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Lexus SC 430



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Cowl shake is a big no-no in this price class. That should definitely be addressed and eliminated.
  • masonmason Posts: 5
    i want to confirm what is the best care products for both the interior and the exterior. Is ZAINO one of the best wax's? and can it be found easily?
    INTERIOR: i see mixed opinions on these boards. a leather cleaner and conditioner. someone suggested an all in one type. as a female, i was raised knowing fully well that shampoos that had conditioner included were very bogus, and am thinking its very similar to interior leather cleaner with conditioner built in. can anyone suggest a good leather care for the Ecru color?
    Thank you!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I'm not fond of any product that encourages you to RUB leather. I'd only use a cleaner if there was actually a bad stain, and I'd be VERY careful in the amount of elbow I put into it. Rub hard at your own peril!

    There are a lot of good leather products out there. I use HIDEFOOD, which is a rich cream. Some people don't like it because it takes time to work into the leather and being organic it can spoil over time. But it looks great if you follow directions and plan to spend an hour doing up the whole car. This product might be hard to find but you can always get it at a Jaguar dealer. I bet the Lexus dealer sells it too, come to think of it.

    The ZAINO people (Church of Zaino) are over in our "Maintenance and Repair" Board, which you can find by using our drop down window to the left, where it says "Select a Board".

  • I own a 2002 Lexus SC-430 I would like to rotate the tires myself I have Bridgestones run flat tires if I switch front to back would that mess up my air pressure censor?
           thanks for your help Leo-K
  • Leo;
       You can rotate the tires and the pressure sensor will continue to work.
       There is a pressure sensor and transmitter in each rim. The receiver reads the pressure as transmitted from the wheel regardless of which position it is in.
       I hope you understand my explanation. So just go ahead and rotate the tires and everything will work properly.
       The only real problem comes in when you install new tires. Whoever does the installation has to know how to install the tires and retain the integrity of the pressure sensors.
  • Thank you very much Ron about rotating tires on my Lexus SC-430 it was greatly appreciated
  • I have located a 2002 SC430 with 115K miles. I am considering buying the car for my wife who only drives 8K miles per year. Is the SC430 reliable enough to go another 40K without constant trips to the dealer?
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,989
    As reliable as the car is I would definitely avoid the high mileage used model. When the top mechanism, Nav. or luminescence goes, it will be costly.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The SC430 set JD Power initial quality records, with less than half the industry average of problems. However, any car that new with that kind of mileage I think is probably not a good idea. If it was a '96 SC400 with 115K sure, another 40-70k would be no problem. That kind of mileage on a new car would make me nervous though. Have you thought about a late model C70 convertible for her instead? Not quite as flashy, but heavy depreciation means good deals on low mileage cars.
  • I appreciate your advice concerning the high mileage SC430. I read one time that you should allocate ten percent of the selling price of a new car for annual maintenance. Sure, you could go several years under ten percent, and then you get the big repair that brings the average up.
           The Volvo convertible is a nice car, but when I look at a red SC430 photo on eBay, it is just not the same.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    A late model Lexus with that many miles on it is practically sale-proof. If you bought it, you should pay a heavily discounted price, because whatever got you in cheap in the front end is going to bite you when you sell.

    And, as everyone has said, repairing complex modern cars out of warranty is not a pleasant prospect, so you have to hedge against this by paying way under 'book' value.

    Basically you have to "steal' this car to make it work for you I think.
  • I agree with you that a person would have to "steal" this car because it will be that much harder to sell in the future. Another problem is that I don't believe the used car value guides take off enough money for high mileage. It makes it that much harder to negotiate with the current owner when he shows you the inflated blue book value.
         Peter Egan had an excellent article in Road & Track several months ago where he said he may never own a car newer than 1975 because he never got comfortable with the complicated electrical systems in modern cars. Some of these newer cars might not be worth fixing in the future if they have a major electrical failure even if the drivetrain and body are perfect.
  • I own a Lexus SC-430 with run flat tires,I noticed in one of the tires a small nail on top of the tread not in the recess.It does not seem to leak I check the pressure every other day would it be advisable to put a plug to fix it?
    I only have 10,000 mls on them lots of tread.
    Also there are two kinds of plugs solid rubber and the stringy kind which one is better?
        Thank you very much Leo-K
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,989
    Bring to your nearest Lexus dealer AND Discount Tire to get their opinions. Happened to one of my cars. D. Tire wanted to order me a new tire before taking the nail out. The dealer just removed the nail and the tire never deflated nor required fixing, to this day.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Another option with steep deprecation is the Jag XK8, which is a direct competitor to the SC. The Volvo really doesnt play in that class. You can rule out the CLK500 though, it has one of the strongest residual values in the entire industry.
  • Thank you very much carnaught.
     I appreciate it very much. Leo-K
  • The Jaguar XK8 is a nice car. I like the idea that they offer a coupe option. I do think the SC430 is more reliable.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Oh the SC is more reliable by far. Jag has made quite an improvement from their days of churning out garbage in the late 80s, but they still have a lot of electrical demons (always the bane of the british car industry) and some mechanical issues as well. I dont think I would recommend the XK as a daily driver, especially since it can sit in the shop for more than a week while they wait for parts from Coventry
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I have to disagree re the comment on Jag XK8 and XKR reliability. I had a 98 XK8 convertible for 3 years and now a XKR for 3 1/2 years and with the exception of a minor top problem which was fixed in one day the cars just went in annually for free servicing. These are daily drivers and I annually took them on trips of up to 3000 miles.

    On the issue of a high milage SC430 I'm not so sure that it wouldn't be such a bad deal at the right price since in 2-3 years of use the top mechanism and other parts probably wouldn't have had more use than in a lower milage vehicle.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm afraid I havent been as fortunate. I too had a '98 XK8. Lots of electrical problems: light switches would stop working, air bag warning and check engine indicators would come on constantly, seat power stopped working, and the car stalled one or two times, but fortunately was able to restart. I now have a '00 XKR, and while it has been better, it too has had its share of problems, including a broken supercharger at 28K miles, fortunately under warranty, as thats like a $6K repair otherwise.

    I dont know what dealer you use, but the service at Jaguar in Carlisle, PA generally sucks. My cars have sat there for more than a week several times waiting for parts, and one salesman acted like he was doing me a personal favor giving me his crappy Taurus as a loaner because the car wasnt ready after they had called saying it was ready. Quite different compared to Rahal Lexus in the same area, which has excellent service.
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I think the dealers make a big difference in perception of the brand. After years with Mercedes(S series Sedans,SEC's ,SLs,and ML's) I was so turned off by service and sales that I switched to Jaguar and in my area found better service and an overall better experience which keeps me going back. The manufacturers need to pay attention to the lessons of Lexus re service.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Oh definitely. I used to be a M-B and BMW guy, but got tired of the attitude and lousy service you get at their "we're better than you" dealerships. I've considered Audi in the past, but spotty VW reliability, bad residuals, and the fact that the dealer in the area is completely incompitent has turned me off to them. I think I'd have an SC430 already, but the design has not grown on me. The first gen SC penned in Toyota's CALTY studio was a gorgeous car for its time. The French designed SC430 wasnt what I was hoping for.

    I'm not a fan of pretty much all of Jaguars current line up other than the XK which is amazingly still a gorgeous and fresh looking car despite the fact that it dates back to '97 (and its underpinnings date back 35 years). I've heard good things about the new XJ sedan, but havent gotten a chance for a test drive yet. The one thing that does dissapoint me is that interior materials quality and finish in Jaguars has gone WAY down since the Ford take over. The X-type feels cheap, and the first generation S-type was simply an embarrasment. The XK is a little better, but it pales compared to a '96 XJS, which had leather and wood that could qualify for Aston Martin duty.

    Jag is in the red again this year, and Ford has closed the historic Conventry plant in an effort to make the company profitable, so I believe that means Jags will not be built in England anymore. I hope Ford does not do to them what GM has done to Saab, which doesnt have a single Swedish bone left in its body.
  • newienewie Posts: 15
    SOS! i know ive read somewhere, in some thread, but i cannot find it: HOW do we clean the back window of the SC? its Chinese torture squeezing a hand back there
    Thank you in advance!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm certainly not saying that every Lexus dealer is fabulous, and every MB or BMW dealership is horrible. However, according to JD surveys, people are generally much happier with the service they get at their Lexus dealers than MB or BMW, and my own experience reflects that. Even magazines like Automobile that never mention things like that have made the occasional comment about the service.
  • I just open the top halfway, when the rear window is roughly vertical. You can then get to the rear window, then open it all the way and clean the small window between the back seats.
  • rwengerrwenger Posts: 15
    Does anyone know when the next major model change for the Lexus SC430 is likely to occur?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Most likely by '07, there should be an all new car. I'm pretty sure Lexus will not leave this SC out in the sun to dry like the last one. There's also supposed to be an all new Jag XK by then, and since that car is the SC's chief competition, I'm sure they arent going to want to be left behind.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    I was in the Tire Rack website, and they offer two run flat snow tires in the 245/40 QR18 size. The Bridgestone Blizzak MZ-03 is $213 each, and the Dunlop Graspic DS-2 DSST CTT is $152 each.
  • I have been looking for new tires for my SC430 and I just found this board. The posts have been very helpful. However, a couple of questions that hopefully someone might answer:

    1. Overall, wouldn't new non run flats still ride better and be less noisy than say the new Dunlop run flats?

    2. In looking at Tire Rack's ratings, the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 and the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 are the top rated tires for best ride and low noise, which are the most important qualities I am looking for. (I think these are non run flats and may be Y rated, which would be plenty safe for my driving) Anyone have any comments or experience with these tires?

    Any other comments would be welcome. Seems tires are the hottest topic and all the experience shared here is great. I love my SC, I just want a better ride and less road noise. Thanks.
  • I replaced my tires last May, initially with the Pilot Sport PS2's. They were a major improvement over the Bridgestone runflats, but were, in my opinion, still a bit noisier than I wanted. Discount Tire was very helpful in swapping out the PS2's for a set of Michelin Pilot AS tires. Approximately the same price, with a softer ride, quieter, and some sacrifice in handling. Unfortunately, the car pulled right with the All Seasons, and nothing we did could correct it. I considered the Goodyears, but my dealer suggested that they would not ride as well as the Michelins. Plan C was the KUMHO ECSTA ASX's, at half the price of the Michelins. WOW! I have been completely satisfied with them. The ride is incredible, quiet and comfortable, yet the handling has not suffered. I have not driven them in the snow, but they are fantastic in rain. Even in heavy downpours, hydroplaning is extremely rare. They may not be quite as aggressive as the PS2's, but they are very close. I found the Michelin All Seasons rather squirrelly, but not the Kumhos. They are an all season tire as well, with a 30,000 mile treadwear warranty and a treadwear rating of 420. The tread pattern and the sidewall look great, and for the money, they are simply amazing. I highly recommend them.
  • vkingvking Posts: 3
    I have a 2002 SC430 that I got in April of 2001. I have over 31,000 miles on the original Bridgestone runflats and a service advisor told me that I should have at least another 5,000 miles on those tires.
  • Just took a trip through Texas Hill Country and had speeds of 130 in short bursts with lots of curves. Now I know why they made this car! I'll never complain about the tires since my original Dunlops stick like glue. This car rides so much better at speed than anything other than my Corvette, that I'm finally happy. Wife only has 5000 miles on it today, but tires look new. Can't wait for the new body style (2007?). Also, we drove all the competitors at the Lexus "Taste of Luxury". The Caddy XLR is too small for six foot driver, Jag is OK, but styling is long in the tooth and no hardtop, Mercedes attitude is so bad that I'll never buy another one. While our 03' SC430 may be a bit bumpy at low speeds, it is an AWESOME cruiser at Interstate speeds, and keeps getting better the faster you go. As for the leather seats, I use Zymol in Orange bottle and am pleased with results.
  • I lower the top until the inside of the rear window is readily avaiable from the OUTSIDE of the car by reaching in from each side. This makes it really easy. Regards, Mike
  • My sc has the wonderful habit of going full volume on the radio when least expected. It is silent, for no reason, and when I touch the volume control, it goes full blast. Very scary and may damage speakers. Has anyone had this problem addressed by Lexus. Thanks, Mike
  • Mike,


    This is an annoying problem I have also experienced by accident. Below the volume controls on the steering column is another switch. I am not sure but I believe it is labeled "Set". You pull this button towards you and hold it to "set" the audio volume at current listening volume. If this is accidentally depressed at a high volume, it will default to that ear piercing, speaker busting volume every time you accidentally brush up against it. You need to reset it by holding it at a lower volume. That should solve the problem. Good won't need ear plugs any longer


  • pizazzpizazz Posts: 1
    I just asked my Lexus Service Manager about run flat tires today.

    He said they're a hard ride


    Another dealer said most take them off.

    Today's dealer disagreed with that though.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I don't know if most take the run-flats off, but I took them off of my wife's SC430, and she is thrilled with the improved ride smoothness and elimination of tramlining. (I replaced the wheels, too; that might have contributed to the improvement.)
  • Just in case anyone has accidentally turned off their traction control, you will instantly notice that the car is extremely squirrely. Don't confuse that with poor ride or handling. While aggressively leaving the car wash, the back end broke loose and came around to meet the front, and I immediately noticed the fishtail light on the dash was not on! Soon as I pressed the switch, it was love all over again, and rock solid.
  • The probable release date for the SC sedan would be around early 2007, however I am not sure as to why the SC sedan are on the list of model lineup on the website and not the LS? Does this convey that SC would release right after the launch of the IS sedan??? So I expressed my opinion on the Japanese automotive forum a few days ago and couple of members in the forum including my friend whom have serious connections with the researchers working in Toyota's Higashi-Fuji Technical Center are trying very hard to get us more info about the SC sedan, and would inform me as soon as they obtain new information about the sedan.

  • Has anybody else had cracked/bent rims on sc430 due to speed bumps or pot-holes?
  • Seems like there is a debate as to the wisdom of going away from run-flats. As a traditionalist I initially would not even entertain the thought but as many who have changed have said, the ride is much better.I certainly don't like the idea of changing tires every 30,00 miles! I wonder if the new SC430 will have a better wheel. Thats the problem as I see it and not nessesarily the tire. That said, I don't like driving without a spare UNLESS it's a run-flat and changing leaves you with that problem.
  • The problem with the runflats is that the side walls are so very stiff. The wheels are not the problem, unless Lexus went down to a 17" wheel which would allow more sidewall on the tires, hence a better ride.
    For 05 the SC has reduced spring rates(softer ride) and shocks. This has improved the ride somewhat. Other than those changes the car is the same.
    As for myself, I plan to go to Michelin RFT's. I have heard good things about them especially about the ride. I would like to go to a normal tire, but like you I don't want to run around without a spare and sacrifice anymore trunk space.
  • I'm having trouble trying to find an upgrade for the Navigation DVD on my 2002 SC430. No one at Lexus has been able to tell me which discs will work in my car. Has anybody upgraded to a newer software version and if so what part number did you use.
  • Production cut from 23-a-day to 12.

    200-days supply languishing on dealer lots.

    Caddy will offer no new discounts/incentives at this time. They do not want to tarnish the Flagship's image.

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,662
    That's probably because it's overpriced. Caddy is trying for Mercedes/Lexus pricing without having earned that right. Many still just consider Caddy a GM brand, like Chevy or Pontiac. Not a true luxury marque. They are producing better cars, although the styling (and price of the loaded versions) of the STS does nothing for me. I'm sure the so-so interior of the XLR and perception that it's a dressed-up Corvette aren't helping...
    One dealer in Boston area was recently offering '05 XLR at $4800 off MSRP. That's a start.

    While the exterior of the SC isn't (IMHO) its strong suit, the interior (esp. in Saddle) is just gorgeous (but NOT in ecru!).

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You would have never thunk this a year ago with all the talk about the XLR being sold out. It was according to rants at the time sold out for a year, I guess that year is up. There was even a suggestion that the car was underpriced! Unbelievable. Caddy's slip is showing now. Darn right it is overpriced as is the STS, which is also not selling to expectations.

    Shifting back on topic, I thought the SC430 would get a facelift this year and a entry-level 6-cylinder model of some sort? Dr Fill?

  • iancariancar Posts: 31
    This is my concern: a brand new SC is prepared to jump start the Japan lexus group. Since IS 300 is renew for 2006, it may not be a suprise to see an all new SC for 2006 because IS-series was disputed in year 2000 as model 2001. If my prediction is correct, SC may present as a concept for late 2005 and start selling in late 2006. So i am trap in a dilemma of waiting for a new model or just buy the current model, which i loved both exterior and the interior style. And there is not much choices out there for my taste. No Mercedes conver. b/c MB reliability is worst than anything i had owned before. No BMW z4 or 6-series b/c their ride is rough and harsh. Dun even mention audi, it got both harsh ride and unreliable rating. Can any1 show me some alternatives or support for either getting a 2005 SC430 or waiting for the new 1 to come out?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well there isn't going to be a new SC430 for 2006, otherwise they would have said something or shown a concept at the auto shows this season. The current car hasn't even had a facelift yet. I suspect it will get a facelift for 2006 or so with the new V8 from the next LS and a 6-cylinder 350 model with the 280hp V6.

  • serg1serg1 Posts: 1
    Does anyone have any suggestions for my issue with 2002 SC 430? Sometimes volume got "stuck" at certain level and it's impossible to change the sound system volume using volume control knob or steering wheel volume controls. The only way to get rid of this condition is to turn off the engine, take off the ignition key, restart the engine and everything goes normal then.
    Dealer helplessly changed whole Mark Levinson system once and amplifier twice, - didn't do any good.
    Hey, let me know if anyone has same problem or better yet solution to it. Thanks for your time in advance.
  • Got my 2002 w/10K miles on it and the Bridgestone runflats were almost gone, which was amazing since the dealer said the car was LITERALLY driven by a "little old lady!" (must have had a heavy foot?)
    Anyhow, the tires were fine on dry, smooth roads, but anything else and you're fighting to control the car, especially on grooved surfaces.

    Researched and talked to lots of people over the past 6 months. Finally settled on Pirelli PZero Nero's (non-runflats) purchased from Larry at TireRack. They drop-shipped to my Lexus dealer for $50. and the dealer put them on for $150(need a special machine). In Colorado, I need a tire that performs in the wet and won't run and hide if there's a little snow on the ground. I now have that.

    Among the many positives from this switch:
    1)Better handling (yes, a sidewall with a little give to it will out perform most runflats; 2)No more jaw-jarring from going over bumps; 3)No more tramlining(at least it wouldn't when I tried to make it do so); 4)Smoother, quieter, more predictable ride); 5) Estimated life of 22-35K miles instead of 10-15K miles; 6) Don't have to be discarded if they go flat (which is what most Lexus dealers will do with your runflats - I asked)

    The only negative - I now have 2 cans of "runflat", a small (6") inexpensive portable air compressor and a tire patch kit in my trunk. I also have AAA and a cellphone if I run into something unusual.

    The BEST PART??? You can almost buy 2 of these Pirellis for every 1 of the runflats!!! Yes, that's right - I paid $600. plus $50 shipping for all 4 tires!!

    Do your dental work, kidneys and nerves a favor - ditch your runflats as soon as you can and put some real performance tires on your SC! (This is probably the best auto improvement I've made in 20 years - the car as now a REAL pleasure to drive as I don't have to search for open, smooth patches of road all the time)

    Incidentally, these Pirellis are not slouches in the performance department - led Tirerack's ULTRA HIGH PERFORMANCE ALL-SEASON customer survey. You can pay more (michelin, et al), but at least for my application, there is not a better tire available at ANY price!!

    Hope this helps those of you still on the fence and getting beaten up by your runflats!! (and NO, I have no connection whatsoever to Pirelli or Tirerack)


    Do you
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