a time ... I downloaded a tC manual (not the owner's manual) from a California college site. It states that the upper brake light and rear turn signals have to be replaced as a unit. Having a Ph.D. engineer for a son, I KNOW sloppy design is not part of their menu. Not having driven much - at all - in Japan, I wonder if the design was meant to also show turn signals? This 1/3 light is the problem the people at the Scion phone site "will call me back" about ... when they find an answer. No breath holding. Oh! VERY few sales persons and/or service managers know about the "problem." They have to find another unit and see that it behaves in the same fashion.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,587
    Of all the things that could bother me about my car, the third brake light is about the bottom of the list. I think I have only seen it once, and thats becasue I was backing up toward a glass window that reflected it.

    Would it have made you all happier if they just put the middle part in (thereby having blank space around it)? It does the job, and I just think of the side parts as a styling device to make the rear of the car look more balanced.

    The cargo cover I think I know what you're talking about. It seems pretty even to me, but overall, the cover isn't the best design, but that's a drawback to having reclinging rear seats.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • Does the light only show up in the middle on all Scion tC brake lights or does the brake light show up only on the outsides and leave a blank space in the middle? Does it happen in all Scion tC's?

    The "3rd gear slipping out" problem is probably gonna get a "Toyota stop the factory" tag on it in Japan very soon if it hasn't already been tagged. I remember that from Continuous Quality Improvement class at work. Toyota production lines totally stop if somebody notices something that isn't quite right on the production line. I'm thinking this problem(by far the most serious one on the list)will be fixed long before I decide to get a tC.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,587
    the middle lights up. The outer edges are just red plastic.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • Get a life man!! If the only thing that "really" annoys you about the tC is a 3rd brake light that you can't even see, then you have more concerns than need to be dicussed on a car site.

    First of all, (like you) I probably would have owned the tC for ten years without knowing about the brake light had I not read about it on a web site - placed by someone more anal than you.

    Secondly, who cares? the light works when you step on the brakes.

    Take a look around. There are zillions of cars out there designed with rear ends that are comprised totally of red plastic and only 2 bulbs on either end light up. What's the big deal?

    I apologize if I sound a bit terse (you did ask tC owners to chime in) but not only will you never see the light, I would be willing to bet that all of the admirers following you won't take notice either.

    Sounds like you are in the market for a stick. I f the brake light is so annoying, use your gears to brake, sit back, and enjoy.
  • weekend, or maybe they had a bit too much. I don't know if I was the one you're irritated at, I'm just doing some early research as to what kind of car I want to buy next. The brake light only lighting up in the middle is not a big deal at all to me. AAMOF, if only a small square lights up when the brakes are applied, I think that would look great. In other words, it doesn't trouble me.

    People have mentioned a third light, are you talking about the upper light(sometimes on the spoiler for cars that have spoilers) that is the third brake light added several years ago to all new cars for safety reasons? Is someone having problems with this light on their tC? Or is it working just fine? How is it we're combining this 3rd brake light with the brake lights just coming on in the middle of the brake light assembly as possible problems with the tC?

    Isn't this fun? Completely dissecting an attractive little import that recently hit the U.S. market? I like it and I am going for a 5-speed! Get this dudes: I have a 2001 Kia Sportage 4x4 with 85,145 miles on it and because I use my gears to slow the rig down so much I have completely avoided any brake work on the small SUV so far! Not only that but it hasn't needed a single light bulb replaced. It has also gone the entire 85,145 miles without needing it's original Hankook tires replaced! I take good care of my rigs. I will take great care of my tC if and when I buy one, indeed.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • jcfjcf Posts: 35
    iluvmysephia1 - yes, we're talking about the third brake light located in the top center of the rear hatch. Its a long, clear, LED looking strip that looks sharp - unlit. When lit, only the middle third lights up. Sounds like you'll rarely have to look at the rear end of another tC in your small little town though, so you'll rarely notice or remember the glaring flaw.

    genee - yes, I think it would have been better to narrow the plastic inset to the actual width of the light, as all other cars seem to do. The extra wide plastic inset, matching the lower plate lines, WOULD have looked great - if they had completed the concept. I'd agree there's an engineering reason for it too, rather than an engineering oversight. If it is a turn signal connection, seems like a stupid idea. Let us know if you ever get a real answer. SOMEBODY knows.

    tonylexas - lucky you for being less anal than others. I wish I shared your less critical attitude on cars, women, and everything. Your view and prioritization on the issue is appreciated. But, seeing as this is a forum on tC "problems and solutions", our complaints on this issue are also reasonable. I'll agree that many non-anal people such as yourself will never notice the problem, yet alone be bothered by it. But, I can vouch that every Scion salesman I've shown the light issue to (which has been several) has agreed that it looks wrong, broken, or stupid. We'll probably have to live with it, but Toyota deserves some grief and complaints over the design. That's how features get fixed and future models get better.
  • I only knew about the brake light from reading it here. I had my wife press the brake so I could see it myself. It looks fine to me. It frames the license plate quite nicely.

    I've had my tC for a month now and I don't have any issues to report. I'm a little older and have owned quite a few cars. The tC is built well. I just hope the tires last beyond 20K miles.
  • in axiomowner. What color did you score axiom? Congrats to you for getting one! Your input on the brake light issues has completely calmed my fears about them! Just kidding! I wasn't ever really concerned about the brake light issue. I think they'll look cool and yes, I may be the only one in St.James, MO, who will own a tC, or I may never see the other owner if someone else does buy one. Unless we form a St.James, MO, tC club...

    What about the tires bothers you? Are they cheaply made or are your roads as bad as Missouri's? We have so many trucks here on I-44 that they eventually beat the tar out of the roads and then people's tires. I must say, my '01 Sportage's Hankook's have 85,550 miles on them without any problems at all. I honestly can't believe they've still got viable tread on them and I'm headin' into another winter with 'em!

    Keep poppin' those stereo covers open with glee!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • jcfjcf Posts: 35
    I stopped by a Discount Tire last month and asked them about the tC's tires. The sales rep seemed quite familiar with them.

    He said their soft rubber and low profile gave them a limited mileage in the low 20's for most people. That's pretty poor in my budget conscious view. They not only cost twice the amount of any economy car, but they have to be replaced 3 times as often.

    Discount Tire sells a (supposedly) comparable high performance, low profile, Cooper tire for about $120. That's still not cheap to me, and the mileage isn't much better.

    Apparently, the only way to significantly increase the mileage wear is to switch to a lower performance tire. He said doing so might be possible, but that it could likely worsen the understeer/oversteer handling in corners.

    Let those who wear out their first set of tires be the guinea pigs for us all. I hope for some better guidance before its my time to buy new ones.
  • markg4markg4 Posts: 44
    look at the conti extreme contacts if you want a good high perf. all season. they are only $94 each and i am very happy with them on my 2000 si.
  • In/re tires. I looked at ratings and reviews on TireRack and the Potenza's didn't fair to well in any category among all-season performance tires. The Pirelli P Zero Nero M+S ($116) were the most recommended in my shopping and comparing.

    Considered changing mine immediately but could get virtually nothing for the 'new' Potenza's so I'm going to run them out and keep my fingers crossed as we head into the Michigan winter.

    I'm not expecting much from the OEM's. Had Bridgstone Duelers on my RX 300 - awful in snow and wore out in 35K. The Michelon's I repalced them with have nearly 70k on them with @ half the tread life remaining!

    First tank of gas 25/75% city/hwy 28.3 MPH - 2nd tank, 10/90 city/hwy - 31 MPH both tanks topped off, hwy speeds varied between 55 & 85. Coming from a Jeep Liberty where I was lucky to get 17 MPH, I'm ecsatic. Just another way this car has exceeded my expectations. Time for another fill up and it's looking like the MPH is holding up.
  • on Edmunds to list incredible mileage on your SUV's tires. My OEM Hankooks on my Sportage are going to head into another Missouri winter even though they already have 85,550 miles on them! Yikes! I can't believe it. I'm used to replacing my rig's tires at 40,000 miles, maybe if they're exceptionally mighty, 50,000 miles. This blows me away.

    I wonder if it has something to do with the riding and handling characteristics of top-heavy SUV's and how they grip the road. Any tire engineers out there? When I get my tC I am hoping y'all will've figured out a good replacement tire to swap out to after I rub the tread off of my Potenza's. BCP tC with all standard features, no options at this time intended for this tiger.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • jcfjcf Posts: 35
    Thanks for the reco markg4. I'll keep the name stashed for future use.

    Anyone have any other comments for the cheapest, longest wearing, decent handling tire replacements for a tC? I'd think some others besides myself might be willing to sacrifice a bit of road hugging ability for lower price and longer wear.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,587
    not a lot of choices in this size, and most 45s are performance oriented. From the looking I did, if I was getting new tires now it would be the Pirelli P Zero Nero M&S. Also standard equipment IIRC on the new Mustang GT.

    Go to tirerack and do a look-up on the size and you can get an idea of whats out there. Even if I only get 25K out of them, that would still be 3 years for me, so there will be lots of new choices by then.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • you're only gonna be putting 8,333-odd miles a year on your tC?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • jcfjcf Posts: 35
    Thanks to your comments and references, I finally got motivated and spent a couple of hours researching all the tire options - considering high performance, ultra high performance, all season, and summer treads. You guys pegged 2 of the best choices right from TireRack. I'll add a third reco among the best performance/lowest cost, 215/45-17 options:

    Pirelli PZero Nero M&S ($116) - The number 1 ranked best performing, ultra high performance, all-season, tire. It has excellent to superior ratings in every category.

    Continental Conti Extreme Contact ($94) - The number 3 ranked best performing, ultra high performance, all-season tire. It has excellent to superior ratings in every category but underperforms the Pirelli in all categories except in rain and snow conditions. Its main advantage over the Pirelli is lower cost - an $88 savings for a small performance sacrifice.

    Yokohama Avid H4S ($98) - The number 4 ranked best performing, high performance, all-season tire. It has excellent to superior ratings in every category but also underperforms the Pirelli in all categories. Its main advantage over the Pirelli is lower cost and potentially better tread wear. Whereas the Pirelli and Continental have tread wear ratings of 400, the Yokohama is rated 500. And, while the Pirelli and Continental's W speed ratings (168 mph) exceed the Yokohama's H rating (130 mph), I don't think that should be a concern on the tC which has an electronic speed inhibitor and top speed of 127 mph.

    All 3 tires look like good options. I'll let a sale price dictate my decision.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,587
    I only do about 7K a year now, but I'm moving to a new office soon, so my weekly commute will go up by about 30 miles a week.

    I have about 2,600 miles on it now, in about 3.5 months, but that includes a few extra trips I don't normally do. It also sits at home when we travel.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • Hello all-

      I have a manual Scion TC and I notice a whinning noice while accelerating in second gear to third. I have had automatic cars in the past so I am not sure if the Scion engine was built like this or not. It is only in second gear where I hear this noice. My car drives very smooth, but the sound is not. If your car does or does not have a higher pitch sound when in second gear and when accelerating in second gear could you please reply to this message. I am concerned about my car and if this sound is supposed to be normal because it is a manual transmission please let me know.

  • cplacecplace Posts: 4
    I have a Scion tC (manual) with 1000 miles on it. When I start the vehicle cold (meaning that it has been sitting for several hours) and travel either forwards or backwards, I hear a single clicking noise after moving anywhere from 10 to 20 feet. The noise only occurs once. The click doesn't occur following a warm start-up. Has anyone else heard this click? Does anyone know what this clicking sound is? I don't remember hearing it when I first got the car.
This discussion has been closed.